While I personally like to read all year round, I know that other people find that they are more likely to be able to sit down with a book in summer, mostly thanks to holidays. And as I read a lot of books I thought I’d give you my top five books to read this summer. Now as a pre-warning, I’m not into the ‘usual’ beachy reads (I loathe the phrase chick-lit fyi) and I’ve never really understood why holiday books are required to be so light and fluffy… So here’s what do like…
Now this first book is seriously tense. It begins with a mother, Audra, fleeing with her children in tow, 0n the run from an abusive marriage. She’s pulled over by a Sheriff and taken into custody, leaving her two kids with the cops. Only when she’s at the station, the cops have no idea what ‘kids’ she’s talking about. Because apparently, there were no kids in her car with her. Only she says there were. The plot is incredibly intriguing and although there are hints of an unreliable narrator (as seems to be a common theme with recent thrillers), thankfully this isn’t dragged out. The chapters are told from varying points of views and I especially enjoyed Sean’s – Audra’s 11-year-old son – segments. It is worth bearing in mind that some of the content is quite disturbing but there’s not too much detail to make it that hard of a read. Overall, Here and Gone brilliantly written and stuffed full of suspense, it’s definitely the kind of book to keep you on your toes.
The books I read always tend to be fiction but there was something about this book that really appealed to me as a 25-year-old woman. As I was going on holiday and wanted to be able to lay back and relax on a sun lounger, I opted for the audiobook version with Audible. It is essentially a handbook for women with Daisy talking through all the common trials and tribulations the majority of us go through in our twenties, sharing her own experiences and those of friends. I think this is what I enjoyed the most because I didn’t want a self-help book simply telling me what I should be doing. I wanted someone who had endured these problems first hand and I wanted to know all the details of what had happened and how they got through it. There are a fair few of these type of books around nowadays but with Daisy’s book, it feels just like a friend spilling her secrets over the kitchen table, fingers curled around a mug of tea.
Despite sharing a name with the main character, I feel very fortunate to not be in the same situation as her. Emily knows that new boyfriend Adam is the one but what she hadn’t bargained for was his mother, Pammie. Problem is, Pammie doesn’t seem to like her future daughter-in-law and takes it upon herself to make Emily’s life hell. But the question is why? I didn’t guess the outcome and I don’t think you will either! Both Emily and Pammie are fantastically written characters, Emily feels incredibly relatable and you can completely sympathise with her whereas Pammie is so brilliantly wicked that I had an odd sort of fondness for her too, despite gritting my teeth through certain moments. In fact, halfway through reading this, I actually text my own MIL to thank her for being so nice!
Two women – Amber Patterson who feels like a nobody, determined to make something of herself and Daphne Parrish, a beautiful woman with the seemingly perfect life and millionaire husband, Jackson. In essence, Daphne has everything that Amber wants. And everything that Amber is going to get. Because she has a plan and it starts with becoming Daphne’s new best friend. Blimey, I absolutely tore through this book. Admittedly the plot seems fairly obvious but it’s so well written and the twists kept what could be an already overused story, fresh and thrilling. The story touches on a lot of themes and does so really well and I really liked reading from the POV of both Amber and Daphne. This was one of those books I immediately recommend to my mum who loved it too.
How could I not talk about what feels like the most talked about book of the year? If you haven’t read this book already – who even are you!? The title character Eleanor is one of those who instantly throws you a bit. Your first instinct is to simply label her as ‘a bit weird’, but you will honestly grow to love her. Your heart will even hurt in places for her. I adore how complex a character she is and I’d love to see more protagonists like Eleanor. Yes, the book isn’t exactly thrilling or anything spectacular but in its simplicity, we have a lot we can learn from it. This book could so easily have been spun into some love story but it wasn’t and I’m so, so glad about it. I completely get the hype about this book and I fully embrace it. Quite simply, everyone should read this book.