Six recent reads

As another month has ended *insert customary astonished comment here* it’s time for my usual reading round-up. I rather like this post each month, even if it’s not often the most reliable set of posts, as it holds me accountable for how my reading challenge is going which at the moment seems to be going rather well, hooray! I’m currently on book 38 of 52, which puts me only one book behind schedule, not too bad really is it? So what have I been reading recently and what did I think of each book? Well read on!

recent reads

The Silver Linings Playbook – I loved this book! I really enjoyed reading Pat’s story and his attempts to be kind, rather than always right. His relationships with each of the other characters were wonderfully written and seemed realistic. I also liked that it wasn’t a perfect ending and that everything wasn’t wonderful at the end of it, somehow I think that would have gone against the realistic portrayal of mental illness that the book is all about.

Apple Tree Yard – This was a book that I purchased randomly (I think it was on offer at Amazon) and I’m so pleased that I did as it was brilliant! It reminded me a bit of Gone Girl as I didn’t like any of the characters but was totally gripped by the story, which was pacey and intriguing with some interesting plot twists and characters. There were shocking things that happened in the books and not everyone was deserving of this things but that made the book all the better, especially as things weren’t perfectly tied together at the end.

The Sea Sisters – I loved this book so much and would recommend it to anyone that likes easy and enjoyable reads. It follows a woman as she retraces her dead sisters trip around the world to the place where she died and tries to convince others that her sister wouldn’t have killed herself. It’s a journey of personal discovery as well as showing how little we know one another and exploring the relationship between two sisters who are very different. Really, really enjoyable and a great page turner.

Born Wicked – This has been on my bookshelf for ages and when I finally got round to reading it when I was away I read it in half a day. It was that good. It’s about a trio of sisters who also happen to be witches and it’s superbly written. I loved the secrets and twists and above all else the story. I can’t wait for the next book, it’s just going to get better and better after what happened at the end of the book. EEK!

City of Bones (Book 1 in Mortal Instruments) – This is a another book I’ve been meaning to read for ages and I finally did as I wanted to before the film came out. Sadly I still haven’t watched the film but I definitely will be as the book’s brilliant! The characters are well written and intriguing enough that you can’t see everything that’s going to happen straightaway. Also the twist near the end (yes obvious) but brilliant none the less. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

The Casual Vacancy – I preordered this book when it was first announced but I’ve not felt like reading it until recently thanks to the less than favourable reviews of it. Once I finally did read it I was surprised by how much I did enjoy it, don’t get me wrong it wasn’t page turning and I would be careful who I recommended it to, but it was classic J. K . Rowling in the sense that it had characters that were 100% formed rather than 2D and the world was all-encompassing. Although having said that, not a lot happened in a book that was so massive but over all I’m glad I read the book it was very interesting!

So what about you, what have you been reading lately and any suggestions on what I should read next? Even if I do have a bookcase full of books still to read…

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One month, four epic books.

So whilst I’ve only read four books over the last month they have all been amazing reads and I highly recommend them. First up was Meg Rosoff’s exceptional How I Live Now. Wow, what a book. It’s so beautifully written with intriguing characters and a compelling story. Because it’s so wonderful to read it’s easy to look past a questionable relationship between the main character Daisy and her cousin.I also love that you don’t really have any idea about what year the book is set in and that it doesn’t really matter. This book most definitely lived up to my super high expectations!

Paper Towns is only the second John Green book I’ve read. I know a lot of people love John Green’s novels, but I’m not quite at their levels of obsession yet. At least I wasn’t until reading this brilliantly executed book. It’s a brilliant story about friendship, love, the lengths you go to for friends and about the greatest gift you can give someone is to let them go. It’s also a brilliant road trip story and mystery novel all in one. I honestly can’t explain how much I truly adore this book.

The end of this month has been all about James Patterson’s thrillers. These books are most definitely my guilty pleasure. They are so easy to read and possess brilliant twists and turns. With Private Berlin and I, Michael Bennett, James Patterson is most definitely on top form. The ending of I, Michael Bennett is one of the most unexpected endings out of all of his books, especially considering there are no gruesome deaths! What about you, what have you been reading in July?

Six Month Booky Update

So yes my book updating posts haven’t been that frequent have they – in fact I haven’t discussed what I’ve read since March, where just one book was mentioned. Oops, sorry about that. What can I say I’ve certainly struggled a lot with getting in to books over the past few months/ Thankfully though this issue has been rectified and I’m now back on a book reading train, although I’m still three books behind where I should be if I want to meet my 52 books in a year goal. But I’ve not given up hope. After all I’ve got two one week holidays to come in the second half of the year, so I should be fine. *crosses fingers hopefully* So back to what I’ve been reading over the last three months, this glorious array of brilliant books. For thoughts on each book, check out the mini book reviews below. But if you really don’t care what I think about just have a gander at the pretty pictures below – let’s be honest I can get a smidge carried away with the waffle in reviews!

Safe House, Chris Ewan – This book took me a while to get into if I’m honest and I’m not really sure why. It was a good story, I liked the characters and it was great that it wasn’t immediately obvious where the story was going, yet something stopped me from giving it 3/5 stars on the Good Reads site. I’m damned if I know what that is but I’ll just have to deal with that – although I do hate when I can’t put my finger on something!

After the Fall, Charity Norman – I LOVED this book! I was given it for my birthday as it was mentioned over on this post, but it’s taken me a while to get round to it. It was really enjoyable. It follows the story of a family who move out to New Zealand for new opportunities and a (supposedly) better life. They get a lot more than they expect and we follow their story from a series of flashbacks after a terrible accident. What makes it really interesting is that you don’t know if certain characters are good or bad, if there was an accident or if it was on purpose and there are some brilliant twists. The story is really well written and the characters are not altogether that likeable which sometimes books stay too focused on. I’d definitely recommend this book to everyone I know.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl – I had a bit of a Dahl moment over the last few months, as you’ll spot two of his tales on this list. To be honest sometimes you need to read something that reminds you of your childhood and that’s comforting. that’s what this book is all about – I absolutely love it and think it’s a deserved classic.

Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, Jill Mansell – I mentioned in a past post that I love Jill Mansell’s books and even mentioned I wanted to get my hands on this book. Thankfully I did and I’ve read it and I (as per usual) loved it. I love a good story, with a happy ending, nice characters and also a book that does what it should – thoroughly entertains you. This is the book that got me back on my reading pathway. It’s brilliant.

The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown – Around all the hype of Dan Brown’s newest book, Inferno, I realised that I still hadn’t read his last one. Considering the books are all part of the Robert Langdon story I knew that needed to be rectified immediately. 600+ pages later and I’d read it. tO say I was disappointed wouldn’t be right but it definitely didn’t consume me as his other books have in the past. I’m not sure why I’d not noticed it before, but Dan Brown does like to waffle on a lot doesn’t he? And it’s not often entirely necessary – I have to admit I did skip a fair few paragraphs where he was droning on and on, but I still understood everything that was happening. Maybe next time he could do with being edited a smidge more!

Esio Trot, Roald Dahl- I can’t believe I’ve never read this book before – I loved it. It was an absolute joy, not that I’m  surprised. Dahl is a storytelling genius after all.

Picture Me Gone, Meg Rosoff- This is the first Meg Rosoff book I’ve ever read, much to the outrage of many of my work colleagues. But having read this book I can now see why they are so annoyed. Meg Rosoff is a brilliant writer – the voice she writes is beautiful. The characters are interesting, the story lovely and just generally brilliant. Definitely a must read when it’s available later in the year.

Vampire Academy and Vampire Academy: Frostbite, Richelle Mead – I’m a big Richelle Mead having fallen madly in love with her Bloodlines books a couple of years back, but I’ve never really tried her first series, Vampire Academy. With the film adaptation of book one coming out soon I thought I should give it a whirl and I’m so pleased I did as it’s such a good read. I love the world she’s created and the characters are brilliant. She’s got such a great range of characters in her book and I am enjoying finding out more about the characters I know so well from Bloodlines and how they ended up where they are at the start of Bloodlines. So just another few books to get through in the series (not that I’m complaining)!

NYPD Red, James Patterson – I haven’t read a JP book for an age, and I’m definitely glad to be back on this particular train. I love the page turning ability that JP has and I like that has introduced us to a new set of characters, even if some of the situations aren’t all together believable! We’ll let him off though!

How I Live Now, Meg Rosoff – I loved Picture Me Gone so much that I had to give another Meg Rosoff a try. I chose this one as the film’s out soon and I’m a firm believer of reading the book before watching the film. Also my friend at work is such a fan of this book that she rereads it each year and is flabbergasted I’ve never read it. She loves it so much that she doesn’t want to know if I don’t like it as she won’t be able to bear it. Uh oh the pressure! So far I’m really enjoying it. Again Meg Rosoff has written a brilliant character in daisy and is exploring some truly massive subjects. It’s really good and not what I was expecting plot wise. I can’t wait to find out what happens to Piper, Daisy, et al!

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