May Books List

Sunday 1 June 2014

A roundup of the books that I read last month:-

(1)  Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Young Adult / Contemporary: "For Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it.  Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in forums, writing Sfan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.  Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to."

One of the best YA's / Coming of Age stories I've read in a very long time.  I loved all of the characters, especially Cath, as we follow her into the exciting and terrifying stage of starting college.  I liked the contrasting dynamic between Cath and her twin Wren, and related to a lot of the anxieties that Cath felt about being in a new place, with new people and a new routine to figure out.  It struck many cords with me and was just a great story to escape into.  [4/5] 

(2)  Enduring Love by Ian McEwan
Contemporary / Drama: "Joe planned a postcard-perfect afternoon in the English countryside to celebrate his lover's return after 6 weeks in the States.  The perfect day turns to nightmare, however, when they are involved in freak ballooning accident in which a boy is saved but a man is killed."

I decided to give Ian McEwan another go after not liking Atonement, and was recommended Enduring Love by two close friends.  It's a relatively short novel coming in at just under 250 pages, but one that packs a hefty punch when it comes to the dialogue and the complexity of the characters.  It definitely doesn't feel like a typical 'short read' because there are so many different themes and things to work out in the plot so you can really get your teeth stuck into it.  I still sometimes struggle with relating to McEwan's prose though, but if you're after an intelligent book that's filled with emotion (and one that also analyses a key psychiatric disorder/mania related to stalking), then this is one to check out.  [3/5]  

(3)  Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Mystery / Thriller: "Libby Day was seven years old when her mother and two sisters were murdered.  She survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer.  Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.  But the money's running out and The Kill Club introduce themselves with lots of questions."

I Loved Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, so I was already looking forward to reading this and it certainly didn't disappoint!  It's hard for me to write a review, even a short one, without mentioning any spoilers or ideas that could ruin the story for someone, so I'll just say that it kept me guessing for a lot longer than most mystery novels do.  A thrilling book that kept me hooked until the very last page.  [4/5] 

(4)  Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War by Ernesto Guevara
Non-Fiction / Memoirs: "The writings of one of the greatest icons of the 20th century, revolutionary leader 'Che' Guevara.  These diaries follow on from the events recorded in the 'Motorcycle Diaries' and recount the experiences that would make Che a figure known around the world.  

I've always been fascinated by the cult status of Che Guevara, a man who is still held up as a symbol of hope and freedom that resonates with anyone who has felt oppressed by others around them.  This book covers some of his diary entries from his time fighting in the Cuban Revolution and gives an honest and interesting eyewitness account of the events that unfolded.  There are a lot of facts and names in each entry which can make it difficult to read at times, but I admire Che's commitment to keeping the story straight, even if it means it's not the easiest book to read.  A good one to dip in and out of.  [3/5]

What books have you been reading lately?

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  1. I've been looking for some recommendations of books to download ready for my holiday next weekend so Fan Girl is definitely coming with me to read by the pool. I'm very intruiged by Dark Places as well! Thank you!

    Jaq @

    1. Fangirl & Dark Places would make fab holiday reads, enjoy! :) xx

  2. A great recommendation list here - I've only read Enduring Love out of this selection and I whole heartedly agree with you about McEwan - he's quite heavy going and the book wasn't one I found easy (or especially enjoyable) to read. I'm currently reading False Impression by Jeffery Archer which is pretty good. I know he isn't everybody's taste but I find his books to be the sort that I can't put down! Xx

    1. Glad it's not just me who thinks that about McEwan! I'll check out book out, haven't read anything by Jeffery Archer before but always keep meaning to pick something up xx

  3. Dark Places sounds fantastic! I was blown away by Gone Girl. It's one of the few books I've ever read that has fully lived up to (and possibly exceeded) all the pre-release hype.

    1. If you loved Gone Girl, you'll definitely love Dark Places!

  4. Fangirl has been on my to-read list for ages now, I just need to make more time for reading! Will definitely be picking it up next time I'm near a bookshop :) x

    Ria @

    1. It's such a cute book, doesn't take long to read either :) x

  5. Oops, not sure where my comment went, but i LOVED dark places and now I need to go back and read gone girl!

  6. I really liked Gone Girl too. Dark places is on my wish list x


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