Recent Reads; isolation edition.

You know how on holiday you somehow read wayyyy more books than you normally would? Well, it transpires that isolation has the same kind of effect on my mind. When I haven’t been crying, video chatting, doing the most ridiculously tedious tasks, playing Sims 4 or doing the washing up – I’ve been climbing out a window onto my neighbour’s roof to read in the sunshine. 

(The above photo is slightly blurred because I took it in a rush before running these books downstairs to Mama when she popped round for doorstep/pavement hang time – I’m trying to move books out of my little flat as soon as I’ve read them, to save space… ignoring the fact that I still have at least 3 hefty boxes of unread books at the parents’.)

Now, here’s the thing. I flew through these books, and as there are so many of them, I really can’t do a full-length review of each one. That said, there will be another fabulous post about Boy Queen with exclusive author content – but you have to wait a couple more months for that! 

I recently read a perfect succinct collection of reviews by one of my favourites in my little blog world, Lauren Evie, and it’s inspired me to not agonise over the plot summaries or pad out my opinions – I’m just going to give you the facts. 

So get on with it, G!! Okay then… 

Our Stop, by Laura Jane Williams. 

I’d been meaning to read this one for ages; it’s a very sweet and clever love story about a man and a woman who sometimes get the same tube, but keep missing each other and only talking via old school personal ads. The twists and turns got so frustrating at times, but in a good way. Y’know? I don’t want to spoil anything, so please see my full Goodreads review here if you want to know what I thought of the ending.  

We All Looked Up, by Tommy Wallach.

A US YA story about the world facing imminent doom, and people going mad waiting for it to kick off. Sound familiar? Some vivid characters, interesting plot lines and arcs for each of them, but really quite dark and a little too dramatic for me, in places. But then some sentences made me feel things. 

The Lonely Fajita, by Abigail Mann.

This was actually the first one I read when my isolation started, and I’ll admit it did take a bit of getting into, because the story was such a downer to begin with. Elissa is dealt a shitty hand in life, and she needs to sort things out ASAP. After she is forced to leave the flat she shared with her ex, she makes the impulsive decision to move in with an older woman, rent-free. A very cute tale. 

A Sky Painted Gold, by Laura Wood.

A true joy to read, and can easily be gobbled up in less than 24 hours. I loved the journey to the 1920s, and how it wasn’t the usual flapper girl city story we normally get from that era; it was based in dreamy Cornwall, and it wasn’t all romance and friendship dramas, there was also a great story of sisterly relationships. 

I got this proof ages ago, and I’m so ashamed it’s taken me this long to read it. Someone was kind enough to send me a copy of her second book after they heard I liked this one, though, so I’ll be on that one ASAP.

Boy Queen, by George Lester.

I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the huge joy I felt when the lovely George announced he had a book coming out. And the fact that it was about a young man who found himself in the world of drag? That was the perfect cherry on top. The story was beautiful, warm and glitterific. Highly recommend, not just for drag fans, but for anyone in need of a good lift. 

(I was fortunate enough to get a proof from My Kinda Book - that in no way affects my opinion that it was truly fabulous. Pre-order now!)

The Vanishing Stair and The Hand on the Wall, by Maureen Johnson (parts 2 & 3 of her recent Truly Devious trilogy).

You know when you need a good book to just fall into because life is A Bit Much? And you know how murder mysteries are perfect for that kind of thing? Well, it turns out US YA murder mysteries, with a full cast of quirky characters, set in a beautiful old boarding school up in the Vermont mountains, are the very best for escapism and fascination. Especially when they’re written by the genius author of the Shades of London series. That’s what I hear, anyway. 

There we go, folks. My first few reads in isolation! If you want to see what I'm reading next, or read more of my reviews, head over to my Goodreads account. What have you been reading in this lockdown period? I'm open to all recommendations! Comment below, or tweet me please. 

Book title links are all for A Great Read, a lovely family run online bookshop who offer amazing discounts on current bestsellers, and free delivery. They are also affiliate links, so thank you in advance! 


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