Hello everyone and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all well. Today I’m going to be posting my first blog post in a brand new series: my “monthly reads” series. Every month, I aim to share the books I’ve read with you all , and give you some brief opinions/thoughts on them. I’ve done a few posts like this in the past, but randomly so, and I’ve decided I’d like to start sharing these posts monthly. To find out about what I’m reading on the go, you can follow me on Goodreads here. Personally, I feel like this month was a good month for reading! I managed to read 12 books. I read a lot at the start of January, but then went back to university after Christmas and things dipped slightly. I’d love to know what you’ve been reading recently – leave me a comment and let me know! I love replying to you all. So, keep reading to find out which books I read in January 2017…
Reading For Pleasure
The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish.
This was a fantastic book, and a great one to kick off the new year with! It’s a Psychological Thriller, with plenty of mystery and suspense, set at a swimming pool. It was unique and dramatic – and the ending was just outstanding! All of the characters were brilliantly constructed, and I was fully absorbed in the world of the book. My only criticism is that this book was very long, and I felt that it was quite slow at the beginning and could therefore have been cut down. I have a full review of this coming soon on my blog, so keep your eyes out for that!
My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon.
(I was sent an ARC copy of this ahead of the publication date). I’m not going to say too much about this, as I reviewed it in full here. I really really enjoyed this book – a lot more than I expected to. It’s a brilliant contender of the Chick-Lit genre, and the protagonist is absolutely hilarious! The story was brilliant and very relateable, and this was a very refreshing read. Be sure to check out my full review!
She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb.
Another 4 star read (this trend is accidental, I promise). This is a pretty tough book to read, and I found it pretty uncomfortable at times. It’s one of those coming-of-age novels, centred around the protagonist Dolores Price; and essentially everything that could possibly go wrong for this young girl indeed does. I became very emotionally invested in her as a character, and I really rooted for her. The amount of times I just wanted to step into the world of the book and give her a big hug! It’s a tough read but it’s very moving and rewarding. My only criticism is that it was very long!
The One by John Marrs.
(I was sent an ARC copy of this ahead of the publication date). Again, I’m not going to say too much about this book as I reviewed it in full here. This is a Psychological Thriller unlike anything I’ve ever read before. The premise and ideas behind this novel are so so unique, and I was so intrigued when I was first send this! And it definitely did not disappoint. I loved it! Be sure to check out my full review 🙂
Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier.
I promise these 4 star ratings are completely coincidental! I don’t usually read books like this, but since reading Daphne Du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’, I’ve been dying to check out her other books. This one was fantastic! Again, the author constructs excellent characters, and the plot really sucked me in. It centres around the protagonist Mary Yellan, as she goes to live with her Aunt and her husband in Jamaica Inn – and of course, everything is not as it seems. I highly recommend this if you enjoy “more readable/relateable” Classics. The only issue I had was that I was constantly comparing it to ‘Rebecca’, which I did enjoy more.
Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson.
(I was sent an ARC copy of this ahead of the publication date). Oh wow, this book was amazing – it completely stood out to me, and I just had to give it 5 stars! I’ve got a full review coming soon on my blog so don’t want to say too much here; stay tuned for that! But this novel was absolutely incredible. It was an extremely fascinating Psychological Thriller, which contained loads of twists and turns! Definitely recommend this.
All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda.
This novel is about two missing girls, who disappear 10 years apart, and the protagonist attempts to piece together exactly what happened. My biggest problem with this was the structure of the novel. It’s told in reverse, from Day 15 to Day 1…but that meant that it was difficult to establish what was going on at what times, and I spent so much time trying to piece together a timeline in my head that it took away from the characters and the plot. I did enjoy all the characters, and there were some good twists and turns. So I liked this, but I felt it had a massive flaw.
Books For University
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner.
I’m studying this book for my English Literature Gothic module. This was a very difficult read. It’s hard to get to grips with the writing, and at many points in the novel I found myself completely lost. It follows the Bundren family as Addie (the mother/wife) dies, and her family carry her coffin to her hometown to bury her. It’s a very odd read, and you have to do a lot of really deep reading in order to learn all the details we need to know. However, since studying it, I do feel a bit more comfortable with this novel now – thankfully!
Twelve by Nick McDonell.
I’m studying this book for my Creative Writing Prose module (our lecturer has chosen a couple of debut novels for us to read and discuss). I did like this book, but it definitely wasn’t anything outstanding. It follows a group of “rich” young characters in New York City, as a fictional drug called Twelve begins to wreak havoc. The writing style wasn’t the easiest to follow, and I personally felt that this story had so much potential that the writing just simply didn’t live up to. I did enjoy some of the characters, however, and the ending was pretty good!
Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding.
I’m studying this book for my English Literature Stories of the Novel module. This was a really really difficult book to get to grips with. The language was difficult to read, and essentially I just thought this novel was pretty dull (sorry if that offends any of you!) It started off okay and the events that happened were interesting. However, I felt it declined pretty dramatically. The story/events started becoming very dull, and I just didn’t feel invested in the story in any way. There were a couple of funny moments which made the book bearable in some places – but overall, I didn’t enjoy this, and I’m not really looking forward to studying it!
Dogs At The Perimeter by Madeleine Thien.
This is another book I’m studying for my Creative Writing Prose module. I did like this book but didn’t feel particularly strongly about it. It’s all about the invasion of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and the devastation that causes for the lives of Janie and others. I got strong vibes of Khaled Hosseini’s ‘The Kite Runner’ whilst reading this (except the situations are very different of course); but didn’t feel that this was anywhere near as effective. I felt like the characters were quite flat and I didn’t really feel much towards any of them. Some parts were quite moving and emotional though!
Beloved by Toni Morrison.
This is another book on my English Literature Gothic module. The best word I can use to describe this book is: bizarre. It follows the protagonist Sethe, who was born a slave and managed to escape; but is now haunted by the ghost of her baby, Beloved. It started off quite good and I thought I was going to enjoy this novel. But it just got weirder and weirder! Some very odd things happened, and so many times I was left questioning “What on earth just happened?” I did also lose myself quite a few times in the story. But I did enjoy the characters and some of the moments in the book!
Happy reading 🙂