Monday, 4 September 2017

Recently Read #4

It would seem that I haven't shared any of the books I've read this year on here. For someone who likes to think of themselves as a (sometime) book blogger, that's pretty terrible going. I guess it's mostly because I started the year off badly and really struggled with getting the time to read. Or, more appropriately, I wasn't using my time wisely and making time to read! I've managed to crack that somehow, and now I'm a book ahead of schedule in my Goodreads challenge

It's so refreshing to read a YA novel that isn't about a dystopian future or centred around a great and meaningful REASON but just a bit of fun, and highlighting the importance of great friendship bonds, new discoveries and being true to yourself. This was a light and fun read, and definitely one I would recommend.

Behind Her Eyes
My wonderful buddy Dannie sent me a copy in the post as she really wanted to discuss that ending with somebody. I absolutely devoured this book while I was away in April (okay so maybe this isn't so recently read..) and it helped massively to kickstart my reading for this year. This book has so many twists and turns, that although I maybe guessed one or two, I was still pretty shocked with the outcome! 

Hold Back The Stars
I really enjoyed reading this - I thought the way the author flicked between their remaining minutes to key points in Carys' and Max's relationship was very well thought out. I think the story says a lot for ideals and how you can't always live up to them, no matter how hard you try, and how sometimes you can accidentally fall onto the 'right path' when you least expect it. 

I enjoyed the sci-fi feel to this, but glad it wasn't too heavy and that a simpleton like myself could half-understand some of the sciencey references. A really enjoyable read!

All The Good Things
All The Good Things follows Beth, a young girl who has been completely failed by the system. The story starts in prison, with Beth's case worker trying to help her understand that although she did a bad thing, there are still good things in her life. The reader isn't aware of the bad thing, but Beth feels that she doesn't deserve any good things, any happiness. 

I found All The Good Things to be both completely heartbreaking and life-affirming. I found it to be a really difficult and excruciating read, by the end I was beside myself and wasn't sure if I could continue reading. I'm glad I did, and I would honestly recommend this book to everybody. Life isn't black or white. It made me think about bad things - zero hour contracts, pay day loans and (some) antenatal care. It made me think about the good things in my life, the small things that wouldn't matter to anybody else. A good book doesn't do that, but a really great one does. I gave this five stars and would urge everyone to read it.

'Money isn't everything, but not having it is'. Well, I never thought I'd start a review with a Kanye lyric, but here we are. I think everyone has made a list of all the things they would do if they won the lottery, and when Alice buys her best friend a lottery ticket as a joke present for his 18th birthday, it's completely against the odds that Teddy would win. 

Teddy and Alice have both been handed pretty terribly luck in their lives, so while Teddy embraces how his luck has changed due to this mammoth win, Alice is reluctant to be a part of this life changing event. I found Teddy's reaction to becoming a lottery winner pretty believable, and although the story mostly focused on Alice (as she was also the narrator) I think we got to see enough of Teddy's arc and how he developed as a character. 

Alice's voice was relatable, as a young adult trying to find her way in life, and feeling torn by what she wants, or what she *thinks* she wants. I think most people experience this sort of thing when trying to decide if they want to go to university - and then which university, what course etc. 

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this, and found it hard to put down. I'd say it would be great for fans of Rainbow Rowell and John Green.

*Disclaimer: Some titles may have been provided in exchange for an honest review. No further compensation received.

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