I read. A lot. And I read a wide variety of books. So when I came across this monthly link up by Mutteringmummy, I was keen to join in. Here is my summary of the books I have read this month:
Hysteria, by Megan Miranda
This author was recommended to me by Louise Jordon when I met her at the London Book Fair last year. We were discussing my book idea and the concept of trying to make one of the characters appear as though they might not be genuine or telling the truth. In Hysteria, Megan does this by putting doubt into the reader’s mind about what exactly happened on the night that the main character, Mallory, killed her boyfriend.
The trauma of what she went through haunts Mallory’s dreams and she has flash backs to the events leading up to the murder. The seed of doubt is sown about how much she can remember and how much she is choosing to ignore. And when a pupil is found dead at the boarding school where Mallory is sent to try and escape her past, her name is automatically implemented and once again the reader is left wondering.
The key to this book’s success is being able to keep the reader in the dark until almost the very end, then successfully wrapping it up in such a way as to leave a sense of satisfaction that justice has been done and everything will work out just fine.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
I’ve had this book on my Kindle for some time, starting it but not managing to get in to it enough to keep going. But I decided to give it another go last week and was glad I did.
To begin with, I was having a hard time believing that Charlie was actually a boy, because he is intensly emotional and he cries a lot! But then I began to be impressed with the way in which the author describes, in such detail, the thought processes of this fifteen year old, extremely intelligent, deep thinking young man that he has created.
Charlie is an observer, on the fringes of everything that is going on around him, hence the wallflower title. He seems too afraid to let his guard down and join in, yet he is deeply unhappy because of this. We realise early on that he has some issues, but it is not until near the end of the book that the real reasons for these issues are revealed. I felt sorry for Charlie, but was relieved that by the end of the book he had finally found some peace.
For an insight into a teenage mind and a flash back to the eighties, I would recommend this book!
Seeking Her, by Cora Carmack
I was interested to see what all the fuss was about the ‘New Adult’ genre, so I have started reading a few of them. I’ve found a couple of authors who I really like and Cora Carmack is one of them. So far, though, they all follow a similar pattern; young girl (late teens or early twenties) meets slightly older drop dead gorgeous hunk of a boy. One or both of the characters is ‘damaged’ by past events, sometimes one of the protagonists is from a rich and privileged background, whilst the other isn’t. Neither are ever any good for each other but they’re always attracted to each other regardless. You get the idea.
In Seeking Her, Jackson Hunt (ex Military) is sent to follow rich girl Kelsey Summers around Europe as she attempts to ‘find herself’. Kelsey doesn’t know anything about Jackson’s presence and he is supposed to stay clear of her, but inevitably he falls in love with her and so finds it increasingly difficult to keep away.
The book is written from the point of view of Jackson and I believe it is a prequel to ‘Finding It’, which is Kelsey’s story.
Crash, by Nicole Williams
Lucy is in her senior year of school, but she has been forced to move from her private school, due to a change in her family circumstances (which is revealed as the book progresses). Dreading having to start at a new school, lucy just wants to keep her head down and get on with it. But she meets self assured bad boy, Jude, who spells trouble from the word’go’ and can she keep away? Of course not.
This makes for an interesting and eventful final year, with Lucy trying to come to terms with everything that has happened in her life, whilst at the same time trying to focus on her future and work out whether Jude can ever be a part of it.
Simple Perfection, by Abbi Glines
Whilst ‘Crash’ and ‘Seeking Her’, were easy to read and entertaining stories, I found this book much harder to get in to. The characters, Woods and Della are so needy that it was a little nauseating at times. Their relationship is intense to the extreme and it is obvious that something is going to have to give at some point.
Woods is the original rich kid, who never lived up to his mother or father’s expectations, but is expected to take over and run the family business nevertheless. Della has issues from her childhood that haunt her still and she is made to realise that she must confront her fears on her own if she and Woods are ever to stand a chance of making it long term.
Pretty intense stuff!
And finally, my favourite:
Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief, by Rick Riordan
I have been reading this book with my ten year old daughter. I spent ages trying to get her to read it, as she wasn’t too keen on the idea. But then we saw the film, which sparked an interest and now she is hooked.
The book has so much more detail than the film and the plot is slightly different. What we have discovered in the book is a deeper insight into Percy’s character, his home life and what motivates him to do the things he does.
If you haven’t discovered the Percy Jackson series, then I urge you to rectify that. This wonderful series takes you on a fantastical journey through the adventures of this young ‘half blood’ boy, son of a human woman and the Greek God Poseidon. Follow Percy as he develops from a struggling New York school kid, kicked out of every school he has ever been to, to conquering hero, hoping to save Olympus and the world, whilst obviously overcoming a million and one challenges along the way.
We can’t wait to read the next one now!