READING LIST | EVERY BOOK I'VE READ THIS YEAR.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

If you've been following this blog for a while, you may have noticed I have a thing for making lists about pretty much everything. I mean hey, in the long run I'm sure it will help keep my memory strong and it's always nice to look back on the things you've done/accomplished in life. Watching lots of movies may not be a major accomplishment but at least when I get asked for movie recommendations I can just direct you to this movie review list. Here on the other hand, we'll be talking all about books. This is more of a post to keep a tab on the books I have read, and when it comes to reviewing them I don't think I could provide a long winded post, so these short blurbs will suffice!

they both die at the end

1. One of Us Is Lying 

Genre: Thriller/YA
Rating: 7/10
Blurb: I'm glad this is being turned into a movie because I have a fantasy crush on bad boy Nate. This book was like a mash between The Breakfast Club and Pretty Little Liars. 5 high school students all get sent to detention and then one of them dies from a peanut allergy, ooooOooo.

FQ: “I don't know why it's so hard for people to admit that sometimes they're just assholes who screw up because they don't expect to get caught.”


2. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Genre: Drama/Comedy
Rating: 8/10
Blurb: This book had me feeling all sorts of things. It was funny, yet you can't help but feel sorry for the main character and then feel all warm inside when things start looking better for her.

FQ: “These days, loneliness is the new cancer – a shameful, embarrassing thing, brought upon yourself in some obscure way. A fearful, incurable thing, so horrifying that you dare not mention it; other people don’t want to hear the word spoken aloud for fear that they might too be afflicted, or that it might tempt fate into visiting a similar horror upon them.”

3. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier 

Genre: period drama/mystery
Rating: 7.5/10
Blurb: This was the second book I'd read by Daphne Du Maurier and they both have the same eerie story line (Rebecca being the other). I wanted to read this as I saw there was a movie adaptation and the storyline intrigued me - (guy falls in love with his dead cousins widow). In this case I have to agree, the book was better than the movie, despite it starring the beautiful Sam Clafflin.

FQ: “A man’s jealousy is like a child’s, fitful and foolish, without depth. A woman’s jealousy is adult, which is very different.”

4. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena 

Genre: Thriller
Rating: 7/10
Blurb: I love a good psychological thriller, and this was a pretty decent one. There were some twists thrown in that I did see coming, but overall it was a good read that I got through pretty quickly. The book revolves around a young couple that get their baby stolen whilst they're at a dinner party next door.

FQ: “Nobody makes that much money without taking advantage of somebody. It's much easier to make money if you don't care who you hurt. If you have scruples, it's much harder to get rich.”

5. It Only Happens in Movies by Holly Bourne

Genre: Comedy/Romance
Rating: 8/10
Blurb: I really enjoyed this book, for the most part I felt like me and the main character were the same person. Audrey is a high school gal who like most of us, has had enough of the hollywood love cliches, until she meets Harry (who in my head I pictured to be Harry Styles). It's a funny story which follows what most love stories are really like, kind of expectation vs reality. The author also includes a bit at the end sharing her favourite 'movies about real relationships' and I'm happy 500 Days of Summer made the cut.

FQ: “Love isn't just a feeling. Love is a choice too. And you may not be able to help your feelings, but you are responsible for the choices you make about what to do with them.”

6. This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Genre: Drama/YA
Rating: 7/10
My Blurb: I read this whole book whilst waiting for my mum to shop for groceries and a mattress in Spain. The book tells the story from 5 different perspectives during a school shooting. This has had a lot of mixed reviews as it's such a sensitive topic in light of everything that has been happening in America. I liked the diversity of the protagonists - there were lesbians, POC and they were not particularly stereotyped. It was an intense read but also shows the acts of courage and compassion that occur in these horrible situations.

FQ: “You can't always keep your loved ones with you. You can't always settle your life in one place. The world was made to change. But as long as you cherish the memories and make new ones along on the way, no matter where you are, you'll always be at home.”

7. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera 

Genre: Romance/Sci-Fi
Rating: 8/10
My Blurb: I finished this book last night and was on the verge of tears (although I felt like the ending was going to be sadder than it was). I was half way through this book on the plane and had to stop cause I felt it was going to get sadder and I had no tissues on the plane to wipe away my mascara. The story centres around two teenage boys who both get an alert from 'Death Cast' letting them know they are going to die at some point today and they meet each other via a 'Last Friend' app and both go off to live their last day 'to the fullest'. I think this book got to me a bit because it's crazy to think we could suddenly die, at any moment, and I did ask myself the question whether I would want to know when my last day on earth was or if that would make matters worse. What are your thoughts on this?

FQ: “There has to be more to life than just imagining a future for yourself. I can't just wish for the future; I have to take risks to create it.”


8. How To Stop Time by Matt Haig

Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Rating: 7/10
My Blurb: This is the first book I read about time-travelling at to be honest, he could have spoken about some more interesting things he witnessed. He only brushed over meeting Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald! There were a lot of words of wisdom about life in this book, although I didn't particularly like the modern love story he had going on, it kind of came out of nowhere.

FQ: “That's the thing with time, isn't it? It's not all the same. Some days - some years - some decades - are empty. There is nothing to them. It's just flat water. And then you come across a year, or even a day, or an afternoon. And it is everything. It is the whole thing.”

9. My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander Smith

Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Rating: 6.5/10
My Blurb:  I picked up this book in the library because I thought it would be an interesting read about Italy and because I had booked my flight to Milan that week I was in that mindset. It was sorta funny, but fell short when it came to the romance part. Paul Stewart heads to the Italian town of Montalcino to finish his book after going through a break up. After landing, he discovers his hired car is nowhere to be found, and then he spends the rest of the time drinking wine and befriending old men it seems.

FQ: “That is why the artist will always be happy—no matter how the world treats him. If he knows that what he creates is good, then he can bear the indifference of others.”

10. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Genre: YA/Romance
Rating: 7.5/10
My Blurb: I was excited to read this as it had been so long since I last read a John Green book. It always amazes me (and freaks me out a bit) at how well he writes from the POV of a teenage girl. The book centres around sixteen-year-old Aza, who suffers from anxiety and OCD and embarks on a mission to solve the mystery of a billionaire's disappearance with her best friend. She begins getting romantically involved with the billionaire's son but soon finds her mental illness keeps getting in the way of her relationship progressing.

FQ: “I was beginning to learn that your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell.”


11. A Summer at Sea by Katie Fjord

Genre: Romance
Rating: 6.5/10 
My Blurb: An easy beach read but I feel like everything happened really quick so you didn't get to grow to like many of the characters. Emily is a midwife who takes a sabbatical to go and work on her friends boat in Scotland, and even though she's happily single and childless, she comes across a man who may change her outlook on things. I feel like she was on the boat for all of 2 minutes because the 'scenes' jumped so fast, I think they spent the majority of this book eating cake and drinking tea.

12. The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

Genre: Thriller
Rating: 8/10
My Blurb: When I saw the title I thought it was going to be a book about an old man who kept butterflies and told tales and shiz. It couldn't have been further from that, and is in fact a book about a man (The Gardener) who kidnaps women, tattoos them with butterflies and holds them captive in his garden. The story shifts between the interrogation room where one of the survivors is telling the FBI what happened, and between her being in the garden. I gave myself a week to finish this because I'd taken out two books from the library for the fortnight, but finished it in 3 evenings! Kept me wanting to read more and was worth sacrificing sleep over. It was a uniquely crafted book that touches upon a lot of taboo subjects and as dark and twisted as it was, also shows how it is possible for women to come together and support each other.

FQ: “Some people stay broken. Some pick up the pieces and put them back together with all the sharp edges showing.” 

13. All The Dirty Parts by Daniel Handler

Genre: YA
Rating: 5.5/10
My Blurb: Essentially this is a book about a 17 year old boy who is addicted to sex, and his thought processes. I was intrigued and thought it was going to be a lot deeper than it was. I didn't like that there was a new 'chapter' every couple of lines, it made it confusing and no story line ever evolved enough to pull me in. I did finish it in one afternoon at the beach, so it couldn't have been that terrible, but could have been a lot better.

FQ: "Put it this way: if you can't see the complication, you're probably it.”

14. The Roses of May by Dot Hutchison 

Genre: Thriller
Rating: 6.5/10
My Blurb: I had high hopes for this because I enjoyed the first one in the series so much, but something didn't have me turning the pages as quick as with The Butterfly Garden. I feel like there were so many characters and POV at the beginning that it was easy to get lost with who was who and who was telling the story. I thought there would be more connecting this book to the first but to be honest it's probably something you could read without having read the first.

FQ: “How do you put yourself back together when the pieces permanently lost are the only reasons anyone's looking at you?”


15. Kill Your Friends by John Niven

Genre: Humour/Contemporary
Rating: 6.5/10
My Blurb: I feel like this book would have been a lot funnier if there wasn't a f*cking swearword in every other line. Like seriously, I feel like I had to wash my mouth out with soap after reading this. Steven Stelfox works at a music label and will do anything it takes to climb up the career ladder, including killing his friends. It's based in the 90s and 80% of the book revolves around sex, drugs and rock n roll. I definitely got American Psycho vibes, if it were set in Britain.

FQ: “As someone who makes their living from anticipating, from shaping, the tastes of millions of tasteless morons, you have to tell yourself that the things you feel are universal, that the things you think and feel are thought and felt by millions of other people.”


16. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon 

Genre: Romance/YA
Rating: 7/10
My Blurb: Aw this book was cute, and actually made me chuckle with some of Rishi's lines, which doesn't happen to me often when reading. I like that even though this book was a romance it doesn't put falling in love above everything else (your friends, family or your career). Dimple attends a summer tech school programme in order to get a head start on her career in computing, whereas Rishi attends because his parents have 'arranged' for them both to be married and has gone to meet her, except she has no idea both their parents have put this plan together. This book is a great example on how you (women)  don't need to choose between having a career and a love life - you can do both

FQ: “This is our life. We get to decide the rules. We get to say what goes and what stays, what matters and what doesn’t.”


17. Perfect Remains by Helen Sarah Fields

Genre: Thriller/Crime
Rating: 7.5/10
My Blurb: I always find I read thrillers a lot quicker than, romance novels for example. Probably because I actually want to find out what happens next and then start skim reading when they're talking about the colour of trees for 5 lines - I JUST WANT YOU TO CATCH THE MURDERER. I liked that even though there was one main storyline (a professor who kidnaps women and tortures them) there was also other mini investigations going on throughout. For some reason I imagined the protagonist (Detective Luc Callanach) to look like Richard Madden, so that made for a nice addition too.

FQ: “It was the human condition: the need to know the worst, the destructive desire to see how it feels when you hit rock bottom.”


18. Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Genre: Drama/Young Adult
Rating: 8/10
My Blurb: I read this really quickly and when I was reading it I felt like I could picture all the characters and scenarios so easily. It tells the story of a teenage girl who allegedly killed a baby. She then falls pregnant whilst in a group home and wants to reopen the case to prove her innocence. There of course is a twist, and the last two pages had me like oh daaaamn. I've heard they're also going to be making this into a movie.

FQ: “What you may or may not’ve done is not the definition of who you really are.”


19. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Genre: Romance/Young Adult
Rating: 8/10
My Blurb: This book was very relatable - I think anyone who's already lived their teenage years will find themselves agreeing to some of the main characters' struggles in this book. From having a crush on someone who doesn't like you back, to coming to terms with your sexuality or never feeling like you're quite good enough.

FQ: “But it's not quite so raw. You know, when you're seventeen, everything feels like the end of the world. Or the beginning of the world. And that's an awesome thing.”


20. History is all you left me by Adam Silvera

Genre: YA/Romance
Rating: 6.5/10
My Blurb: I thought I was going to like this book more than I did. It felt a bit cheesy to me and I didn't really feel a deep connection to the characters and it felt like everyone was just falling in love with each other. It's told from the point of view of Griffin, who is grieving his ex boyfriends (Theo) death and becomes close to the partner Theo had after him. 

FQ: “I guess people reveal different parts of themselves to different people.”



21. Leah on the OffBeat by Becky Albertalli 

Genre: YA/Romance 
Rating: 7/10
My Blurb: This book is a sequel to 'Love, Simon' and so the whole time I was reading this it was easy to picture the characters, although for me that made Leah slightly more annoying as she is played by Katherine Langford (Hanna Baker from 13 Reasons Why) and her attitude is a bit eh (in both things). It follows her story of falling in love with one of her female friends and all the ups and downs that come with high school and going away to college. Cute read, but probably would have enjoyed it more when I was 18 and heading to university myself. 

FQ: “Imagine going about your day knowing someone’s carrying you in their mind. That has to be the best part of being in love- the feeling of having a home in some else’s brain.”


22. Good as Gone by Amy Gentry

Genre: Mystery
Rating: 6.5/10
My Blurb: The plot of this book had great potential. A 13 year old girl gets abducted from her house at night and then shows up on her mums doorstep claiming to be Julie, but something doesn't add up. This book was confusing because it kept jumping between past and present and there was about 10 different character names for the same person, so at one point it was hard to distinguish (or remember) the relationships and timeline.

FQ: “I’d always hated the thought that no one could ever know what anyone else was feeling or thinking. The fact that no one could ever be inside my head with me seemed like the loneliest thing in the world”

23. The Break-Down by BA Paris

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Rating: 7/10
My Blurb: I felt like the more I got into this book the more I felt myself going crazy along with the main character. On her way home from a storm Cass passes by a woman who has pulled over on the side of the road. She doesn't stop to help and then the next morning she is found dead. Paranoia and guilt starts playing havoc with her mind and on top of that she's worried she's got early signs of dementia. The question is, is her paranoia real or is someone actually messing with her head? OoooO (I don't want to give too much away!)

FQ: “Rachel, people don’t commit murder over a parking space!’ ‘I’m sure people have been murdered for less,”


24. The Hanging Club by Tony Parsons 

Genre: Crime/Thriller
Rating: 8/10
My blurb: I actually really enjoyed this book. I've come to realise I prefer British crime novels a lot more to the American ones - maybe they're just a tad more realistic. This book follows detective Max Wolfe as he tries to catch the group responsible for killing several men (a rapist, a drunk driver, and a thief). I enjoyed the writing style and I had to stop myself from reading all of it during my outbound flight just because then I'd have nothing to read on the way back!

FQ: “Do you know what the biggest lie in the world is? That everything happens for a reason. It's not true. Some things are totally without reason. Some things - the things that hurt the most - are totally meaningless. Some things make no sense and will never make sense.”


If you're a person who judges a book by its cover, head to my TeaWithGi Instagram account where I have a 'moment' dedicated to all the books I have read. 


G

16 comments

  1. Since starting sixth form I haven't found as much time to read, but I really want to get back into it in the summer holidays! I love the sound of it only happens in movies!
    Aleeha xXx
    https://www.halesaaw.co.uk/

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  2. Okay, thank you for listening books that actually look very interesting!!! I have been wanting to read something these days but I haven't had anything that really jumps out at me so these titles are much appreciated.

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    1. thank you! I've been trying to loan books from the library instead of purchasing them so deffo don't have the newest selection aha! x

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  3. I'm currently reading Eleanor Oliphant is completley fine!

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  4. I haven't read any of these! I definitely need to pick a couple up to add to my reading list x

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  5. I read Eleanor Oliphant is Absolutely Fine after seeing so many rave reviews in the blogging community! It also gave me ALL THE FEELS and I thoroughly enjoyed it - in fact I have a review of my own going up very soon! I received a mini sample copy of the first chapter of It Only Happens in the Movies and I really enjoyed it, I definitely need to pick up the full book! I hope you're enjoying all of your reading!

    Abbey xx

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    1. it took me a couple of chapters to get into it but then I was hooked, as it usually happens aha! xx

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  6. I haven’t read any of these but they all sound right up my street! I’ve heard so much about the Eleanor Oliphant and My cousin Rachel books and I really want to give them a read! X

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  7. It's been a while since I've read a book but I'm going to keep your list in mind. I'm already liking the cover of the book you've posted haha xx

    amerzwithlove.com

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  8. Wow you read so much! I haven't finished more than 2-3 books this year, and those because of uni :D

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  9. I'm currently reading Eleanor Oliphant and thought that it got off to a slow start but I'm loving it right now! I'm trying to read more and will definitely be looking into the rest of these!
    Sophie - https://sophiehearts.net x

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  10. I really need to make more time for reading and spend less time scrolling twitter! Some of these books sound so good, and I'm particularly intrigued by They Both Die At The End. I also want to read Eleanor Oliphant - my friend was reading it over the weekend and kept laughing/gasping at places!!

    Cordelia || cordeliamoor.com

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  11. I haven't had enough time to read recently but this post gave me motivation to read more.

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  12. I never have enough time to read. But I am trying to spend less time in front of screens and get back into reading. I have only read number 2 so thankyou for the recommendations I have added 5 and 12 to by amazon cart!

    abbiejadewanders.co.uk

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  13. I really enjoyed The Couple Next Door - so much I bought more books by the same author straight away! I read a whole one on one train journey haha.

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  14. I really struggle to get into reading! I have a list that I am working through but I just struggle to concentrate! I am currently reading The Alchemist (which isnt a long book at all) and I've been reading little bits over a few weeks. How do you get through so many books!!

    I think I need to implement social media bans haha!


    Hayley | hayleyxmartin

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