30 Day Book Challenge: Day 20

picsart_1375358545585Good morning fellow readers! So of course I found a new challenge to participate in the hopes of proving myself better than the last. I picked up this challenge from The Chronicles of Radiya and very much look forward to 30 consecutive (hopefully, gulp) days of blogging.

Day 20: Favorite Romance Book

Romance tends to be formulated then again I guess that could be applied to every genre I just happen to be more aware of it in romance. While formulated is not necessarily a bad thing it can make it hard for books to stand out.

What I’ve come to ask of romance novels is this: is it realistic? Do they fall in love in three days because if they do then it’s not. Do the love interests find each other perfect because if they do then again, it’s not realistic. I don’t expect every book I read to be realistic in fact I read many romance books that are not and enjoy them but I have to say that I do lose a bit of respect for those that are not.

I want to believe the story and forgive me but I just don’t believe that he saw her passing by and knew instantly that she was the one. I just don’t buy it.

My favorite romances are not typical, they tend to break from the traditional sunset happily ever after that is very common in the romance genre. For instance The Time Traveler’s Wife and P.S. I Love You, both are fleshed out stories about flawed characters who are either in love or used to be. I’m drawn to those stories.

My favorite romance novel of all time would have to be Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The setting of the novel is a traveling circus and a young man is its own veterinarian. As we get to know the characters we meet August and his wife Marlena. August is a charming man who befriends our protagonist Jacob, but is also suffering from mental issues causing him to be paranoid about his relationship with Marlena and on top of that he is a brutal man, pushing the circus animals far beyond their capacity. Marlena is part of the horse act and she and Jacob bond over the new circus elephant Rosie (who is bubbling with personality). Their bond develops into friendship and then further develops into love. They have an affair and needless to say things get bumpy and whole slew of events take place.

I guess what I love about this novel is the way Gruen portrays the fragility of Marlena’s and Jacob’s relationship; as if it were always on the edge of glass in danger of outside elements and the characters own flaws. That’s real. Love , when first bloomed, is not this ultimately strong force that can conquer the world. It is delicate and needs time to grow.

There’s also Rosie the elephant. Her part in the novel was fantastic and she ultimately influences Marlena and Jacobs relationship in the end.

I recommend this novel to all romance fans and even fans of historical fiction. It was fascinating to learn about the circus in such an early age and I found out many new things. Water for Elephants is a great novel and I urge everyone to pick it up.

What is your favorite romance novel? Share it below and happy reading!

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist WednesdayIn the famous words of Snow White, “I’m wishing (I’m wishing) for the one I love, to find me (to find me) today.” In this case (actually in most cases) the one that I love is a book.

I came about Wishlist Wednesday hosted by the ever so lovely Pen to Paper. (Please check out their blog, it’s awesome).

Wishlist Wednesday is a meme that allows you to turn the spotlight on a few books that have been sitting on your get-to-eventually list for a while. Books that you dream of claiming their rightful spots on your bookshelf.

This week while browsing on the wonderful site that is Goodreads I discovered In the Woods by Tana French

237209As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox—his partner and closest friend—find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.

I simply don’t read enough thrillers and I don’t know why. Well, actually I do know why, it’s because I always go for fantasy novels and turn away from everything else. Not today. While on Goodreads I saw the cover and it captured my attention. I read the synopsis and was on the edge of my seat.

What happened in the woods in the summer of 1984? Isn’t that question driving all of you mad? I’m already brainstorming theories but I haven’t read enough thrillers for any to sound plausible. This story sounds like it will grip me from the beginning and hold me hostage until I finish it. Yes, I’m definitely looking at an all nighter here.

The only other thriller novels I’ve read are the Millenium trilogy and The Lincoln Lawyer. Both were well executed (though the Millenium trilogy could have done without the word IKEA repeated a million times) and both opened my eyes to a whole new genre. I don’t generally watch detective shows because I find them SO predictable that it takes all the fun out of watching. I thought the same would be with books but I was so incredibly wrong.

This genre, though eerie, is fascinating. It takes you inside the mind of cold-blooded killers and keeps you there in horror. I have no doubt In the Woods will cause me to check the lock on my door twice but I know the read will be worth it.

Does this book look good to you or are thrillers not really your thing? What are you wishing for this Wednesday? Share it below and happy reading!