In January I read a total of ten books, which I was fairly pleased with considering the amount of time I spent watching The Vampire Diaries and random gymnastics documentaries/films on Netflix (it’s a guilty pleasure – I find it fascinating that people can actually jump and twist and stuff when I can hardly even do a handstand for half a second).
This month I have read a total of ten books:
1. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – I received this as an uncorrected proof copy through work and read it as a top priority, having heard a lot of people saying how great it is. I wasn’t disappointed. Its release date is the 7th April and I’ll be posting a review a bit closer to the time, but this is definitely one to watch out for.
2. Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill – This was another one I picked up at work and it was everything I hoped it would be from the blurb. Bold, honest, unafraid of being labelled a feminist work. This was scary in a way dystopia really should be and it was a refreshing change from some of the happy-ending dystopia we’ve seen on the YA shelves recently. Again, a full review to come in the next month.
3. Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens – I loved Robin’s first book, Murder Most Unladylike, and was excitedly anticipating the sequel. It definitely didn’t disappoint. In fact, I would say this is actually even better than the first. I really enjoyed seeing Daisy’s family and the insight this gave me into her character. It was also nice to have the Detective Society expand a little, if only temporarily. Once again, I’ll be posting a more detailed review in a few weeks.
4. Half the World by Joe Abercrombie – I used to a read a lot more fantasy than I do now, and I discovered Joe Abercrombie when I went to a talk at the Bath Children’s Literature Festival in September 2014. I quickly picked up his YA/adult crossover novel, Half a King, and loved it. This sequel was a special purchase for me because I had planned on not buying any books for a while, However, I am lucky enough to own a signed hardback of the first book so when I saw we had signed hardbacks of the second I just couldn’t resist. I’ll be talking about this one in more detail too.
5. Geek Girl by Holly Smale – I happened across this when I was browsing my library’s ebook collection for the first time. Their collection of YA titles is pitifully small, in my opinion, and this was one of the only titles that really stood out as a) something I recognised b) something that wasn’t already out on loan. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be my thing, but decided to give it a go with the knowledge that it would be useful for my job even if I didn’t enjoy it. However, I did enjoy it. It wasn’t particularly intellectually challenging, but was instead an easy read with well-defined characters and a likeable protagonist. I won’t be reviewing this because there’s not much I can say that hasn’t already been said more eloquently by somebody else.
6. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie – I used to get Christie’s books out of the library in piles. I saw a set on The Book People last month and decided to revisit them. I have definitely read this one before, but luckily I couldn’t remember the identity of the murderer so it was still a mystery right until the end!
7. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff – I’ve heard this title a lot, but didn’t really know much about the book itself. It wasn’t really what I was expecting and I couldn’t get my head around the main relationship in the book (even though it’s technically not wrong, the way it was portrayed made it seem so taboo and I couldn’t get past that). I know there’s a film adaptation, but I have to say that after reading the book I’m not rushing out to see the film. That’s not to say it’s a bad book, I just didn’t connect with it as well as I’d hoped to.
8 & 9. Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth – I’m going to list these two together because I read them one after the other in one day and can’t really remember exactly where one book ended and the next began. I suppose that’s a good thing for a trilogy. This is one of the few instances in which I have seen the film for a book before reading the book itself, and it definitely helped me to visualise the events, although I’m not sure how much it skewed my perception of things. For example, Tris saying she’s not pretty is difficult to imagine when you keep picturing Shailene Woodley’s face! I enjoyed these in a very self-indulgent, immersive kind of way and am looking forward to reading Allegiant as soon as I can get my (virtual) hands on it. I’m also intrigued by the idea of seeing things from Four’s perspective, so will probably read the short story collection too, if I can.
10. Geek Girl: Model Misfit by Holly Smale – See Geek Girl, above. I felt pretty much the same way about the sequel as I did about the first book in this series. It was good to see Harriet’s conflict about her baby sister, because we don’t often see that tackled from the perspective of an older child/teenager (Harriet is fifteen).
I’ve had a fairly YA-heavy month which is not altogether unusual, but I normally read at least one or two adult books as well. Not that I’m complaining. What have you been reading this month?