Books You Need In Your Life: October – December 2019

pile of three books in front of 'spoonie xmas' letterboard, next to lit candle and mini christmas tree

Links marked with * are affiliate links: I earn a small commission from any purchase made by following these links, at no extra cost to you. This post contains #GIFTED items, as disclosed below.

So here we are… what could well be my very last Books You Need In Your Life piece! I’ve been doing these quarterly round-ups for three years now, and as you may have seen on Instagram, I’ve slightly lost the love for them. Writing the reviews began to feel less like something I really enjoyed, and more of a routine obligation; and we can’t be having that.

Next year, I’ll be exploring some new post ideas and alternative ways of sharing my favourite reads (so do ensure you’re following me on Instagram to keep up to date!) but for now, here we go. My final favourite reads of 2019…

The Exact Opposite Of Okay by Laura Steven* (Electric Monkey)

“Was so mad last night I couldn’t even bring myself to type out the exchange with Mr. Wells. In fact, I’m still so angry I’m just lying in bed in a vague state of furious nausea, like how I imagine Melania feels when she watches Donald remove his shirt.”

In my opinion, the most satisfying reads are the ones that have you, as a reader, doing a complete U-Turn on your opinion of them. During the early chapters of this book, I wasn’t quite on board with the witty, pun-filled narration of Izzy O’Neil, telling her story in real-time in the form of blog posts. With the protagonist being the subject of a nationwide sex scandal at the age of eighteen and dealing with the aftermath pretty much singlehandedly, I felt the complete lack of reference to any kind of emotion made it more difficult for the reader to feel for and connect with what she was going through. Initially, I found it difficult to invest in the story of what was undeniably the story of any high school teenager’s worst nightmares.

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Books You Need In Your Life, July- September 2018

coloured book spines arranged next to plant pot

Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan Curham (Walker YA)

“They say that sarcasm is the lowest form of humour but for me, sarcasm is a sanity-saver. If I wasn’t able to make fun of my situation I think my heart would crack in two from the tragedy of it all”.

If you managed to read the title of this book without automatically singing along to the tune of it in your head, I applaud you.

Siobhan Curham’s latest novel follows the narrative of two young people in remarkably different circumstances, and the story of how their hidden similarities come to reveal themselves. It’s a gorgeous story of friendship, but from each viewpoint, some hefty real-world issues are tackled head on. First we have Stevie, quietly living in poverty and singlehandedly caring for her mum, who’s suffering from debilitating depression and facing unjust cuts to her disability benefits. Then we have refugee Hafiz, still emotionally recovering from fleeing the war in Syria and trying to find his feet in the UK, all the while not knowing whether his family and friends are even still alive.

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Books You Need In Your Life: April – June 2018

flatlay of four YA books on a white background, along with sunglasses and wooden coaster

It’s that time again! Put down your book, grab yourself a cuppa, and get cosy: I’ve read some absolute crackers this quarter, and I’ve been looking forward to telling you alllll about them. As always, everything is linked by the title (affiliate links- see bottom of post for more information), so have a browse, let me know if anything takes your fancy, and a suggestion or two for what I should be reading next wouldn’t go amiss either. Past experiences have shown that you guys have the BEST taste in YA reads!

Paris By The Book by Liam Callanan (HarperCollins)

“… I didn’t miss him. And part of me, I confess, did not. But the reader in me, the makeshift muse, word-drunk and bereaved, she suffered. And yes, the rest of me, my fingers and mouth and hair and stomach, I missed him like air, like water, like a second skin, like a book you love, you need, but is no longer on the shelf when you go to look because it turns out it was never written”.

I’ll be honest, I completely misjudged this book. Before reading, my first impression was that this was going to be yet another chick-lit romance where a woman having a midlife crisis moves to Paris, has life-affirming realisations about her childhood, and just so happens to meet a handsome stranger who conveniently turns out to be the love of her life. I began reading this book expecting nothing other than for it to follow this set pattern I’m bored to the back-teeth of seeing in romance novels over and over again. However, these first impressions couldn’t have been more misguided, and I rapidly found myself completely taken-in in this beautiful, beautiful book.

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Books You Need In Your Life: January – March 2018

five paperback novels piled up on a small table, next to a lamp

You guys, I am SO excited to be back with my first quarterly Books You Need In Your Life post of the year. These are some of my favourite blog posts to sit down and write, and it’s the most wonderful thing to see that other people seem to enjoy them too.

Whilst the start of 2018 has involved some rather questionable weather here in the UK, which had us convinced that the Actual End Of The World was nigh on more than one occasion, it’s made for some excellent cosy reading time. There’s nothing more cute and Tumblr than being curled up reading with a gentle pattering of rain on the window pane outside, or, in our case in Sheffield, viscously trying to concentrate on your read whilst falling death chunks of ice akin to the Incredible Hulk’s dandruff threaten to bash the roof in. But enough about that. I’ve enjoyed some cracking reads lately, and I can’t wait to tell you about them…

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