I love reading but ever since I did my English degree I've failed to be regular with it because I find that by the time I get to bed, I'm too tired to read. However, this year I made the aim of getting through one book a month and consciously set time aside to read.
There's no spoilers here, just an introduction to each book and whether I'd recommend it.
*As a little reminder, check out your local charity shops for books. I got a lot of these for £1*
January - Conversations With Friends, Sally Rooney (2/5)
A couple of students in Ireland get mixed up with a married couple and one of them starts an affair with the husband.
Not as good as Normal People (another popular book by Sally Rooney) , wouldn't recommend this one.
February - The Road Trip, Beth O'Leary (4.5/5)
Two exes are forced to take a road trip together, I'll say no more.
Loved this. Really easy to read and entertaining throughout. If you want something that you don't need to think about, go for it.
March - How to Kill Your Family, Bella Mackie (5/5)
A woman is in prison for a crime she didn't commit and she talks you through the crimes she did commit.
Very dark and funny, LOVED it. If you like crime stories but something also quite funny, then you'll love this.
April - Longbourn, Jo Baker (3/5)
An alternative view of the events in Pride and Prejudice, telling the story from the perspective of the servants at Longbourn, the Bennet family home.
Pride and Prejudice is my favourite book so when I got this as a Christmas present I was excited to check it out. It was fine, but can't really say much more than that. If you like Pride and Prejudice then you'll enjoy seeing a different side of the story, but at times I found this a bit dull.
May - The Twins, L. V. Matthews (3/5)
Twins Margo and Cora are massively different but they both lived through an unspeakable incident when they were younger which binds them and a secret comes to light which threatens everything.
This was a book club pick from Richard and Judy and had lots of good reviews. I personally found it really entertaining but then it got a bit confusing towards the end which is why this is just a 3/5 for me. I would recommend it though if you like thrillers.
June - Persuasion, Jane Austen (4/5)
A story all about second chances. Anne Elliot was persauded not to marry Captain Frederick Wentworth due to social rank and then he returns years later with money and a high ranking job.
Now obviously there's nothing new about this and although it isn't my favourite Austen book, I did enjoy re-reading this in preparation for the new film. However, I made it 30 minutes into the film before turning it off because they had completely changed the character of Anne and it was just annoying so I would recommend the book, but definitely not the film if you're a proper Austen fan.
July - Us, David Nicholls (2/5)
Wife turns to husband of 25 years and tells him she wants a divorce once their son has gone off to uni. The family go off on one last holiday and things don't go straightforward to say the least.
I went for this purely because I loved Nicholls' One Day but this wasn't for me. I just found it a bit dull at times and felt like a drag to get to the final page. There's a BBC adaptation of it starring Tom Hollander but I don't think I'll bother to be honest.
August - Everything I Know About Love, Dolly Alderton (3.5/5)
A fictionalised memoir about growing up and growing older. Four friends move to London in their 20s and life happens.
I'm normally not into non-fiction but I did enjoy this because it was written quite like a story rather than an autobriography. However, I haven't scored it higher because at the end it got a bit too advicey for me. There's a BBC adaption of this which is good, would recommend that too.
September - Magpie, Elizabeth Day (4.5/5)
Psychological thriller about motherhood, obsession, and how far some people will go for the 'perfect' family. Lots of twists.
This was great with lots of WTF moments. As soon as you think you know what's going on you're thrown in another direction.
October - It Ends With Us, Coleen Hoover (5/5)
Romance novel based off Hoover's own parents. Everything seems very happy and sweet, but then a dark side of someone comes out and the whole relationship is thrown into chaos.
This book really plays off the 'if something seems too good to be true, it probably is' saying. Didn't see it coming, and loved it. Definitely left me thinking very differently about relationships.
November - The Couple at No 9, Claire Douglas (5/5)
A young couple move into a cute little cottage and when work starts on their extension a couple of bodies are found in the garden which definitely isn't an open and closed case.
I really loved this. Couldn't put it down. Lots going on and then it all ties together brilliantly at the end.
December - The Couple Next Door, Shari Lapena (5/5)
A couple return from a dinner party to find their baby girl is gone. What follows is the race to find her alive, but there's more to this case than you first think.
I inhaled this book over a long weekend. I couldn't put it down. There's so many twists and turns but it still remains so beleivable - which makes it more terrifying.
On my list to read next:
One of the Girls, Lucy Clarke
The Man We Married, Alison James
Pretty Little Things, TME Walsh
The Marriage Lie, Limberly Belle
It Starts With Us, Coleen Hoover