Welcome back! I’ve taken quite the break from blogging over the past few weeks but I promise you, I haven’t stopped reading. One of my favourite things about summertime is having more time to read, so here are a few good ones I’ve picked up over the past month and a half.
I mentioned these two briefly in my last blog post – here’s a more thorough look.
- If you like X-Men and the what-if-we-had-special-powers scenario, I recommend Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds series. Set in dystopian America in the near future, The Darkest Minds series examines the lives of children with special abilities and their rebellion against repression and certain death. To mutant or not to mutant? I couldn’t put these books down – I finished the series in a week.
- If you like the special-powers scenario but are looking for a different angle, check out Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen. Aveyard has created a world where those with special abilities are the ones in power and heroine Mare Barrow is about to upset the whole system. This is looking to be a big seller in Young Adult fiction this year, so definitely take a read. Aveyard is set to release Book 2 in 2016.
The Queen is Back.
- If you haven’t read The Queen of The Tearling yet, well, shame on you. It’s a book people have been buzzing about all year, and here’s one reason why: Emma Watson is set to star as the heroine, Kelsea Glynn, in the film adaptation. Erika Johansen signed a seven-book deal last year and the second book in the series, The Invasion of the Tearling, was released last month. In my honest opinion, I found The Queen of the Tearling lacking – but Invasion had a lot more substance and it left me wanting more. If you’re a fan of fantasy, pick these two up and tell me what you think.
- One of the best books of 2015, Station Eleven will make you long for a world we already live in. I’ve never felt nostalgic for light switches or refrigerators until I read this masterful novel written by Emily St. John Mandel. It’s ridiculously realistic – a pandemic hits Toronto and life as
we know it grinds to a screeching halt. Station Eleven chronicles the lives
of the survivors, giving us a glimpse of humanity’s darkest days and reminding us how precious life really is. I loved this book.
- It’s Literally a Book Club read and discussed two great summer reads to put on your nightstand: Reconstructing Amelia and The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules.
- We were huge fans of Reconstructing Amelia. Having just read The Girl On The Train, we were in mystery/thriller mode, so this was the perfect follow-up. After the tragic death of her daughter, Kate begins researching the mysterious circumstances surrounding her daughter’s last days and final hours. Kimberly McCreight definitely has a knack for nailing mother-daughter relationships and strong female leads. Secret societies, long-held grudges, and prep school politics are uncovered in this thrilling and heart-wrenching story. If you’ve enjoyed Gossip Girl and The Gilmore Girls, you’ll definitely find a favourite in Reconstructing Amelia. We gave this one 3.5/5.
- Next, we tackled Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg’s The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules, a hilarious romp about a group of pensioners who believe that jail would hold more comforts than their retirement home. A comedy of errors, this book will keep you giggling. To sum up the funniest scene, two words: sauna + marijuana. Funny things happen. This was an unexpected pick for our group but we enjoyed it. 3/5.
- Next up, we’re reading Agatha Christie’s classic mystery, The Tuesday Club Murders. It’ll be just like reading a game of CLUE and I can’t wait.
- I’m going to be stepping up my book review game this year and I’ve been spoiled with some great Canadian titles this summer. I’m currently reading Jeff Rubin’s take on Canada’s economic future in The Carbon Bubble: What Happens To Us When It Bursts, out this past May. I don’t normally foray into non-fiction willingly, but I have to say, Rubin’s book couldn’t be more timely (to name a few crises on the horizon: the Grexit, Canada’s potential for a recession, and China’s stock market crash). Rubin seems to be on to something, as CBC reports a global shift towards clean energy and away from fossil fuels. If you’re worried about Canada’s economic future, this is definitely worth the read. Up next, I’ll be taking a look at Marina Endicott’s Close To Hugh.
Keep your eyes on the blog for more summer reading recommendations.