The Best Novels I Read In July & August

Saturday, September 19, 2020


Time for a book round up! I've read some really great novels in the past couple of months that I had to recommend to you. Three out of my four favourites have been released this year, so there's a lot of hype surrounding them right now and it's worth it! Also, I gave two of these books a whole five stars, so if that doesn't say get reading them immediately!!!, I don't know what will!


Such a Fun Age - Kiley Reid 4 stars

 
A story about race, friendship and privilege focusing on two women: career-focused Alix, and her child's babysitter, Emira. After being wrongly accused of kidnapping three-year old Briar in a supermarket, an unexpected connection between the two women threatens to undo everything.

Such a Fun Age was very well-written, a very-easy page turner, and is a really great and realistic exploration of race and class relations in modern America. I loved Emira's relationship with Briar, who were easily my favourite two characters of the novel. While the ending of the novel was powerful, it was missing a little something and felt very bitter-sweet.


Marian Keyes - Grown Ups 4.5 stars

 
On the outside, the Caseys appear to be the perfect big family, spending every birthday and holiday together, from murder mystery parties, to Tuscan villa trips, at the insistence of Jessie and her generous bank account. But behind the scenes, tensions are rising - some people can't stop clashing, and some like each other too much. What happens when the secrets start rolling out?

Grown Ups is the sort of book that you're still thinking about a week after, it had such a strong impact. It's a long one, and yet I couldn't stop reading. I think I read about half of it in one day and it drove me a little bit crazy!

 

There's a lot of characters in this book - the beginning of the book even includes a family tree, which I found myself referencing a lot, at least to begin with! That means there's a lot of characters to get to know and get your head around. Surprisingly, the majority of them I either didn't like, or could really take or leave. Yet Marian Keyes' writing is addictive, I had to find out what drama was going to happen next.

Me Before You - Jojo Moyes 5 stars

 

Desperate for a job, Louisa Clark becomes the carer of Will Traynor, who was paralyzed in a fluke accident. An unlikely bond leads to a heartfelt and emotional romance story. 

 

Usually I like to read the book before I watch the book, but the opposite happened here. A few months ago, I watched the film Me Before You, starring Emelia Clarke and Sam Claflin, and absolutely LOVED it. Like, 5 star movie, absolutely cried my eyes out, kind of loved it. So, combined with the fact I've already read a couple of other Jojo Moyes books that I loved, I had high hopes for the novel. Fortunately, I loved it just as much as the film! The storyline is very similar, with additional moments between the characters that make the story even more impactful. I followed it with its sequel After You which didn't quite live up to it - I can't say too much without spoiling the first, but it felt a little dull and nowhere near as touching as the first.

 


Olive - Emma Gannon 5 stars

 

Olive is independent, loyal, and still figuring everything out. She's on her own path and she's okay with that, until she begins to notice the changes in her friends' lives, towards marriage and motherhood, and she realises her own life looks a little different. Should she be moving along with them, or are they moving away from her?

 

If you liked Anna Hope's Expectation, you are going to love Olive. The writing feels similar, as does its focus - an exploration of female friendship and womanhood, set in London. Olive and her three friends, Bea, Cecily and Isla, are all instantly likeable and relatable in different ways. The four of them are all very different personalities, with different priorities in their lives. Each of the women's triumphs and struggles were presented as equally valid, even though such contrasting issues were explored. Gannon explores how friendships are tested by situations such as not being able to have children, struggling as a new mum, and deciding not to have children at all.


The novel is a celebration of female friendship and being unique and true to yourself, being defined by what you want to do, rather than what you're expected to do. I absolutely loved Olive and cannot recommend it enough. 


The four novels I mentioned were the best I read the past two months, and I would recommend them to everyone. They all kept me hooked, interested and invested in the characters. However, I read two other novels that didn't impress me quite as much. An Unsuitable Match by Joanna Trollope was well-written, but unfortunately the characters were dull, selfish and constantly moaning! Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid had me feeling completely torn. The interview style format is an unusual choice and has caused controversy between many readers - did it work, or not? For me, it was a good idea in theory, but because it's all about a fictional band, we lacked context of knowing their songs or having any connection to them. With an unfulfilling ending to top it off, it didn't really work for me. 


 

Make sure to follow me on Goodreads for all the book updates! Have you read and enjoyed any good novels lately? I would love more recommendations as we go into the autumnal months!


EG x



3 comments

  1. I'm sure I recently put Such a Fun Age on my TBR on Goodreads! I have no clue why I wasn't following you on Goodreads earlier!
    Charlotte / Charlotte's Picks

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    1. Ah thanks for following me! You absolutely should read it, such a great read! x

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  2. I've seen the film adaptation for Me Before You but so many people have said the book is just as good and I still haven't read it! I've gotta pick it up soon! I don't think I've read a book about a group of girlfriends and their navigation through life, so Emma is definitely going on my TBR, it seems like a great read!

    Abi // http://abichristina.co.uk

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