Monthly Reading List


Diary of a Teenage Girl - Phoebe Gloeckner

I bought this book immediately after watching the film on Netflix, and I would highly reccomend both the book and film. The mistake I made was reading the book with the film so fresh in my mind, as it made it a little too easy to put down at times, especially as the film is one of the rarities that completely lives up to this book. 

The book is a mix of comic and writing, but don't be fooled by the comic aspect, as this book covers some serious topics. The plot follows Minnie, a 14 year old girl living in San Fransisco who embarks on an affair with her mum's boyfriend, Monroe. We essentially follow a pedophilic relationship, and the repercussions this has, but written from the angle of Minnie gives it a completely unapologetic narrative. It both highlights the issues with her relationship with Monroe, but completely from her point of view. Rather than it feeling like a predatory relationship, it's an incredibly upfront take of a coming of age moment, albeit a highly disturbing one. It both highlights the depravity of Monroe's actions as we see the naivety of Minnie, but simultaneously takes his power away as we experience her control (or lack of) of the situation. The best word I can use to describe this book is unapologetic, and I thought it was brilliant! 

The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

I loved this book so much. Whether or not you believe in heaven, I think the concept and various ideas that surround what it may be are always interesting. This, along with the heaven in Lovely Bones, are two ideas that have really stuck with me. The beginning of the story we follow the death of Eddie, and from then his movement through heaven. As the title suggests, Eddie meets five people in his heaven, some who he knew well in his life, some who had a huge affect without him ever knowing them. Through his heaven he explores different aspects of his life, and is enlightened about something before he can move onto the next person. It was a wonderful read, and I really couldn't put it down!! 

Death and the Seaside - Alison Moore

This was funny one. It's one I would recommend to read for yourself, as I think everyone will experience it differently. In some ways it's a bit of a psychological thriller, but in other ways it's not so much... good description, I know. The story follows Bonnie, a 30 something under achiever who is attempting to write a novel about a girl staying by the seaside. Bonnie's landlady and new friend, Sylvia, develops a great interest in Bonnie's novel and suggests they take a trip to the seaside in order to help her finish it. This book was suspenseful from the beginning. I could not for the life of me work out why, but it had me feeling so tense. That tension never really unfolds to the extent lots of thrillers do, which is what makes it so brilliant. It's one of those books that's been playing around in my mind ever since I finished it and I keep realising different links that I initially missed, so it's definitely a clever read! 

Hope you enjoyed this, any recommendations are always welcome. Catch up on previous Monthly Reading Lists here, here, and here

Elizabeth Hadfield5 Comments