Monday 12 September 2016

Books I've Read This Summer

Before the summer started, I was a bit behind on my yearly reading challenge. Now, at the end of the summer, I am way ahead with only 1 more book to go! I thought it’d be nice to do a bit of a recap of all the books I’ve read this summer!

1. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

This first of my summer reads and I’d seen a lot of hype around it. To be honest, though, I didn’t think it was all it was cracked up to be. Yes, it was interestingly structured and there was a bit of humour but I found practically all of the characters to be annoying as hell. The plot was decent but I didn’t feel like there was any real character development anywhere, least of all Rachel, the dying girl, was just that: the dying girl. She didn’t really have any substance to her. All we knew was that a) she had cancer, b) she laughed at Greg’s unfunny jokes and c) she had Daniel Craig posters up in her room. From that, she naturally felt a bit 2D - not great when she’s one of the characters mentioned in the title. Greg and Earl weren’t explored that much either but never mind.

2. The Time of My Life by Cecelia Ahern

I love a lot of Cecelia Ahern’s work. Loads of her books are right up there as some of my favourites. This one, however, is not. I loved the concept of your life being a real person and your decisions visibly affecting them, but I found this book to get into - it dragged until about three-quarters of the way through, where it started to get good. I got through that last bit very quickly!

3. On The Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher

I’ve been a fan of Carrie’s for years; I’ve seen all her videos and loved All I Know Now so much, so I had a lot of faith that this book would be great, and it was. It felt lighthearted and imaginative. I read it so quickly and I know it’ll be a good comfort read in the future!

4. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany

I remember crying of happiness when this was announced, but I couldn’t help but feel a little bit disappointed by this book? I know it would never be the same as the original 7 books as, obviously, it’s a script and so we wouldn’t get into the characters’ thoughts but still. I did see a summary of the plot weeks beforehand which made it seem quite ridiculous. There were elements I absolutely loved but the story still felt a bit weak to me and some of the characters didn’t really feel like themselves to me. Nevertheless, I can’t wait to see it on stage as I think it’ll be a lot better and I’m so excited to see how some of the scenes are handled!

5. The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler

I saw a short review of this in one of the videos by The Banging Book Club and thought it’d be an interesting read, so I picked it up in Foyles with the intention of reading it while I was on holiday. I read it within hours. I don’t know quite how I feel about it to be honest. The whole “personifying your vagina” thing just annoyed me. My vagina is not a separate being - it is part of my body. And no, it’s not a “flower”. There were some bits that I found very funny in it, some bits that saddened me and some bits that shocked me. I can see how it would have been groundbreaking at the time of publication, but as someone born 3 years after, it doesn’t seem so out there. The last chapter or so about the funds and awareness V-Day has raised really inspired me, however. 

6. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Ugh, this book. It fascinated me and kept me intrigued the whole way through. This is the novelisation of a real life event, which made it even more interesting to me. I wrote a whole review on it a few weeks ago, you can read it here if you want to have a look! 

7. What Matters In Jane Austen? by John Mullan

I LOVED this book! I’m such a huge fan of Austen and it was fascinating reading more insights about novels I already know and love so well. There were so many things that I hadn’t picked up on before and will definitely notice more when I read them next time round. A brilliant fan for any ardent Austen fan!

8. This Modern Love by Will Darbyshire

I’d been wanting to read this book for ages - as soon as I first saw a video of Will’s in which he mentioned it. So, when out shopping for college supplies and I saw it on a table in Waterstones I just had to get it. I have to say that I wasn’t disappointed at all. It was heartwarming, heartbreaking and sassy in all the best places. I wanted to cry at times and laughed out loud at others. A book that I'm sure will be great for everyone: whether you’re a bit of a hopeless romantic, a sceptic, have a crush or are going through a breakup. 

9. Wicked by Gregory Maguire 

This was the last book I started when I was on holiday in Croatia and I finished it on the 3rd of September. This book was a mixed bag for me. I loved some parts (like when they were at Shiz, discussing Animal Rights and when Dorothy came onto the scene), however, other parts seemed to drag a bit.The beginning, for example, took a while, and I didn’t realise why it was actually relevant til a bit later on. 

If you liked this post you might like: 4 Books on My Summer Reading List

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