Wednesday, 1 November 2017

October Reading Wrap Up

Ah, October, autumn is here and that means it's book reading season. Nothing like getting cosy and reading a good book with a cup of tea. I read a lot of good books this month and again, I've been loving the selection that my local library has to offer. I also completed my GoodReads Reading Challenge for this year - 52 books down already. I was really surprised by this as I've never met my goal so early. I think it's because of all of the graphic novels I've been reading recently. I'm thinking about writing a blog post about my graphic novel recommendations. Let me know if that would interest you!


I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski
Sydney and her childhood best friend, Leela, are off to backpack around Europe for the summer. Sydney has never left the US as she's been living at home to care for her mother who has severe agoraphobia. It's set to be a summer of fun until Leela's cheating ex-boyfriend and his attractive friend show up in London. This book was a lot of fun and it really made me want to go travelling. It was a nice easy read but I felt that a lot of the characters lacked a bit of depth and some of the conversation seemed a bit unrealistic. I did like this book a lot though and it's nice to see some university age characters for once. 4/5 stars. 

Persepolis and Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi
I thought I'd include these books together as I read them one after the other and they are very similar. These books are graphic autobiographies about the writer's experience growing up in Iran and her return to Iran after studying abroad (the second book). I've been loving graphic novels lately (yay for the library) and this was no exception. It was pretty dark and very honest but an interesting read and a fantastic premise for a graphic novel. 5/5 stars to both.

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
This book is about a teenage girl called Alice who gets cancer. She sets off on a bucket list helped by her childhood best friend, Harvey, that involves getting revenge on some people who have wronged her. And then... she gets into remission and has to deal with the consequences of all she's said and done. I wanted to love this book as I loved the Julie Murphy book I read last month. However, Alice was the bitchiest, meanest most annoying character I've read in so long that I just couldn't feel sorry for her or for Harvey for letting her use her. I've read up on other reviews and I am not alone in this. 2/5 stars.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
After reading The Girl on the Train last year and loving it, I was so excited to read Paula Hawkin's other book. In Into the Water, a local writer is believed to have committed suicide at a river where a young girl had also committed suicide. An investigation is opened and not everything is as it seems. I liked this book a lot and it had some great twists. But I wouldn't say that it was anywhere near as good as The Girl on the Train. I gave this one 3/5 stars.

Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony
So this is a bit of an interesting concept - a book where the story is told entirely through pictures. It was really fun. It's about a famous pianist who goes missing. It was kinda like being a detective as I was analysing all the photos to try and pick up clues. I enjoyed it but obviously, there's only so much plot you can take in in that way. I gave it 3/5 stars. It was a unique concept but there was something missing for me.

Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham
Another show that I wanted to love but just couldn't bring myself to feel strongly about. This book contains two chapters of Lauren Graham talking about what it was like to film both the original Gilmore Girls and the year in the life. These were really interesting but the rest of it was a bit garbled and manic. I love Lorelai's rambling speeches in the show but actually reading something written like that was really hard. She reads the audiobook which I think would be a lot better. I gave it 2/5 stars because I felt so underwhelmed.

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is a fiction novel about a range of characters who experience the Nigeria-Biafra war that happened in the late 60s. I really enjoyed this book as the writing was descriptive and beautiful and it was also unlike any other book that I've read. If I'm honest I didn't even know that that war had ever happened. I'm on a mission to read all of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's books so expect to see her works cropping up in reading wrap ups to come! I gave it 5/5 stars.

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
I was so excited to get my hands on John Green's new novel and a signed copy none the less! This is a YA fiction about a teenager with OCD. I really enjoyed this, a lot more than I was expecting to. The teenage characters didn't have the same awkward angst that I found in some of his other books. I'm not sure it's my favourite of his but I was really pleased with it. 5/5 stars.

The War Within These Walls by Aline Sax
This is a short fiction about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It's almost like a graphic novel with illustrations matched by short passages of text. It was really beautiful and I think graphic novels are a great way to tell difficult stories. The writing was almost poetic and it was sad but inspiring at the same time. It only took me about half an hour to read from start to finish and I'm glad I decided to take it out from the library on a whim.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
This is the final book in the To All The Boys I've Loved Before Trilogy and actually I think it was my favourite. There's something so comforting to me about these YA romance novels and even though they're a bit cringey and sugary sweet I can't get enough of them. Normally I've rated the books in the series 3/5 stars but I'm giving this one 5/5 stars! I'm sad to see the series end.

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is a fiction novel about two Nigerian teenagers and their abusive, strict and devoutly religious father. This is written from the perspective of a teenager but certainly isn't a YA novel. The writing is rich and descriptive and I really enjoyed it. But not as much as Half of a Yellow Sun. However, this was her first novel so I can definitely see that this is what Adichie's writing developed from. 

As always, please leave me any reading recommendations you may have! 


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  1. Lots of titles there I'm going to check out, particularly the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie books as I loved We Should All be Feminists and she seems like an an awesome lady! I also loved Turtles All the Way Down (definitely my fave John Green book) and I'd love to know more about your favourite graphic novels. I recommend Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power :)

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