It is book club pick time and I have been so excited to read this month’s choice from ‘The Tasting Notes Book Club’. ‘Asking for a Friend’ is from the pen of comedian Andi Osho and it did not disappoint – in fact, I would say it is a perfect tonic for lockdown (although it did really make me miss London with my besties).
We join three friends Simi, Jemima and Meagan as they face the challenges of relationships and careers in good old London town. Three best friends, but three very different ladies when it comes to relationships – and what they are willing to admit is a ‘perfect’ MAN. So, they start taking on the dating game and picking each other’s dates. And, well, let’s be honest: it takes them on quite some journeys of self-discovery – as well as reflecting on other areas of their lives.
This is a book written with so much warmth and humour that it is quite a page-turner. You feel as though you become part of the gang – and although none of the ladies are perfect, they clearly balance each other out in a wonderful support unit.
This is a celebration of female friendships, even their ups and downs. And a real reflection of what healthy relationships of all kinds should look like. A fun read, especially in the current situation. Really looking forward to discussing this book with other readers!
I love the Simonverse and was so glad that this book took me back there as my March choice for ‘The Unread Shelf Project 2021’. Becky Albertalli books are beautiful pieces of YA fiction that I honestly believe can and should be enjoyed by readers of all ages. And ‘The Upside of Unrequited’ is certainly a book I wish I could have read as a teenager.
Molly was the perfect star of the novel for me. She has all the insecurities that I remember having as a teenager – and all the worries. But, through Albertalli’s great storytelling, we see how Molly tackles world – and this is something that I think so many readers could relate to and find comfort in. Especially about the complex world of relationships of all kinds.
As always, there is also a brilliant collection of characters. Diversity is celebrated, as it should be, through these fantastic characters. However, flaws and issues within society are also tackled. These books educate as well as entertain, which, to me, is a perfect read. And, of course, there is the fact that you want to become best friends with Molly and her gang.
If you are looking for a comfort read, then this is a book I really recommend as Becky Albertalli gives us another story full of joy.
Today is my day to showcase ‘The Lottery’, which I was kindly gifted.
What would you do if you won the lottery? More importantly, what would you do if you won the lottery with a ticket you did not buy? These are the questions facing Maggie and Greg after they discover a lost lottery ticket.
The novel asks a lot questions through its narrative. Does money really make our characters happy? Can money bring good fortune? Or does it become something that is destructive?
The story is an insteresting study of how both Maggie and Greg react to the dramatic change in their lifestyle. The path each character takes begins to impact on them individually, their family and their friends – in fact they probably find out more about themselves than they think possible.
This is certainly a book that can cause you to reflect on your own life. After all, you do not really know how you would react to a situation until it happens. A life lesson for both Maggie and Greg with two very different endings.
I was lucky enough to be gifted a copy of ‘The End of Where We Begin’ as part of a Tandem Collective readalong. I had no idea what this book was about, however it turned out to be one of the most powerful and engaging books I have ever read.
This book introduces us to the stories of refugees in South Sudan – a country ravaged by civil war. This is the story of Daniel, Veronica and Lilian – three people linked by their experience of having their lives turned upside-down by war.
Now, I am not sure I can do this book justice, and it is one that I highly recommend you all read, because it teaches you so much. Not only about Daniel, Veronica, Lilian and their fellow refugees – but about yourself, too.
This book really makes you realise that we should all have more awareness of what is going on in the world to our fellow humans. And that the bravery of so many goes unoticed, and that in the darkest times some of the most fantastic kindness can bring light.
There are some difficult passages to read, as a war brings out the darkest sides of some. However, it is all handled sensitively and is there to be factual, not to simply create a shock factor.
This is a book you will have an emotional reaction to. You cannot help yourself. It is a book, however, that will cause reflection and may make you think it is time to make some changes and help others.
When I heard there was a prequel to ‘The Hate U Give‘, I knew I had to read it (bye, bye, book-buying ban).
This is the story of Starr’s father, Maverick: a character so many if us loved from the original story. We are with Maverick in his late teen years. He is navigating the challenges of growing up in a town where being a young black man more or less guarantees you will be a member of a gang, and all that entails. As well as finding out he has become a teenage dad – and that is something that is about to happen again.
In this book, young Maverick has a lot to deal with. Yet, he realises that this is not how his life has to be – in fact, he can break the mould. He realises that he can carve out his own destiny and become a better man.
This is a book ful of lessons for all of us about taking responsibility for our actions. And that we should not let anyone tell us what we should be, because that does not always lead to change.
You can read this book without having read ‘The Hate U Give’, but I highly recommend both. Especially as it is great to see contrasting perspectives over time – Starr and her father.
This was certainly a book that makes breaking the book buying ban worth it.