I'll always be a book worm. For me there is literally nothing that compares to the feeling you get when you sit down alone somewhere in the quiet, and read a blooming good book. It doesn't matter what genre of books you prefer to read, whatever takes your personal fancy, just sitting there getting lost in another world is absolutely blissful. Almost every time I finish a book I'm left with that same 'Oh, isn't there more?' feeling, not wanting the story to end, yet there's something so wonderfully satisfying about finishing a book you've basically locked yourself away from the world to read. There's only a few occasions where I've not been overly impressed by the end (unpopular opinion: I just don't get The Perks of Being a Wallflower), and only one book I have been so unimpressed by, I didn't even finish it (I'm looking at you, 50 Shades).
Because of my 'The Happiness Project' and my goal to spend time reading every single day again, I've started going through quite a pile of both old books I put down 'to finish later' and new books I couldn't help buying. I love reading anything book-related on the blogs, or videos by book YouTubers I follow, and so I wanted to start sharing my thoughts with you on the books I've finished reading lately too. I'm no English pro, I don't know the ins and outs of what constitutes a good book in the eyes of professionals and those in the industry, but I know what I like and don't like to read. I'll try to avoid any spoilers, especially for current popular books, and if you've read these books too, I'd love to hear your thoughts - and any book recommendations you have too!
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (£5.29)
Description: 'What are you thinking, Amy? The question I've asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose these questions storm-cloud over every marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?' Just how well can you ever know the person you love? This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary when his wife Amy suddenly disappears...'.
One of the most talked about books right now, particularly with the newly launched film (what's your thoughts on books being turned into movies?), I actually bought Gone Girl not long after it was released, where it then sat on my bookcase for months because I wasn't 'in the mood' for a thriller. It took a long time for me to get into Gone Girl. If I'm honest I felt the first half was very slow; there wasn't much making me want to keep reading, and it was only the gentle nudges of 'keep going!' from fans of the book, that even made me carry on reading it night after night. For me the story only picked up halfway through when there is the biggest plot twist that finally had me obsessed, after that I couldn't bare to put it down!
There's a lot of ways you could look at the plot and characters in Gone Girl, and there's been some criticism of the portrayal of certain stereotypes and gender roles, as well as praise for a brilliantly written thriller which has taken the world by storm. Personally, I loved it. It's one of the best books I've read in years and the plot twist was just pure genius, and really makes the story for me. The way Flynn writes is brilliant - even from the very first page, you're really able to envision the scene, characters, even the atmosphere. The ending isn't my favourite.... but up until that final chapter, Gone Girl is worth all the rave reviews and praise. If you love a book you can get stuck into, and don't mind putting in the groundwork to get a rich, vivid visualisation and background of the characters and story, then Gone Girl is a definite must-read.
I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella (£6.15)
Description: 'A couple of glasses of bubbly with the girls and Poppy's life has gone into meltdown. Not only has she lost her engagement ring, but in the panic that followed, she's lost her phone too. When she spots an abandoned phone in a bin it seems it was meant to be...Finders Keepers! Except the phone's owner, elusive businessman Sam Roxton, doesn't agree. He wants his phone back, and doesn't appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life. Can things get any more tangled?'.
My favourite easy-read genre is chick-lit. There's a few authors I turn to when I'm in the need for a gushy, sickening, almost fairy-tale perfect romance, and then there's others I turn to when I want something with a bit more oomph. I've Got Your Number caught my eye because I thought the description wasn't that far from a lot of daily situations we all encounter. We're all nosey to some degree, we all want to know everyone else's business and we all like to learn more about others than we're actually willing to share about ourselves.
I liked I've Got Your Number, but it took me a very long time to get through it and I didn't find it over enthralling. By the end I was rooting for my favourite characters (Sam and Poppy), but it's not a book I'd read again and it's made it's way onto the charity shop pile.