Recent Reads; pumpkins, politics and the patriarchy.

Hello, fellow book lovers. It's been a while since I wrote one of these! In all honesty, I haven't got much reading done, recently. Maybe because I'm too busy, but I also haven't been allocating time for it as much as I did earlier this year. I have to admit, I miss the end-of-lockdown summer days, when I would spent around 8 full hours on my roof, reading reading reading... 

Okay, tiny violin moment over. Here are some reviews. 

Red White & Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston.

An enemies to lovers story, in which the Prince of Wales falls for the First Son of the American President, and their romance must overcome opposition from all sides.

Review via Goodreads.

Everyone was telling me to read this one. EVERYONE. It's a truly unique novel; New Adult (a bit of a grey area, genre-wise!), contemporary (it takes place in a very different 2020), witty, political, and sexy af.  I won't lie, I didn't fully grasp some of the political jargon or Very American storylines, but holy cow I gobbled up the sexual tension and delightful character development. 

Thank you so much to Claire, aka @paperbookmarks, for sending me this one during Lockdown 1. You're a gem. 

Every Little Piece of My Heart, by Non Pratt.

When Sophie receives a parcel from her best friend, Freya, she expects it to contain the reason why Freya left town so suddenly, without goodbyes or explanation. Instead, she finds a letter addressed to Win, a girl Freya barely knew - or did she? As more letters arrive for more people on the periphery of Freya's life, Sophie and Win begin to piece together who Freya was and why she left. Sometimes it's not about who's gone, but about who they leave behind.

Review via Goodreads.

Non is one of my favourite YA authors. The characters she writes are so believable and layered, and their arcs are beautiful. Her dialogue writing is masterful. FACTS. I do love her romantic stuff, but let me tell you she is one of the very best when it comes to writing about friendships. *chef's kiss*

I bought this book with a ticket to a Zoom event with Non in conversation with GrĂ¡inne Clear, Commissioning Editor at Walker Books, organised by Lutyens & Rubinstein Bookshop & Literary Agency. Check them out, please! (and consider buying from them this Christmas, rather than That Site) 

Pumpkinheads, by Rainbow Rowell & Faith Erin Hicks.

Every autumn through high school, Josiah and Deja have worked together at the local pumpkin patch. They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1st. But this Halloween is different — they are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Review via Goodreads

I am not a huge graphic novel reader (idk why, I just like allll the words), but I had had my eye on this one for a good while. Rainbow's writing is always a treat, and Faith's illustrations were just incredible. As for the story... I liked the friendship stuff, and the setting was adorable, but (spoilers) I didn't like where it went right at the end. I didn't believe it. Maybe it's because I'm cynical and jaded, but I noticed after finishing it that a few reviewers felt the same as me... 

More Than a Woman, by Caitlin Moran.

It will come as no surprise to you lot that Caitlin (Cat, to those in the know) shimmied her way right up my reading list as soon as she landed in a most unladylike manner on my doormat. I was sold from page one; Caitlin takes us back to 10 years ago, when she'd just finished writing her bestseller 'How To Be a Woman', and embellishes a little on the memory, shall we say, by describing her 45-year-old self appearing to that Caitlin to warn her of what's to come in the future, just when her 30-something self thinks she's got it licked. Very clever. She's had a fair bit of criticism about HTBAW in the past 10 years; it hasn't aged perfectly, and a few problematic things have been brought to light, so it's great that this book began with this honest callback to her former self. 

The book consists of chapters that mark each hour of the day, and what that hour entails in a wife, mother, writer and feminist's life; e.g. 8am, The Hour of Married Sex; 7pm, The Hour of Ageing, etc. 

I'm still reading it now, but I have to share one of my favourite parts so far - the 'what about men?' chapter. Hear me out... Caitlin makes some very valid points about how the patriarchy is tough on men, too. She shares some of the responses her Twitter call out got; some are eye-opening, and some are super sad. 

There we go! Those are my most recent reads. When I finish MTAW I'm planning to dip into some more fiction, as I need to escape again. What are YOU reading? Any recommendations? Comment below, and/or tweet me, please. See ya soon.


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