Can you believe it’s been over a year since I last posted mini book reviews?! Wow, where does the time go?!?! I’ve written a few short reviews of some of the books I’ve read during the last few months so I’ll finally share them with you today!
If you’re planning a sunny getaway in the near future, I’d recommend taking a copy of Fortune with you. Fortune is the perfect book for reading on the beach or by the pool – it’s a light read that you can easily finish in a day or two. Megan Cole’s debut novel centres on a group of 3 girls (Madison from New York, Sapphire from London, and Simonetta from Rome) who are invited to Capri under the pretence of a music mogul’s 50th birthday party. They soon find out the real reason for this surprise trip, and it changes their lives forever…
Fortune is a bit predictable in parts – what else would you expect from teen chick-lit?! – but there were a couple of twists towards the end that I didn’t see coming at all. The three girls are all very different: Sapphire is an ordinary uni student with a passion for music; Simonetta is an aspiring model who longs to break free from her family; and Madison is a socialite. Sapphire would have to be my favourite character in Fortune. She’s less superficial than Simonetta and Madison, and doesn’t see everything as a competition. Simonetta and Madison could be absolutely infuriating at times! While Simonetta is arrogant and never stands up for Sapphire when Madison is tormenting her, I did start to like her a little bit more as the book progressed, especially after I found out the reasons behind her actions.
2. The Toymakers
The Toymakers is sure to a be a hit amongst fans of The Night Circus and Caraval. It’s a mesmerising book about magic, love, friendship, betrayal and the complex relationship between brothers. I found myself glued to the pages, fully immersed in Robert Dinsale’s fantastic storytelling. I especially loved the vivid descriptions of Papa Jack’s Emporium – I’ve always been fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes in toyshops – as well as the patchwork dogs and toy soldiers that come to life. As a fan of books in which the past is interwoven with the present, I was drawn to both Papa Jack’s history in the war and the story of Cathy’s new life at the Emporium, including her relationship with the two brothers. All in all, The Toymakers is a spellbinding novel that all ages will fall in love with and want to read over and over again.
3. Five Feet Apart
As a fan of books like The Fault in Our Stars and Everything Everything, as well as Justin Baldoni, Haley Lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse, I just had to read Five Feet Apart before watching the film. Five Feet Apart is a brilliant novel about two teenagers called Stella and Will who meet in a hospital and can’t seem to stay away from each other. However, there is a slight problem: both Stella and Will have cystic fibrosis, which means that they are unable to come within six feet of each other without seriously jeopardising their health. Stella decides that since cystic fibrosis has taken so much away from her, she is going to take one thing back, and the two teens agree to stay five feet apart instead of six, hence the title of the book.
The ‘sick kid’ subgenre of young adult fiction has become hugely popular in the last decade, and after reading several books about teenagers with terminal illnesses you’d think I’d be bored of it. However, since I enjoyed Five Feet Apart, this seems to not be the case. Five Feet Apart is a bittersweet story and I was invested in Stella and Will from the start. Stella and Will have wonderful chemistry and I really felt for them. I could understand their frustration at having to spend the majority of their lives in hospital and not being able to do the same things as other teenagers.
4. I Owe You One
As an avid fan of Sophie Kinsella, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her latest book I Owe You One. Kinsella has been one of my favourite authors since I read the first book in the Shopaholic series as a teenager, and I could never grow tired of reading her books. The characters are always relatable and do ridiuclous things that make it hard not to like them. In I Owe You One, Kinsella writes with such ease and it’s impossible not to root for the protagonist Fixie. Although Fixie is a bit of a doormat and lets people push her around, especially her siblings, she grows over the course of the novel and is able to save her family’s shop from potential disaster while her mother is away. I also liked how Fixie realised that the guy she thought was “perfect” actually wasn’t all that and ended up with the man who genuinely cared for her and treated her well.
Of course, I Owe You One isn’t without its faults. I do think Sophie Kinsella could’ve mentioned more about Fixie’s past and why she is so intent on fixing everyone else’s problems.
Overall, I Owe You One is a fun and enjoyable read that will make you laugh out loud and swoon over the love interests. It’s just what I expected from a Sophie Kinsella novel and more.
5. How to be Famous
Caitlin Moran is back with How to be Famous, the hilarious follow-up to How to Build a Girl. How to Be Famous was inspired by the #MeToo movement and follows Johanna as she deals with the aftermath of a sex tape that goes viral.
Johanna is a fantastic protagonist that I couldn’t help but root for. She has matured quite a bit since coming to London and is determined to changes the double standards within the music industry. At the same time, Johanna is still young and has a lot to learn, about herself and the music industry. Johanna is also eager to escape her father, who comes down to London in the hope of free accommodation.
How to be Famous is a witty and empowering novel that will make you giggle a lot and cringe during some of the more crude scenes. It’s a story about 90s Britpop, hedonism, and the downfalls of working in music. I’d highly recommend checking it out – How to be Famous works well as a standalone so you don’t need to read How to Build a Girl first (but it would be a shame if you didn’t).
So those are my reviews of some of the books I’ve enjoyed recently! I’d love to know what books you’d recommend!