Reading is my ‘chair’ as Shemar Moore says in S. W. A. T. the tv show. Reading is what I do to relax and escape, to take my mind off of my world for a bit and look into someone else’s. I’ve probably got over 100 books, most of which I have actually read and loved so here’s my top five books to read! You’ll notice a pattern in the type of books I read! They’re not in any particular order of preference, I really couldn’t choose a favourite.
Book 1: AM I NORMAL YET? By Holly Bourne
AM I NORMAL YET? Is all about 16 Year-Old Evie who just wants to be normal. Age 16 Means college, friends, parties and of course, BOYS! (Or Girls in some cases but in this case boys) This book tells Evie’s story and how she desperately tries to be normal and I Just Fell in love with the book Completely. Evie makes friends who are just brilliant in every way possible, including the fact they clearly have their own personality flaws because well, don’t we all? What I also love about the book is they layout of it. Seems odd but i’m such a fussy reader…It’s so relaxed and it’s written in a way that you can really connect with Evie on a number of levels. As well as that it’s distinctly funny! It’s the first book in the spinster series trilogy which are all from different character view points in the friendship group who form the spinster club. Each book tells us different story with running themes of feminism, friendship and todays society, and I highly recommend all three! The other two are below!
Book 2: ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES By Jennifer Niven
This book is currently being made in to a movie and I am so, so excited! I’ve been waiting for this for so long! Congrats to Jennifer Niven on getting her book turned in to a movie, I’m sure it’s an absolute dream come true!
All The Bright Places, is about two characters named Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, and first off, those names are just beautiful so we’re on to a winner already! The book is written from both perspectives and chapter by chapter we hear from each of them. They meet on top of the school bell tower and each have their own reason for being there. Their relationship with each other develops beautifully into this amazing and captivating story, that quite frankly, I fell in love with. It carries with it some wildly important themes and events and I have all the love and respect in the world for this book and Jennifer Niven! This book will take you on an absolute roller coaster of emotions and I guarantee you will LOVE it!
BOOK 3: THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE By Jandy Nelson
This book was really important to me because I read it just after my grandad passed away and it was honestly a bit of a lifeline at that point in my life. The book follows a young girl named Lennie, who is going through the motions of grief, of losing her sister and while I lost a different family member, I related to a lot of what Lennie went through. I love that her name is Lennie and I also appreciated that Lennie was going through grief at the same age that I was which is seventeen. What I also love about Lennie is that she’s not one of the popular girls, she’s a band geek and a hopeless romantic. She leaves poems scattered all around the town she lives in and while this is something i’d never do, I adore the concept of it. The story is a beautiful one that I’ll cherish for a long, long time.
One thing about the book that I love is that you get to see the poems in a completely different format that isn’t just written in italics, I think it gives the book a really wholesome and real feel to it. They’re all in different formats, fonts, settings and places and it even tells you where the poem was ‘Found’ in the town.
Book 4: PAPER BUTTERFLIES By Lisa Heathfield
Okay, this book tore me to pieces in every which way. Lisa Heathfields books, (The ones i’ve read) in my opinion, all carry tragic circumstances for the characters involved and paper butterflies is no exception. That being said it is a beautiful, soul destroying story.
When I read the opening few pages of the book I must admit, I was horrified. It features child abuse in one of the most sinister ways – where seemingly nothing is happening. It isn’t crude or violent but it is horrid and it got to me, instantly. The main character is called ‘June’, which is such a lovely name and a massive contrast to her life. June is just a child as she narrates this story and when she meets ‘Blister’, there comes a sense of the tiniest glimmer of hope that maybe, things won’t always be like they are. The narrative of this book is damning and shocking and Lisa Heathfields writes in such a way that you empathise with June and Blister throughout everything they go through. The characters and the story will stay with you for a long time after you close the book. Part of me was glad it was over and part of me yearned for more. I’m sure you’ll be same, and brace yourself, because there will be tears.
Book 5: THE ART OF BEING NORMAL By Lisa Williamson
This is a really fantastic book for so many reasons! It tells the story of how two boys, David and Leo, meet and develop their unlikely friendship with each other. David wants to be a girl and Leo is harbouring a secret of his own. Together they embark on a journey that tugs at your heart strings. While some of the things that are said/done to characters in this book are horrible and mean and quite frankly unthinkable, what you have to realise while you’re reading it that things like this DO happen in real life and they absolutely shouldn’t. I think a lot of people can take so much away from this book, I certainly did. While I don’t have any desire to be transgender, I do have my own secrets that I’d like to stay secret. Everyone does.
One thing that I love about this book other than the content is the layout! As I said earlier, I’m a really picky reader. I’m not sure why, but I am. If I don’t like the look of the book layout/Font/Font size I find it really difficult to read, which is so ironic because ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover!’ but it’s just the way I am! I like the layout of TAOBN because for one it’s from split points of view which for me, means I can relate to the characters more and secondly, the two points of view are written in different fonts! It’s such a minute detail, but I thought it made such a big difference and made it so much easier to read!
I hope you like my top five must reads! Be sure to let me know if you’ve read any of these book previously/ read them off the back of my post and i’d love to hear what you thought to them. If you’ve got any book suggestions drop them in the comments below!