Wednesday 8 July 2015

What I read in June for Paperback Summer

Usually I average about 10 books a month, so roughly two a week, but this month I was one short due to a couple of books taking longer to read than usual and one book that I didn't overly enjoy. There is also an additional book added here that wasn't on my original list and that was Fire Colour One.

1. Only We Know by Simon Packman
This was such surprisingly refreshing read. It focuses on Lauren who has had to move schools under some very mysterious circumstances. We get the impression that she has done something terrible as she doesn't want anyone to know who she really is. Full of unexpected twists and turns, this book tackles a genre that I am hoping to see more of in fiction.

2. Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine
I received this book as was thrilled to be chosen to be one of the reviewers for Maximum Pop. If you don't know who they are, check out their awesome website here. Fire Colour One is one of those stories that has a unique way with dealing with real life issues. Iris's estranged Father Ernest unexpectedly gets in touch with her who is dying. Iris lives with her Mother who makes her call her Hannah and only agrees to let Iris see him if he makes it worth her while. This is a brilliant story about relationship and of course fire, that even though doesn't have much of a plot, will compel you to read on and keep you thinking about it for ages after.

3. A Man Called Ove by Frederick Backman
I had the absolute pleasure of meeting the ever so nice Frederick Backman earlier in June and was able to interview him and get my book signed. I can honestly say I adored this book. Ove appears to be a grumpy old man on the outside, but actually he is really lonely. This was a warm, funny, but very moving story about love and loss and finding happiness in unlikely places.

4. A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman
I absolutely loved Sarah's debut When God Was A Rabbit, so was so excited when I heard her second was coming out. This was typically Sarah's style, written in her own, unique way which I really liked but isn't for all. This is wonderfully magical story centred around 89 Marvellous who is waiting for something. When Francis Drake stumbles into her life and she helps him to heal a broken heart. Although enjoyable, to me this wasn't a patch on her debut When God Was a Rabbit.
5. The Looking Glass House by Vanessa Tait
It's the 150th anniversary celebration of Alice in Wonderland this year, so it's not surprising lots of books have been coming out to mark the celebration. This one is written by Alice Liddel's granddaughter Vanessa. Alice Liddel was the inspiration for the story of Alice in Wonderland. Having looked at the cover I did have very high expectations for this and expected it to have a magical edge, but I was wrong. This is the story of where the story for Alice came about; where Lewis Carol (real name Dodgson) got his idea from. The real story (with some fictional additions) does kind of put a dent in your innocent imaginings of Alice in Wonderland, so wouldn't really recommend to huge fans of Alice.

6. The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinnerstein
I really fell in love with the cover of this book and if you have time, definitely watch the trailer for it because it is gorgeous. Rebecca's descriptions of Northern Norway were absolutely stunning. You can picture the practically all round sunlight so clearly. This was lyrical story about loneliness and love, but finding unlikely friendships. Enchanting.

7. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
Set in Victorian England of 1883, this tells the story of Nathaniel, a simple clerk whose ordinary day existence gets changed greatly when he discovers a watch that saves him from dying in a bomb explosion. But who does the mysterious watch belong to and who set off the bomb? A brilliant mysterious novel that throws in all sorts of misdirection's and a watchmaker who can remember the future. A truly original story.

8. The Silent Hours by Cesca Major
The Silent Hours completely blew me away. This is a stunning piece of fiction from Cesca. Based on a true story of a tragedy of the worst kind, Cesca has really delivered here. I don't want to give any more away than that. Please just read it.

9. The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton
This was another book that I read this month that impressed me so much. I have not read Rosamund's previous novel Sister, but was aware of how much acclaim it got, so was very eager to read her latest. This is definitely one of my favourite reads this year, I have never felt so transported to a place in a novel than I did with this one. I have never been to Alaska before but after reading this I can still feel it's cold bite and unforgiving terrain. This was haunting, eerie and chilling to the bone.