What I read this summer | Book Reviews

There are so many good bits of summer its hard to count, and this summer for the first time in years and I do mean like 5 years I’ve actually had some proper downtime between jobs to actually relax! One of my New Years resolutions for the past few years has been to get back into reading, I used to be such a book worm when I was younger, but as soon as my school work stepped up (and my iPhone came into my life) I’ve been reading less and less. It got to the point where I’d buy a book and I wouldn’t open it for a year or I’d literally take months to read one book or just give up and not read at all. You may have seen from my earlier post that we spent a long weekend in Cornwall, I decided I’d buy a new book and try and put a dent in it, which considering we had a 14 hour return journey to get there I didn’t think I’d have an issue with that. Well…I was shocked to find how hard I was finding it to stay focused on my book! I’d find myself reaching for my phone every other page and taking breaks where I’d just stare out the window with my book in my hand, lacking focus in a big way. I took this as a sign that my phone had done some serious damage to my attention span, so reading needed to get back on the cards and quick, this lack of attention must be effecting me in other parts of my life as well. So although I only made it a third of the way through my book, I came home with determination to get back into reading and since then have raced through more books in the last month than I’ve read in the last year!! 

Something that’s really helped me is the Good Reads app, since I do a lot of reading on my kindle I like that it keeps track of which books I’ve read and which books I’ve marked as ‘to read’. Also having the yearly reading challenge has kept me motivated to keep reading, I love a challenge. At the moment I’m aiming for 20 books this year and I’ve read 5! (oops) but since there’s 16 weeks left of 2018 I think I have a good chance at making it! If you have any recommendations for me I’d love to hear them, and please feel free to follow me on Good Reads! 

Truly, Madly, Guilty – Liane Moriarty 

480 pages 

From the amazing writer of Big Little Lies, if you saw the TV show you’ll know this writer is brilliant at writing strong female characters with a storyline that does their complex personas justice. I won’t lie this is a big read for me and it took be a good 100 pages to properly get into this but when the tension started building and I couldn’t stop! This story is set around the events of one evenings BBQ, there’s a lot of build up before you actually find out what happens but I promise it’s worth it, every line of back story just makes what happened that much more real and I personally was desperate for more pages so I could find out what happens next. A good summer read and long enough to keep you going for a full beach week (or like me a few days if you do nothing else but read and once you’re into this that’s probably what’ll happen) 

A Simple Favour – Darcey Bell 

384 Pages 

So one evening I fell down the black hole that is the marketing material for upcoming movie, A Simple Favour. Starring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick, both actresses I love and as sometimes happens I get completely sucked into a movies marketing, I watch all the trailers and read all the interviews and then I found out that the film wasn’t coming out for a few months! So I went straight on to amazon and bought the book and read it in 3 days which considering I wasn’t on holiday these were just three normal days that’s lightning fast for me! What I enjoyed about this book is that having watched the trailer for the film I already had an image of the characters and what their homes and setting looked like, the storyline is gripping to say the least! I think the review on the cover got it spot on ‘a delicious poisoned cupcake of a story’ it’s glamorous and decadent but has such a detailed an gripping story that you know you shouldn’t be spectating the worst but you can’t help it! Imagine Gone Girl meets Gossip Girl (anything were Blake Lively plays someone even remotely glamorous and I get Serena Van Der Woodsen vibes) its spooky, thrilling and the ending is perfection! If you can’t wait for the movie I suggest you pick this up immediately 

Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng

400 pages 

This book was everywhere this summer! Felt like everyone was reading it, this is the one I mentioned I downloaded before my trip to Cornwall and despite getting through the first third pretty quick I said to my family that the storyline was building but I found myself waiting for the twist to drop and it just wasn’t happening. Anyway I picked this up again in Greece and polished it off pretty quick, being able to understand the characters is key to the whole plot. A baby is abandoned at a fire station and is allowed to be taken in by a well off couple who have wanted baby for years, the birth mother although single, with little money or stability is campaigning to get her baby back. A court case that shakes a normally very polite well to do town and the impact on one particular family runs deeper than expected. Beautiful storyline, again the ending made up for the fact that I found it a little slow. This title was picked as part of Reece Witherspoons book club and has got thousands of glowing reviews online. 

Year of Yes – Shonda Rhimes 

352 pages 

Ok so I’ve posted about this book a lot, and that’s because I’ve been reading it on and off since January! Yes shamefully its taken me nearly 9 months to read this book, however, I will say that I don’t think this kind of book is meant to be read all in one go. The life lessons Shonda talks about are topics that need to be digested and mulled over to truly get the benefit from them. Year of Yes is a kind of diary, as Shonda takes on the year long challenge of saying yes to everything that scares her and seeing where the year will lead. I think it’s no surprise that we all as a generation suffer with a whole new kind of imposter syndrome, one that says ‘I’m not the kind of person who does things like that’ it can be taken in a positive way ‘I’m not the kind of person to shut out my friends and family when I’m stressed’ or it can be ‘I’m not the kind of person who gives a speech to hundreds of people, even when I’ve been invited to’ and I’ll go into this more in another post later this week but I think it’s a lot of to do with social media, and Shonda manages to talk about very real, very common issues make them funny without sounding like she’s preaching, and if you’re a fan of any of her tv shows then you should definitely read this because the stories she tells from working on Greys and Scandal are hilarious! 

So that’s everything that I’ve read, I would say this summer but it’s more like this month! Right now I’m reading “Everything I never told you” which is another novel from Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere. I’ll definitely be sure to check in again in a month or two and let you know how I’m getting on with my reading challenge! Again if you have any recommendations I’d love to hear them! x

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