I completed six books in January 2017, and they were all fantastic. Here are my thoughts...
The Legacy of Lucy Harte - Emma Heatherington
I loved this story! Maggie, the recipient of a donor heart, knows that she's not making the most of her life. A run-of-the-mill job, a brother she doesn't talk to, a fondness for drinking more than she really should...None of it is enough any more. Maggie's knows she's lost all sense of herself, but it's only when she makes contact with the family of Lucy Harte, the girl whose heart she was gifted seventeen years ago, that she truly realised how little living she's actually been doing.
It was an absolute pleasure to follow Maggie on her journey, and Emma Heatherington has done a brilliant job in balancing a serious (and at times heavy) plot with witty one-liners. The Irish flavour will appeal to fans of Marian Keyes and there's overseas travel for those readers with wanderlust. There's a hint of romance, but this is as much a love story between Maggie and Lucy as it is between her and the potential partners.
If you're looking for a January read which will inspire you to live for the moment, The Legacy of Lucy Harte could be it.
Under Rose-Tainted Skies - Louise Gornall
Although I am not agoraphobic, Under Rose-Tainted Skies brought back painful memories of my own darkest moments. I found Norah's story so easy to relate to, and I'm sure many readers who have experience of depression, anxiety or other mental health issues will recognise the awful surge of panic Norah experiences in what she feels should be 'normal' situations.
Louise Gornall's book is so very necessary as well as being beautifully written; and it's wonderful to see such an honest portrayal of a character with agoraphobia hitting the shelves (especially from an #ownvoices author). I can see why so many people have raved about this book and predict it'll be an enormous success across the water now it's been published in America.
You Know Me Well - Nina LaCour and David Levithan
Kate and Mark have been sitting next to each other in class for a whole year, but until they meet in a bar at the start of San Francisco's Pride they barely know each other.
What follows is a week-long adventure of love and friendship set against the glorious backdrop of the beautiful city of San Francisco.
It's fantastic to see a YA book with a whole cast of LGBT characters, but more than that the high hopes I had for the book were met. The plot isn't complex, but it doesn't need to be. This is the epitome of a character driven novel, and from the moment I finished the book I was left longing to know what was in store for Kate, Mark, Violet, Ryan and the rest of the gang. I really, really hope we'll get to see more of them in the future.
Radio Silence - Alice Oseman
Frances is a fan of the Universe City podcast. In fact, some might say she's more than a fan. She used the podcast as inspiration for her artwork, the one thing she has besides her A levels.
When Universe City's creator reaches out to her via the internet, Frances is shocked to discover the person behind her favourite podcast lives in close proximity.
This is a book about secrets, fandom, societal expectations and friendships. I loved the diverse, believable characters, the plot and most of all the beautiful writing. Alice Oseman - this is wonderful. Thank you.
Saturday, 3pm - Daniel Gray
A slender volume of fifty vignettes examining the everyday pleasures of life as a football fan.
Beautiful, heart-felt prose evokes a sense of nostalgia for a by-gone era whilst reminding the reader of the simple delights not yet erradicated from the modern game. From club shops to floodlights to the excitement at passing a team bus on the motorway, Daniel Gray's book is as much about society, sociology and history as it is about football.
Saturday, 3pm is a joy to read.
Set The Boy Free - Johnny Marr
Read my review here.
What have you read this year so far?