9 Books I Would Re-Read in 2019

9 Books I Would Re-Read in 2019 | Book Reviews by Anika May | anikamay.co.uk

9 Books I Would Re-Read in 2019 | Book Reviews by Anika May | anikamay.co.uk

In 2018 I become a bookworm. I have always been a reader, books were my best friend as a child, but I rediscovered my love for books during the last year. As I become more and more interested in creative writing, I started to appreciate some of the best writers out there, and loved the idea of falling into a story and being moved by words on a page. The Goodreads app has become my go-to for looking up new reads, and it’s the best way to keep tract of what you want to read in the future too. I managed 18 books in 2018, but there were some that were so great I’d read them again this year. Enjoy the list!

 

The Book Ninja by Ali Berg & Michelle Kalus

“Sometimes love means having to broaden your literary horizons.

Frankie Rose is desperate for love. Or a relationship. Or just a date with a semi-normal person will do.

It’s not that she hasn’t tried. She’s the queen of online dating. But enough is enough. Inspired by her job at The Little Brunswick Street Bookshop, Frankie decides to take fate into her own hands and embarks on the ultimate love experiment.

Her plan? Plant her favourite books on trains inscribed with her contact details in a bid to lure the sophisticated, charming and well-read man of her dreams.

Enter Sunny, and one spontaneous kiss later, Frankie begins to fall for him. But there’s just one problem – Frankie is strictly a classics kind of gal, and Sunny is really into Young Adult. Like really.

A quirky and uplifting love letter to books, friendship and soulmates.”

This is a book that’s one of those fun reads that makes you laugh and smile from cover to cover. I read this book in about three days and although it didn’t teach me any ground-breaking life lessons, I still think it had a really nice story and relatable characters. It had a plot that made me want to share this book with everyone, and it’s one of the only books on this list that made me literally laugh out loud. I can’t tell you why because spoilers are the worst, but it’s so worth the cosy read.

 

9 Books I Would Re-Read in 2019 | Book Reviews by Anika May | anikamay.co.uk

Still Me by JoJo Moyes

 “Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She steps into the world of the superrich, working for Leonard Gopnik and his much younger second wife, Agnes. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her new job and New York life.

As she begins to mix in New York high society, Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. Before long, Lou finds herself torn between Fifth Avenue where she works and the treasure-filled vintage clothing store where she actually feels at home. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you find the courage to follow your heart–wherever that may lead?

Funny, romantic, and poignant, Still Me follows Lou as she discovers who she is and who she was always meant to be–and to live boldly in her brave new world.” 

What can I say about JoJo Moyes? Everything she write just resonates with me and touches my heart. She will be one of those authors that was a huge part of my 20’s reading journey and I love that! Still Me is the third book in the “Me Before You” series and also won the Choice Fiction Book of the Year Award by Goodreads. In this book Louisa is living in New York City, working for a superrich family and trying to keep her relationship with her boyfriend alive. I can’t exactly relate to that, but I can still relate to Louisa. She’s still the same old person and never loses touch of who she is. Her independence, charm and natural confidence is really inspiring. I’m really at a point in life where I’ll read anything JoJo publishes, it’s guaranteed to be good.

 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

“No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .

The only way to survive is to open your heart.” 

I picked up Eleanor Oliphant while browsing my local bookshop and the blurb grabbed my attention immediately. Not only did it sound like an intriguing character to explore but I also thought it would be nice to read something that isn’t just all about the romance. Eleanor is quite a unique character, and one that has raised a lot of discussions since the book was released. Some absolutely love the story and some think it lacked in plot development and found the character annoying. From my perspective, I found this book really refreshing and one that made a huge impact on me. I would class it as a book that helps you to understand the way different people think, and hits harder than you expect it to. I give it all the stars!

 

9 Books I Would Re-Read in 2019 | Book Reviews by Anika May | anikamay.co.uk

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

“Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis. Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.” 

I wanted to applaud this novel when I finished it. In fact, I didn’t want it to end at all. John Green is another fantastic author that I have loved since Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, and he doesn’t disappoint with Turtles All the Way Down.

Firstly, I have to say this book is probably the only piece of literature I’ve read that accurately captures spiralling in your own thoughts and the way Aza’s conscious thoughts argue with her anxious and OCD-ridden thoughts is fascinating to read. I loved that this book had more going on that just Aza’s mind, I felt like I was getting wrapped up in three stories at once. The thing I loved in this book the most is how real it felt. Aza’s mental health was truthfully represented and that’s what hooked me to the book. It didn’t feel like a cheesy novel at all, and like Eleanor Oliphant, I think this novel leaves plenty of room for discussion when it comes to mental health.

 

9 Books I Would Re-Read in 2019 | Book Reviews by Anika May | anikamay.co.uk

The House of Birds and Butterflies by Cressida McLaughlin

“Abby Field loves every inch of Meadowsweet Nature Reserve on the idyllic Suffolk coast where she lives and works. Especially Swallowtail House, the rambling but empty country house that seems to look out at her each time she passes it’s shut-up windows.

When a TV wildlife programme choses a rival location for their new series, Meadowsweet is under threat – unless Abby can whip up a plan to keep the visitors flocking. But she finds herself distracted by the arrival of a brooding – and annoyingly handsome new neighbour… bad-boy novelist, Jack Westcoat.

With the pressure on, Abby and her cute rescue husky, Raffle, must pull something special out of the bag. But with Jack in need of a good friend – and Abby feeling the pull of attraction, she can sense her resolve fluttering away…” 

This book is like a little ray of sunshine, it’s a really sweet read. Being completely honest, I wasn’t into it at first. The only thing I liked was the way Cressida McLaughlin illustrated Meadowsweet Nature Reserve and Abby’s husky, Raffle. However, after a few chapters in I started to feel the urge to finish the book and find out more about the mysterious Jack Westcoat. Although I wasn’t as obsessed with this book as others, I’d still curl up and read it again.

 

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

“Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.” 

I picked up this book because it was the Best Fiction Book of 2017 and I wanted to see what all the hype was about. I liked the idea of a nice suburban town with a hint of drama, and thought the idea of an adoption story to be part of the blog quite interesting. This book definitely did not disappoint. It’s the first Celeste Ng (it’s pronounced “ing”) novel I’ve read and I like that it takes place in her hometown. This book has really well developed characters and a wonderful writing style, you start to feel like you know each character and exactly the way they’re feeling, which I think is a real skill for writers to possess.

 

9 Books I Would Re-Read in 2019 | Book Reviews by Anika May | anikamay.co.uk

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.” 

Out of all the book on this list, this is the one I would encourage you to read the most. As a black person, it was definitely the one book that really tugged at my heart and riled up some emotion. Khalil being killed while unarmed by a police officer is one thing, but the challenges Starr faces and the way her poor neighbourhood deals with the trauma of losing an innocent teen is really eye opening. It’s devastating to know this is the reality for some people, and Angie Thomas perfectly paints this narrative of racism and violence which is a reality for millions of people. One of my favourite quotes is: “Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. They key is to never stop doing right”, and I think’s a hard-hitting fact that will always stick with me.

 

9 Books I Would Re-Read in 2019 | Book Reviews by Anika May | anikamay.co.uk

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

“Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle–from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she’s desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she’s finding her feet–not to mention a possible new romance–the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away–until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.

Sophie Kinsella is celebrated for her vibrant, relatable characters and her great storytelling gifts. Now she returns with all of the wit, warmth, and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her bestsellers to spin this fresh, modern story about presenting the perfect life when the reality is far from the truth.” 

Sophie Kinsella is one of the most popular chick-lit authors out there, and if you’re a fan of the genre you really need to pick up any one of her books. My Not So Perfect Life seemed like one that I would be able to relate to, and I wasn’t at all disappointed. Katie is a really lovely main character and I found that she thinks a lot like me. Demeter on the other hand, is a bit of a nightmare but a tolerable one. This book really made me giggle and was a really energetic read. Sophie has another book I read in 2018 called Can You Keep a Secret?, and it was just as funny and entertaining – she’s definitely a favourite!

 

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

“Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other…

They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…” 

I’m going to be honest, the only reason I picked up this book was because the main female character was black and it wasn’t a book about racial injustice or history. I like a good chick lit, and it’s rare the protagonists are black females who don’t struggle with some sort of identity crisis. Alexa is smart, witty and gorgeous which was something to look forward to. This book is definitely a super cheesy and dreamy read and one that the hopeless romantic in me absolutely loved. It’s a typical comical love story with the addition of intelligent, layered and independent characters. I recently bought The Proposal by the same author and can’t wait to read!

 

So far in 2019, I completed All the Little Lights, Dear Mrs Bird and just started The Kiss Quotient. We’re already off to a good start!

What was your favourite read of 2018? And what are you reading this year?

Follow:
Share: