So I read through Zoella’s bookclub this summer and I only just discovered she has a new list for Autumn! I’m such a geek I know, but I’m really excited about this! So what’s on the list this time? If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo, Frozen Charlotte (Red Eye 1) by Alex Bell, I Was Here by Gayle Forman, The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, Lying About Last summer by Sue Wallman, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, The One We Fell In Love With by Paige Toon and Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella.
It’s a pretty refreshing list as I’ve barely heard of any of the books so I’m pretty excited about it. Hopefully I’ll get it done before the year is out too haha, I’ve been pretty rubbish with reading lately. So here I go.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
It seems a little unusual/unfair to say that this book is hugely relevant right now because I suppose it shouldn’t be but the spotlight that Caitlyn Jenner has given to the trans community is what it is. Anyway, Russo writes a beautifully emotional story of a trans girl called Amanda who’s past life still haunts her, she lives in fear of the truth about her birth self coming out due to the suffering it has caused her. It is easy to pretend that the death threats and beatings are just fictional but the reality is not so. I love that Amanda is one of the most beautiful girls in the class and all of the boys like her, it’s not written as a typical square jawed guy living his life as a girl, but as a real secret. I really enjoyed this book, although the supporting characters all reminded me of the characters from mean girls (as if Lindsay Lohan was Amanda). I would never pretend that I have any idea what people go through but I believed this to be honest.
Frozen Charlotte (Red Eye 1) by Alex Bell
I can honestly say I had never been actually scared by a book until I read the first chapter of this. Luckily, I quite enjoy being scared but seriously! I was worried. The story follows Sophie who after a game of ouija board with her friend in a cafe tumbles into her own horror story. She visits her family on the isle of Skye where she uncovers family secrets and the scary reality of the frozen charlotte dolls. I was gripped I have to admit. But, it isn’t a book I would usually have picked up myself so maybe I should learn that lesson for the future! Although I really enjoyed the book, I’m not going to pick up the rest of the series because I felt like this book was rounded off nicely and didn’t need to be continued. The only thing I’m unsure about is where Bell was implying the relationship between Sophie and her cousin Cameron was going… awkward.
I Was Here by Gayle Foreman
Wow. I found this book so amazingly real. Cody’s best friend commits suicide and she can’t understand why. After being given her computer and finding encrypted files, Cody discovers Meg had joined a suicide support group before she killed herself and desperate for answers Cody starts to investigate what that means. I think all too often it’s easy to ignore he truth and look for excuses for those we love in all situations so I though Forman delivered an insightful look into coping with suicide. Plus there was a little romance to go with it which never hurts!
The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Ahhhh a Christmas book!! I am usually totally against reading a book without reading it’s predecessor so considering this was book 2 in a series I was pessimistic. However, for book club purposes I decided I may as well give it a go. I must say, I don’t know what she’s like in the first book but wow Lily is self absorbed and annoying! And poor Dash is besotted. The book starts with a ‘first day of Christmas’ reference so I thought the whole book was going to follow the 12 days of Christmas idea, however, I think the authors maybe started on that train of thought then changed their mind because following that there’s only brief references. I think the only reason I enjoyed this book was because it was Christmassy but generally the plot was fairly week and the characters were annoying! The low point was definitely the ice skating incident… how unbelievable!
Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman
Skye witnessed something terrible and she is questioning whether she could have done something to prevent it. Finding it hard to live with her grief and missing her sister she gets sent to a summer camp to ‘heal’ her. However, she isn’t interested in making friends and doesn’t really seem interested in getting help from anybody, instead just wants to go on alone. It was a bit of a disjointed story at times. I did enjoy that there was a baddy in the book though! Basically, could’ve been better but it was maybe 3/5 in my opinion.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
So this book definitely starts weird. The yew tree in the garden is the monster… yuppp, I told you, weird! But, it’s actually a lovely story on a young boy coming to terms with his mother’s terminal illness. The last few chapters definitely had me in tears. It’s a really quick read too to fill in the gaps. I’m sort of curious to watch the movie! Totally different to the other books on Zoella’s list though.
The One We Fell In Love With by Paige Toon
I have never read any of Toon’s books but I have purchased another already! The one we fell in love with tells the story of identical triplets who all fall in love with the boy next door. Phoebe is the favourite sister (sounds about right my cat is called Phoebe and she is the favourite in the house), so always gets her own way. However, after tragedy strikes everything changes. I thoroughly enjoyed this book; definitely the best on the list, it was paced well and the triplets although very different well all totally relatable and likeable.
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Other than seeing this book every now and again on amazon I actually knew nothing about it. I read Kinsella’s shopaholic a few years ago (I say a few I mean like 10) and from what I remember this is a totally different kettle of fish. Something happened (in hindsight I don’t think you ever find out what) to Audrey, causing her to drop out of school and become a recluse. The story is her personal journey to recovery, and although it’s a little bit fluffy it is a nice story.
This bookclub selection was very diverse. I also cannot avoid that there was a lot of depressing tones to the books selected. The one we fell in love with was definitely my personal highlight but they all had good parts to them.