Sunday, 28 June 2015

June Reads & Reviews

june books
Images via goodreads.com, books marked * c/o Netgalley

*Contains spoilers for The Selection trilogy

This month I made my way through just three novels and one short story. First up is The Heir (Kiera Cass, 2015), the latest book in The Selection series. Although the first three books followed America and Maxon's story, this new novel is the first in a new chapter set eighteen years later which focuses on their eldest daughter Eadlyn who is to become Queen. In an attempt to win back the hearts of the public Eadlyn's parents ask her to take part in her own Selection, the first ever with a female doing the choosing. The format is similar to the first three novels but this time the perspective is flipped as we are reading from the point of view of the no-nonsense Princess rather than one of the contestants. Just like the other books in the series it's protagonist has divided opinions so I think it will be interesting to see how Eadlyn's character develops in the next book. Whilst I don't think it was completely necessary to continue this series with a new generation it was nice to see a fresh twist on the idea.

My next read is one that everyone has been talking about recently; Only Ever Yours (Louise O'Neill, 2014). The dark and thought-provoking novel (and recent YA Book Prize winner) is set in a time where girls are created, not born, and are designed to be 'perfect'. The girls, or eve's, of the school are trained to please men, each pinning all of their hopes on being chosen as companions - wives to the wealthy and mothers to sons - forced to compete against each other for the top rankings on a daily basis. The girls are under a lot of pressure from staying on target weight, to looking beautiful and being in control of their emotions. The book definitely has an interesting concept, and explores dark themes with a distinctive ending that seems to be dividing readers.

Speaking of darker reads I also decided to pick up short story The Yellow Wallpaper (Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1892) after it played a part in one of the books I read last month, The Ruining by Anna Collomore. After hearing it mentioned in Collomore's novel I was keen to find out more about the famous story which is based on the author's own experience with mental health issues and the 'rest cure'. It's a short story and you can find it to read online for free.

The final book this month is Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls* (Lynn Weingarten, 2015) which I received for review via Netgalley. The novel follows teenager June whose ex-best friend Delia commits suicide leaving June with a whole lot of questions. When Delia's boyfriend puts doubt in her mind by suggesting that she was in fact murdered, June begins to conduct her own investigation but what she finds is beyond anything she ever could have imagined. I've really been enjoying this type of YA crime/mystery novel recently so the book definitely came along at the right time. I'll be talking a little more about this one over at Blogger's Bookshelf soon - only a little though as I wouldn't want to give too much away about the mysterious plot!

Reviews posted in June... Paper Jewelry: 55 Projects For Reusing Paper*, Barbara Baumann (2015) | Dangerous Girls, Abigail Haas (2013)

What did you read this month?
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