If there is one thing that this month has taught me, it is that if I am really not enjoying a book, I should learn to not feel guilty about giving up on it. If I was watching a tv programme or film that I didn’t like, I would switch off without a second thought. A song comes on the radio that I don’t like, off it goes. But I don’t seem to be able to do the same when it comes to books which is so silly but I just can’t help it. I am normally such a fan of Jane Fallon her books usually have a modern edge to them and she has a way of conjuring up perfectly imperfect characters that I love. But her latest book Strictly Between Us just didn’t do it for me. I desperately wanted to like it because I have enjoyed all of the other books of hers that I have read and I think that is why I couldn’t just give up on it. But I spent over two weeks trying to avoid picking it up because I really wasn’t enjoying it when I could have been reading something that I enjoyed. (You read the bit when I said I know how silly I am, right?) In theory, the book had what I would normally find a gripping mix of love and friendship with a bit of backstabbing thrown in for good measure. But I saw the double crossing coming before it happened and it felt like a slow read waiting for the plot to unravel. I normally love her writing so I would definitely recommend that you pick up a book of hers. Just maybe not this one. And now of course I feel awful for saying that I didn’t enjoy it. Maybe read it anyway and see what you think and come back and tell me that you don’t agree? Yes! Let’s do that!
Now the next book I read couldn’t have been more different. In fact, I would go so far to say that this is one of my favourite books of the year so far if not of all time ever. Invincible Summer by Alice Adams was outstanding. I could not put it down. It follows the story of four friends over two decades and all that life throws at them. I fell in love with the characters from the get-go and it was quite a rollercoaster ride watching the highs and lows of each of their lives as they go from being students to becoming fully fledged adults in the real wide world. It really is very cleverly written I don’t think I have ever rooted for characters quite as much as I did with these four. Definitely one to add on to your summer reading list if you haven’t already!
And last but by no means least I read Two For Joy by Helen Chandler which was just brilliant. I feel like I’m back on a good book roll now after a slow start to the month! You might remember that I read (and loved) another of Helen’s books last month called To Have And To Hold which was actually her second book, this one was her first and it was every bit as good. (They are both stand alone stories so it doesn’t matter that they were read the wrong way around.) Yet again, I was completely drawn in from the start. It was one of those books where I would say ‘one more chapter’ then still be reading at least three chapters later! At the heart of this book was a very complicated modern love story and there were twists that I really didn’t see coming. The characters were beautifully written and I think that’s what gave it such a great pace. I absolutely loved it. What I now need to know is when is your next book out please, Helen?!
So that was me. What have you been reading this month?