Since I am a bit behind with book reviews, I thought I’d clump the last ten books I’ve read together and do mini reviews instead. I’ve read quite a mixture of books recently, including historical, YA and fantasy.
1. All the Bright Places
All the Bright Places is a brilliant book. It’s emotional, touching, and even humorous in parts. All the Bright Places is told in first person, from the point of view of the two main characters, Theodore Finch and Violet Markey. I was able to connect with both characters, and I could really understand their feelings and emotions. We meet Theodore and Violet at the top of their school’s bell tower, and they are both considering jumping off. Fortunately, even though they are both going through a difficult time, the teenagers decide that this isn’t a very good idea. While Violet is still dealing with the death of her older sister Eleanor, Theodore is obsessed with death. Although All the Bright Places has been compared to The Fault in Our Stars, they are two completely different novels. It is true that there has been an abundance of YA books about mental / terminal illnesses during the last few years, but All the Bright Places is unique. I’d definitely recommend it.
2. Romiette and Julio
I finally got round to reading Romiette and Julio not too long ago. While Romiette and Julio is a decent book, and an interesting take on the classic Romeo and Juliet tale, I’ll have to say that I wasn’t really a fan of the insta-love. I also thought that the Devildog’s motives for hating Romiette and Julio were a bit unrealistic. That being said, I did enjoy the book overall. Both Romiette and Julio are likeable protagonists, and the secondary characters Destiny and Ben are great too.
3. Sister, Missing
It’s been years since I read Girl, Missing, so I can’t really remember that much, but nevertheless that didn’t stop me from enjoying Sister, Missing. The second book in Sophie McKenzie’s captivating trilogy picks up two years after Girl, Missing. Lauren is on holiday with her birth family and everything seems fine until one her younger sisters disappears. Could it be possible that Lauren’s own kidnapper is back and wants revenge?
Sister, Missing is an intense thriller, full of many unexpected twists and turns. I was hooked from the very first page. However, I did find this book a bit repetitive and frustrating at times. Nevertheless, Sophie McKenzie is a fantastic author, and I will be reading the last book in the series, Missing Me, at some point in the near future.
4. The Looking Glass House
This book had been sitting on my shelves for quite a while, until I finally got round to reading it over the Christmas holidays (I know, this review is very late!). I’m glad I did. The Looking Glass House is a beautifully-written book, and I couldn’t put it down. The Looking Glass House focuses on Alice Liddell, the girl who inspired Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The story is set in Oxford in 1862, when Alice and her two sisters Edith and Ina receive a new governess, Mary Prickett. Mary becomes fascinated by Charles Dodgson, a friend of the Liddell family. Charles has an unusual relationship with Alice, that might be frowned upon in the twenty-first century, and tells her stories of a mysterious place called Wonderland. While I did enjoy The Looking Glass House, I found it somewhat disturbing. Nevertheless, it is an original book, and I would recommend it to fans of Alice in Wonderland and historical fiction.
5. How to Build a Girl
How to Build a Girl is the comedian Caitlin Moran’s forth book. It follows teenager Johanna Morigan, who is loosely based on Caitlin Moran. Johanna decides to reinvent herself as Dolly Wilde after being humiliated on TV and becomes a journalist in attempt to save her family from poverty. How to Build a Girl is a hilarious and rude coming-of-age novel, and I whizzed through it.
6. Me Before You
This book is truly beautiful. I was in tears throughout! I have just one criticism of this book and that is the ending – I was really hoping it wouldn’t end the way it did, but unfortunately it did!
I loved this musical so much that I saw it twice! I picked up the book in a charity shop in York as I’d finished my dissertation and didn’t have any leisure books on me. Wicked focuses on the Wicked Witch of the East from the Wizard of Oz, hence the name. It’s written by Gregory Maguire, who is famous for his retellings of classic fairy tales, including Snow White and Cinderella. Wicked follows Elphaba from her birth until Dorothy lands in Oz several years later. During the book, we find out why Elphaba becomes so ‘wicked’ and we end up feeling sorry for her. Definitely one for fans of Wizard of Oz and the musical Wicked, though be warned that the book is quite long and it does take a while to get into.
8. Royal Wedding
This book came out last summer but I only got the chance to read it this summer. The Princess Diaries was one of my favourite book series as a teenager, and I’m so glad Meg Cabot decided to release a new book – Mia is such a likeable character! In Royal Wedding, Michael whisks Mia off to an exotic Caribbean island and proposes to her. Though Royal Wedding is targeted towards older audiences, young fans of The Princess Diaries will still enjoy it.
9. Nineteen Minutes
Nineteen Minutes is the second book I’ve read by Jodi Picoult (the first being My Sister’s Keeper), and it hopefully won’t be the last. Nineteen Minutes focuses on the aftermath of a high school shooting, which was orchestrated by a teenage boy (called Peter). As with My Sister’s Keeper, Nineteen Minutes focuses on how several people have been affected by one single event. Examples include Peter’s mother Lacy, the judge Alex, and her daughter Josie, who was Peter’s childhood friend. Nineteen Minutes deals with grief and the effects of bullying. I was able to sympathise with Peter, even though the crime he committed was so atrocious.
10. The Other Boleyn Girl
The Other Boleyn another book that had been sitting on my shelves for ages before I finally got the chance to read it after handing in my dissertation. I’d been meaning to read it for a while, but other commitments, and books, got in the way. For those of you who don’t know, The Other Boleyn Girl is a historical book set during the Tudor period. It focuses on Anne Boleyn’s less well-known sister, Mary. Though The Other Boleyn Girl is a fairly long book, at over 500 pages, and I knew what was coming at the end, I found it really intriguing. It was fascinating finding out more about how Anne Boleyn and Henry were like as people. Jane is also a relatable character in that she spends her time trying to please other people and meet their expectations. I have yet to see the film, but I doubt it’s anywhere near as good as the book, though it does have a great cast (including Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Juno Temple).
Have you read any of the books in this post? What did you think of them? Have you watched Wicked the Musical or the film version of The Other Boleyn Girl? How do they compare to the books? Let me know in the comments!