A hobby which I'm sure is getting many of us through lockdown is reading. so I thought today I'd share some book reviews and let you know what's next on my to-read list.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

 Okay, technically I still haven't finished this one. I know, it was the January books for #chloeharrietsbookclub, so extremely poor effort from me. However, my boyfriend and I decided it would be nice to read together - when we fancy it, we take it in turns to read a chapter aloud to one another, it's lovely... but also takes forever to get through a book. It's only now that we're finally coming towards the end of this, and as expected I really enjoyed it.

The story takes place in a small town in Ireland and follows the relationship between two characters, Marianne and Connell. As go from high school to university, their relationship constantly moving up and down the sliding scale, from a friendship to a romantic relationship over and over. You see their relationship affected by poor communication, social class, environmental changes and more. It feels like a very real modern relationship.

Between each chapter, there's a small-time jumper, usually somewhere around 3 to six months so the narrative moves along quickly, despite being quite circular due to the back and forth of the relationship.

I find the writing style to be simple, making it easy to follow, but there's still a poetic feel to it.

I'm enjoying this book and the characters a lot, I'm excited to finish it.
★★★★☆


The Course of Love by Alain de Botton

I hate myself for this, but I was actually a little disappointed with this book. Having heard great things and having loved Essays in Love I went in with very high expectations, and maybe set myself up for disappointment. Now, don't get me wrong, this book was very much as insightful and intelligent as I expected... I just didn't find myself excited to pick it up. 

The Course of Love tells the story of the relationship between Rabih and Kirsten realistically following them through each stage of their relationship, from first dates to marriage, children and beyond. It offers psychological studies on relationships throughout which link in with the narrative. The relationship isn't romanticised for the purpose of the story, instead, it feels real - but personally, I think that's why I didn't love this book, it didn't offer me the same escapism fiction normally does. If you're interested in the study of human behaviours and relationships, wrapped up in a realistic. yet fiction package, this book could be perfect for you.
★★★☆☆


Wild by Cheryl Strayed

This was my favourite books of the three. Wild is Cheryl Strayed memoir which tells the story of her time hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. After her Mom's death, Cheryl found herself in a bad place, her once-close family became distant, her marriage ended, she began using heroin with a new boyfriend, it overall wasn't pretty, so when she came across a Pacific Crest Trail guidebook one day, she decided, despite not being a hiker, to hike 1,100 miles alone across the Pacific Crest Trail. It was of course, more challenging than she expected. The book follows Cheryl on her journey as meets new people, learns life lessons, and grieves her former life. It's a story of self-discovery. This book, it felt like came to me when I needed it, feeling quite lost myself, I found comfort in it. In the book, Cheryl names her hiking pack Monster, as the huge pack began to feel like an inanimate companion, and that's exactly how this book began to feel to me as I made my way through pages - this book felt like my 'Monster'. I was gutted when I came to the end of it. 
★★★★★


Currently reading: My Life in Thirty Seven Therapies by Kay Hutchinson (which I was kindly gifted)
Next on my to-read list: The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles (my April read for #chloeharrietsbookclub) and We of the Forsaken World by Kiran Bhat - Keep your eyes peeled for my reviews!

Have you read any of these? What book would you recommend?


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