Books I’ve Read: 2017

If you know me in the slightest, you’ll know that I LOVE books. I’m really addicted to thrillers and horrors- but you also can’t go wrong with a classic or a good fiction. So here’s my quick summaries of the books I’ve read in 2017:

2

The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albourn (3.5/5)

The story follows Eddie- an 83-year-old who is killed in a tragic accident. When he arrives to heaven, he meets 5 people who’s lives he changed by meeting them.

I feel like this book had a lot of hype about it- it’s definitely a good story and interesting look at the afterlife- and I guess the book is short, sweet and definitely worth a read- although not something to shout from the rooftops about.

Bridget Jones’ Baby, by Helen Fielding (3.5/5)

I practically am Bridget Jones, so I was ridiculously excited to get this when it came out. I have to say, although it was definitely enjoyable, following the life of Bridget post-Mr. Darcy, it wasn’t my favourite read.

I was a little disappointed at the storyline and felt that it had lost some of it’s unique voice that I really love about the original. But the movie adaptation wins all the prizes from me!

Walking Dead- Volumes 1-5, by Robert Kirkman (5/5)

I’d never got into the graphic novels of the Walking Dead, despite having watched it for years. So I borrowed a few of Luke’s volumes and I have to say- that I absolutely loved them! The TV show is very true to the comic story and I’ve developed a new found love for them. Plus, it’s easy to up the number of books you’ve read if you throw a few of these in!!

We were liars, by E.L. Lockhart (4/5)

I LOVED this one. It won Goodread’s 2014 Choice award, and I can see why. It follows the story of a group of young people during the summers of their childhood’s. It’s unexpected, heartbreaking and beautifully written. I almost don’t want to say anymore, because I think it’s something that you should experience for yourself!

Misery, by Stephen King (5/5)

Ah my babe, Stephen King. I couldn’t resist picking this one up for a re-read as it’s a total classic. This follows the story of Paul Sheldon, the author of the Misery books. When he gets caught up in an accident, he finds himself in his own horror novel, with Annie- a total Misery obsessive.

This is one of those books that has your heart racing, you can’t read fast-enough and you’re flipping the pages to see what happens. Absolutely my favourite of his.

Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk (4/5)

“Every weekend, in basements and parking lots across the country, young men with good white-collar jobs and absent fathers take off their shoes and shirts and fight each other barehanded for as long as they have to.”

Considering that Fight Club is one of my favourite films, it was only right to go back to where it started. The story is a little slow at times, but it’s enjoyable as ever- and I had such a sense of achievement when I finished it!

Into the Wild, by Jon Kraukur (1.5/5)

UGH ok I SO wanted to love this book. The film is brilliant, I think the message and the story are beautiful and heart-wrenching. But I just couldn’t get on board with the book. It’s a collection of essays, it’s wordy- I felt like Alexander came off as a spoilt brat- and I’m sorry to say, I had to give up on it.

Mr. Mercedes, by Stephen King (2/5)

As one of Stephen King’s more recent novels, this one comes as a trilogy. It’s a dectective, crime novel- so right up my street. It follows the story of Bill Hodges, a retired cop, who is still haunted by the unsolved crime of the Mercedes killer.

I unfortunately found this one a big of a drag. The characters were dull, the dialogue a little stilted and even though I powered through to the end, I found it pretty unsatisfactory.

Dear Amy, by Helen Callagan (4.5/5)

Amy is an agony aunt. She writes replies back to her devoted readers. Until one day she receives this letter:

Dear Amy,

I’ve been kidnapped by a strange man. 
I don’t know where I am. 

Please help me,
Bethan Avery

I read this book in one sitting on a flight back from Dubai. I had no idea what to expect, but I have to say I really enjoyed it. It’s tense, unpredictable and the characters are well developed. I’ve never read any of Helen Callagan’s work before, but I’ll definitely be giving her another go.

Winter’s Snow, by Carrie Hope Fletcher (2/5)

This one almost feels like cheating as it’s a really short, novella- following on from her book ‘On The Other Side.’ This was a sweet little follow-up from the novel, giving her readers a little tease more and Christmassy ending to the story.

It was sweet, but it wasn’t brilliant.

Doing it! By Hannah Witton (4/5)

I was always going to love this one. It’s an honest look at sex, relationships, dating, friendship, life and the universe- from my fav youtuber Hannah Witton.

She’s got a lovely chatty, almost blog-like style to her writing, which keeps the reader engaged and interested.

Plus, it’s one of those books you can pick up and put down in chapters. Loved it!

Sherlock Holmes, the undiscovered railway mysteries, by John Taylor (2.5/5)

Ugh I listened to this on audiobook, because I thought it might be interesting and give me a little distraction from work one day. It’s a series of short-stories based on Conan-Doyle’s characters… and it’s bland. The stories are ok, but they aren’t unmissable.

No Filter, by Grace Victory (5/5)

Oh my god I love this woman. Grace is a multi-talented Blogger and Youtuber that I’ve been watching on and off for the last 3 years and she never fails to astound me with her brilliance. This book is a personal memoir and ‘big-sister guide’ to life. She shares her struggles, her mental illness and her passions in it- all with the witty and honest voice that her channel has been so successful from.

I particularly loved it because she goes into great detail about her own battle with an eating disorder. She’s so relatable and gives you that feeling like there are other people out there who have the same struggles that you do- but yet her optimism and zest for life is so empowering.

(Lol ok I need to stop rambling about her, I’m a tad-obsessed)

The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena (3.75/5)

As I’m writing this I’ve realised just how many crime-thrillers I’ve been reading haha! This one is about a couple who go around next-door’s to dinner, only to realise when they return- that their baby has gone missing.

I have to say, I didn’t see the twists coming in this one. It’s entertaining, cleverly written and although it loses all sense of realism- it’s probably still worth a read if you’re looking for something easy.

All That She Can See- by Carrie Hope Fletcher (2/5)

I really think I need to give up on Carrie’s books sadly. I feel like she’s going to improve as a writer, but I continue to find her a bit sloppy, boring and predictable.

Particularly in this one, I felt that the plot was rushed, non-sensical and she was writing to include every type of person that you could possibly think of.

It’s a shame because I knew her quite well at one point, and really admire her. But I think her writing is just a little too childlike for me.

One, by Sarah Crossan (5/5)

This might be a contender for one of my favourite books of the year. The story follows conjoined twins, Grace and Tippi- and the decisions that they must make as they get older.

This book is perfect. It’s understanding, it’s heartfelt and also- the way that the book is physically written is so interesting. Giving half-pages to each of the twins and their own thoughts. I really, really loved this one.

Pulling the trigger, by Adam P Shaw (1.5/5)

Hah, I decided to try a self-help book this year, to see if it could offer me any interesting insight into my own mental-illness. Adam Shaw basically spends an entire novel talking about the merits of his VERY EXPENSIVE therapist and how you should EMBRACE YOUR FEAR.

Thanks, but no thanks Adam. Glad you’re better though pal!

The Wrong Knickers, by Bryony Gordon (5/5)

Ah now here is a woman I can relate to. This is Bryony’s first book- where she basically writes a memoir of life in her twenties and all the colossal fuck-ups that befell her. It’s humorous, relatable and a really light and easy read. Bridget Jones, eat your heart out.

The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith (4.5/5)

After reading and ADORING ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’- I thought I’d give the second novel in the Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) series a go. Cormoran Strike returns, but this time he’s tracking down a missing novelist.

I think I actually enjoyed this one more than the original. I love the dialogue and relationship between the lead characters, the story is unpredictable and of course, I love the way it’s written. It’s so easy and just flows beautifully.

Career of Evil, Robert Galbraith (4/5)

After enjoying the Silkworm, I gave the third in the series a go. This Cormoran book is VERY gross and gory, which surprised me. The relationship with Robin and Strike continues to entertain and delight me, but I have to say- I didn’t love the mystery behind this one. I found it more difficult to follow, and it felt like there was a lot of interviews, pounding the pavement and detective work.. when really I’m just dying for more of the lead characters relationship to blossom. Sue me.

The Making of Us, by Lisa Jewell (4/5)

“Lydia, Robyn and Dean don’t know each other – yet.  They live very different lives but each of them, independently, has always felt that something is missing.
What they don’t know is that a letter is about to arrive that will turn their lives upside down.”

This story follows three individuals and is written from different perspectives chapter by chapter. This was the first Lisa Jewell I read, and I have to say that I really enjoyed her style of prose. I found her characters believable and loveable- and the story engrossing enough to read it in around 2 days!

IT, by Stephen King (5/5)

By God, I blame this book for failing to read my 50-books this year. It’s bloody long! Despite this, King makes you almost feel like it needed to include all that detail, about the lives of the children of Derry and the presence that has haunted them all the way into their adult lives.

Tense, scary, descriptive and definitely one of the best horrors I’ve had the pleasure of reading. (Although I am now terrified of clowns, so thanks)

I LOVED this book when it came down to it, and it’s also left me rather smug that I’ll know what happens before part 2 comes out in the cinema.

This is how it always is, by Laurie Frankel

I wrote a full review on this book here: https://gathertherosebuds.com/2017/11/04/this-is-how-it-always-is-book-review/

Secrets for the mad, by Dodie Clark 

 I wrote a full review on this book here: https://gathertherosebuds.com/2017/11/07/secrets-for-the-mad-review/

Mythos, by Stephen Fry

I wrote a full review on this book here: https://gathertherosebuds.com/2017/11/11/book-review-mythos-by-stephen-fry/

Undercover Princess, by Connie Glynn

I wrote a full review on this book here: https://gathertherosebuds.com/2017/11/12/undercover-princess-book-review/

Sleeping Beauties, by Stephen King & Owen King

I wrote a full review on this book here: https://gathertherosebuds.com/2017/11/15/sleeping-beauties-book-review/

My Not-So Perfect Life- Sophie Kinsella (4/5)

Katie Brenner is a Somerset girl, who’s come to the big city of London to build a life there. Except, it isn’t all that perfect- and when she gets fired and has to move back home things begin to unravel quickly.

I have to say, despite this being chick-lit… it is damn good chicklit.

Unrealistic and mad? Sure!

But a nice easy read… save this one for the summer.

Then She Was Gone- Lisa Jewell (3.5/5)

I fancied a bit of a crime-thriller, so I picked up another Lisa Jewell- pretty much knowing what to expect (as I’d read her earlier in the year). This book follows the story of Laurel. A mother, who loses her teenage daughter Ellie. I don’t want to give too much away as it was a decent read. It was well-written and I enjoyed the storyline, but it was predictable sadly. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve read so many of this sort of novel, but I found myself frustrated at the plot at times, because of this. I wouldn’t NOT recommend it, but if you’re a fan of twists and turns- I could see most of these ones coming.

Rach

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