Wednesday, 29 August 2018

 

What I Read in June & July 2018 – Round-Up & Mini Reviews


Wowzers, it's been months since I've posted a reading wrap up, I'm so sorry! My new job has been taking up a lot of my time and I haven't been reading as much as before. Though even when combining two months worth of books (seven books in total, two not pictured as they were ebooks) I didn't have the motivation for blogging as I've been feeling mentally depleted. I have a ton of blog post ideas but I need to find the time and energy to get back to a regular posting schedule. The exhausting heat of summer hasn't helped either, but I'm hoping as cosier months are ahead of us I'll be able to get back into the swing of things. Thanks for your patience in the mean time 😊



Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt (Usborne)

This book is so friggin' cute you guys, I can't even. I'm well out of the target age range for young adult novels but I swooned hard over protagonist's Hope's crush Luke, let me tell you that. And Hope herself was such a great main character. Super relatable and a bit awkward, and despite all the hurdles on the road to opening night for the production she was interning at, she was also pretty great at her job as her dedication and sheer determination put her back on the right track each time. We can all take a leaf out of her book when things at work aren't going to plan. If you're already a very stagey person you'll also love the insight you'll get into the inner workings of putting on a play. And if not, you'll be converted to a theatre geek by the end of it. (Read my full review here.) 5 stars. Buy here.

I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman (Simon & Schuster)

My lovely friend Catriona from Fabulous Book Fiend gave me a copy of I Have Lost My Way, which I was very excited to dive into as Gayle Forman's If I Stay was one of my earliest forays into young adult fiction nearly ten years ago. Her latest novel takes place over a single day as the lives of three strangers collide in New York City. Freya is a YouTube celebrity, Harun wants to run away from home to be with his boyfriend, and Nathaniel has just packed up his life and travelled halfway across the country to get away from a family tragedy. The three teens have little in common on the surface, except for the fact that they all feel lost and they need each other to find their way again. This novel is beautiful and extremely moving, showing how easy it is to feel isolated from yourself and the world. It's not easy to admit to needing help when things go wrong. But when you don't speak up or seek help, you might just collide with two strangers in NYC who will change your life... 4 stars. Buy here.

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven (Electric Monkey)

The book lured me in with a self-aware, funny protagonist and a coming-of-age story while not all rainbows and butterflies, being mostly humorously told. And then it did a complete 360 and showed the very ugliest side of social media, teen culture and gender imbalance. Izzy's journey was tough and made me so very angry at the people in her life who were not there for her when she needed them the most, or worse were at the heart of the problem. But what hit me the most is the harsh reality of this story. This could happen to any teen girl anywhere in the world, and it's wrong. I can only hope that this book and stories like it will pave a way for a solution to this deep-seated problem. 4.5 stars. Buy here.



One in a Million by Lindsey Kelk (HarperCollins)

This is such a delightful summery read; it's charming, romantic and with a lol a minute it's entertaining on every single page. There is a reason Lindsey Kelk is one of my absolute favourite women's fiction authors, and with One in a Million she has reaffirmed once more why I love her so much. If you want hilarious, no-nonsense rom coms with empowering 20 and 30-something leading ladies, then look no further than Lindsey's fabulous novels! (Read my full review here.) 4 stars. Buy here.

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris (Simon & Schuster)

I love a book with a catchy, lengthy title, and combined with the great proof cover and intriguing blurb I knew I was going to hugely enjoy this one. However, since it's not published until January 2019 (!) I've been trying really hard to resist reading it THIS early. I only lasted for a few months as it was calling to me from my shelves. And boy was I glad that I decided to pick this one up early anyway as it's a beautiful exploration of the power of music. Grace Atherton has a love/hate relationship with music as she was a child prodigy who never quite made it, and she's now hiding her talents at the back of the shop where she fixes broken instruments and even creates her own – though they're just for her and not for anyone else to see. She is in a steady relationship and seems content with life, but when an unexpected event breaks through her comfort she's forced to once and for all face the demons of her past. With quirky characters, melodious writing and a real heart, this book needs to be added to your 2019 reading list now! 4 stars. Pre-order here.

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (Penguin)

I've haven't posted my book round-ups in so long that I've had TWO book club meetings since, oops. My Brilliant Friend was one of them. Like so many people I'd heard of this novel due to the mystery surrounding its author Elena Ferrante. The name is a pseudonym and people seem very keen to uncover who writes these books. Besides that though I knew very little about this novel other than that it was a historical fiction set in Italy and I had zero interest in it. I was a bit gutted this was a book club read as it meant I HAD to read it, however it turned out to be a great decision as I ended up loving it. The friendship of the two girls from childhood until adolescence in the harsh society of post-WWII Naples was incredibly fascinating, gripping and eye-opening. My only gripe is that the book is the first in a series and it has a blatant open and confusing ending so my reading experience feels unfinished. (Read in ebook.) 4 stars. Buy here.

How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne (Hodder & Stoughton)

This was the other of two book club reads the past few months and despite really looking forward to it as I hugely enjoyed Holly Bourne's YA novels and everyone's been raving about her first foray into adult fiction.... I hated it. Main character Tori Bailey is supposed to be this super relatable protagonist for today's 20 and 30-somethings struggling with love and adulting, despite their life seeming glamorous on the social media surface, but she was the most unlikeable character imaginable and I didn't relate to her at all. She DID have a lot going for her, despite not appreciating what she had in life or even making the most of the amazing opportunities handed to her on a platter. She wrote one successful book in years and seemed to do very little work since yet she was able to live a pretty glamorous life, travelling and not worrying about money. I do agree that her love life was a mess and I would almost feel sorry for her if she wasn't as bad as her partner. I really didn't like anything about Tori, the unnecessary language in the book or the storyline progression. The only saving grace were some of her friends who had much more interesting and relatable stories than her. (Read in ebook.) 2 stars. Buy here.



Have you read any of the above books? And what have you read these past few months?
Let me know in the comments below!


🎵 Listening to: Taylor Swift – Blank Space


3 comments:

  1. Oh, I loved If I Stay. I'll have to pick up Gayle Forman's latest. Also, the cover for the Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton is amazing!

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  2. I haven't read any of these books, but I'll keep my eyes out for a few of them! The covers are so pretty, and I love your post's (and blog's) aesthetics!
    Keep up with the fantastic work!!

    ~ TheBooktarian: http://www.thebooktarian.com

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  3. Laura Stevens is amazing, im so glad you loved her book :)

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