Monday, 13 September 2021

What I Read In June, July & August

 I didn't plan on leaving it so long since my last blog post but I've just really not felt like writing anything recently and since 2021 started, I've really found myself pulling away from blogging. I don't want to just stop as there are still things I like to share but I do feel very differently about it now and I can't see myself ever going back to blogging several times a week like I used to. One thing I do want to keep up with, even if they are less frequent, is my reading roundups. When I read a lot in one go, I share them monthly but as you might have noticed from the lack of posts, I've really slowed down on the reading front so there's been no books to talk about! I've ended up combining my thoughts on the books I read in June, July and August so here they are.

Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane - ⭐⭐⭐
I find books by Mhairi McFarlane really hit and miss sometimes. I adored You Had Me At Hello and If I Never Met You but then struggled a lot with Don't You Forget About Me and her most recent book, Last Night. I don't think it helped that I was trying to read this as we were in the middle of moving house as it meant I was only ever getting to read little snippets so it was much harder to get into the story and remember what had happened previously. I really liked the premise of this book though. It follows a group of friends Eve, Justin, Susie and Ed. Eve has been secretly in love with Ed for years but has never told him but then one night a tragic accident happens and their lives change forever. I actually went into this convinced I knew what was going to happen but I was wrong and that is one big positive with this book, it completely threw me and I never guessed how it would end. 

Someone I Used To Know by Paige Toon - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Paige Toon never disappoints. I think there are only one or two of Paige's books that I've given less than 5 stars which is good going for the sheer amount I have read from her. Whilst Someone I Used To Know wasn't my favourite book that's been released so far, there was so much to love about it. This book is about Leah, George and Theo. Then, George is Leah's new foster brother and despite a rocky introduction to the ever growing family, Leah finds herself getting drawn closer to him as time goes on. Theo, the new boy at school that Summer forms a bond with George and Leah that none of them thought would ever be broken. Life doesn't always go to plan though. Now, Leah is back in Yorkshire with a baby girl but Emilie's father Theo isn't with them. George has also just unexpectedly returned. After half a lifetime, can they move on from what happened all those years ago and are the feelings between George and Leah still there? There is always some sort of love triangle in a Paige Toon book so I fully expected that but I didn't find this was as focused on romance as previous books, kind of the only thing that let it down a little. I wanted more from George and Leah when they were younger and then I wanted more when they reconnect all those years later but I think Paige was telling a really important story much more focused on families and fostering and everything that can come with that. I'm sure I'll read this again one day.

Freed (Christian's POV) by E.L. James - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I know the Fifty Shades of Grey series isn't to everyone's taste but I personally really enjoy reading the books. I can't say it's the best writing ever but I like the story and I love the characters so I can get past that. I love that E.L. James has released all three books again, this time from Christian's point of view and I've definitely enjoyed them all much more this time round. I find his perspective much more interesting and a little less cringe! I think Freed has become my favourite and I could definitely see myself re-reading it again one day. 

The Marriage by K.L. Slater - ⭐⭐
More often than not I really enjoy books by K.L. Slater. She's one of my go to authors when I feel like reading a thriller so when I spotted The Marriage for 99p on Kindle, I grabbed it. Unfortunately I didn't particularly enjoy this. Bridget lost her son Jesse when he was 18 due to a fight with his best friend Tom. A tragic accident. 10 years on, Bridget has found it in her heart to forgive Tom and they've formed a closer connection than they could have ever imagined. Friends and family can't understand it but Tom and Bridget decide they want to be together and get married. Quite quickly though Tom's mum starts to worry that there's more to it. Has Bridget got an ulterior motive? I kind of went into this with an idea of where it was going to go and it ended up being quite different which I suppose is a positive really but overall the story just fell flat. It didn't seem like a psychological thriller at all!

The Getaway by Isabelle Broom - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
As soon as I read the synopsis for this months ago, before it was released, I knew it would be my sort of book. The Getaway follows newly single Kate as she travels to Croatia to escape her very normal life. She's just been dumped, can't find a job and needs some time to assess what it is she actually wants. It turns out someone else is feeling the same. Alex is different to any other man Kate has ever known but the connection between them is palpable. It wasn't what she planned but could this trip end up changing her life forever? This took me a little while to get into which surprised me but eventually I ended up absolutely loving it and just waiting until I could pick it up again. I thought Kate was really relatable, I liked Alex and I was just rooting for them the whole way through. This has definitely made me want to visit Croatia one day too!

You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry - ⭐⭐⭐
This was one of those books that seemed to be everywhere last month! Two friends, ten Summer trips, their last chance to fall in love. You and Me on Vacation is about Poppy and Alex. They first met 12 Summers ago. 11 Summers ago they were forced to share a ride home from college and surprisingly by the end of it, a friendship had formed. Each year since then they've gone away but 2 years ago it all went wrong. Trying to reconcile their friendship, Poppy asks Alex to join her on one last trip. This will determine the rest of their lives. I've gotta say I much preferred reading the present chapters rather than the ones set in the past. I know we needed those chapters from previous summers to build up all of the chemistry and the tension but for me nothing could beat the moments when they were back together in the present. This had some amazing moments throughout and I was rooting for Poppy and Alex to finally come clean about their feelings for one another. Whilst overall I didn't absolutely love this, I can see why it's become so popular.

The Mothers by Sarah J.Naughton - ⭐⭐
This has been on my to be read list for absolutely ages but I ended up being really disappointed with it when I finally got round to reading it. The Mothers is about five women who meet at their NCT group. The only thing they have in common is that they're all pregnant. 3 years later though, they've become good friends. Or so we think? Now someone's husband is missing. One of the women knows something but who? This had such a great premise and to be fair it started out really well but eventually it just got confusing. I thought there were too many characters to keep track of and I just found myself having to go back to figure out who was who which isn't really what you want! 

So that's everything I've read over the last few months. Nowhere near as much as I used to be able to get through in a short space of time but life has changed a bit since then and I just can't read book after book like I used to right now! I'd love to know if you've read any of these books, let me know what you thought of them!

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