I started off the year with a goal of reading 50 books. It was going so well, by February I had read 8 books. Roughly one a week, and I felt great! I was on a roll and then I got a new job… and I felt like I had absolutely no time to read anymore. One of my 25 before 25 was to read 30 books. It’s been over a month since my birthday, and I still haven’t started reading… I thought that writing a wee post on what I’ve read so far this year might inspire me to dig into my to be read pile.
Me, Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews
I love tragic teen fiction, so I was really excited to read this book after seeing the film, and it didn’t disappoint. I love the story, and I love the characters, particularly Earl because he is one of the most hilarious characters that I have read in a long time. I really liked how parts of the book were structured like a movie script, it was a very small visual change that made a huge difference when you were reading.
Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon
I bloody loved this book. Maddy is 18, she has never left her house. She has SCID (bubble baby disease)… then she falls in love with her neighbour. I did call the ending about half way through, but I blame my husband for his constant guessing endings of films/books… I loved this story, I haven’t read a book with a creative story like this in a very long time. It was so imaginative. I loved the fact that nothing could keep Olly and Maddy apart. I thoroughly enjoy reading characters that experience issues in life, things like domestic violence are not written about enough and it needs to be highlighted more often. Nicola Yoon has produced something amazing, especially writing in a diverse female lead, we need more of that!
Mad girl – Bryony Gordon
This was not my cup of tea, but still beautifully written. I love the brutal honesty of Bryony Gordon, she highlights perfectly the real struggles people face with mental health on a daily basis. It is an extremely important book. That being said, I’m more of a mushy, teen love story kind of girl, so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped I would.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time – Mark Haddon
I loved this. It came highly recommended, and despite having it for months and months I just hadn’t gotten round to reading it. I read it in 3 days, I was just so intrigued. Having worked with children with austim and aspergers I felt like I was finally getting an insight into their brains, and how they worked. It was fascinating, and at times extremely relatable. I thoroughly enjoyed the logic on the ‘black day’, I feel like even I have a black day if just one thing throws me off of my usual course. I haven’t really enjoyed a book like this is a long time, it was a different kind of enjoyment. I felt like I was understanding something and someone I hadn’t understood before.
The One Memory of Flora Banks – Emily Barr
Another addictive read, maybe I just have an addictive personality? I loved it so much. I really liked the concept of this book, a girl with amnesia has a memory, and it’s all about her journey finding out details about the life she can’t remember. I loved it. The fact that Flora carried a notebook and sticky notes to write everything down so she could remember, but I also loved the fact that if she didn’t want to remember she could choose not to write it down. That I loved. I wish I had that power over my thoughts.
The Sun Is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon
I love this woman. Natasha and Daniel meet on the most of important day of both of their lives, and fall in love. How that day pans out determines the entirety of their lives. It is a beautiful story, and I was pleading with myself throughout the entire book that it might go differently, but I wasn’t disappointed with the ending. I loved it. I really enjoyed the short chapters, it easy to stay interested, I wanted to read how Natasha and Daniel felt things differently. I loved the idea that pretty much everything that happened on the day they met was fated to happen, and each encounter had an effect on the next encounter. The BMW driver, the lawyer, the guard, Irene, everyone. They all played such an important part, and Nicola Yoon let us into each of their lives.
All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven
Okay, this is probably my new favourite book. As in, it has taken over my actual favourite book It’s Kind of a Funny Story”. This is an extremely important book. This book is about suicide, and if suicide is something that you have experienced then I suggest you read this because so many of Violet’s feelings will resonate with you, and evoke feelings that you can relate to on a new level. I think if one of your children have lost someone to suicide, or have experienced something similar then you should also read this. There are a lot of things in this book that can make sense of their feelings, without them having to pour out the heartbreak to explain it to you. This book has some sort of healing power. Niven opens up Finch’s mind as he experiences depression, and Violet’s as she grieves the death of her sister. They are both such relatable character that you can’t help but see yourself in.
Holding Up the Universe – Jennifer Niven
This is a love story like no other. It’s not only a story about falling in love, it’s about falling in love with yourself and who you are. It’s about looking beyond, realising who we really are. Again, this is a diverse character. Libby isn’t the main character we’re all used to reading about. She isn’t what society would deem as perfect, which makes this so important. We need to celebrate diversity! It’s also great because Jennifer isn’t afraid to write about the reality of being a fat person throughout your teenage years.
My to be read pile just keeps on growing… send me your recommendations if you’re a YA fan.