This summer has been incredibly long for me. I’m not complaining, of course, but I finished my first year back in May, and don’t start until the end of September. So, having a good four months off has spurred me on to do some reading. Some books, let’s just say, have been less than thrilling(!), but the following ones I have thoroughly enjoyed. There is a wide range of genres; from detective novels to thrillers to coming-of-age, and I would recommend each one for different reasons.
So, here is my TOP FIVE!
- Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay
David Harwood, a single parent, moves back in with his parents after losing his job at the local Newspaper. When visiting his cousin, who hasn’t mentally recovered from losing her child, he finds her with a a new-born baby. But who does it belong to?
Everything spirals out of control, and if you like fast-paced, ‘I-can’t-put-this-book-down’ kind of reads, this is for you.
Linwood Barclay is my favourite author, and I’ve read all of his books. He uses the same characters, but from different aspects of each story, so it’s familiar to read without them being part of a series. This, I should point out, was not my favourite Barclay book of all time as I believe there were a few times where I felt the story was rushed, but nevertheless, I enjoyed this book a lot and is a fab holiday read.
2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steven Chbosky (again)
So…(ahem)…I’ve read this book three times.
What was that? No, I’m not sad, I promise…
I love this coming-of-age novel about a boy (Charlie) who’s lost in life, an introvert who has ‘spent time in the hospital’. That is, until, he meets kind-hearted and free-spirited Sam and her stepbrother Patrick, who teach him about life, love, music and friendship as he tries to get over his damaged past.
This charming book is written in the form of letters from Charlie to a mystery friend. It’s a good old tear-jerker!
3. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver.
A collection of short stories is the perfect way to read in the evenings. You can pick-and-choose which story you start with and where you end. Carver’s realistic approach to writing about life is refreshing; each story has great characters, some are very much relatable.
My favourite from this collection is I Could See the Smallest Things. Its simplicity leaves room for judgement for the reader to decide the theme and meanings within it. This one is about a woman, Nancy, who cannot sleep, for she can hear the front gate swinging open outside. After some hesitation, she decides to leave her alcoholic husband asleep and fix the problem. Only, when she’s out there, she is met by her neighbour, Sam, who is putting out insecticide to kill the slugs in his front garden. After a small chat Nancy returns to bed, to Sam, before realising she’d left the gate unlocked again.
4. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
This book follows the story of Mia, a seventeen-year-old who is dealing with the loss of her family during a catastrophic road accident. She debates what she fears of losing, and what there is still left for her to live for, and stories from her past leading up to the event come to light.
This easy read, but by no means light-hearted, story is a great summer holiday book. Since it was published, it has been produced into a film (which I still very much need to get my hands on!)
5. The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
This is probably one of the best suspense/thriller books I’ve read! When Ted meets Lily at an airport, they share one too many Martinis and he spills his life out to her, including the fact that he suspects his wife is cheating. After a long talk, Ted jokes that he could kill his wife for what she’s done and, without a flinch, Lily tells him she’d like to help.
Oh, and there’s a twist at the end, but I won’t ruin it! I do love a story with an unexpected ending.
And those are my top five! I must take a second to highlight a couple of other books that I’ve read recently which definitely deserve a mention; The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is popular for a reason – what a rollercoaster ride that was! And I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh is very cleverly written; I loved reading every page of it.
What have been your favourite books this summer? I’d love to hear some suggestions for the Autumn!