Ten Seven Best and Worst Recent Reads
It has been a LONG time since I’ve done a TTT post, but I felt I actually wanted to talk about this week’s topic, so here I am joining in! For a while, I rarely read a book I didn’t enjoy, and I credit Book Blogging with this, as I was able to weed out the ones I knew weren’t for me. In 2016, I’ve been branching out of my comfort zone a little more, and sticking with some disappointing books to the bitter end, because I’ve wanted to write full reviews on them. This made it easier to put together the disappointing books, but I’ve had to go back to my reads towards the end of 2015 for the Best Reads. A lot of my reading lately has fallen in the 3* category, which means for the purposes of today’s post, they fit in neither the Best or Worst end of the spectrum. Yikes.
Recent Best Reads
1. November 9 by Colleen Hoover – Colleen always gets a mention with me somewhere. November 9 isn’t my favourite of CoHo’s books, but it was one I highly anticipated, and really enjoyed. It has everything a great romantic contemporary should – intrigue, swoons, romance, banter, and angst.
2. The Proposal by Tasmina Perry – A very random purchase for me, having never heard of the book or the author before, BUT I gave this one 5*. That’s huge. My 5* reads are as rare as unicorns. Dual historical/ contemporary timeline, romance, drama, betrayal and débutantes. Fab, fab, fab.
3. Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill – Insightful, gripping, and honest feminist fiction. While not “realistic” as set in a dystopian near-future, it is also creepily realistic in its portrayal of women and beauty standards, women and what society expects them to be, and how women relate to, and treat each other.
4. Asking For It by Louise O’Neill – Intense, sickening, brutal, and real feminist fiction, based on true events, that is a MUST READ for everyone regardless of age and gender. Blew my mind so much, I had to write a rant.
Recent Disappointing Reads
5. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham – I’d never watched, read or seen anything created by Lena Dunham, but she was embedded in my subconsciousness, so I eagerly picked up her book expecting a feminist manifesto. Instead I got an absolute pile of drivel. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
6. Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee – I read and completely fell in LOVE with To Kill A Mockingbird, and setting aside the dubious conditions under which this “sequel” was published, it was a massive disappointment for me. Now, I don’t blame Lee for this in any way, after all it was really a first draft of what TKAMB eventually became, as opposed to an actual sequel (there are storyline inconsistencies that make this perfectly clear), and while it was nice to get an insight into the writing process, and the author’s process, Go Set A Watchman is like a behind the scenes documentary, as opposed to canon, and as a read, it was disappointing.
7. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald – I’m on a mission to include more classics in my life, and Gatsby has quite the following, so I gave it a go. I’ve seen some beautiful quotes from this novel, and thought it would be a more “accessible” classic for me to try (also, I had to read it before I allowed myself to watch the movie adaptation with Di Caprio, so there’s that). It was accessible, and I didn’t totally dislike it, however, it wasn’t as good as I was expecting, and for that reason it was disappointing.
At a push, I could have included at least 3-4 more disappointing reads, but they would have fallen more into the “meh” category, where there may have been disappointing elements, but there were also elements that were redeemable. I’m more concerned that I haven’t read any really mind-blowing books so far this year! Feel free to leave me your best recommendations in the comments!
I had such strong reservations about Go Set a Watchman and when I started hearing rumors about it most likely being a very early version of To Kill a Mockingbird and not a sequel, I just got more angry at the people who took advantage of Ms. Lee and have avoided it like the plague.
Yea – it can be read as a sequel because it is set so many years after the original we’ve now come to know and love, but I did read that it was basically the first draft, and that Lee’s Editor at the time suggested she re-write it with Scout as a girl. The final version was just so perfect, and so well done, that the “sequel” was never going to compare, I don’t feel, but I choose to ignore its existence now, as ultimately it fundamentally changed too many characters for me, and pissed me off. It was interesting in the sense that we see what the original ideas were for these characters, and it shows the process of going from first draft to final story, but really, the world could have survived perfectly well without it. As for how it was published, I was planning to research it and write a post about it, that I never got around to, but I agree it was highly suspicious circumstances. I won my copy in a giveaway on BookTube, not wanting to fund it myself, if you do decide to read it I’d happily send it to you, as I’m not planning on keeping it? R xx
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Thank you so much for the offer, but I have so much anger toward the publisher that I don’t even want to read it. I’m pretty sure it would end up pissing me off too, haha.
LOL no problem.
I posted the discussion about the publication today 😀
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Yes, I saw that. Some time today I’m going to sit down and read it.
I’m intrigued by your likes and dislikes. I have had November 9 sat on my shelf for ages now, it’s ridiculous. Colleen Hoover is one of those authors I love whose books I always buy instantly and then put off reading. I don’t know why I do it. I keep moving the book up and down by TBR pile like a yoyo. It is going to be read soon. I haven’t read a book I didn’t like by her so I don’t know why I avoid it.
I do like the sound of The Proposal as well (it may help that it makes me think of the film even though they are in no way similar). I may find that one out at the library some time soon. You also manage to make Louise O’Neill’s books sound really interesting. I keep thinking of reasons to not read them but maybe I’m inventing excuses to avoid a read that will be slightly uncomfortable but very interesting.
Intrigued how?! 😀
I buy CoHo books and then drop everything else the moment I get them! ❤
The Proposal is SO fabulous. To be honest, her books used to have terrible "chick-lit" covers, which really didn't do justice to the depth of the story within. The new cover drew me in at Tesco, and better represents the story.
O'Neill… I would read Only Ever Yours first, because it has deeper issues, but within a dystopian world, so it's a little easier to digest I think than Asking For It. Uncomfortable, yes. Massively important books that should be at the top of your TBR? Definitely! R xx
I totally agree with you! I looooooove Colleen and whenever I talk about great books and great authors, Colleen always pops up! November 9 was amazing, but I think all her books are pretty amazing. I might have a crush on her though. 🙂
She’s SUCH an autobuy author for me!! I wish she’d do a signing where I live!!! R xx
[…] Also this month, I posted a discussion on the controversy surrounding Go Set A Watchman, as well as a discussion on my #OTSPSecretSister Experience. This month I also took part in Top Ten Tuesday for my recent best and worst reads. […]