Our recent holiday to France saw me stocking up with my book collection several months in advance. I had promised myself I wouldn’t buy any new books and try to get my To Be Read pile down to just a few shelves – but never mind, there’s always next year for that.
Dermot was slightly concerned about how heavy the van would be to tow due to all the clothes – Ahem, should I have come clean about my ‘secret’ piles of books? An argument for a Kindle perhaps? Not sure, I’m still of the school of loving the feel of books.
Anyway, what did I get through? Not as many as I’d planned – a one year old doesn’t appreciate the joy of seeing her mum stuck in a book and quite frankly, I enjoyed talking a bit too much too!
Before I went, I had just completed the infamous Fifty Shades. At a 3 out of 5 Goodreads rating, I wasn’t exactly overwhelmed but I’d bought the whole set so plodded on.
The second book in the series, Fifty Shades Darker was a better read. Whether I had got used (or bored?) with the saucy bits, I’m not sure but there definitely seemed more of a story and I got through it really quickly. There were thrilling moments when the story really picked up and the writing seemed to flow much better. I’m sensing E.L.James enjoyed writing this book more than the other two – it just seemed more natural. I’m going to be generous with a 4 out of 5 here.
After being pleasantly surprised, I moved onto the third in the series, Fifty Shades Freed. I’m afraid to say, I think this was one book too many for me. I’m starting to suspect authors of profiteering slightly when producing trilogies – my personal opinion is that its far better to finish a series of two left wanting more, than get to the end of three wishing I hadn’t invested so much time. This book very much reminded me of the Danielle Steel books I read as a teenager – Nothing wrong with them for me then but there’s a reason I stopped. I just felt everyone was too pretty, too rich, too lucky – where are the average, sometimes slightly boring, sometimes let you down, sometimes late people that we all come across in real life? Back to a 3 out of 5 here.
My next read was one I’d heard a lot about from friends, JoJo Moyes, Me Before You – I expected it to be sad as it was all over Twitter that people were in floods of tears – I thought it best not to to take to the Olympics with me so saved it for after we got back…And I didn’t cry! Have I got a heart of steel? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book. An easy read but it held my attention. A lady who has walked past our pitch for the past 2 years without us speaking even stopped to tell me how much she had enjoyed the book. After that we became good friends – the joy of books again, eh? A solid 4 out of 5 for Me Before You.
And then it was back to the trilogies. I saved the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins until my hols deliberately and it seemed liked everywhere I went, people were engrossed. Originally I thought they were a ‘boys book’ – yep, I know, never judge a book by its cover and all that. It was my sister who persuaded me to give them a go – she finished all 3 in just over 2 weeks which is good going with 2 kids.
I completely loved the first book, The Hunger Games. The idea of the tv show and a killing arena was just brilliant. I had that sense of doom at the beginning and was really nervous that it would be too gory for me but just had to know how it progressed. I passed this book onto 3 other people on my holiday and all 3 were as hooked as me. Definitely a contender for book of my year – 5 out of 5.
I quickly moved onto the second in the series, Catching Fire wondering how on earth the story could continue. There is something really clever, I think, about an author that can make a book seem to finish so perfectly but yet make you NEED to carry on to another in the series. I really wanted to know what happened to the characters so wanted the story to hurry up so I could get some answers. Another great read – I gave this a 4 out of 5.
At the end of the second Hunger Games book there is a cliffhanger that again makes you need to continue to book 3, Mockingjay. I will admit to wanting by now to move onto a different type of book. For me, 3 books was one too many for me again. I did persevere until the end but I had lost the passion for the Hunger Games by the end. Nearly a month on, I’m actually struggling to remember how the book did end. 3 out of 5 sadly for this instalment.
And so back home we came – armed with several books I didn’t even pick up. I’m 1/2 way through Victoria Hislop’s The Thread and really enjoying it and next I start on Kate Lord Brown’s The Perfume Garden that I won a copy of on Good Reads. So what has been your book of the summer? Have you read any trilogies that kept your interest right until the end? Recommendations welcome!