July has quite literally melted away, so when moving has seemed like too much effort its been a good month for reading.
Darkly Dreaming Dexter – I’ve read this before, years ago but wanted to start at the beginning before I read the rest of the series; it was ok, my issue with this is that I’ve watched the tv show and I found the first series of that a lot more compelling than I found the book even though they go in fairly different directions quite quickly 3 stars.
Eat, Drink, Run – I want to print out the prologue for this and stick it on my wall, the rest is great too but I started this book at the end of a bad day full of a lot of negative thoughts and reading this helped so much. In my opinion, Bryony has done it again, this inspired me to go out for my first run in a long time, unfortunately, I then fell over in spectacular style and took the skin off about a quarter my calf (I really wish I was exaggerating) but as soon as that’s healed and the heat wave is over I plan on getting back out again, 5 stars.
Dietland – This was strange, it, like a mystery thriller meets rom com, meets feminist journey; Plum is fat, she works from home and plans for the life she’ll lead once she’s thin. As a teenager Plum was, for a short time part of a weight loss group however when the founder died the groups were shut down. Years later the founder’s daughter gets in touch with Plum and changes her life. At the same time unidentified feminist group ‘Jennifer’ is threatening media organisations and even killing people. These storylines do diverge later in the book but I did get quite lost at times so 3 stars.
Bottled Goods* – Bottled Goods follows Alina who grows up in communist Romania; everything is fine until her brother in law goes on holiday to France and doesn’t return. Being related to a defector but Alina and her husband under great suspicion from the authorities as well as affecting their societal rank. This was very quick based, covering something like 40 years in under 200 pages but despite this, it didn’t seem to skim over things, I still felt you were able to develop a connection to Alina and I found I was really rooting for her throughout, 4 stars.
The Beast Within – Similar to ‘As Old As Time’ from last month this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling from Serena Valentino’s Villians series. In this version, the Prince and Gaston have grown up as childhood friends and the curse affects the beast slowly, rather than overnight which made it feel like a much fresher retelling and I did end up enjoying it more; I did think it could do with being a bit longer but then I’m probably not the target market, 3 stars.
Option B – I’ve already recommended this to about four people, not something I really looked forward to reading purely because of the subject matter but I think Sheryl approaches the topic of grief really well and I definitely took things from it even though I’ve not been in the position she has; 5 stars.
Leah on the Offbeat – Simon is back, but this time its childhood best friend Leah that’s hiding things; as High school draws a close, prom is coming up and everyone is applying to colleges. Same great characters and I liked the tie into The Upside of Unrequited, not quite as good as the other two for me, 4 stars.
War Horse – Something about this gripped me and I read it in about 12 hours and I really wasn’t expecting that! I’m seeing the theatre production in October and I’m now so much more excited. 5 stars
The Best of Adam Sharp – After an unsure start I got quite into this, the main character does a job quite similar to my own and I’ve never seen anything remotely near it referenced in a novel before so that was a personal favourite. Not quite as good as THe Rosie Project but still enjoyable, 4 stars.
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – What do you do when your plane is delayed by an hour, start a new book, preferably a short one you can read during said delay; I hadn’t realised this was under 100 pages! Obviously, I know the story but I’ve not read the original, its really cleverly structured and I wish I’d read it sooner, 4 stars.
The Self Discipline Blueprint – I bought this in a weird impulse and expected it to be absolute rubbish, I’ve not read many books of this type but it was actually quite interesting; none of the points made are revolutionary; for example I think we all know that in general if you sleep properly, eat healthily and exercise we generally feel better but there were some interesting ‘strategies’ in the second half of the book which I’m planning on having a crack at, 3 stars as a reserved judgement since I’ve not actually tried any of the suggestions yet.
Titles marked * have been provided for free in exchange for an honest review.