Do you ever get FOMO? Just in case you’re not sure what FOMO stands for, it’s Fear Of Missing Out. 😉 When it comes to books and reading I definitely get FOMO.
So over the last few months I’ve been catching up on some of the reads the whole world seems to be talking about. It’s been ace! Below you’ll find my thoughts on these books. However with newly published books taking the world by storm all the time, my ‘to be read’ pile is getting bigger and bigger! To be fair, this is such a lovely problem to have. It makes me so happy! 😊
Normal People by Sally Rooney
I’ve got to be honest with you, with all the hype since the publication of Normal People last year, I had been a tad wary to read it. I mean sometimes with these massively hyped books, I am baffled about what all the hype is actually about.
Crikey, I had no need to worry with Normal People! This is a book that totally consumed me as Rooney explores the ‘love story’ between Connell and Marianne as they alternatively push and pull from each other. The relationship is in a sense the protagonist of the novel.
I will go so far and say in my view that Sally Rooney is a literary genius. Her writing style is so unique – describing in detail everyday, banal actions. You would think this style would be boring but for some weird reason it so engrossing, completely creating the all-consuming dramatic tension throughout the novel.
Normal People is a subtle yet powerful political novel with the marks of social class running deep. People are saying that Normal People is a modern literary masterpiece; a statement that I definitely agree with. It is by far, one of my top reads of this year!
I read Normal People whilst on holiday and I was so taken with it that I immediately started reading Rooney’s other novel Conversations With Friends afterwards.
My rating of Normal People:
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
Buzzing from reading Normal People, I was so excited to get completely consumed in Sally Rooney’s debut novel Conversations With Friends. However I’ve got to be honest with you, that didn’t happen instantly like it did with Normal People. In fact at the beginning I slightly struggled to get into it if you know what I mean. So much so, I actually considered giving up on it.
Yet I’m so glad I didn’t give up as soon I found myself immersed in the complex relationships portrayed in Conversations With Friends.
It is the story of privileged student Frances, her friendship with Bobbi, her former girlfriend and the complex relationship they develop with older married couple, Melissa and Nick. I’m not sure I often liked the characters, but through Rooney’s skillful writing, I often empathised with Frances. As she embarks on an ill thought out affair with Nick, I found her frustrating, naive and even selfish – but I found her real.
There’s no doubt about it, Sally Rooney’s writing style is unique, stark and in my view, all consuming. I did love Conversations With Friends but dare I say it, for me Normal People has the slight edge.
My rating of Conversations With Friends:
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Are any of you fans of Fleetwood Mac? Their album Rumours is by far one of my favourite albums of all time. I only discovered my love of Fleetwood Mac a few years ago after watching a documentary about them which I found fascinating, especially the emotional turmoil that came with the creation of Rumours.
Written by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Daisy Jones & The Six was inspired by Fleetwood Mac and the making of Rumours. OMG – it is brilliant! It is a fictional oral history that brilliantly portrays sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. It is refreshing, different and an all consuming page turner.
Yes I absolutely loved Daisy Jones & The Six as it explores the rise and fall of an iconic 70s rock band with all the egos, tensions and drugs. And I’m not the only one – Reese Witherspoon loved it that much she’s adapting it into a TV show!
Daisy Jones is free spirited, beautiful and talented. She is also a drug addict. She joins forces with the band The Six which is fronted by the enigmatic Billy Dunne, who is desperately trying to juggle fame, drug addiction and becoming a family man.
Daisy Jones & The Six become the biggest band in the world but at what cost? And why at the height of their fame do they suddenly break up?
If you’re looking for something unique and brilliant you need to read Daisy Jones & The Six. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed.
My rating of Daisy Jones & The Six:
My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
I was desperate to read My Sister, The Serial Killer as lets face it, its got the most intriguing title ever! And also being nominated for the 2019 Booker Prize and finalist of the Women’s Prize this year, it just seemed everyone was raving about it.
A black comedy set in Nigeria, it tells the story of Korede who literally has to clean up her sister Ayoola’s messes with bleach, rubber gloves and a strong stomach; that being the dead bodies of Ayoola’s boyfriends after she has stabbed them to death in ‘self defence’.
Although Korede knows her younger, beautiful sister is a serial killer, she feels the need to protect her. But then Ayoola starts dating the man Korede is secretly in love with. As she is wracked with jealousy and loyalty towards Ayoola, who will she choose to protect? Her sister or the man she loves who she knows Ayoola will eventually kill?
My Sister, The Serial Killer is dark and funny as it explores the complex relationship between siblings in a unique and fresh way. It also thought provoking as it skillfully explores Nigerian culture and patriarchy.
I found My Sister, The Serial Killer refreshing and quirky. But thank God, my sister is nothing like Ayoola!
My rating of My Sister, The Serial Killer:
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
I’m not going to lie, An American Marriage is an emotionally raw, unsettling read; it ripped my heart to shreds but I found it simply brilliant. This is definitely one if the best books I have EVER read.
It is the story of newly married Roy and Celestial who’s world is ripped apart when Roy is arrested for a devastating crime he did not commit. He is sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. With the support of their families, the young couple fight together to prove Roy’s innocence; yet they struggle to hold onto to their love and the relationship they had before the conviction.
This contemporary novel set in the south of America is a such a sad, powerful novel about social injustice and race. It also about love, humanity and emotional survival.
It not only explores the devastating consequences of the wrongful conviction on Roy and Celestial, but also the emotional impact on the couple’s parents and Andre, their close friend.
This is a novel that had a profound impact on me. Yes it is emotionally charged, vivid and at times very difficult to read. But it is a masterpiece in storytelling; it is truly stunning.
My rating of An American Marriage:
I’ve just realised as I’ve been writing this blog post that all these books are written by women. I swear that is not on purpose, I chose these books because I really feel the need to shout about them. I am so glad I have read them and if you choose to read them also following this blog post, I hope you’re glad too.
Happy reading everyone! 😊