Five Books to Read in an Afternoon

Have you ever had one of those lazy summer afternoons when you want nothing more than a cold lemonade and a good book?  I know – doesn’t it sound wonderful?  Today, I have decided to share with you my top picks that are good one-sitting reads for a perfect lazy day
1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.  I kind of don’t want to share any details of this story with you.  When I picked up We Were Liars, I choose it based on the cover and the intriguing title alone – but the fact that I knew nothing of the story going into it made this book so much more of an enjoyable (yet heartwrenching…) experience.  At just over 200 pages, this book will fly by, leaving you to pick up the pieces of your soul before you even realize it is over.
2. The Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis.  This is a somewhat lesser-known installment in the Chronicles of Narnia series.  The story is a rare glimpse into Narnia that takes place during the reign of the four young heroes of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  However, the magically land is given a new twist as we follow around a servant boy known as Shasta – and see his perspective on the realm of Narnia.  This novel, while it might be small, is overflowing with beautiful writing and masterful storytelling.  The Narnia sage might be considered children’s stories by some – but by choosing The Horse and His Boy, you will be responding to CS Lewis’s own observation that “Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
3.  Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon.  I sped through this story in just a couple of hours.  Everything Everything combines an incredibly unique and engaging storyline with masterful illustrations.  Much of the story is told through instant message conversations between the two main characters – causing the length of the book to be a bit deceiving.  It is a very quick read, while at the same time being one of the most satisfying and moving stories I have read in a while.
4. November 9 by Colleen Hoover.  I hesitate to share this one for the reason that it is just so good.  Yes, I realize that this makes little sense – but let me explain.  I read this rather short novel in a matter of 2 hours for the simple reason that I actually did not have the ability to put it down.  It tells the story of an aspiring novelist who meets a girl that inspires the novel he was born to write.  They meet on the 9th of November – but through a series of circumstances, the two have to part ways at the end of the day.  They decide to meet up again on November 9th next year, and the story follows each November 9th for several years – revealing so many unexpected twists along the way.  It is just such a beautiful, gripping story that I had to read it all at once and find out how their story came out.  The reason I hesitate to share it is because, when it was finished, I almost wished I could pick it up and experience it all over again, or that I hadn’t rushed through it so quickly because of how completely wonderful it was.  So – you have my official warning.  Read at your own risk (I dare you to put it down once, actually.  I’ll bet you won’t be able to).
5. Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs. This book is a little different from the others on my list – in that it is an inspirational non-fiction book.  Annie F. Downs is one of my favorite authors of all time, and Let’s All Be Brave is full of personal, real stories from her life that she shares to encourage her readers to step out of their comfort zone and make the ‘brave’ decision in every situation.  Sitting down and reading this book from start to finish is basically sitting down with Annie for a few hours over coffee, and it is such an encouraging read.

November 9 Review


November 9…. this book.  I opened November 9 expecting an intriguing storyline and maybe some good writing.  I have never read Colleen Hoover before, but I have heard enough good things that my expectations where fairly high.  Despite this, I was not prepared for the incredible story I discovered inside the pages of this book – I was gripped from the very beginning, and I could not put it down (though I will admit I was tempted to throw it out the window at a couple of different points).  November 9 is one of those books you will devour, yet when it is over you will wish you had taken the time to savor it.  And you may not be able to accept any other book for a few days afterwards because the story is just so good that nothing else can measure up.

So, now that you know my opinion about the beautifulness of this book, let me give you a quick glimpse of the story inside 🙂

The story opens on November 9th, the two-year anniversary of a fire which terribly scarred aspiring actress Fallon (last name), ending her acting career.  She meets Ben, a college student with a passion for writing.  Ben sees two things in Fallon – her deep, genuine beauty, and the insecurity she projects due to the scars that the fire left on her face.  Ben makes it his goal to help Fallon regain her confidence and see herself as beautiful again – and in the process, she becomes the inspiration he needs to write a brilliant story.

The day Fallon and Ben meet happens to be the day before Fallon moves to a new city.  Even though they are about to be separated, Ben and Fallon determine to meet up again – same place, same time – on the next November 9th.  The story follows the incredible ups and downs their lives take on over the course of several years.

There is so much beauty and creativity in this plot, and I’m pretty sure I experienced every emotion a book can possibly producing different points of the story.

If you are looking for a book that is impossible to put down, characters that refuses to leave you long after the story is finished, and a plot that grips you from the first page – November 9 should find a spot at the top of your TBR for sure.