August Reads

Welcome to my first edition of my 'Book Corner/Monthly Reads' post. I wrote here about wanting to include some more literature based reviews on my blog and thought that it'd be a good month to begin, having just seen the summer through with plenty of fabulous novels. Unfortunately I can't photograph them all because I've leant my copies out to friends and so on, but aside from Slated (Teri Terry) and Scatterheart (Lili Wilkinson), pictured here, I've also read The Virgin Suicides (Jeffery Eugenides), When She Woke (Hillary Jordan), I Heart Paris (Lindsey Kelk), and half of Life After Life (Kate Atkinson, although I shall actually review this once I've fully read it).

The Virgin Suicides - Jeffery Eugenides (*****)
This is such a hauntingly beautiful book, I read it an entire 6 hour train journey from Somerset to County Durham and literally couldn't put it down. It's incredibly well written from the perspective of an anonymous group of teenage boys (although I somehow managed to forget this whilst reading) who chart their understandings of the events of the suicides of the five Lisbon sisters, Cecilia, Lux, Mary, Therese and Bonnie. This is one of those books that I really want everyone to have a go at, the story line is not too complex, it's the descriptives and the fascination with such a tragic event that had me thinking wow, this is the kind of book I want to write and it's certainly the kind of book that everyone should be reading.

When She Woke - Hillary Jordan (*****)
Lately I've been absolutely loving the world of teenage dystopian fiction. I began with The Hunger Games, moved on to Tris Prior in Divergent and find myself really reaching for books that contain the same human world we live in now, but with an added ultra modern twist. When She Woke tells the story of Hannah, a girl who wakes up and finds herself branded with red skin, the punishment in the state of Texas for the killing of her unborn child. She refuses to name the father of her child and instead, she is guided by her religious beliefs and attempts to live a normal life in spite of her new skin colour. Her family are unable to take her back into their lives as a result of her skin branding and instead she goes off to live in a refuge house run by a militant religious couple. Not content with that life Hannah begins to question her faith and runs away to try and find some freedom. I won't ruin the surprise of who the father is or what happens to Hannah but this book is incredibly fast paced and quite the page turner!

I Heart Paris - Lindsey Kelk (***)
I got caught up in the hype of the I Heart... series after seeing some fellow #bbloggers posting pictures of their summer reads on Instagram and Twitter. I then spotted the first three books in the series on 3 for 2 in Tesco and ended up reading I Heart New York, I Heart Hollywood and then this, I Heart Paris. I'm not saying that these books are badly written or anything truly negative, just that they are your bog standard Chick Lit and to be honest by book two I was bored. But I persevered and read I Heart Paris because I dream about being able to go to Paris one day. I Heart Paris sees Angela and boyfriend Alex travel to Paris, Angela for a job assignment and Alex to play a music festival with his band. Whilst there Angela encounters Alex's super fabulous French ex-fiancee and it all hits the fan. She even hops on the Eurostar at one point and ends up sitting in St Pancras in London mulling over her relationship woes before turning right around and getting back on the train and going to see Alex (now isn't that a little too farfetched or am I being an old sourpuss?!) There are more books in this series but I don't think I'll be reading them.

Slated - Teri Terry (*****)
Now here's another teenage dystopian fiction offering that really surprised me. I was completely sworn in by the blurb and I'm not usually one to judge an actual book by it's cover (I usually tend to open a novel to a random page and read it before buying just to be sure!) but this blub had me hooked. Why has Kyla's memory been erased, who was she before she was slated and what on Earth has she done to have been slated as punishment? What surprises me here is that I STILL DON'T KNOW! It's so frustrating. I read all the way to the end and found out that Slated is to be a series and all of the cliff hangers I am left with and all my unanswered questions remain unanswered, for now. What I like about this is that Kyla is different, she's inquisitive and wants to know what the Government are doing, after all she's still a child in school...how can she have been a terrorist?! I absolutely cannot wait for the second book.

Scatterheart - Lili Wilkinson (****)
The premise of this book is excellent in my opinion, a young girl in 18/19th Century London, brought up by a gentleman of a father and surrounded by servants and monetary wealth, is convicted of a theft (albeit wrongly) when her father abandons her and has squandered the family fortune. She is sent aboard a ship of convicts leaving for the colonies in New South Wales, Australia. Scatterheart is a novel with plenty of character, and interesting events but it's Hannah Cheshire, the protagonist, that annoyed me throughout the novel. She's far too naive about the world in my opinion, she finds it difficult to walk through the streets of her home town of London, has no idea what her father does for a living and certainly has no idea why the guards do not succumb to her whining and protests about who she is and how she's a 'lady of Quality' in order to let her out of prison. There's romance in this novel, a bit of gore and some stirring mental images of 18/19th century London to be had, it's worth a read for sure. I enjoyed it!

So that was my round up of my reads for this month. Have you read any of the books that I have mentioned? Do you want to read any of them now that I've told you my thoughts? What do you think I should read next?


  1. Great post Louise!
    The only one of these I've read is Slated which I really nejoyed, I found the sequel disappointing though :( x

    1. Also, if you'd ever like to write for us over at Blogger's Bookshelf (http://bloggersbookshelf.blogspot.com) let me know - we'd love to have you!


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