As I only started this blog last month, I thought I would give mini reviews of all the books I read over the summer instead of just August. I hope you enjoy this post, and let me know if you’ve read any of these books in the comments below!
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows – 5/5 ⭐ I adored both the book and film adaptation – Lily James was perfect as Juliet! In my opinion, the changes in the film improved this story even more, and although some people might criticise the plot as cheesy or predictable, I found it a sweet and wonderful short novel for book lovers and historical fiction lovers alike! It offered a unique style through the epistolary format, and a refreshing insight to the lesser known events of Nazi Occupation of Guernsey during the Second World War.
- A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas – 3/5 ⭐ Although I didn’t enjoy A Court of Wings and Ruin as much as I hoped after I loved ACOMAF, I was also disappointed by this novella. I understand Maas’ intention to bridge the A Court of Thorns and Roses series into the spin off series, but I found the writing repetitive. The other character perspectives were not used to their full potential, and ultimately the story felt a bit dull and pointless. I’m intending to finish The Throne of Glass series, but I’m yet to decide whether I’ll carry on with this series – maybe I’m just growing out of Sarah J. Maas’ writing?
- The Power by Naomi Alderman – 3/5 ⭐ I was intrigued by the premise of The Power, and the inevitable comparisons to The Handmaid’s Tale. I finally got round to reading this book in June, but I spent much of the book confused by the different narratives. While there were was action by the end, I found the novel dragged, yet the premise and concepts poorly explained.
- Atonement by Ian McEwan – 5/5 ⭐As I had read On Chesil Beach earlier in the year and it became one of my favourite novels, I finally read Atonement. The film adaptation is brilliant, as the cast is absolutely perfect – it’s one of my favourite period dramas. The character of Briony is just genius, from the unreliable narration and recollection of events to the ending of the novel. It’s certainly a book to make you think, and question does Briony deserve atonement? I’m still not sure on my answer to be honest!
- Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan – 4/5 ⭐Another book I read while on holiday, I loved this 1970s Cold War era spy story. The female lead’s narration was fascinating, and I’m still not sure what to think of the ending! I loved the depth of McEwan’s research, and the interwoven fact and fiction of MI5.
- The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan – 4/5 ⭐ I read The Cement Garden several years ago, and I remember being very disturbed by it! However reading it now, I could really appreciate Ian McEwan’s brilliant writing and the creation of the oppressive heat and tension in the house. The whole premise and events are still disturbing, but an important and fascinating modern classic.
- Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson – 5/5 ⭐ This is a modern classic that’s been on my TBR list since I read an extract at A-Level. What a beautiful book, that confronts historic attitudes towards homosexuality and religion. The Northern setting was brilliant, and I can’t wait to read more Jeanette Winterson soon.
- Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas – 4/5 ⭐The fourth book in Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series has been sitting on my TBR pile for a couple of years, so I finally read Queen of Shadows while I was on holiday. I enjoyed the action and events, and Aelin/Celaena wasn’t quite as annoying as I found her character in Heir of Fire, though the lack of Dorian’s character was slightly disappointing. I loved reading Manon’s chapters, and seeing Lysandra more. I’ll update my thoughts on this series when I get round to reading Empire of Storms.
- Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare – 5/5 ⭐I adored Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments, and The Infernal Devices. Although I found Lady Midnight a bit repetitive and immature, I decided to persevere with Lord of Shadows, and I’m so glad I did. The ending was a heartbreaking cliffhanger, but I loved the forbidden relationship between Jules and Emma. Hopefully Mark and Christina will get the chance to develop their feelings in the final book, and it will be interesting to see what happens to the rest of the Blackthorn family! I’ve pre-ordered the beautiful hardback edition of Queen of Air and Darkness again from Waterstones, and I’m counting down the days!
- Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews – 5/5 ⭐ There was A LOT of controversy and debate surrounding Red Sparrow when the film adaptation was released earlier this year, starring Jennifer Lawrence as Russian spy Dominika Egorova. I haven’t seen the film yet, so I can’t comment on how gratifying and un-empowering it is, but personally I loved the book. I’m currently reading the sequel, so I won’t give away any plot spoilers, but I thought it was a refreshing, intriguing and tense modern spy thriller.
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne and J.K. Rowling – 4/5 ⭐
- Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood – 5/5 ⭐ Click on the link to see my review!
Books which I started…
- The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory
- Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie
- Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts on any of these books in the comments below.