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4 Books I Love

Saturday, 27 May 2017
four books i love steelheart brandon sanderson the devil within stephanie merritt sj watson before i go to sleep along for the ride sarah dessen

Recently, I realised that I rarely ever talk about books on my social media accounts. I discuss music, tattoos, and even art from time-to-time, but never do I share with you the books I enjoy reading. I've always read a lot of Young Adult, ever since I hit my pre-teens, and even now, I gravitate towards fictional YA books time and time again. I'm 23 now, so to some people it may not be socially acceptable to still be reading books aimed at 16-year-olds, and as a a writer, it may be frowned upon because I'm not allowing my reading experience to expand. I do read adult books every so often, but I find myself coming back to YA. The thing with adult books is that I find the writing to be much more bland. Truth be told? They're too adulty. Too dry, too dull. There's no clean-cut happy endings or even any optimism. I find that they're too "real", and I read books to escape. I often try to get into adult crime thrillers too, as I enjoy those sorts of TV shows, but it's rare that I make it past the first few chapters, never mind finish the book.

I think another part of the reason I haven't posted about books on my blog is that in recent years, I haven't been reading as often as I once did. I've always considered myself a writer, so I start to feel guilty when I admit to the fact that I don't go through a book every few days. I used to be hugely into reading and would do just this, but lately I've barely picked up a book during the winter months, and then I read heaps in the summer, and then go back to reading nothing when winter comes round again. I get through so many books in the warmer months because I love just sitting in the sun with a good novel and getting stuck into it. When it's cold and miserable in the darker months, I only want to curl up in bed and watch Netflix. 

I've never wanted to touch book reviews - like anything, it depends on the person whether someone will enjoy something or not - but honestly I'm a tad bored of the whole review aspect anyway, from doing so many beauty-related reviews over the years. So, instead, today I thought I'd share a couple of the books that I love so you can have a little glimpse into what I read. As I've gotten older, the subject type that I read has broadened - whilst it's still mainly YA, I don't just read Sarah Dessen or Sarra Manning anymore, but I've branched out and learned to dip my toe into other, darker subject matters.

THE DEVIL WITHIN: A MEMOIR OF DEPRESSION - STEPHANIE MERRITT

Oddly enough, my first choice to include in this list of books I love is a very adulty adult book. OK, so it's not dry and dull by any stretch of the imagination, but it details the life, trials and tribulations of journalist Stephanie Merritt. I'm not familiar with her work in the likes of newspapers, and I couldn't even tell you how I came across this book. I don't entirely remember. All I remember is sitting down and reading it one summer, and finishing it in a matter of days. It's extremely heavy and something to read with caution if you feel in any way triggered by the very real thoughts of somebody on the brink of suicide, but it's well worth a read. At the time of reading this, I still wasn't comfortable discussing my depression and I looked to this book to be my comfort blanket. Somebody related. Somebody felt the way I did. And she's still alive. I remember highlighting all the bits that I related to and it broke my heart to see so much fluorescent yellow in amongst the pages.

It's one I need to go back and read, but it's a powerful one that will also never leave me, even if I never pick it up again.

STEELHEART - BRANDON SANDERSON

This is my first venture into the realms of YA fantasy fiction, and it was recommended to me by one of my best friends who is genuinely a full-on, self-proclaimed nerd. He's all about the comicbooks, the video games and he's a pretty die-hard fan of anything superhero related. I borrowed this book from him quite some time ago and somehow still have it (oops) but I'm glad, because I really loved it and I would like to go back and re-read it. Essentially, the world is no longer what it once was. It's been taken over by Epics, who are basically ordinary humans who manifested powers, and who are all evil. The Reckoners are a group of plain humans and are the only people to fight back, whilst Steelheart is the biggest villain of the piece and ruler of what was formerly known as Chicago. The book follows David, who I think is about 18 years old, and who has seen Steelheart bleed, go on a mission to join the Reckoners. 

I can never write action scenes, and can often grow bored when I read them, but this is totally different. This looks at the personal relationships between The Reckoners, uncovers why the Epics came into play, and whilst it is a serious book, there are hints of comedy throughout and it's a very fun and enjoyable read. My only real annoyance is David's obsession with Megan - he is soooo soppy. Ew.

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP - SJ WATSON

You might recognise the title of this - I actually saw the film before I read the book. The film stars Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong, and despite knowing the plot twist already, I knew I had to read the book. I'm so glad this didn't let me down. I read it in a matter of days and it instantly became a favourite of mine. Whilst the film has quite a few differences to the book, I still think it was a good effort at taking it on. The perfect psychological thriller, Before I Go To Sleep revolves around Christine Lucas, a woman who suffers amnesia, waking up everyday without any idea of who or where she is. She begins to keep a journal, as gently instructed by her doctor, and tries to uncover who she is and what her past looks like.

For those of you who enjoy thriller films, I highly recommend giving this a read. It's by far one of the best books I've ever read, and I enjoyed it up to the very last page.

ALONG FOR THE RIDE - SARAH DESSEN

Sarah Dessen is one of my favourite authors of all time. Every time she puts out a book, I snatch it up and immediately fall in love with it, reading it within days. Whilst I don't always enjoy the characters she creates (I feel like Remy from This Lullaby is the only one I can really relate to, as her characters otherwise are often shy, reserved, and don't step out of line), I always enjoy the story. It feels like every time you read a Sarah Dessen novel, there's a lesson to be learned at the end. I re-read Along for the Ride the most often. Something about staying up all night and going adventures with somebody at 3am really hits home - I suppose I wished my teenage life had been a bit more like this, rather than filled with drama and darkness. If you enjoy a happy ending and good character development, I can't recommend Sarah Dessen more. Of Sarah's other books, I also adore Lock & Key, Dreamland and This Lullaby.

Have you read any of these?

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