I’m well aware we’re nearly half way into March (already!), but here are the books I managed in February. Anyone know where the time went…? BUT it was an exciting and busy one, as you’ll soon see! Sorry this has been sat in my drafts for so long.
Here for a specific title? Skip to your favourite. Don’t worry, I’ll try not to be offended…
People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd*
I’ve wanted to read this for so long and am glad I made time for this. More fool me for thinking this would be a fun, light-hearted read about influencers. But how wrong I was. I should’ve read a bit more that this is in fact a thriller! Written by a husband-and-wife author duo, it follows the life of Emmy, her husband Dan and a mysterious 3rd figure, where I’m guessing they wrote alternate chapters.
I won’t lie, I couldn’t stand Emmy, a self-absorbed mummy-influencer, who clearly lives her life ‘for the gram’. Irritable and difficult to like, much like Dan also thinks of Emmy, I still found myself enjoying this book as we eventually find out the consequences of sharing your life online, especially with Emmy’s beloved children at risk.
This latest release from Beth O’Leary has been on my kindle since the beginning of the year. It was a slow one – nor my favourite. (FYI, I really enjoyed The Flat Share* and The Road Trip*). In fact, I’ve had to refer to the blurb a couple of times to ignite some recollection of the characters and what actually happened.
It seems 3 women are all shown up by the same guy on their first date: Joseph Carter. We see how they are interwoven into each other’s lives, but maybe not in the typical noughties chick-lit way you may have been thinking. One thing I’d say is to pay attention to timing – that was a real ‘oh, it makes sense now’ moment.
Freelance your way to Freedom by Alexandra Fasulo*
Eek! I’ll probably go into this in another blog post because I have so much to say about this book.
It’s been one of my favourite reads of the month by copywriter and serial entrepreneur Alex Fasulo, who my friend referred me to on Instagram. It turns out she has built her own million-dollar business by selling writing services on freelancing platform Fiverr. I’m not usually a fan of self-help or how-to books, but I actually felt I was learning something from her about freelancing. She makes the thought of work (and making your own money) accessible and exciting whilst being very transparent that it comes down to consistency, patience and hard work.
I have to restrain myself from writing a full essay on this, so I’ll leave it to a blog post about this book and Fiverr – where I’ve completed a few orders already!
All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover*
It’s no surprise that I read another Hoover book in just 2 days. Following married couple Quinn and Graham, we’re taken through a rollercoaster of emotions, chapter by chapter. Switching between past and present, I felt myself feeling so low yet so euphoric, knowing that I was either getting ready or coming to the end of a perfect chapter or ready for sadness (vice versa). There’s a clear problem between the two after 7 years of marriage (the 7-year itch?), where I was a bit annoyed that Quinn didn’t take some of the blame for how she treats Graham. I like that there weren’t too many characters involved, so you can focus on their bond and love story as it blossoms and wilts. It was rather perfect.
A difficult read, but only for the reasons of it being almost phonetically, or have one might text a friend when they were younger ‘4rm’ (from), ‘ite’ (alright), ‘sexc’ (sexy). The introduction provides a great deal of context, where author Jade LB outlines how she wrote this when she was a young teenager, admitting that in hindsight her portrayal of women’s bodies and sex was immature, brutal and dark.
It follows Keisha, set in London, where she navigates romance, sex and gang culture throughout school and college, where Jade LB actually wrote 2 versions of the same story: 1 when she was younger, the 2nd when she was a little older/a young adult.
I think it’s important to open yourself up to wider types of novels encompassing representation. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it!
People Like Us by Louise Fein*
I did not expect to read such a beautiful, tragic novel: think Romeo and Juliet, Atonement, and The Duchess! One of my chunkier books of the month, this was slow to start, not realising it was set just before World War II, inspired by the author’s family. It follows Hetty Heinrich, daughter of a Hitler-supporter, where we witness her ignorance of being brainwashed by the Nazi regime, only for her to eventually see through its barbaric ideology as she succumbs to forbidden love with Walter – a jew. I soon fell in love with Hetty and Walter as much as they did each other, only for it of course to turn into a tragic war-torn love story. My eyes may have been a little wet during the last few pages.
Yinka, where is your huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn*
I don’t have too much to say about this. Apart from the snazzy title, this is an okay, fun read but not too ground-breaking. Following Yinka meander her way through aunties, friends and family asking when she’ll find a ‘huzband’, she tries to hide a few small secrets of her own – ie losing her job, pretending she has a boyfriend as a wedding date to prove her ex wrong – as well as deal with a potential love interest and home truths with friends. At least it helped break up all the other heavy books across the month.
If the author’s name seems familiar to you, let me remind you: Harry Potter. Jessie Cave is best known for playing Lavender Brown, obsessed with Ron Weasley in Order of the Phoenix. Whilst that is a mystical, magic, serious genre, Sunset is beyond the rainbow, full of humour, sarcasm and dry wit.
There is no real story and arc so much, but follows sisters Ruth and Hannah. They like to go on cheap holidays and do almost everything else together, but couldn’t be more different, portrayed as perfect vs imperfect (if there’s such a thing). That is until a disaster reflects on the pure, beautiful sisterly bond between the two as one deals with grief, romance, and friendship. One thing’s for sure, if I were to have a sister, I’d want one like Hannah!
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