Oh dear. You know you’ve got rather behind with blog posts when you are publishing a July round up post in the last week of August! Without further ado, here are the books I read in July.
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena *
I absolutely loved this book; you can read my full review of it here. It tells the story of a young married couple whose baby is kidnapped while they are next door at a neighbour’s dinner party. I expected it to deal with the public shaming of the parents for having left the baby alone while they socialised, but it was much more of a domestic thriller, with the ready privy to the innermost thoughts of both of them as they come to terms with what has happened. It’s a definite page-turner; I saw someone reading it on the train the other day and she had that fevered expression that only comes when you are a couple of chapters from the end of a book that you simply have to finish!
Blame by Simon Mayo *
I know most people probably don’t think that I can be unbiased about a book by my favourite radio DJ, but I can. I think. It just so happens that I have really liked everything he has written so far. Blame is a Young Adult novel set in the near future, when heritage crime laws have been passed – children can now be prosecuted, and sent to ‘family prisons’, for the crimes of their parents and grandparents. It’s a really interesting look at the consequences of extreme politics, with society blaming anyone they can think of for what’s wrong with the world. You can read my full review of Blame here.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Well it’s Harry Potter season again, and I had been re-reading the first book for a while before finishing it last month. I did a full rewatch of the films, and spent a lot of time saying “In the book…” to my friend who has never read them. So I thought it was time for a re-read, and I decided to download the enhanced iBooks versions, as my actual books are still at my dad’s house. I wasn’t terribly enamoured with the ‘enhanced-ness’ of them, they just had a few animated illustrations, and the odd extra piece of Pottermore information. But it’s Harry Potter, so of course I enjoyed it.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne
Well it’s Harry Potter season again… I bought this the day it came out, and read it in 90 minutes. Partly out of nostalgia for the days when I would queue at midnight for a new Harry Potter book and be finished with it by lunchtime the next day (only to flip straight back to page one and start again), but mostly because it’s a play, and it only took me that long to read. I really liked it – I kind of understand the negativity towards it, but I think it’s really important to acknowledge that you are reading a script, something that is meant to be experienced on stage rather than on the page. I’m probably never going to see it performed, but I loved being back in the company of beloved characters, so it gets a thumbs up from me.
Songs About a Girl by Chris Russell
I bought Songs About a Girl having seen Chris Russell on a panel at YALC, talking about music in YA fiction. He was quite delightful, and he piqued my interest about this novel – the story of a teenager who is asked along to take backstage photos of the biggest boyband in the world, and ends up entangled in ways that are not just professional. It’s an enjoyable novel, and it’s clear throughout that Russell has experience of both life as a musician (he’s in a band), and life behind the scenes with a boyband (he’s worked for the One Direction fanclub). Also, he complimented both my glasses and my t-shirt at YALC when he signed my book, and he seems like a charming man, so he has my vote.
Books in 2016 – 30
*Books marked with a star have been provided by the publisher for review purposes