My Summer Reading List

July 31, 2014

Although my holidays have been pretty hectic, and I haven't read nearly as many books as I normally would on holiday, I thought I share my thoughts on those books that I have read.

Now I'm no book critic, and this post won't be an in depth analysis- just a couple of sentences (hopefully, as you may have noticed I do tend to waffle a little) with my general thoughts on a few of those well known and a few of those less well known books I've had a read of. I should also say, these books are no literary feats, over the summer holidays I like to read easy books, that don't need too much concentration and are simple to follow, since during term time I have to read those enormous text books that go into way too much detail and take forever to read. So if you're looking for the next Charles Dickens, or Jane Austen and the likes, then it is probably not best to look here!

First up, Jill Mansell, Thinking Of You. Last year I read one of Jill Mansell's earlier books, which was a funny and easy read. My church has a book case where books are 3 for £1, so when I saw another of her books, I thought why not. Thinking Of You is a somewhat predictable book, not only does the blurb give away the ending, it is fairly obvious of how the romance between the character's will turn out. Saying that, I enjoy Mansell's style of writing, it jumps from characters which can be confusing at times, and sometimes irrelevant, but it is still a book that you want to read till the end to make sure you're right in your predictions. I did feel at times it was a bit all over the shop with the story lines, but its a bit like Love Actually in that all the stories are linked together at the end.  I'd give it a 7/10.

Along the same lines, and another church bookcase purchase, Jill Mansell, Head Over Heals. This one I didn't like as much as the prior, the storyline being quite dubious and with a lot of strange things going on- for example the added story of the neighbour didn't add anything to the plot and had me skim reading those parts that she was in. I was also a little bit weirded out by the almost incest part of the story, which could have really been edited out. Again, you can tell from the off set how its going to end, but I still enjoyed the story enough to recommend it as one of the books that take a day to read and are good chick lit. Overall, I'd give it a 6/10.

The ever so popular and current John Green's The Fault In Our Stars, was another on my list. I wanted to read this before I went to see the film and its been on that list for the last year until I finally got a chance to sit down and read. And I finished it in a couple of hours. I'm quite the lover of books that concern death, as I feel these can be the most emotional and engaging books, and yes I was one of those who cried. But only a little. Okay, maybe a lot, but TFIOS is really a book that you can get attached to, and I became emotionally invested in the characters. Despite a couple of things with the plot that I didn't quite agree with- namely the Hazel Grace's favourite author and the car scene, but I found the film rectified this and I was okay with it again. I won't be able to keep my love and praise for this book short, which is why I'm going to stop now. A definite 9.5/10 from me.

 Sophie Kinsella, Remember Me? is a charity shop purchase. I absolutely love her books and own the majority of them, so this was one of the last ones I needed to read. She didn't let me down. I think of her as a beach read- another of those books to start and finish within a few hours. Yes they are simple and an easy plot, but they also make you want to read on. I do love a book with memory loss, as I am quite fascinated by the whole thing, and I feel like this book dealt with it in a funny yet almost believable manner. While still including the compulsory love interest that always makes me jealous. For this book, I'll say an 8/10.

Next up is another by Mr John Green; Looking For Alaska. This is one that I had heard absolutely no spoilers about before I read it, so when I saw it was structured as a countdown to "an event" and then the days after said event, I was immediately intrigued. I found I was unable to put this book down, I was desperate to find out what happens- and I may be silly by saying that I had absolutely no idea what was coming, so was shocked and emotional when I found out. Another heart wrencher by good ol' John, and one that I loved all the same as TFIOS. An 8.5/10 from me.

Lastly to round off this post, my favourite of my summer reads so far and one that I picked up from a small book shop on holiday- The Lovely Bones, Alice Seabold. Just like TFIOS I got totally involved in this book, I found my self on an emotional roller coaster, crying and laughing, and loving every word. I'd heard mixed reviews, but I just loved the whole concept of a young girl watching her loved ones deal and move on with her death. The reactions of the family are so believable, and it did really make me think about the after life. Sure the whole concept of the book is a bit shakey- but its really interesting to see characters from the point of view of the deceased, as well as her own mixed feelings of wanting to be missed and letting them move on. I enjoyed this book so much that I'm considering reading it again this summer just for the sake of it, and I also want to see the movie based on it to see how it has been interpreted. I couldn't recommend this book enough, by far one of the best books I've read in a while. A well deserved 10/10 from me. 

So that's some of my summer reads! I have been reading a few other books, and plan to read more over the next month, so let me know what you think and I may post another review. I feel like a mini book club! Please leave any suggestions of books that you think I might like in the comments, I'm always up for recommendations and trying out different styles and themes of books.

As always,

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  1. 3 for £1 book library? Amazing! Remember the days when you could get books for like 5p from charity shops? Now they are all about £5! At least in my local charity shops they are these days (I sound old, I know)
    The Lovely Bones is one of my all time favourite books, it's such a tearjerker!

    1. I know, its so good, I'm always able to pick up books that I normally wouldn't buy, but for that price why not! I can't believe how expensive some charity shops can be, and actual book shops seem far too over priced for me now. Thanks for reading and commenting! xxx