Monday, 29 August 2016

Recently Read #2

It's been highly documented that I've fallen off the reading wagon in recent times, and due to this I haven't actually featured a book review on here since erm... March. Whoops! In all fairness to me, I did start a new job and become pregnant, so I guess you all have to let me off. I've actually read eight books since March, so I've no idea why I didn't review them on here, but instead of rattling off all eight into one post I'll just share a few favourites. Sound good? Good! 
Asking For It by Louise O'Neill
I have been meaning to read Asking For It for the longest time. After reading and completely loving Only Ever Yours, I knew I needed to read O'Neill's second novel. Based in a small Irish town - with a 'everyone knows everyone' small town mentality - eighteen year old Emma O'Donovan is well known for being a beautiful, but incredibly selfish girl. One night, she goes to a party with her friends but the next day she is found by her parents lying unconscious, blistered from the sun on her doorstep. 
Asking For It is an intense, gripping book, and the horrors of how Emma ended up on the doorstep are truly hard to read. However, I think O'Neill really explores victim blaming, rape culture and how social media has changed everything to an excellent standard - I didn't feel that anything had been added for the sake of it, but that it had all been well-researched to make it as real as possible. I would recommend this to everyone. 
How Not To Disappear by Clare Furniss 
Hattie's summer isn't going as planned - her two best friends Rueben and Kat have abandoned her for summer travels while she is stuck at home - and on top of the boredom, she's just discovered she's pregnant with Reuben's baby... When a long, lost family member is abruptly brought into Hattie's life, she decides its now or never to find out who she really is, and what lies ahead for her future. 
The forever mentioned Dannie recommended this book to me, as she thought I would like it. As always, she was right. I felt that How Now To Disappear really had everything a YA novel needs - it was funny, poignant and heartbreaking in equal measure. Much like Unbecoming, it touched on real subjects such as dementia, and the use of flashbacks were used spectacularly to move the story along.
 
Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami 
I've been wanting to branch out and read more translated novels, and I was lucky to receive Strange Weather in Tokyo in a Christmas book swap I took part in. I really loved this - although there isn't much in the way of a plot, I really enjoyed the pace, and tenderness of this. The long passages illustrate Japanese culture and cuisine beautifully, and really added to the warmth of the story. 
What have you been reading recently? Would you pick any of these up? 
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