Good Reads : Where Did You Go Bernadette?


Last month I took time off. I spent three weeks traveling to Mexico, Christmas shopping, eating food laden with sugar (Santa told me to do it), reading…and, basically, taking time to simply be. I carved out time to let my brain rest and my soul find respite in the chaos life sometimes presents. I spent a good time reading and, for the most part, enjoyed the books that found their way into my hands.

I’m going to review a few of the books I really enjoyed (the others shown just didn’t do much for me) in case you have time to delve into the world of words…

Where Did You Go Bernadette – This book! THIS BOOK! I had to use caps because I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s written in a clever way and as the story unfolded, I found myself smitten with the characters and the twists the plot took. I might be partial because the story takes place in Seattle, a city that stole my heart when we lived there for a month last year. Three of the four friends I recommended it to liked it. Is it just me or did this review turn into a Colgate commercial?

The Divergent Series – And here I am again recommending Teen Fiction books, but I can’t help it. It’s like I’m just begging the universe to let me stay young. The first two books of the trilogy were released and I found myself desperately lost in the pages of dystopic Chicago. It isn’t ground-shattering writing nor is it as compelling as the Hunger Games series, but both books were enjoyable and I’ll be reading the third. The series was also signed for a gabillion dollar movie deal, so move over Edward Cullen…Tobias is in town!

Never Fall Down – Word of warning: you’ll have to read this book with a box of tissues. Or a truckload of tissues. This true story narrates the plight of a child assigned to a Cambodian labor camp under the Khmer Rouge communist regime. In order to stay alive, Arn teaches himself how to play an instrument to master revolutionary songs…and steal food to keep other kids alive. He lives by a simple credo: Over and over I tell myself one thing: never fall down. This book is powerful, heartbreaking, and inspiring.

Me Before You. This book was downright good. Definitely not warm-n-fuzzy, but the story was compelling, the writing was sharp, and the characters stayed with me far after I had finished the book. I laughed out loud at some parts and held back tears at the end. When a friend asked me to describe the book, I responded by saying it’s about a paraplegic, his caretaker, love, loss, the power to make decisions, and the right to life. And death. Really, really good.

Happy Thursday!

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  1. Kristin

    January 24th, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Love seeing your recommendations!

  2. Whitney Lane Arnett

    January 24th, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I was looking for some good new book 🙂 I have a soft spot for cambodia so i will def be checking that book out!

  3. BMiller

    January 24th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Where’d you Go Bernadette is a fantastic audiobook – the narration is amazing! Great book if you are a knitter too.

  4. Dee

    January 24th, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I’ve been WAITING for another Good Reads from you for a long time!! Thanks!

  5. chatti

    January 24th, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    never fall down. well that’s a book that i have been meaning to read since i’m living in cambodia now and actually know Arn. TJ says that if you know Arn, the way he speaks in the book actually captures the way he speaks in real life. it’s like listening to him retell his story face to face.

  6. Claudia

    January 24th, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    I enjoy your good reads’ blog posts… 🙂

  7. Laura Pedrino

    January 24th, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    LOL I have just finished Divergent & Insurgent and was about to blog about them!

  8. wendy davis

    January 24th, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Thank you for all of your posts and inspiring information that you give! I was wondering if you had any suggestions for a reliable cincinnati wedding photographer ?

  9. Liz

    January 24th, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    My sister in law (who is a librarian at an elementary school) just recommended the Divergent Series to me. Your review is perfect timing for keeping me from feeling like I’m reading too many Teen Fiction books!

  10. Malinda

    January 24th, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Thank you! I’ve been looking for some good reads:)

  11. Rebecca

    January 24th, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I’m a bookworm so it’s always fun to see what other people are reading. I just finished "A Dog’s Purpose" and enjoyed it so much. Might be something you’d enjoy too 🙂

  12. Melanie

    January 25th, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Thanks for the reviews. I wonder why your John Green book didn’t do much for you. I just read, "The Fault in Our Stars" . . . very compelling, well written, and the characters were very believable. Also read "Unwind" and "Unwholly" . . . you may like those. And to add to the teen fiction . . . Delirium and Pandemonium.

  13. Lyn Ismael-Bennett

    January 25th, 2013 at 1:42 am

    I too have read "Where Did You Go Bernadette" and fell in love with how the story is told. I had planned on pacing myself to read just one book per week to save some money…I devoured this one in a day.

    I’m interested in reading Me Before You, though I’m afraid it might hit me close to home. Thanks for the recommendations!

  14. denise karis

    January 25th, 2013 at 4:32 am

    I JUST finished Divergent YESTERDAY. Have you read Matched? Do it! ahhhhh now I want to go to coffee with you and speculate on the ending because OMG the ending of Divergent made my head SPIN. No, they can’t all be hunger games and my heart still beats for Peeta but I am totally digging the dystiopia theme that everyones caught.

  15. jamie

    January 25th, 2013 at 6:11 am

    love these book posts, keep em coming!!

  16. Sandra Fazzino

    January 25th, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    You’re such a good book recommender – I teared up just reading about Never Fall Down. I am in constant need of a good book, so thank you!

  17. Tyler

    January 31st, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Veronica Roth, Divergent author, is my sister-in-law. Her husband (my brother) has had a photography business with me for the last 7 years until they were married last year. We’ve been following your website for most of that time, so it’s fun to see your recommendation!

    Does that make me 1 degree of separation from Jasmine Star? I think so.

  18. Anna

    February 13th, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    I definitely order most of the books you recommend!! thanks so much for all the good reads posts!

  19. Vivian

    February 13th, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    You have to HAVE TO, absolutely positively must read Blood Red Road, the Dustlands Series! Yes it’s teen fiction but the writing, the characters, everything was so compelling. There’s only one warning, look forward to many sleepless nights because you just might not be able to put it down.

  20. RENAE

    February 13th, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Love your book reviews Jasmine! I’m going through a zombie phase at the moment (not everyone’s cup of tea but I just love em LOL). The Reapers Are The Angels is so beautifully written – not your typical zombie book at all. It’s more about the characters than the zoms. I’m also reading the final book in The Enemy series…OMG i just love it – it is fairly brutal though – but I really like how all the books start at different points in time and now at the end all the stories are coming together.