So if you remember I posted My ‘Leaving’ Book Haul, where I listed the last books I thought I would get for a while before I leave for France to move back in with my parents. Well… Yeah… I got more books.
It started at the airport where I was leaving for France with my best friend and my boyfriend. Our flight was delayed by several hours and there happened to be two WH Smith’s which, as a bookish person, I had to ‘investigate’. There I got The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton.
These books have been everywhere recently and, in the boredom of waiting and at the sign of a ‘buy on get one half price’ sticker, I crumbled and bought them. I’m more excited for The Girl on the Train because I’ve heard so many great things about it and it seems more my style, but, for some reason, I think The Miniaturist will be similar to The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender in the style that it’s written and that makes me want to read it more.
Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train.
There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed …On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways …Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall? Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, Jessie Burton’s magnificent debut novel The Miniaturist is a story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.
The next books I bought from a shop in Freiburg. We came across it by accident while we were looking for food, as hungry teenagers do. I dragged my friends in there and there was an English section and I was oh-so happy. In there I bought How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran, and The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey.
I have seen Caitlin Moran in interviews with some of my favourite BookTubers, and she is hilariously brilliant. She is a feminist, and it completely honest and passionate which is the one of the reasons I’ve been wanting to read her books for a while. This is her only fiction one and I can’t one.
The Girl with All the Gifts is one I’ve heard about and have wanted, but it slipped my mind until I saw it in the store and you can see what happened after that.
What do you do in your teenage years when you realise what your parents taught you wasn’t enough? You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes – and build yourself. It’s 1990. Johanna Morrigan, 14, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there’s no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde – fast-talking, hard-drinking Gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer! She will save her poverty stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer – like Jo in Little Women, or the Brontes – but without the dying young bit. By 16, she’s smoking cigarettes, getting drunk and working for a music paper. She’s writing pornographic letters to rock-stars, having all the kinds of sex with all the kinds of men, and eviscerating bands in reviews of 600 words or less. But what happens when Johanna realises she’s built Dolly with a fatal flaw? Is a box full of records, a wall full of posters and a head full of paperbacks, enough to build a girl after all? Imagine The Bell Jar written by Rizzo from Grease, with a soundtrack by My Bloody Valentine and Happy Mondays. As beautiful as it is funny, How To Build a Girl is a brilliant coming-of-age novel in DMs and ripped tights, that captures perfectly the terror and joy of trying to discover exactly who it is you are going to be.
NOT EVERY GIFT IS A BLESSING Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite. But they don’t laugh. Melanie is a very special girl. Emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is the most powerful and affecting thriller you will read this year.
The last book I bought was at the airport when I was dropping my boyfriend and friend off for their flight back to England. I never knew there was an English book section until I was wondering around and found it. It’s small and I’m not a big fan of most of the books there, but they had this one: The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simison. I’ve been meaning to get The Rosie Project for a while, so I decided to get this so when I finally buy it I will have the sequel ready and waiting.
The Rosie Effect is the charming and hilarious sequel to Graeme Simsion’s bestselling debut novel The Rosie Project. Forty-one-year-old geneticist Don Tillman had never had a second date before he met Rosie. Now, living in New York City, they have survived ten months and ten days of marriage, even if Don has had to sacrifice standardized meals and embrace unscheduled sex. But then Rosie drops the mother of all bombshells. And Don must prepare for the biggest challenge of his previously ordered life – at the same time as dodging deportation, prosecution and professional disgrace. Is Don Tillman ready to become the man he always dreamed of being? Or will he revert to his old ways and risk losing Rosie for ever? Join Don and Rosie in the next chapter of their weird and wonderful journey in Graeme Simsion’s unmissable new novel, The Rosie Effect.
What’s your opinion on these books? Are they good reads? Do you find them interesting? Are there any you recommend? Are there any that will make me want to burn them because they are so bad their only use is to sacrifice them to the gods?