You know what I read last Summer | 6 Book Reviews

From strong female characters (both fictional AND real) to heart wrenching true stories…

Thanks to my new found book reviewing love, I’ve collected all the mini reviews I did in my diary posts last year and put them in one handy place. The selection is pictured below, minus The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley.

Stack of Mad Girl, The Cactus, Tattooist of Auschwitz, How to give up plastic and Becoming Books with a floral background

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

If you’ve not read this heart wrenching true story, I strongly urge you to grab some tissues and get stuck in. Despite the horror depicted, this beautifully illustrated story documents Lale’s life in Auschwitz. It was his hope and love for a fellow prisoner that kept him going during his three years as a tatowierer (tattooist) there. I built strong emotional connections with the characters in this story, it was hard to read at sometimes and of course educational in it’s own right. A great, and powerful story.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Hunting Party, Lucy Foley

Not your usual murder mystery, when there’s a small group of friends in a remote location, one of them must be the killer right? A group of university friends meet annually to celebrate NYE, this time their in the highlands. But as the time passes, tensions rise and cracks start to appear in the seemingly blissful relationships. Who turns out to be the victim and which friend could possible kill them?! A slow start with some confusing POV chapters, but once you get into this, it’s really worth sticking it out!

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Excited to read her latest book, “The Guest List” which I got my hands on for just £5 the other day!

The Cactus, Sarah Haywood 

This is the tale of Susan and her unexpected journey as she looses her mother,  unexpectedly finds she’s about to be a mother herself, fights a legal battle with her brother but manages makes some new friends and find love along the way.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about this novel, however I really did enjoy it! I thought Susan frustrating at first yet found myself empathising with her about life’s daily issues that can reaaaallly wind you up haha. I love her realisations about life and how she relaxes throughout, finding bonds with the new, kind people in her life. Just showing that those people are out there, but you’ve got to let them in. Sometimes being stubborn isn’t the right choice, especially at 8 months pregnant! 

If you appreciate a strong female protagonist, who’s going on a journey of self discovery, (think Elenor Oliphant), then you’ll enjoy the Cactus. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Cactus book next to a green foliage

Becoming, Michelle Obama

Michelle documents her life with such detail, pride and love that it was a pleasure to read. As one of the most influential and inspiring women in the world, Michelle shares her story growing up in Southside Chicago right through to her time in the Whitehouse. Each captivating part of this memoir / autobiography gives an insight into the morals and values she’s developed and maintained. Hope has lent itself to be of true value in every chapter of her life and those chapters she’s led with her family before, during and after the Whitehouse. 100% recommend so you can learn about America’s political systems, understand the BTS of the White House and see what a truly valuable woman Michelle really is. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Becoming by Michelle Obama, each captivating part of this memoir / autobiography gives an insight into the morals and values she’s developed and maintained.

Mad Girl, Bryony Gordon

A book that combines OCD, bulimia, alopecia and a few drugs along the way – sounds pretty harrowing? Somehow, Bryony Gordon’s memoir of her happy yet confused life, growing up and throughout her early twenties and thirties is written in a fun and humorous way. She’s ridiculously honest and shares how a relatively normal upbringing can still be infused with a mental illness. Helping to make the discussion around mental illnesses more common and open. I enjoyed, and recommend to anyone who is interested in mental illnesses, and for those who love reading honest memoirs (for me, it’s both).

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon - Bryony Gordon's memoir of her happy yet confused life, growing up and throughout her early twenties and thirties is written in a fun and humorous way.

How to give up plastic, Will McCallum

Will from Greenpeace has put together a little “How to” guide which includes practical advice on reducing your plastic consumption day to day. From changing products in your bathroom to adapting how you do your weekly shop, its a handy little book which thankfully doesn’t shame anyone but aims to encourage and involve people. Useful for tips, but not the most riveting read imo ha.

⭐⭐⭐

Please do comment with any books you loved last year? Do you disagree with any of my comments?

Sarah xx

big orange W

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