Monday 2 September 2019

My 2019 Reading Challenge - Update #3

Already months have passed since my last reading update of 2019 - can you believe it's September already?! Not that I'm complaining, the best time of the year is starting and I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER ABOUT IT. Anyway, if you haven't already seen my last two book updates, I set myself a challenge of reading 30 books this year and I've just reached #60 which is kind of insane. I've been putting together little roundups every few months so I thought it was about time for another.
stack of books held up - The Lido, Go To My Grave, The Proposal and Don't You Forget About Me

Let's Meet On Platform 8 by Carole Matthews - ⭐⭐

I've become a bit of a fan of Carole Matthews this year after loving Million Love Songs and With Or Without You but Let's Meet On Platform 8 was not for me at all. I didn't particularly like any of the characters, the story just seemed a bit all over the place and I didn't have that urge to keep picking it up. Bit of a disappointing start to this post!

Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Claire Douglas is practically the queen of thrillers at the moment! I'm thoroughly enjoying getting through all of her books so when I spotted Then She Vanishes for just 99p on Kindle, I bought it straight away. It's only out recently so I didn't know much about it and didn't go into it with any expectations. Like all of Claire's books though, this had me hooked right from the very first page. I just don't know how she gets it so right every time!

The First Time I Saw You by Emma Cooper - ⭐⭐⭐

Ahh I feel so sad saying this disappointed me because a lot of people seem to love it, but it just wasn't for me. The chapters seemed to have random parts thrown in which didn't make any sense to the story and I didn't really connect with any of the characters. It did pick up a little towards the end though and there are some beautiful moments throughout, it just wasn't on par with the majority of books I've read recently.

Friend Request by Laura Marshall - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I'd been keen to read this for a while because I knew that the 2016 film of the same name was loosely based on this so I was intrigued to see just how similar they were. In the end I don't think the book was that scary and I couldn't really find that many similarities to the film either, but I still really enjoyed it. It wasn't the most creepy thriller I've ever read but if that's your sort of book, then it's definitely worth picking up.

Gone by Leona Deakin - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Gone by Leona Deakin had me shook for hours after I finished reading it! It took a missing person story and flipped it completely meaning that the missing people were the ones to fear, something I've never seen in a book before. It was tense throughout, I doubted every character and it had Killing Eve vibes to it which I liked. Couldn't recommend this book enough!

If You Could Go Anywhere by Paige Toon - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Usually with books by Paige Toon, I'm all in within a few pages and I pretty much don't stop until the end. Unfortunately her latest really took me a while to get into. It wasn't until I was about halfway through that I felt things started to pick up, and that was when I really started to connect with Angie and Alessandro. Once I reached that point though I started to really look forward to picking the book up again and I then ended up finishing it so quickly. I think this will be one I re-read in future and maybe I'll love it more second time round. I mean, Paige is still my favourite, I've just preferred some of her previous books to this.
If You Could Go Anywhere by Paige Toon stood up on bookshelf

The Ingredients Of Us by Jennifer Gold - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book massively surprised me and once I finished it, I was just so happy I read it! The main character Elle runs her own bakery and she pretty much bakes her way through her husbands affair. It reminds me very much of the musical Waitress in some ways, so for both those reasons, it was just very me.

Billy and Me & Christmas With Billy & Me by Giovanna Fletcher - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I first read one of Giovanna's books last year, Some Kind Of Wonderful so I've been meaning to pick up some of her older ones ever since. I really hoped I'd love Billy and Me like the book I've just mentioned, and I really, really did. Just the perfect love story with some drama and heartbreak thrown in. I love Giovanna's writing, and the short sequel Christmas With Billy & Me made me just long for Christmas.

Always With Love by Giovanna Fletcher - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I love that there was more for Billy and Sophie. I don't want to spoil anything but for a while it looked like the story was going in a direction I don't think would have really made much sense after everything but luckily this ended up being just as heartfelt as the previous books in the series. I still want more though, there has to be another book in the future.

You by Caroline Kepnes - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I'm actually really glad I watched the TV series before reading this, I think I'd have massively struggled otherwise. The writing style just isn't me and I found it incredibly 'wordy' if that makes any sense! I think because I was so hooked to the show, I went into this expecting to get loads more detail from it and I just didn't. If anything quite important parts are far too short in my opinion. It's such an interesting story though and it's really unlike anything else I've read, it's worth sticking with.

Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Ahh I just adored this! I've been a huge fan of the cast recording to Dear Evan Hansen for a long time so when I spotted this for 99p on Kindle, I grabbed it immediately. This gives so much detail into why Evan is the way he is and why he goes onto do what he does, so now I feel so prepared to go in and see the show once it opens in London. It's so relatable if you suffer with anxiety, parts made me so emotional because I just thought 'that's me' but it was also surprisingly funnier than I expected. This is definitely a contender for my top book of 2019.

You're The One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

When I find an author I like, I go through pretty much every book of theirs! After loving the Billy & Me series, I gave this a go next and whilst I didn't quite feel that same love that I did for her previous books, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm just soppy and like a bit of romance. This was definitely very bittersweet though and I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending. Giovanna is so good at stirring up emotion and I personally think you can just tell that she pours absolutely everything into her work.

The Prison Doctor by Dr Amanda Brown - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I'm a bit weird, I am fascinated by prisons. I don't know what it is but I love reading about them so when I spotted The Prison Doctor for £3.99 on Amazon, I ordered it straight away. This whole book is based on Dr Amanda Brown's time working in various British prisons and I found it so insightful. It's hard to imagine having to be the one caring for people who have committed some of the most horrendous crimes but Amanda seems like such an incredible person. I loved reading about her work and really hope they'll be another book in future when she has retired with more stories to tell!
The Prison Doctor by Amanda Brown held up in front of bookshelf

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon - ⭐⭐⭐

I wanted to love this but I found it quite boring to be honest. It's a murder mystery but unlike any other as the detective and narrator, Christopher, is fifteen and has Asperger's. Because of that the whole book is very matter of fact, and that does make for some funny lines and it's definitely unique, but the story just didn't really make sense to me at times. I know this has had rave reviews so I'm sure I'm in the minority with not being a fan of this.

Don't You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane - ⭐⭐⭐

As I adored You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlane, I had high hopes for her latest release, but I was kind of disappointed. It's sold as a love story but I found there was very little interaction between the two characters who supposedly used to be in love. They're the ones you're meant to root for but so much of it focused on other people that I didn't think were that relevant. I also found sometimes it just took ages to get to the point. What should have taken up 1 page, took up 5 and I just found myself skimming parts.

The Lido by Libby Page - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Just thinking about this book makes me smile! It wasn't like anything I've read recently as it's focused on the friendship between a 26 year old and an 86 year old, and how they come together to try and save their local lido, but I am SO glad I gave it a chance. It's just incredibly heartwarming and I'm already looking forward to going back to the story one day.

The Ex-Girlfriend by Nicola Moriarty - ⭐⭐⭐

Ahh I hate it when the 'twist' that's always advertised on the front ends up being the most obvious thing in the world. I suppose as it's titled 'The Ex-Girlfriend', I thought there would be more to it and it wasn't just a case of a jealous ex wanting her man back, but the plot was so predictable.

Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams - ⭐⭐⭐

I was rooting for this book. It just seemed like my sort of story - it's set in London, it's supposed to be a cheesy love story and usually it's pretty much everything I could want in a book, but I found myself skim reading most of this. I didn't particularly like the main character Nadia and I don't really think there was much suspense between her and Daniel. It just felt like it never really got going. Such a gorgeous cover though.

The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary - ⭐⭐⭐

This actually ended up being one of my biggest disappointments of the year so far and I hate saying that because I know SO many people adore this. Maybe that's why I was disappointed though, there was so much hype around it that I went in with too high expectations. I just didn't connect with the characters and the author's writing style wasn't for me. I stuck with it and I was willing for it to suddenly click with me but it never did. I think the concept is brilliant and I'm sure it would make an amazing film but on paper, it just didn't quite work for me.

Go To My Grave by Catriona McPherson - ⭐⭐

I picked this up on a whim a few weeks ago and I thought the premise sounded great. A group of people all back in the same place something clearly went down years ago, and the idea that one of them won't be making it out alive this time, but it just didn't make sense once I started reading it. Far too many characters to keep up with, none of them likeable and no real clear ending.

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory - ⭐⭐⭐

I didn't go in to this expecting it to be the best book in the world but I was actually pleasantly surprised. I really liked Jasmine's writing style, the characters were fun and quirky and the storyline was just cheesy and not too serious. Was it a book I could have been okay with never reading? Yes. But am I glad I read it? Yes. The word that comes to mind with this, is nice. Worth a read if you like a cheesy romance but it's nothing groundbreaking I suppose.
The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory stood up on bookshelf
So before this post gets any longer, that's the latest list of books I've managed to get through since June. I never expected to end up reading so much in 2019 but I'm loving it and I can't wait to see what number I end on in December.

What books have you loved recently?

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Hannah said...

This is really helpful for someone like me who really wants to get into reading, but has no idea where to start! I've been meaning to read 'You' as I loved the TV series, but it's a shame it's not what you thought it would be. Thanks for sharing xx

Hannah | luxuryblush

Alice In Sheffield said...

Is it terrible that I loved all the ones you hated haha!
I loved flatshare, don't you forget about me and you - I even read the second one and I can't wait for the new series now

jennyinneverland said...

You've had an amazing reading year! I liked Friend Request but I wasn't wowed by it. I didn't know there was a film loosely based on it either. I absolutely loved Curious Incident though. I read that book in like a day!


Lady Writes said...

I'm adding some of these to my list now! x

Heather Nixon said...

I haven't read these but I have a couple on my list x

Sophie said...

I started my reading so strong this year but the pace has slipped a lot over the last few months. I have a copy of the Flatshare and I was so exited t =o read it, I hope I'm not disappointed too x


Joy said...

In also found The Curious Incident boring. Was disappointed after the rave reviews I read.

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