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

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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, October – December 2018

pile of paperback books on white table next to red candle

Okay but seriously, how the heck are we in December 2018?! Just before we dive into my quarterly recommendations for the end of the year, here’s a heads up that you can find all of the books mentioned below on my Amazon Storefront* with Amazon Influencers, along with all my other favourites from this year: perfect for indulging in some new reads for the New Year with your Christmas money, if I do say so myself…

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Flamingo Modern Classics

“’You weren’t there, you didn’t see’, he said. ‘There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing”.

Within pages of this book, I knew it was one that would make a lasting impact on me. Set in a time where reading books is considered a sin, protagonist Montag is faced with difficult questions about the nature of humanity. People have reached a point where they need all their information and entertainment to be delivered in quick, successive bursts, using technology, rather than come from paper and ink. Montag, although working as a firefighter whose very purpose is to burn and demolish the remaining books forever, has to endure and conceal a devious streak to indulge in reading himself, and his consequent actions mean he’s faced with decisions he never could have imagined he would be.

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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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