This is what I've been reading lately,
This is how it always is - Laurie Frankel
One of my colleagues randomly handed me this book from the new books delivery and said she thought I'd like it, and like it I did. Quirky family of 7 (all with awesome names by the way like Claude, Roosevelt and Orion) where the mum, Rosie, has always wanted a little girl called Poppy, and she gets one when her 5th son comes out as transgender. I found this so beautiful and interesting, following the whole family as they react to Poppy's transition as a child through to a young adult. Laurie Frankel is the parent of a transgender child, and the experience she brings to the story makes it even more poignant. I think this was my favourite book of 2018.
Dear Mrs Bird - AJ Pearce
I loved the first half of this book, but the second half drama happened and it kinda ruined it for me. Does anyone else just want to read books about mundane everyday life, and people being nice, without authours ruining it with twists, turns, drama and resolution, or is it just me? Anyway I still liked it, even though it made me a bit sad, the characters talk like grown up Enid Blyton characters and one of them is called Bunty!
The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir - Lesley Allen
Oh my gosh, the first half of this book was a struggle to get through. Biddy is bullied unrelentingly by girls at her school and we're told about this in great detail. If you don't want to read about heartbreaking abuse, bullying, anxiety, self harm and isolation then this probably isn't the book for you. I almost put it down several times. Having said that, the second part is more hopeful and you'll find yourself rooting for Biddy and loving her new friend Terri and her cosy seaside cottage. I did a little tear at the end of this, which is always the sign of a good book.
Who runs the world - Virginia Bergin
There are a lot of reviews of this book that say it's man hating, but I enjoyed it and I think with this kind of book you take it with a pinch of salt. There are no men, they've been wiped out by a virus and women live in a peaceful, crime free, greed free society, coping with the aftermath of climate change. The young women have never met a man or boy, but the grandmas remember the old times and the protests that happened when the remaining men were put into facilities for their own safety. Until our protagonist, River, meets a real life boy, escaped from the not so safe facilities, and everything changes.
The finding of Martha Lost - Caroline Wallace
Martha is a foundling, abandoned as baby on a train, and adopted by a woman with Very Questionable parenting techniques who runs the lost property department at Liverpool Lime Street Station. Luckily, it's the seventies and the lady in the station café next door provides cake, music and friendship while Martha solves lost property mysteries (she has a knack for it) and her own mystery too.
How to Stop Time - Matt Haig
I'm trying to read more books written by men, but then I keep not liking them, and I don't know if it's because I don't like the particular books or I just don't like books written by men (which makes me feel bad - I do like Phillip Pullman so at least there's that!) Anyway, I liked the concept of this but didn't like the writing so much. This was just ok to me.
Midnight Marked - Chloe Neill
I've read all 13 of this series and this is the last one. And I'm sad I don't have any more of these light fun vampire stories to work though. This last one was as fun and silly as the others, I'd highly recommend them if you're looking for a fluffy but engaging urban fantasy series to get your fangs into.
Are we all Lemmings and Snowflakes - Holly Bourne
I so wanted to love this as much as I've loved all of Holly Bourne's other books, but it was pretty hard going. It's probably a really realistic representation of mental illness, and therefore important to read, understand and think about. But the actual reading of it is heavy going and I didn't like some of the characters and parts of the plot. I guess this one wasn't for me, but I'm looking forward to seeing what Holly Bourne writes next.
What have you been reading?