Some books you can read and forget about after a few months, but there are others that stay with you for a long time afterwards. There are also those books that will always stick with you, no matter what, and have affected your life in some way. Here are a few of mine:
Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton
I love books for a wide range of reasons, but one of the main ones is because they’re always there when I need them most. When I was 12, a few months before I started my blog, my granddad died and it was something that affected me hugely, us being so close and me being so young. During the months after, I turned to books to help me through and one of these books was Jessie Hearts NYC. For this reason, it’s a book I’ve recommended a lot and Keris’s books, like Jessie Hearts NYC and Emma Hearts LA, are a great place to start for readers who are starting to read YA.
Whilst I definitely didn’t read as much as I usually do in 2014, there were many amazing books that I did read. This year has felt like one massive reading slump, but each of the books featured on this list captured my heart and I’ve been recommending them non-stop since reading them.
Out on 1st January, this is the most recent edition to my list. Vendetta is Catherine Doyle’s debut novel and I’ve read many books by well-established authors that I didn’t love half as much as I loved Vendetta! It’s thrilling and adventurous – I couldn’t put it down!
I love all of Rainbow Rowell’s books so I couldn’t miss Landline out of my list! I read it at a very special time and all of Rainbow Rowell’s books are like a big, warm hug. It’s hard not to fall in love with every word!
Candy Harper never fails to make me laugh. I read the two Faith books earlier in the year and I love them! They’re the funniest books I’ve read in a long time and so easy to read. I’d recommend them to anyone!
Wow! This book amazed me when I read it – it has LGBT, feminism and diverse characters. I fell head over heels in love with it!
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
I don’t think I’ve spoken about The Virgin Suicides on the blog yet, but I have a few times on my YouTube channel. Whilst it’s primarily targeted at adults, I think this book has a huge crossover appeal and I’d love to see more teenagers reading it. It’s a haunting read that will stay with you for a long time after you’ve finished it.
Although this book is hated by many, I was one of the people who loved it. Even though it was written over 60 years ago, it’s still very current a bookish rite of passage! Definitely worth reading at least once during your lifetime.
And now for my favourite book of the year… Solitaire! My review of Solitaire is the easiest review I’ve ever written and I will not rest until I get everyone to read it. It’s phenomenal and I haven’t seen a bad review for it in the five or so months since its release.
I don’t usually read classics. I’m not sure why. For some reason, classics are totally different to other books and scare me off. So when I was assigned to read this for school, I was a bit skeptical. After all, it is one of the ‘great American classics.’ The thing is, though, I ended up really, really loving it. It’s now one of my favourite books of all time.
To explain the plot is quite hard because there isn’t really a plot at all. The Catcher in the Rye is very character driven, almost entirely character driven. We get hints of a core plot running through the entire novel, but, even at the end, and after thinking very hard, I’m still not entirely sure of the plot. I think you just need to pick it up and read for yourself.
Our protagonist is Holden Caulfield. At the start of the novel we find out he has been kicked out of his fourth school, Pencey Prep. After a string of events meaning Holden leaves Pencey days before he is supposed to, he finds himself in New York.
The Catcher in the Rye is a story of adolescence and identity. Holden often talks of adults being ‘phonies’ and has a very childlike mind. Throughout the novel we get the idea that Holden is grasping onto the last threads of his childhood whilst coming to terms with his impending adulthood. It’s such a difficult time and age is something that is mentioned a lot during the novel, whether it’s Holden being told he’s too young to drink in a bar, or calling someone ‘old.’ The contrast between young and old is striking and I think it’s very interesting to think about.
Another major theme is acceptance. Through his actions, it is clear that Holden is seeking the acceptance and attention he so needs. It’s as if he needs the bridge between childhood and adulthood to be acknowledged.
Holden is such an interesting and inspiring character. I felt as if I understood him to such a great extent and his words were so thought provoking. Salinger has created a character that is the epitome of teenage thoughts and feelings. Teenage years are full of discovering who you are, and Holden’s journey was all about discovering himself. I really wanted to give him a big hug.
The Catcher in the Rye isn’t the right book for everyone, but you won’t know until you try it out.
Ask me what I’ve been reading one week and it will be something completely different when you ask me the next. I’ve been noticing – from my book hauls, from my reviews, from my discussion posts – that I go through lots of different reading stages.
This time last year I couldn’t get enough of contemporary fiction and this inspired my blog name. I read book after book and wanted more and more. I tend to read more contemporary during the summer months and am edging away from it at the moment, not being able to think about the sun and characters lazing around on the beach when it’s pouring with rain and I’m wrapped up in my duvet.
Currently, I’m in the mood for classics. It’s a bit weird because I’ve never really felt like it before. I’m reading The Catcher in the Rye for school and have surprised myself by really enjoying it. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to read a classic a month, as it’s something I tried to do last year but failed. I have a few classics lined up so I’m keeping my fingers crossed it won’t just be something I do for five minutes and then forget about.
Sometimes I can’t help going through one of these phases. I can be influenced by the reviews I read or watch. Sometimes I’ll see a book pop up on Twitter or a blog countless times and believe it’s a sign so I have to buy the book. Most of the time they’re probably marketing campaigns… I’m influenced easily when it comes to books.
Other times I’ll read one book and then it puts me in a good mood, or I’ll read a book that I didn’t enjoy so I try to veer as far away from it as I can.
I’m not exactly sure where these trends come from. I can think long and hard about it, but I suppose I’ll have to have a conversation with my sub-conscious.
Do you go through reading phases or trends? Let me know below!