Ryan reads so many books and writes so many reviews that we ran out of room! You can read her older reviews (up to January 2015) here.
Ryan's August 2015 pick
The Martian, by Andy Weir
Astronaut Botanist Mark Watney is on a mission to Mars to collect dirt samples, when there's a terrible storm and subsequent accident, and his crew, thinking him dead, leaves him behind. It's not their fault really: he was impaled, his life readings zeroed out, and if they didn't get off the planet in the next 10 seconds, they'd all die. Except, he isn't dead, and now he's stranded on Mars. Alone. Luckily for him, the crew left behind most of their supplies in their urgent escape. Now Mark has to find a way to make those supplies last until he can be rescued. Oh, there's another catch. Everyone thinks he's dead, so there's no rescue mission. Astronaut Botanist Mark Watney is in a tough spot.
The Martian by Andy Weir is basically MacGyver in space. It's incredible. The story is relayed to us via Mark Watney's logs journaling his survival, so the science is sound, but delivered in laymen's terms. Watney is sarcastic and dry and hilarious, and it's nearly impossible to put this book down once you've started it.
Make sure you read The Martian before the movie (starring Matt Damon as Mark Watney) comes out this October!
Ryan's July 2015 pick
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is a must-read for all bibliophiles. A.J. is the owner of a small, independent bookstore, whose life changes beyond recognition (for the better) when someone leaves an unusual package for him in his store. "A.J. Fikry" is a story with heart, a story with soul, and a story with book lovers.
Ryan's June 2015 pick, 1 of 2
A Head Full of Ghosts, by Paul Tremblay
Picture "The Exorcist" as a reality television show: That's A Head Full of Ghosts. There are dual unreliable narrators, psychotic breaks, demonic possession and so much more! Get this for the horror movie fan in your life!
I loved this book. The writing is clever and it hooks you immediately. The story is creepy and keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole way through.
Ryan's June 2015 pick, 2 of 2
Method 15/33, by Shannon Kirk
Fans of Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, and Room, this is your next read! A young, pregnant girl is kidnapped on her way to school, but she's not the vulnerable child you may think she is. This book is excellently chilling and creepy, and makes you wonder if you're really rooting for the right character.
Ryan's April 2015 pick
Charisma, by Jeanne Ryan
A cripplingly introverted teenage girl gets the opportunity to try a gene therapy drug called "Charisma" that gives her just that. Her life changes overnight as she finds herself not only able to have casual conversations with strangers, but flirt with her crush, speak publicly, and she suddenly craves the attention she's always gone out of her way to avoid. It's everything she's ever wanted, but is it too good to be true?
I loved this story. It's smart and interesting and unnerving and tempting and exciting.
Ryan's March 2015 pick, 1 of 2
Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard
I judged this book by it's incredibly cool cover, and luckily for me, it worked out in my favor. Red Queen is an action-packed fantasy that fans of The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones will love. There's romance, violence, betrayal, and a quest for power in which no one is safe and you can't trust anyone. This book is electric and magical, and I couldn't put it down.
Ryan's March 2015 pick, 2 of 2
The Walls Around Us, by Nova Ren Suma
I had the absolute pleasure of reading the manuscript of The Walls Around Us. This book is stunning in its execution, a brilliant, twirling, spinning novel that when completed, made me want to give a standing ovation and throw roses at its feet. The story - told in split narrations, three years apart yet happening simultaneously - is one that grasps the reader tightly and doesn't let go until the very end. Stop what you're doing and read this book right now. You won't regret it.
Ryan's February 2015 pickGrace's Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-up, by Grace HelbigSo here's the thing about Grace Helbig - yes, she's hilarious and charming and wonderful, but she's also smart and has solid advice for people trying to figure out their lives. I picked up this book because I wanted to support Grace, and I read it, knowing there would be some laughs and curious to learn more about her as a human. I was not expecting, however, to learn about myself and find myself nodding as I agreed with her very astute, very sincere advice and life tips. I found myself relating to her, empathizing with her, and even sympathizing at times. Yes, Grace is funny, but she's also human, and a beautiful one at that.