HURAAHH I am back today with a monthly reading list, which took a little hiatus due to me not reading enough (you can catch up with the first two here and here). But since my holiday I have been back on with reading regularly, and I made my way through four books last month that I wanted to share with you all!
I had high hopes for this book. It has won two awards, and a quick scan online threw up lots of incredibly positive reviews. However, this book was not in ANY way what I expected, which is completely down to the blurb which would win at being the most misleading blurb ever. It reads somewhere between a thriller and a horror. This is neither of those, and fails to mention the absolute focus of the novel; God and religion. The plot essentially follows a family who travel to 'The Loney' on a religious pilgrimage, as we follow their personal developments and the problems they encounter. I think I would have enjoyed this so much more if the blurb hadn't completely skewed my expectations. However, the characters are brilliantly written, and are what carried me through page after page of heavily religious dialogue. And there are points where the books feels erie, but not nearly enough for it to be considered a horror. So, all in all, I wouldn't whole heartedly reccomend this book, and it wasn't the greatest holiday read!
This is much more of my kind of holiday read. Super easy, a page turner, requires little concentration. The lead character, Nora, is invited to the hen do of her old best friend, whom she hasn't spoken to in years. She (for some reason) decides to go along. Surprise, surprise, that was a big mistake and it's all downhill from there. I couldn't put this book down, which I often find is the way with thrillers. They tend to be the ones I get through quickest, but I don't take much away from them. Again, as with many thrillers, this was mostly let down by its ending. Throughout I found it quite suspenseful, but it unravelled incredibly quickly and descended into something pretty implausible. Also I didn't find the lead character particularly likeable, which always puts a stopper on how much I can enjoy a book. That being said, I would recommend this for a holiday book, as it is an enjoyable read.
SO I think this might be a young adult fiction. I didn't realise this when I bought it, but I wouldn't let that put you off it. I loved this book. Unlike In a Dark, Dark Wood, the characters were very very likeable indeed. The story follows Simon, a teenage boy coming to terms with being gay and grappling with the idea of coming out, encouraged by his flourishing online relationship with Blue. The books leaves you guessing who Blue might be as Simon also tries to work it out, while managing his school dramas and friendships. It was an easy and rewarding read, which made my smile a lot!
This one was a funny one. Some parts I loved, others I could not get on with at all. The story follows Judith, a young women living in London working for a big art auction house who dreams of making it big. After loosing her job, she makes a few wrong decisions which send her life on a COMPLETELY IMPLAUSIBLE tangent that just spirals and spirals. The theme of art, and art dealing and art history, is the cornerstone of the book, which is the bit I really enjoyed. I loved that side of her character, and the part of the plot that followed her involvement in art engaged me most. While that aspect is the main focus of the plot, I say 'part of' because it is completely cluttered with bizarre sex scenes (which were written in a way that jarred against the rest of the writing), and ostentatious displays of wealth. Don't get me wrong, I am totally the sort of person to love a story about a young women who loves shopping in Chanel, but within this novel it seemed so unnecessary. I was just looking through the Amazon reviews for this, most of which are incredibly negative. And while it is by no means a good book, it's the sort of easy read we all sometimes need to relax a little.