I haven’t been too prompt about recording my reads this year (in that I haven’t done any round up posts at all). But in the spirit of getting things back on track, and of blogging every day this month, I thought I’d start with the first two months of the year.
The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie
My first read of the year was another Agatha Christie – I’m trying to read all of the Poirot books as part of my 37 Before 37 challenge – and this is the second in the series. I’ve read it before, but it’s not my favourite. I don’t think it’s a classic Christie – fine to read as part of the series, but the mystery itself didn’t excite me at all.
One Day in December by Josie Silver
I’d intended on this being a Christmas read, having seen it generate a fair amount of buzz at the end of last year (it was picked as one of Reese Witherspoon’s book club reads). I ended up not finishing it until into the new year, because it didn’t really float my boat. It’s a romance that is largely set around Christmas over a few years, with the main character falling in love with someone she sees from the window of a bus. When she fails to find out who he is, she largely gives up on ever meeting him, until her best friend and roommate brings home her new boyfriend, and it’s him. It’s not that it’s a hokey plot that I really objected to, rather the writing and the characters that failed to set it alight for me.
This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps
I’ve been wanting to read Busy Philipps’ book since it was published, and I still want to buy it so it can sit in all its pink glory on my bookshelf. But I ended up downloading it on my Kindle when it was on sale for 99p earlier in the year, and I’m glad I did! It was exactly what I’d come to expect from her having followed her career since the early days of Dawson’s Creek (I know, I’m a latecomer compared to those Freaks and Geeks fans). This book is everything you’ve come to expect from Busy Philipps if you follow her on Instagram – she’s honest and frank, but ever so slightly stand-offish. Like, she’s happy to tell you some things, but she’s also famous and cool, and has famous and cool friends, and while you can hear the stories, she’s not going to let you all the way in. And that’s fine – it’s still an entertaining look into a long career.
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
I had never heard of Alice Oseman until I had seen this book being hailed as amazing (I know, I do not have my finger on any kind of pulse), so I reserved it at the library. I then read it in about 23 minutes (it’s a graphic novel), and absolutely loved it. It’s quite simply the story of two teenage boys who fall in love, and it’s beautiful and real and lovely. Having read this, I then immediately went in search of other Alice Oseman stories I could devour…
I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman
This was available to me on the Libby app, which I have access to thanks to my Suffolk Libraries card (I love having two library cards). It’s a boyband/groupie story, which I have to confess to having a soft spot for, but it has such a beautifully diverse cast of characters, setting it apart from most of the others I have read. Angel Rahimi is a young Muslim woman who is a huge fan of The Ark, a pop-rock group made up of three dreamy young men. Being a part of the fandom gives her a sense of belonging, and the story covers both her friendship with Juliet, another fan, and band member Jimmy’s struggles with anxiety as he comes to terms with his fame. It’s really a wonderful book!