How is that February over already? This year is going so fast!
So, the 100 books in a year challenge is coming along nicely. Didn’t quite hit my goal this month as I got sick and was pretty much asleep for 4 days. But hey, I am well now, and have plenty of time to catch up!
Here are my thoughts on the 6 books I read in February…
so, this book has been everywhere and I am not surprised by this. This book was just incredible!!!
Madeline is sick. she is so sick she can’t leave her house. She lives with her mum and her nurse. She is home-schooled and has been happy for her seventeen years of life. That is until she sees moving trucks arrive at the house next door, and she sees Olly. Their relationship starts through IM, until the day Madeline’s nurse lets him come into the house. The story follows Madeline experiencing more of the world outside her house, through her love with Olly.
This book was more than I ever expected of it. I was hooked from the first page, and didn’t want to put it down until I was finished with their story. It is more than just a story about romance. It is about love and discovery. It is about finding who you truly are.
I loved this book so much, that I am actually worried about it becoming a film. The story is so magical, and I got lost in the words. I just fear that the movie will not capture it as well as the book has. So, before the film comes out, please please read this book!
This is another book that seems to be everywhere at the minute.
Lie with Me is a psychological thriller that follows Paul Morris, and his scheming and lying, to Greece. He manipulates Alice, a human rights lawyer, to bag himself a trip away with her in hopes that when he returns he can move into her house. The trip is the 10 year anniversary of a young girl going missing in a town Paul, Alice and her friends had visited that same year. As the story unfolds, the truth starts to come out. The book is full of violent twists and turns, and ends with shock once the whereabouts, and the story of the missing girl is revealed.
This book wasn’t quite what I had hoped it would be. It started off quite slowly, and always felt like it was leading up to something that didn’t quite happen. I mean, the plot twist was a good one, but didn’t have the impact I would have hoped for. Overall, it is an easy read, but not quite as powerful as I was expecting.
This was by far my favourite book this month! This has been on my list for so long, so was glad to finally get to read it.
A brutal triple murder happens in a remote Scottish farming community in 1869, which leads to Roderick Macrae being arrested. He is 17 years old and has admitted to committing the murder. But what lead him to commit such a crime? The story delves into Roderick’s life, and tries to figure out what lead him to this moment.
The book is presented as a series of documents found by the author. There are police statements from his fellow villagers, as well as doctor assessments of Roderick, and the transcripts from his trial. Most importantly, they include Roderick’s own memoirs, which he is instructed to write whilst he is in prison.
I absolutely loved this book. It was such an unusual structure, but made it so much more interesting to read. I also loved that it was a Scottish story. The use of the various documents make you question the main character, and tests your initial impression of him, and makes you doubt his sanity. The various documents match up to his memoirs, but give a different perspective on his words. Overall, this was a fantastic read. The author has perfectly captured the life and language of Scottish people at the time of history and tells the story of a brutal murder in the highlands in the most magnificent way.
Another Scottish one for the list this month! I only came across this one because a friend of mine met the author at a Scottish Independence Rally up in Aberdeen.
The story starts with the lead up to a second vote on Scottish Independence in 2018. The same events have happened, the first Independence Referendum, the General Election in 2015 and then the EU referendum last year. This time round, it looks as if the vote is going to go to Yes and Westminster is not happy. At 6am on the day of the vote, the government impose direct rule over Scotland, and declare a state of emergency across the whole of the UK. The government in London start rounding up all the key Yes activists and hunts for the First Minister. The story follows the FM, his campaign aides and the Westminster government through the weeks following.
This book actually scared me a little, it felt so real that I was starting to think it was real. It uses real events to put it all into perspective, and although the names have been changed, it is clear who all the politicians are. I loved that the book went between the two sides, allowing the reader to see the thinking and the actions of each side. It is an independently published book, so there are limited physical copies, but I managed to get the kindle version. I am not sure about the printed version, but the kindle version did have a few grammar and spelling mistakes. That aside, the book is incredible and will be loved by political-minded folk, on both sides of the Independence argument.
This book was a Costa book award winner in 2015, so I was ready for this to be a good one.
Year after year, a family, their priest and friends, visit a sacred shrine on a piece of desolate strip of coastline, known as The Loney. They are in search of a cure for Hanny, the mute brother. His younger brother is his protector. Over easter week, the group are back at the shrine, hoping this is the year that Hanny finally speaks. In the hours of waiting, the two brothers are left alone. The cannot resist going out and exploring the coastline, with its treacherous tides and the mystery the old house holds. Many years later, Hanny is a grown man and doesn’t need his brother’s protection. It is then that a child’s body is found and The Loney gives up its secrets.
This book was a bit of an odd one, and I don’t think in a good way. I felt like I should of connected with this book, but I just didn’t. I was tempted to stop reading halfway through, but I kept reading in hope for a better 2nd half. The writing was beautiful, and a very well thought out story, but in the end it wasn’t one for me. I am sure some of you will fall in love with it they way a book deserves to be loved.
This book was so much more than I could of ever hoped for. My only non-fiction this month, and I’m glad it was.
Bryony Gordon has OCD. She has had it since she was a teenager, and has told her ever since that her world is about to come crashing down around her. She thinks her family are going to die or that she has murdered someone and her mind has made her forget it. It lead to her having alopecia, bulimia and then a drug dependency. She spent years hiding her metal illnesses from the world, but was sick of it. Mad Girl explores her relationship with her mental illness and gives her a way to share her incredible story.
I was totally gripped to this book. Bryony Gordon is a successful columnist, a bestselling author, a wife and a mother. This book is her way of sharing her struggles with mental health. It shares her story through her incredibly unique voice and sense of humour. As she states, it is not a self-help book. It is so much more than that. It is an open place to talk about mental health, and that is something we all need to do more. It is a book that changes what you think OCD is, and makes you appreciate the struggles people have, even if you can’t see it on the outside. This is one book I think everyone needs to read.
So, thats it for this month. What have you been reading and loving? Would love to hear your recommendations.