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    Life & Happenings

    January Reads 2018

    January was a good month for books.

    It felt like all I did was read, which is never a bad thing. I devoured one after the other after the other. I don’t know if you saw my first ever book review, but I really, really love books. All books. I’m the girl who will read six books at once and then go to the library just to see what’s out there. I’m constantly paranoid that I’m going to miss out on the ‘next big thing’ in the book world.

    My reading time was absolutely obliterated when I had a newborn, but my baby just turned the big one and I’m ~*finally*~ starting to get this parenting thing. I mean, I have time to read, so that must be a step in the right direction.

    Right?

    Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng

    I was given this book by my sister as a Christmas gift. This author was a complete surprise – a pleasant one. I hadn’t heard of her before, but she definitely doesn’t disappoint. Little Fires Everywhere took a few chapters to get into, but it was quick to hook me after those initial pages.

    The plot delves into a ‘perfect’ town that was planned right down to the house colours, schools, and everything in-between. This ‘perfect’ image is just that – a projection – as humans are inherently flawed, which is an idea Celeste explores throughout the book. The slow-moving start switches gears in the second half of the book and it suddenly all makes sense: the character development, the individual character plots, and intricate detail comes together to make a story that is compelling, addictive, and a must-read for 2018.

    The Break – Marian Keyes

    I was given this book by my parents as a Christmas gift. Marian Keyes has been a long-time favourite author and I had heard nothing but good things about this book. Needless to say, I was excited when my mum asked me what book I wanted for Christmas last year. The Break was at the top of my list!

    Immediately, the title of this book gives the plot away. The Break gave me a sense of foreboding as I opened the book with a sinking heart, I just knew that the couple wasn’t going on a romantic holiday together – rather, they were taking a break from each other. The storyline follows Amy go through six-months of emotional ups and downs as she tackles life as a ‘single mum’ with teenage daughters, a successful public relations career, and a fledgeling love interest in the form of a serial adulterer. Great choice, Amy.

    I love Marian’s writing style. Her character development is captivating. You can really feel the characters growing up as the story progresses. It is a talent that I’ve come across in only a few writers. Needless to say, I was very attached to Amy and her girls by the end of the book, and I’m feeling a bit lost now that they’re out of my life again.

    If you’re looking for an easy read that tackles some big topics, then The Break is a book for you!

    Sushi For Beginners – Marian Keyes

    Another book by Marian Keyes. Are you surprised?

    Sushi For Beginners is a story that follows three different characters through transitional times in their lives. Jack, Lisa, and Ashling work in magazine publishing – in the same office – but have very different personal lives. Jack is the big, bad boss with relationship troubles. Lisa is a hot shot magazine editor who gets relocated to middle-of-nowhere Ireland from London. Ashling is Lisa’s assistant and is every inch Little-Miss-Fix-It…when it comes to everyone else.

    Sushi For Beginners was a hard book for me to follow, simply because she had so many characters and their ‘voice’ jumped between chapters. It took me a while to come to grips with it, but I ultimately enjoyed each chapter that focused on different characters and their individual stories. It was a good idea, but it wasn’t well executed. I liked all three characters – Jack, Lisa, and Ashling – but I couldn’t get attached to them because the story jumped about too much.

    The Sun and Her Flowers – Rupi Kaur

    The Sun and Her Flowers was an impulse purchase. I had seen it mentioned on Twitter and Instagram and the enthusiasm reached fever pitch. Especially as her first book, Milk and Honey, made the best seller list.

    The book has five chapters: wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. Some of the poems in The Sun and Her Flowers are confronting. Some of them don’t feel like poetry at all. She’s been hailed as the new poet, but she’s also faced a lot of backlash. Personally, I liked her poetry, if I forgot what ‘traditional’ poetry was.

    Her poems are refreshing and eye-opening and deserve to be read.

    The whole book is very easy to read. I finished it within an hour, but I have no doubt that I’ll turn back to it again and again in the future.

    Mrs. Fletcher – Tom Perrotta

    This book was another impulse decision. The cover caught my eye while I was in the library, so I grabbed it without a second glance. It took me a while to pick up, but Mrs. Fletcher is a good book. It is easy to read and makes for good weekend entertainment.

    It took a couple of chapters to really get into the book, but I was hooked afterwards. I read it in a few days and had a few ‘oh, shit’ moments of clarity, hilarity, and surprise throughout. The main character – Eve Fletcher – can be described as a cliche and a standout character in the same breath, but she was an enjoyable main character in a ‘what is she going to do next?’ sort of way.

    I haven’t read many books by male fiction writers, so I’m determined to change that this year!

    What do you say? Can you tell that I love to read?

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