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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Recent Reads Vol.4

I think that most of you know by now that I am a major book worm.
At this point in time, I'm just about getting through a book every second week, so I'm always looking to add to my forever growing reading list. Here are my feelings on my most recently read books in the hopes of perhaps inspiring some new additions to your bookshelves, too:

A Review of the Books I've Read Recently

This was such a good book! Definitely my favourite from this pile - I enjoyed it from start to finish. A sort of coming-of-age book, where it's not just the kids who are growing up, but the adults too. Following two families (who also happen to be very close college friends) each with their own set of troubles, there's a good mix of drama, intrigue and passion that kept me entertained the whole time. A couple of parts were a little predictable, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this whole dang book. The perfect Summer read.

Blurb:
"Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring.
Back in the band's heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed."


(also known as Sophie Kinsella)
The fact that this is about a Summer holiday to a gorgeous villa in a beautiful Spanish setting, which is described beautifully, makes this a great Summer read. I'm such a fan of Kinsella's writing style (she's been featured in Recent Reads before, and will be many more times to come). She's able to paint her characters in such a way that you instantly relate, sympathise or hate them.. basically, however she wants you to feel about a certain character, you'll feel it. Two families who are (almost) strangers that come from different lifestyles being unexpectedly forced to live together (and re-live some old memories) made for some behind-closed-doors drama which is what kept my scandal-loving self entertained. There was a little twist at the end that I didn't see coming, too.. Gerard's plan wasn't for the reason that it had seemed.

Blurb:
"Chloe needs a holiday. She's sick of making wedding dresses and her partner Philip has trouble at work. Her wealthy friend Gerard has offered the loan of his luxury villa in Spain -- perfect.

Hugh is not a happy man. His immaculate wife Amanda seems more interested in the granite for the new kitchen than in him, and he works so hard to pay for it all, he barely has time for his family. But his old school friend Gerard has lent them a luxury villa in Spain -- perfect.
Both families arrive at the villa and get a shock: Gerard has double-booked. An uneasy week of sharing begins, and tensions soon mount in the soaring heat. But there's also a secret history between the families -- and as tempers fray, an old passion begins to resurface.
"



Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Although I wasn't overly excited about If I Stay (reviewed in Recent Reads Vol.2), I ended up picking up  the sequel, Where She Went, which more or less follows Adam, whom we discover is no longer in a relationship with Mia years after her tragedy. As a whole, it was nice to see what became of the girl who lost everything, and heartwarming to learn that she fought to get back what she could. I did like reading about what Adam had been up to as well, but his character just ended up annoying me. He's so completely different to the warm, loving boyfriend in If I Stay. But I guess that goes to show how much heartbreak and anger can change a person. Following up on what the characters achieved in the year after gives the reader a sort of closure. I didn't think it was the best thing I'd ever read, but I'm glad that I did (at least this one has chapter breaks).

Blurb:
"Picking up several years after the dramatic conclusion of If I Stay, Where She Went continues the story of Adam and Mia, from Adam's point of view. Ever since Mia's decision to stay - but not with him - Adam's career has been on a wonderful trajectory. His album, borne from the anguish and pain of their breakup, has made him a bona fide star. And Mia herself has become a top-rate cellist, playing in some of the finest venues in the world. When their respective paths put them both in New York City at the same time, the result is a single night in which the two reunite - with wholly satisfying results."


The Island by Elin Hilderbrand
Although the premise of this book isn't exactly original, I did still enjoy it. A family of four women, each going through her own struggle, spend a few weeks together and end up fighting/bonding as each works out her own set of issues. All of the characters did end up annoying me at one stage or another through reading, however. They're all grown women who act far too childish. To me, it honestly felt like a soap opera that just so happened to be set on an Island.. Everyone has money, everyone is either unhappy in love or is falling instantly in love, and everyone has money. Stock standard. I did enjoy how well relationships within a family unit come across: strained mother/daughter relationships, sibling rivalry and jealousy.. everyone's emotions were mixed in such a realistic way. The story did have some drama and a small plot twist or two so I did have a good time reading it 0 another one that's great for Summer.


Blurb:
"Birdie Cousins has thrown herself into the details of her daughter Chess's lavish wedding, from the floating dance floor in her Connecticut back yard to the color of the cocktail napkins. Like any mother of a bride-to-be, she is weathering the storms of excitement and chaos, tears and joy. But Birdie, a woman who prides herself on preparing for every possibility, could never have predicted the late-night phone call from Chess, abruptly announcing that she's cancelled her engagement.

It's only the first hint of what will be a summer of upheavals and revelations. Before the dust has even begun to settle, far worse news arrives, sending Chess into a tailspin of despair. Reluctantly taking a break from the first new romance she's embarked on since the recent end of her 30-year marriage, Birdie circles the wagons and enlists the help of her younger daughter Tate and her own sister India. Soon all four are headed for beautiful, rustic Tuckernuck Island, off the coast of Nantucket, where their family has summered for generations. No phones, no television, no grocery store - a place without distractions where they can escape their troubles. But throw sisters, daughters, ex-lovers, and long-kept secrets onto a remote island, and what might sound like a peaceful getaway becomes much more. Before summer has ended, dramatic truths are uncovered, old loves are rekindled, and new loves make themselves known."



Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Oh look, another Sophie Kinsella book!
I don't discriminate against books that fit in to the "Young Adult" category. In fact, almost all of my favourite books are classified as such, but this one may have been a little too Y.A. for me (am I getting old?!). I did enjoy it, don't get be wrong, but I just feel as though it was a little "young" for me. If I'm honest, I almost didn't buy this book because I was worried that it would be a bunch of "love cures mental illness" bullshit but that's not the way that it ended up panning out. Although Linus does help Audrey through some things, it is ultimately Audrey herself who progresses one step (forwards and backwards) at a time. Although this story covers some pretty serious topics relating to mental health, I felt as though it was handled wonderfully. It still managed to be funny, at times, and sweet. Heartwarming, too. But also honest and real. I enjoyed the dynamic of Audrey's crazy family too - it was a nicely balanced read between hard realism and light-heartedness.

Blurb:
"Audrey can't leave the house. she can't even take off her dark glasses inside the house. Then her brother's friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again - well, Starbucks is a start. And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she'd thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable."

Books I've Read Recently. Book Reviews.


Is there anything on this list that you would like to read?
What has been your favourite read recently? I'd love some recommendations!

















As always, this post has not been sponsored in any way, meaning that it does not contain any affiliate links, nor have the books mentioned been sent to me, endorsed, or paid for by anyone other than me, myself and I.

20 comments:

  1. what a great selection of books. I'm urging towards blurb. Definately the mind I am into. Thanks for sharing

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  2. I love reading your book recaps. All of look like wonderful reads. I would love to read the Sleeping Arrangements book by, Madeleine Wickham

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  3. You got me at the picture! Love the photo styling and compilation of the elements here

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  4. Looks like a great collection of books. I haven't read books in a long time and you are inspiring me to get back to them, soon!

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  5. Absolutely love that you are a bookworm.I am one too.It's the best way to live life .

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  6. Oh I love Sophia Kinsella books! I'll have to read the two by her that you mentioned!

    xo
    Sami
    The Classic Brunette

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  7. Omg i am a Sophie Kinsella fan! I have her Shopaholic series. But why I missed these two??!

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  8. The Island sounds like my type of read at the moment. I'm looking for something easy and light. Sounds like exactly what I need.

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  9. YES! I love a good recent reads post and this one is def adding to my list of new ones to read next month :)

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  10. I love a good read too and Where She went sounds like a great one!

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  11. I was just saying how I watch way too much tv and I’m ready to dive into some good books. These all sound great! Thank you for the list!!

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  12. Thank you, lovely! Sleeping Arrangements was pretty good - a nice, easy read. :) x

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  13. Aww that's so nice of you to say! Thank you so much. :) x

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  14. I love reading haha definitely pick up a book again sometime. :) x

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  15. Oh boy! If you like Sophie Kinsella, then definitely give Sleeping Arrangements a go. Finding Audrey is lovely too. Not my favourite, but a heartwarming read nonetheless. :) x

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  16. Aha I've read most of Sophie Kinsella's other stuff, but not the Shopaholic series. We'll have to do a swap hehe. :P x

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  17. I'm so glad I could have inspired some new reads for you. :) x

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  18. The Island is most definitely an easy read, and perfect for the Spring/Summer months. I highly recommend. :) x

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  19. Make sure you read If I Stay first (Where She Went is a sequel). x

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  20. Well isn't that convenient. ;) I hope you've found something you'd like to read here. :) x

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