24. License to Pawn by Rick Harrison
If you've watched any of Pawn Stars on the History Channel, you know a lot of the day-to-day running of their store, but this book gives more insight into the lives of Rick, Old Man, Big Hoss, and Chumlee.
One of my favorite things from the book was learning how Rick gained his vast wealth of knowledge that makes him so interesting on the show. He may be a high school dropout (for health reasons mostly), but he loves to read and learn things the average person finds difficult.
I also have a new respect for Big Hoss and Chumlee after reading about the difficult lives they led for a while. They have made huge strides to be where they are now, and they're determined to not go back.
25. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
This was my first experience with a Kristin Hannah novel, and it was a touching one. Firefly Lane follows the lives of two unlikely best friends from junior high school through college and beyond. One girl comes from a traditional family and hates that her mother wants to be involved in her life; the other lives with her drugged-out mother who frequently abandons her. They have their ups and downs, but one betrayal causes a division between them that seems like it'll never be bridged.
My few big complaints with the book were the author's style (run-ons, comma splices, etc.) and the fact that the book seemed to go on too long. A more minor complaint is the author's too-frequent use of dropping pop culture items into the storyline. Sometimes they fit, but after a while, it was annoying. It was kind of like someone name-dropping to impress...
Still, the last quarter of the book had me in tears. I don't mean a trickle here and there; I mean sobs and streams of tears and a running nose. If you read this book, which I highly recommend despite my complaints, have a full box of tissues nearby.