Saturday, 23 April 2016

World Book Night - 10 of My Favourite Books

Today is April 23, which means that it's World Book Night! I'm familiar with the concept of World Book DAY, having grown up celebrating it every year, however World Book NIGHT is something I only heard about yesterday, thanks to Laura's book group on Facebook. 

The purpose of World Book Night is to inspire more people to read. Run by The Reading Agency, it brings together many national partners including publishers, libraries, booksellers, trusts and foundations, who then work together to host events up and down the country to celebrate the difference that reading makes to people's lives. Thousands of volunteers also sign up to the initiative to share their love of reading by distributing books to people in the community. According to DCMS (2015), 36% of people in the UK do not read regularly, but World Book Night aims to change that,

I think it's a fantastic initiative. As someone who loves reading, it's so important to try and encourage others to read as not only does it open your mind to new ideas and vocabulary, but reading also provides escapism and enjoyment. 

To celebrate World Book Night, I thought I would share with you ten of my favourite books, most of which I've read over the past year and a half.

1. Three Amazing Things About You - Jill Mansell

Hallie has a secret. She's in love. He's perfect for her in every way, but he's seriously out of bounds. And her friends aren't going to help her because what they do know is that Hallie doesn't have long to live. Time is running out...
Flo has a dilemma. She really likes Zander. But his scary sister won't be even faintly amused if she thinks Zander and Flo are becoming friends - let alone anything more.
Tasha has a problem. Her new boyfriend is the adventurous type. And she's afraid one of his adventures will go badly wrong.
THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU begins as Hallie goes on a journey. A donor has been found and she's about to be given new lungs. But whose?

Jill Mansell is my favourite author and in my eyes, the queen of chick-lit. Whenever I'm in a reading slump, I can trust one of Jill's books to get me out of it. I've read 12 out of Jill's 27 books and it's hard to pick a favourite, but I would say that 'Three Amazing Things About You' definitely stands out as one of her best. 

2. Where Rainbows End - Cecelia Ahern

Best friends since forever, Rosie and Alex have shared their hopes, dreams, awkward moments – and firsts. But their bond is threatened when Alex’s family move to America. They stay in touch, but misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck seem to be conspiring to keep them apart. Can they gamble everything – even their friendship – on true love?

I haven't read many Cecelia Ahern books however this is one of my favourites. Not only does it have a good plot, I also enjoyed the structure of the book as it was entirely written in the form of letters, emails, instant messages and newspaper articles. It's the first book I've seen written entirely in this format but for me, it enhanced my enjoyment of the story as it gave it a modern twist. Some of you will already be familiar with the book plot as it was made into a film called Love, Rosie in 2014.

3. Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty

It was always going to end in tears, but how did it end in murder?
Single mum Jane has just moved to town. She's got her little boy in tow - plus the secret she's been carrying for five years.
On the first day of the school run she meets Madeline - a force to be reckoned with, who remembers everything and forgives no one - and Celeste, the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare, but is inexplicably ill at ease. They both take Jane under their wing - while careful to keep their own secrets under wraps.
But a minor incident involving the children of all three women rapidly escalates: playground whispers become spiteful rumours until no one can tell the truth from the lies.
Which is when the secrets come out - and now someone is going to pay with their life . . . 

I've always been a chick-lit kind of girl but after reading this book last year, it made me appreciate books outside of my usual genre. I wouldn't call this book a thriller but there was a lot of mystery and it kept you guessing until the very end. The book also touched on a lot of difficult topics which were handled in a sensitive manner. HBO are adapting the book into a mini TV series too, starring Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley, which should be interesting!

4. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 - Sue Townsend

Friday January 2nd
I felt rotten today. It's my mother's fault for singing 'My Way' at two o'clock in the morning at the top of the stairs. Just my luck to have a mother like her. There is a chance my parents could be alcoholics. Next year I could be in a children's home.

Meet Adrian Mole, a hapless teenager providing an unabashed, pimples-and-all glimpse into adolescent life. Writing candidly about his parents' marital troubles, the dog, his life as a tortured poet and 'misunderstood intellectual'.

I read the entire Adrian Mole series as a child / in my teens and I've always found the books to be hilarious. Last year, I re-read 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4' for the millionth time, when it was brought in as a donation in my charity shop. It was still as hilarious as the first time I read it many moons ago - the series is completely timeless. 

5. Billy and Me - Giovanna Fletcher

Sophie May has a secret.
One that she's successfully kept for years. It's meant that she's had to give up her dreams of going to university and travelling the world to stay in her little village, living with her mum and working in the local teashop.
But then she meets the gorgeous Billy - an actor with ambitions to make it to the top. And when they fall in love, Sophie is whisked away from the comfort of her life into Billy's glamorous - but ruthless - world.
Their relationship throws Sophie right into the spotlight after years of shying away from attention. Can she handle the constant scrutiny that comes with being with Billy? And most of all, is she ready for her secret heartbreak to be discovered and shared with the nation?
Giovanna Fletcher is another of my favourite authors. One of the best things about her books for me is the use of modern references, making it feel more believable and relatable. I've read all of her published work and 'Billy and Me' is just one of the gems she's given us. It's such a lovely book, and better still, there's a sequel called 'Always With Love' coming on the 2nd of June!

6. Follow Me - Angela Clarke

The ‘Hashtag Murderer’ posts chilling cryptic clues online, pointing to their next target. Taunting the police. Enthralling the press. Capturing the public’s imagination.
But this is no virtual threat.
As the number of his followers rises, so does the body count.
Eight years ago two young girls did something unforgivable. Now ambitious police officer Nasreen and investigative journalist Freddie are thrown together again in a desperate struggle to catch this cunning, fame-crazed killer. But can they stay one step ahead of him? And can they escape their own past?
Time's running out. Everyone is following the #Murderer. But what if he is following you?
This is one of the most recent books that I've read and wow, it definitely makes you think twice about the way in which you use social media. This is a crime thriller at its best, again with a modern twist which evidently is something I really enjoy. It was mysterious and gritty and definitely kept me gripped until the end.

7. The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

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…

I've only recently got round to reading 'The Girl On The Train' after seeing many adverts for it pretty much everywhere, The hype behind the book made me want to give it a read and it didn't disappoint! I must admit that half way through, I did guess what had happened, although I was caught by a further plot twist at the end. Unsurprisingly, it's being made into a film and the first trailer for it was released last week, 

8. Me Before You - Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.
If you haven't already read 'Me Before You' then quite frankly, you're missing out. It's an utter sob-fest but my goodness, it's an incredible book. I was pretty late on the hype with this one, but once I started reading it, I was gripped. It's so compelling and even though you can kind of guess what's going to happen later on, nothing prepares you for how heartbreaking it is. I'm so excited for the film adaptation later this year, although I pray that they'll do this phenomenal book justice.

9. Here We Lie - Sophie McKenzie

On holiday with family and her adoring fiancĂ©, Jed, Emily couldn't be happier. But overnight, the idyllic trip turns into a waking nightmare when one of the group is found dead in what appears to be a terrible accident. 

The devastated party returns to London to cope with their loss while trying to resume their normal lives. But new revelations shed a shocking light on the holiday tragedy and set Emily on a perilous journey to discover the truth about what happened. Soon a terrifying series of threats and lies bring her face to face with the dark truths at the heart of her family - and into life-threatening danger...

Without doubt, 'Here We Lie' is my favourite crime/thriller book. I have never been so gripped by a book and its plot! There were so many twists and turns, that it was pretty much impossible to correctly guess the outcome. I wrote a review for Laura's blog after I finished it and months later, I still rave about the book to people! If you love thrillers then this is the book for you.

10. Just a Girl Standing In Front Of A Boy - Lucy-Anne Holmes

'My love story may not be the sort you read about in books or see in films . . . Love stories have glorious highs and ghastly lows. But when it comes to my own life, I'd have to say, you can keep your fabulous highs and I'll happily steer clear of the terrible lows.'
After a rocky start in life, Jenny Taylor, 27, star receptionist at the local doctors surgery, has things all worked out thanks to a list of ten daily things she must do to keep the blues at bay. But her life is turned upside down when she meets aspiring musician Joe King. And reliable boyfriend Matt proposes. And then her mum leaves her dad and moves into Jenny's flat determined to 'bond'.
If I had to pick an all-time favourite book, it would be this one. I can't put my finger on a specific reason as to why this book is so great, but when something's perfect, you don't need a reason, you just know. With humour and romance in abundance, this book made me laugh and cry in equal measure. I got so sucked in by this chick-lit and its plot twists! I also fell in love with a literary character for the first time - Joe King is absolutely bloody perfect, where on earth can I get my own one from?! 

What is your favourite book? Are you reading anything to celebrate World Book Night tonight? 

Hwyl am y tro ✌️