One of my favourite things about long, hot summer days is whiling away the hours in the blissful sun with a good book. If you are scouring the shelves for a book this summer but you can’t find one that just screams ‘Read me!’ then this list may help. It’s only short, and I realise it is basically made up of books by the same author (I just couldn’t pick one), but I loved each book and they were each so different.
Book Number One
This is sort of a biography about Theo, a young boy living in New York city who absolutely adores his mother. However, in the wake of a tragedy Theo ends up with two prize possessions that ultimately shape his life. I don’t want to give much more away, but this is a huge book that follows Theo through his life, travels, friendships and love. This novel is written absolutely beautifully, everything is described in such rich, intricate ways to really absorb you into Theo’s entire world. It’s long, and a book filled with countless story lines of Theo’s life. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
Book Number Two
The Little Friend
The Goldfinch set me on a road of determination, I just had to read Donna Tartt’s other novels, and I’m sure if you read just one you’ll understand why. The novel is wonderful, and follows Harriet. Much like Theo, Harriet has experienced her share of tragedy, but in a different way to Theo. Whilst Theo was a seemingly isolated and almost frustrating character, I really rooted for Harriet. She is surrounded by a mix of wonderful, hilarious female characters and is such an adventurous and strong-minded character. The Little Friend follows several separate characters and their stories along the way, that ultimately shape Harriet’s story. Again, with great credit to Donna Tartt, this novel is beautifully written. The characters are themselves people and their world completely becomes yours. It’s exciting and mysterious, and would make a great novel for your summer read.
Book Number Three
Me Before You
If you are looking for a more romantic novel, I very recently read Me Before You, written my Jojo Moyes. You may have heard of it as it is about to become a film (all the more reason to read it!). It’s a lovely story that follows Lou. Lou is bouncing between jobs to support her family, and ultimately ends up working with Will Traynor. Will was unfortunately paralysed, and has a very cynical, pessimistic view on the world. In comparison, Lou is this enthusiast, quirky woman who you can’t help but love. This book is truly heart-warming, and has made me very excited for the film release.
Book Number Four
The Secret History
This is the last Donna Tartt novel (she has only written three, sadly). This is again very different to her previous two books and is told my Richard. Richard recounts his life as a Classics student in Vermont. The story begins with Richard recounting, briefly, a terrible event in his past, and the rest of the novel unwraps and tries to decipher why this terrible event ever happened in the first place. This novel is filled with sharp, beautiful and intelligent characters, with a lot of sexual and narcotic exploration. The most provoking thing about this novel is that, given it’s almost confessional, guilty approach, you leave the story almost completely understanding why such a terrible thing happened. You question yourself, like if I was Richard, would I do the same? If you love a murder mystery, and want to read something that is not at all a traditional ‘whodunit’ novel, this is definately the one for you.
Book Number Five
Now this is a more traditional mystery novel. Written by Gillian Flynn, it follows Camille, a journalist in Chicago who is sent back to her tiny and ultimately strange and isolated town to follow the mystery of an abducted little girl. Camille lives here with her family, and ends up trying to solve the mystery of who took the little girl, rather than just writing about it. It is filled with very interesting and some very strange characters. It’s quick, and fast-paced and to be honest, once I was about half way through I just didn’t want to stop reading. I had to find out!
Book Number Six
I’ve just started the novel but I love it so much I couldn’t leave it off the list. It is a fantasy novel filled with magic. It follows Agnieszka, who lives in this sweet little village that is surrounded by a dangerous and mysterious wood. Anyone lost to the wood is either lost forever or changed. To protect themselves from the wood they are overlooked by a powerful wizard, known as The Dragon. However, they must pay the price for his protection, and this price is one girl taken every 10 years. Though he returns the girls, and never touches them, it is believed that this fate is even worse that being taken by the wood. I won’t say much more, but I already love Agnieszka who already like a brave and caring character. This story is so engrossing, and if you love fantasy this really is the one for you.
I hope this list has inspired you, and if you have any recommendations of your own I’d love to hear them!