August has been and gone – the fastest of any month so far this year, I’m sure. I did manage to read seven books this month, which I’ll admit is less than I would have liked, but I was on holiday, and a lot of the books I read in August were classics!
Before I start, I would like to mention that I am now an affiliate for A Great Reads, an online bookseller, which I am delighted about! For those of you who have not heard this term before, this means that I receive a small percentage of the sales for books bought through these links. The books mentioned below that have affiliate links will be marked with a *!
I started August with We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver*; this book was utterly chilling, the story of a school shooter from the perspective of the mother. There were times I felt physically ill whilst reading this, as some truly terrible things happened. I did enjoy this book a lot, however – it was very psychological and interesting, and I think the story was told in a very unique way.
After that, I read The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger* which, I’ll be honest, didn’t blow me away. The plot, on the whole, was very nice, and I enjoyed the self-exploration, coming-of-age aspect. However, the protagonist, Holden, annoyed me; I found him to be quite pretentious and superior, and seemed to look down on people simply for being enthusiastic. Whether or not J. D. Salinger intended to write him like that, I’m unsure. I just thought he was really annoying.
Next I read Atonement by Ian McEwan*, recommended to me by my sister Jess. Like so many books I’ve read this summer, this was beautifully written and had an amazing story – it was filled with angst and drama, two things sure to make me feel invested in the story. The middle portion of the book, which focused on WW2, I found less interesting, but that too, was crucial to the story, and there really isn’t anything that I disliked about this book!
I then had my first break amidst all of these classics, and read The Fandom by Anna Day – I received an ARC of this book at YALC, and it was quite possibly the book proof I was most excited for. I loved it, and could barely put it down the whole time I was reading it. I have written my (glowing) review, and will post it either in October or November. Until then, just know that The Fandom was gorgeous and funny, and now has a little spot in my heart.
On a long car journey (six hours, in fact), I managed to finish A Room with a View by E. M. Forster*. I really enjoyed this: the plot was really entertaining, and the book read very well. As much as I loved the protagonist, Lucy, I did feel that her romance with George, and George himself, was quite undeveloped, and I didn’t really grow attached to them as a couple. Everything else was lovely, however, so overall I found it to be a successful read!
The final book I read during my holiday was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte* – I’ll admit, I started reading this book last October, and only got about 27% of the way through. Lots of people, however, kept recommending Jane Eyre after I read (and loved) Pride and Prejudice, so I decided to try it again (this time with a paperback copy). Again, I found the first third quite hard to get into, but after that I loved it! Naturally, I found Mr Rochester very frustrating and controlling and just Not Good in general; I still thought it was a really good story and sped through the second half of the book!
Lastly, this month I read The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan*; I read this book on the last day of August, and it was a really quick and enjoyable read. I was really impressed by how David Levithan was able to create such an emotional story in such a small book. I did find that the words used as the ‘dictionary definitions’ were often quite obscure, which meant I didn’t understand them. When I was able to match the word with the accompanying writing, it made the story all the more magical.
In other news, Taylor Swift has released her new single Look What You Made Me Do, which I have been playing on repeat ever since it came out (along with a couple of throwback songs like Grace Kelly by MIKA, and Shine by Take That). Honestly, it took me a few listens to truly get into, and I think she’s causing conflict unnecessary – but it’s Taylor. Of course I love it.
I am back at school now, but hopefully will still get lots of reading done this September – I have so many books, both classics and YA, that I cannot wait to read!