Well, I suppose I can say the year has started well…
I made the resolution to read 52 books this year, one for each week. And I’m very pleased to say I’m already ahead of schedule! Yes, somehow despite getting The Bean Jar published on Amazon (why yes, you should indeed go and check it out) and tying myself into absolute knots over it, I’ve managed to get a decent chunk of reading in, too.
I’ve so far read seven books this year, and reread two. Let’s have a cheesy breakdown…
- The Jewel – Amy Ewing. A young adult dystopia. Young girls with the ability to get pregnant are sold to the highest bidder. Intriguing start to a series, though I’ve not really fallen in love with any of the characters and I’m not desperate for the next installment.
- The One – John Marrs. Thriller, centred on a DNA-based dating app. Fast-paced and gripping, but not hugely well-written. Being adapted by Netflix, which i think will do a very good job.
- Hive Mind: Hurricane – Janet Edwards. Third in a series of young adult sci-fi. I love the concept of futuristic ‘hives’ taking over from cities, policed by telepaths. I don’t always like Janet Edwards’s writing style but I adore her characters and worlds.
- One Day In December – Josie Silver. Romantic comedy – does love at first sight really exist? And what if someone else gets there first? A charming love story with sparky, sweary characters that reminded me of what I try to achieve with my own books.
- The Single Ladies of the Jacaranda Retirement Village – Joanna Nell. A surprisingly moving story about two elderly ladies and their past lives, bonding in their old age. Honest and moving with fabulous humour.
- Meddling Kids – Edgar Cantero. Scooby Doo meets Lovecraft, with some Enid Blyton thrown in for good matter. What if the man in the mask wasn’t really a man in a mask? Excellent, excellent book: tongue in cheek and hilarious, with so many marvellous pop culture references.
- The Big Lie – Julia Mayhew. Alternate universe – what if the Nazis had won the war? A teenage girl in 2013 starts to question her unnerving loyalty to the Fatherland, from a Britain that was conquered in 1940. Sometimes the pacing drags a little bit but packs a punch.
- Attachments – Rainbow Rowell. A beautifully written love story set at the turn of the millennium. As always, Rainbow Rowell’s characters leap off the page and I fall in love with Lincoln every time I read this. And the month of October.
- Dreadful Company – Vivian Shaw. My favourite book of 2018; after I wrote about it at the start of the month, I had to go back and read it again. I love everything about this book and can’t wait for the next one.
I also started reading Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind at last – I’ve had it recommended so often, it was about bloody time. It’s not really gripped me yet, a few chapters in, but it’s starting to warm up now and I think I’ll be reaching for it more often. I also started a couple of non-fictions; a feminist history of women largely forgotten by history, and a book about dinosaurs. Can’t say I’m not diverse.
My favourite book this month was definitely Meddling Kids, in case you couldn’t tell from my little round-up. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone, I gobbled it up in about twenty-four hours because I was so entertained. Edgar Cantero’s writing style isn’t for everyone, I know – he flips between tenses, between registers, even between prose and script, and breaks the fourth wall more than any other author I’ve enjoyed. When I read reviews complaining about those things, I honestly thought I’d hate it. Not my thing at all; I find writing like that usually irritating beyond belief, like the writer is trying far too hard to be funny.
But in this book, it didn’t come off like that at all. I loved the characters, they were so beautifully flawed, and the story itself was gripping. A bit silly, too, but that didn’t knock it down at all.
I know this is a post about reading, not writing, but while I’m discussing my Goodreads list… well, I feel like I should mention the momentous occasion of my Goodreads profile turning from a reader into an author profile. Yes, The Bean Jar is now on Goodreads and it is officially released in… oh, a few hours. Go forth and add it to all your lists. Leave reviews. Leave ratings. Go nuts!