Since finishing university at the end of May, it suddenly dawned on me that I finally have the free time to read what I like. As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve just completed a Creative Writing degree, which as you can imagine, involved a lot of required reading. After the initial “Now what?” the realisation that I can now read whatever I wanted hit, and since then I can’t. stop. buying. books.
The kindle vs. book debate is still a touchy subject, but I, dare I say it, usually opt for the kindle versions. For me, who was constantly travelling backwards and forwards between uni and home, having all my books in one handy place for train journeys was ideal. Recently however, after a trip to Waterstones left me lusting after all the pretty book covers, I’ve been buying so many more books and my kindle has been abandoned in my desk drawer.
Between May and July I’ve already powered my way through at least a dozen books, and yet my to-be-read pile just keeps on growing. In no particular order, here’s the books I’m going to be reading.
#1: Sad Perfect- Stephanie Elliot
This book is probably the one I am most excited to read. I recently discovered the BookTuber emmmabooks (here), where she spoke about this book. I’d never heard of it before, and after looking for it on Amazon I believe it may not have been released here in the UK yet. I managed to order it via a seller from NY however, and it arrived this morning after a long 2 weeks. Sad Perfect tells the story of 16 y/o Pea who is living with the eating disorder ARFID. What intrigued me the most about this book however, is that it is told entirely in the 2nd person, something that is not very common in literature. At my time at university I explored the use of the 2nd person pronoun and wrote several assignments using it, so this instantly made me want to read this book. The opening sentence “You float.” instantly throws you straight into the action and forces you to imagine yourself in the shoes of the MC. I can’t wait to read this, and I’m sure I’ll be writing a review once I’m done.
#2: The Hate U Give- Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give has been on my radar for a few weeks now, after seeing it cause a stir on social media. THUG is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and follows 16 y/o Starr who is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend by a police officer. I’m so excited to read this, I’m sure it’s going to be one of those books that really hits the nail on the head and leaves me thinking about it long after I’ve turned the final page.
#3: Speak- Laurie Halse Anderson
Speak is one of those books that I have been meaning to read for years and have just never gotten around to it. I must admit, I didn’t realise who the author of this was until I held the book in my hands. I’ve recently read Wintergirls, also by Laurie Halse Anderson and really loved how raw and true-to-life the characters were written so this has just made me all the more excited to read Speak. Published in 1999 when I was just 3, it’s already been made into a movie (2004) starring Kristen Stewart which I’ve watched multiple times. Being a third year university student, over the last year I’ve been working on my dissertation piece which, like Speak, followed the life of a girl with Selective Mutism. I’m still not entirely sure why I didn’t read this whilst I was writing, but now I have oodles of free time I’m finally going to cross this one of my list.
#4: Vanishing Girls- Lauren Oliver
I bought this book on a bit of a whim in the middle of JFK airport coming home from my trip to NYC. I had $12 left to spend and including tax, this book cost me $11.98. If I’m being honest, I don’t really know a lot about the book, but the blurb grabbed my attention enough for me to want to purchase it for the plane ride home. (I ended up getting distracted by the extensive movie list on the plane instead, so this one has made its way to the pile!) The blurb informs me it’s about two sisters, Dara and Nick. Dara vanishes on her birthday and leaves Nick to put the piece together in order to find her. On a side note, I can’t help but notice how thin the pages are in this book! At first I thought it was just the publishing company, but I’ve now realised it’s all books printed in the USA. Vanishing Girls sounds like it’s going to be one of those ones you stay up late reading because you simply can’t stop reading, so I’m predicting some late nights are going to be around the corner!
#5: Eden Summer- Liz Flanagan
Similar to Vanishing Girls, Eden Summer follows the MC, Jess who’s best friend Eden goes missing, with her boyfriend Liam as the prime suspect. Jess begins to retrace her steps, questioning everything that happened that summer. To be perfectly honest, I picked up Eden Summer because Waterstones had their buy one get on half off offer on and I already had 3 books in my hand and thought “Might as well.” This book hasn’t grabbed me as much as some of the others I bought that day which is why it’s still in my to-be-read pile, but it will definitely get it’s turn! The premise of Eden Summer actually reminds me of another book I’ve read before, who’s name I can’t think of for the LIFE of me (typical), and I loved that one so I’m sure Eden Summer will be a hit.
#6: Every Last Word- Tamara Ireland Stone
About a year ago, I found Every Last Word on Goodreads and knew that I wanted to read it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it on the Kindle store, or Amazon and somehow I ended up forgetting about it. Thanks to a binge-watch session of emmmabooks, I found her raving about it in one of her videos and I rushed over to Amazon and purchased it immediately. Every Last Word centres around Samantha McAllister, a high school junior who is keeping a secret: Sam has purely-obsessional OCD. The reviews found in the cover of this book describe it as “brilliant, brave and beautiful”, “characters to love and a story to break your heart”, and “a strong message about self-acceptance”. Overall, it seems as though it’s going to be a really powerful and thought provoking insight to living with OCD.
#7: A Tragic Kind of Wonderful- Eric Lindstrom
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful is a “beautiful, captivating story about living with bipolar disorder; and loving- even with a broken heart.” I actually started reading this a week ago and made it as far as 90 pages before I lost interest. I feel like this is quite a slow-starter, and quite bluntly, I had other books I was more interested in reading. I’d just made a trip to Waterstones and purchased Under Rose Tainted Skies, and my desire to read that first was a bit too much. As a rule, I don’t start new books until I’ve finished the one I’m reading, but in this case I couldn’t force myself to keep reading ATKOW. I’m sure however once I pick it up again and give it another go, I’ll be hooked.
#8: Our Chemical Hearts- Krystal Sutherland
Our Chemical Hearts is described as “John Green meets Rainbow Rowell”, and having enjoyed both authors in the past I knew I had to give this one a go. The book is about the first love of Henry Page, “a film buff and hopeless romantic”. Grace Town, the girl he’s falling madly in love with “dresses in oversized men’s clothing, smells like she hasn’t washed in weeks and walks with a cane.” I feel like this is going to be an easy,-going innocent and (hopefully) sweet, heartwarming read. It’s also not that long of a book and I think it’ll be a good one to read in one sitting.
#9: What I Lost- Alexandra Ballard
What I Lost is another one of the books I desperately wanted to read, but couldn’t find it in Waterstones or in the Kindle store so I ended up buying it from an American seller and having it shipped over to the UK. The book is about a girl named Elizabeth who’s just entered Wallingfield, a treatment centre for girls with eating disorders, when she begins to receive mysterious packages from an unknown source. It follows Elizabeth’s journey through recovery, and reviewers of the book have said that it gives a really authentic depiction of life with an ED.
And that concludes my current to-be-read list! I dare say it’ll be growing even more in the near future!
Over to you: What books are you currently reading? Have you read any of the books on my list?