As we’re now almost halfway through 2018 and I’m now 46% of the way through my Goodreads’ reading challenge, I thought I’d check in on here with more mini reviews of the books I’ve digested thus far in the year. I’m forever feeling guilty about how little I read compared to *insert a time where I wasn’t working or trying to be an adult* but I’m actually also 10 books in to my challenge which is an incredible figure for somebody that professes to hate taking time out. The books I’ve featured in this post are actually all novels recommended to me by the blogosphere or by the Internet, so how’s about that for a theme? I wonder what next time’s instalment will bring!

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

After seeing this book do the rounds all across my Twitter and Instagram feeds, I decided to place an order for a copy of my own to see what the fuss was about. Penned by Dolly Alderton, writer, columnist and podcaster, the book is a memoir of sorts and is an honest, raw, often funny and intoxicatingly heartbreaking glimpse into Alderton’s life growing up.

Everything I Know About Love truly did remind me of my formative years, but not directly so. In fact, it took me back to being 14 or 15 and felt like I’d peeked into the diary of one of the ‘cool girls’. I had very few friends at school, was never allowed out to play or to go to town, and generally lived a very humble teenage life on MySpace, watching anime and playing any game I could get my hands on. As the book progresses though, it becomes a turbulent ride of extremes through early twenties’ life: feeling like you need to have something to show for the weekend, collecting insane experiences that you can show off at a later date. It was all SO relatable in a slightly affected way. And from about halfway through, I was totally immersed, desperate to see how Alderton’s life panned out (I hadn’t listened to her podcast or followed her ‘story’ before this book) and also hooked on the hilarious emails interspersed throughout.

Pick up a copy here.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

I’d heard excellent things about this book from Bee and it had been on my to-read list for months, when an 80th anniversary edition was released the day before my birthday.

And thus an Amazon order was placed and a literary love affair began. I absolutely adore this novel and its’ beautiful storytelling. The story tells of a young heroine, working as the companion to a lady, who meets Max de Winter, a widower who whisks her off her feet and brings her to the stunning Manderley house. Promised a new life, the heroine begins to piece together a shocking truth.

Firstly, the opening page. Simply the most beautiful thing I’ve read in years. The imagery is so rich, the scene practically unfolded in front of my very eyes.

Most reviews that I’ve read about Rebecca say very little, and I can see why. It’s carefully woven with intricate twists and turns that culminate in a dark, powerful ending. I can’t wait to revisit this novel, possibly when I’ve met my reading challenge count, eh?

Pick up a copy here.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Another book added to my roster simply because of the power of Twitter and Instagram, I didn’t really know what to expect from Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. It was described as a wonderful depiction of loneliness to me, which I don’t think is the most accurate review! However, through simplistic storytelling, Honeyman achieves empathy and a strikingly raw way to tap into the reader’s emotions. Personally, I had no idea what to expect next when reading this book.

From the beginning to the end, I was utterly intrigued by Eleanor Oliphant’s somewhat odd mannerisms and ways and found it both jarring and comforting to read. Eleanor, the main character of course, has clearly had a rocky ride, a serious incident has led her wary, solitary and very stuck in her own ways. I particularly like that it never becomes obvious what until some totally unexpected twists (trust me, this truly isn’t a spoiler!) happen. I found myself constantly guessing what, and being wrong every single time. Overall, I did enjoy this book and kind of enjoyed its’ steady, plod along pace.

Pick up a copy here.

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

The first ever book in Bee’s Patreon Book Club (go and join!), it’s been a wild ride reading this together. Call Me By Your Name is arguably a coming-of-age story, centred around Elio and Oliver and a summer spent in Elio’s home in Italy. Instantly, we’re transported to sultry warm lands filled with terracotta buildings, poolside hangs and the rest of it. It powerfully communicates that intangible mix of lust, love and confusion that comes hand-in-hand with youth and summer stretches. You know, that summer fling feeling? But multiplied by a hundred or more.

The book explores themes around sexuality, understanding one’s self, growing up, lust and more. It’s raw, honest and powerful. Some of the scenes are genuinely beautiful, others are shocking, some are hilarious. Bee and I have spent many an evening chuckling over segments of it! One to pack for a holiday, that’s for sure.

Pick up a copy here.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

I discovered this book, the first in a trilogy, when The Everygirl published an inspiring blog post about Asian-American authors to celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month in May. I made a note of all 10 authors featured and happened upon this novel in my local library. And, you know me, I can’t resist a little magic here and there.

Sorcerer to the Crown is a historical fantasy novel (YES PLEASE), set in an alternate reality 19th-century England. I bloody love books set in old England, for whatever reason. While the book was difficult to get into at first, I soon found myself spending every waking moment devouring each page of this book. Diverse characters, badass women and magic that doesn’t feel completely farfetched or forced? Sign me up for more.

Pick up a copy here.

What have you been reading lately? Leave me your recommendations, because I am so easily influenced goddammit and you’ll certainly feature in my next instalment!

Did you catch last night’s late night Sundaze update? Read it here.

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