Ever since I was young I’ve loved reading. My room has always been packed with books and it’s not uncommon to find me squirrelled away reading in bed at all hours of the night. For a few years now I’ve been setting myself a challenge on Goodreads to finish a certain number of books in a year and I’ve managed to complete it each time – so far. My reading habits tend to fluctuate, I’ll have weekends where I’ll polish off 3 books but then I can go a month without finding anything that takes my fancy, however each summer without fail I will read a shit ton of books when I’m on holiday. Here are the books I got lost in during my recent trip to Turkey:
Me, Earl & The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Me, Earl & The Dying Girl had been hanging out in my to-read list for well over a year and as much as I did want to read it I felt no great urgency to do so. This all changed when I spotted a trailer for the film on tv one night and I hurriedly downloaded it to read on the plane.
When a girl from his past is diagnosed with leukaemia, Greg – encouraged by his mother – decides to forgo his policy to avoid obvious friendships in an attempt to blend in. Him and his partner-in-film-making Earl set out to make what is left of Rachel’s life a little bit sunnier.
This book was so easy to read, and quite refreshing in a way. It’s honest, simple and laugh out loud funny at points. It deals with so many sensitive issues but in a way that sticks out amongst a plethora of books about teenagers in ill health. I’m really looking forward to seeing the movie now!
Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey
Having sat on my mum’s bookshelf for a few weeks now, Elizabeth Is Missing was hanging about at the back of my mind when I was deciding what books to take away. This book seems to have been pretty popular this year and I can really understand why.
Maud is getting a bit forgetful, but she does remember one thing. Elizabeth is missing, and she has to find out where she went. Despite the lack of help from anyone else, Maud sets out to find out what happened not only to Elizabeth, but to her sister Sukey back when they were young.
I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did, especially as it frustrated me to no end when reading it, but I thought it was really brilliant in the way it was put together. You’re discovering the story from Maud’s perspective, which isn’t always clear thanks to her fading memory. It’s fast paced and emotional, with an expertly created edge of unease that will leave you struggling to put it down.
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Last summer I had my heart broken by Gayle Forman’s “If I Stay” (post here) so I should have known what to expect when I downloaded one of her newer novels, Just One Day. Forman has a real knack for the emotional teenage girl drama without making it seem too chick lit or young adult – it’s a serious talent in my eyes!
Having spent her summer travelling Europe, Allyson decides to step outside of her comfort zone and indulge in what seems to be a whirlwind romance with a Dutch actor she met that very day. The pair travel to Paris, aiming to take it all in with very little time to do so, however Allyson awakes the next morning to discover that Willem has gone.
Just One Day made me cry, a lot, as is becoming a regular occurrence with Gayle Forman’s books. The timing is just perfect, with the whirlwind trip to Paris whizzing past a lightning fast pace, sucking you in to the story before slowing as the romance fizzles out. My heart ached with Allyson’s as she had to come to terms with what happens, and I couldn’t help but obsess over her hunt for the one that got away… I’m going to download the next book, Just One Year, as soon as I’ve finished this post!
Grey by E.L. James
Yeah. Confession time. I have read all of the Fifty Shades books as I just can’t resist a bit of hype, but I found them to be so poorly written that I couldn’t face going to see the film. The trilogy was far too cringe-worthy for my liking, but when E.L. James released a new book showing Christian Grey’s perspective on the story I couldn’t help myself…
The writing is just as bad as the original trilogy, however it was quite interesting to see things from his perspective instead of whining Ana. Whilst it’s still not converted me, I do think that this book added a little bit more depth to the story as a whole and has kind of made me want to watch the film… Mostly because I didn’t need to put up with Ana referring to her “inner goddess” every few sentences.
Boy I hated those books.
Ways To Die In Glasgow by Jay Stringer
Whilst waiting for my (delayed) flight home I decided to reacquaint myself with the wonderful world of Glasgow through Jay Stringer’s latest novel. I do love a good crime novel, but it’s rarely a genre I choose automatically unless my mum has recommended it to me. However, seeing as Jay is my adopted big sister Lis’ husband I figured I’d give it a go without any prior maternal recommendation!
Mackie has a tarnished past, so to speak, with a murder charge to his name and a love of alcohol as a sidekick. When he’s ambushed by two hit men he sets out in an attempt to find out what’s going on, and just where his ex-gangster uncle has disappeared to. With private investigators, not so squeaky clean cops and a determined nephew, Ways To Die In Glasgow really shows off the underbelly of Glasgow with the unavoidable side of Weegie humour that comes so naturally to our city.
Although it took me a while to get in to, I soon polished this off and thoroughly enjoyed it. As I said before I really like crime novels, and this being set in Glasgow was just an added bonus. It was unpredictable, hilarious and an absolute page turner. Well worth the read in my opinion!
I also read The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan, but seeing as it’s this month’s choice for #SassyBooks you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks for my full review… such a tease.
What have you been reading lately?