I feel as though I haven’t read nearly as much this year as I had by this point last year. This blog post is a list of the books that I have read, either entirely or partly, so far this year. I felt as though now was a good time for it as we are currently half-way through the year. Happy mid-2019 everyone!
The start of the year seems so long ago that I had to check my goodreads account to jog my memory on which books I’d read thus far!
1. Just Juice – Karen Hesse
This was a very quick read which only took me a couple of hours one day. Just Juice is a book that I have had for years now and had already read a few times, so this was a reread. Although this is technically a ‘children’s’ story, I really like this book. I think this book’s simplicity is part of its charm.
Just Juice follows the story of a young girl, Juice, who has one big secret—she can’t read. Because of this, she refuses to go to school most days. Juice’s family are struggling and their house faces repossession by the bank.
I really enjoy this story because it provides a window into things which seem so ordinary (as in, not fantastical) and yet so different. This book just seems so interesting and genuine to me, and, despite how much the family may struggle, I really like that this book has a mostly happy ending.
2. Rapture – Lauren Kate
Rapture is the final book in the Fallen series, by Lauren Kate (not counting spinoffs). I had actually forgotten that I had partly read this book at the beginning of this year! I began reading the Fallen series last year but didn’t finish it before the end of 2018, so I had to finish Rapture in the first few days of 2019. (I started reading Rapture riiiiight at the end of 2018, on December 31).
The Fallen series are a YA fantasy series following (one of) Luce’s lifetimes, in which she must gradually learn about herself and this whole new world beyond everything she’s ever known. Ultimately, she needs to learn her own past. Rapture is the novel where she finally is able to piece everything together to understand who she really is—and always was.
I really liked this book! The Fallen series was one that I had been longing to read for years, and so I’m super glad that I was able to grab all the books from my library and read them all in order! I even read one of the spinoffs, Fallen in Love and rather enjoyed that too. I’m most glad that I enjoyed Rapture since it is the last book in the series, and it would have been so disappointing to go through the entire series only to dislike its final instalment. The thing I liked most about this novel was that it followed the stories of more of the main characters, rather than primarily focusing upon the two main characters of Luce and Daniel. I’ll only reread this book if I decide to reread the entire series over again someday.
3. My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
This was another book that I had wanted to read for many years, and finally did it this year! I have seen the movie adaptation of this novel a few times in the past, and wanted to read the book since I enjoyed the movie.
My Sister’s Keeper is the story of a family struggling with a child who has been suffering from cancer for most of their life. The younger sister, Anna, was created and birthed to be an exact genetic match to her ill older sister, in order to act as a donor for bone marrow, blood, and organs. Anna files a lawsuit against her family in order to gain legal bodily autonomy, so that she no longer can be forced to act as a donor, and instead has a choice.
I loved this book a lot, and definitely want to read it again someday. I found it interesting, sad, and difficult to put down. The entire time I was reading it, I felt like I knew what was happening and what would happen because I had seen the movie and simultaneously felt like I had no idea where things would change and what would end up happening because the book differed from the movie.
To me, My Sister’s Keeper was the kind of book that leaves you thinking about it for a few days after. It leaves you empty right after you finish it and you realise there’s no more to read. It makes you flip back to the beginning few pages of the book and reread them in a new light. I definitely want to reread this book someday.
4. The Flying Trunk – Hans Christian Andersen
The Flying Trunk by Hans Christian Andersen is a short story/fairytale, about a man who has a flying trunk. This is a book that I have had since I was a child. On a whim one day, I decided to reread it. I rather like this book as it feels very nostalgic to me because I have read it so many times before, years ago.
5. The Tinderbox – Hans Christian Andersen
This is another book of a short story by Hans Christian Andersen that I have had for as long as I can remember. I actually think I reread this on the same day that I reread The Flying Trunk! I do love fairytales and hope to read more of them. One thing I would like to reread is the original Hans Christian Andersen version of The Little Mermaid, because I’ve been hearing so much about the new Disney live-action remake of the story!
6. Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
I actually haven’t finished this one yet, so it counts as a partial 2019 read. I aim to finish the final few pages prior to the end of this year.
Robinson Crusoe is the tale of a man who continually felt drawn to a seafaring life, despite many close scrapes in earlier voyages. During one of these voyages, he becomes shipwrecked on an essentially deserted island during a particularly ferocious storm which kills everyone on the ship except himself. The book is written in the form of an autobiography, as though the fictional character of Robinson had written it himself. The majority of the novel follows his account of adjusting to a solitary island life.
I didn’t really enjoy this book very much. It’s not necessarily a bad book or anything; I suppose it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I don’t think I’ll ever reread it, however, since I’m so close to the end of this book, I’m determined to finish it through to the end.
7. Orlando – Virginia Woolf
This was another book that I read recently and have not finished (yet). I actually only got about a third of the way through this book. It was certainly interesting and I do intend to attempt to finish it one day, but I just really struggled to get into it when I tried to read it recently. Perhaps when (if) I finally finish this book, I’ll write a full review.
8. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
I love this book! This too was a reread, as I have read Jane Eyre before.
Jane Eyre follows the story of a young woman in Victorian England who is essentially alone in the world. As a woman in that time period who had no family, nor any money to her name or any claim to an inheritance, she ends up becoming a governess. But the house she is now working and residing in seems to have a secret… In Jane Eyre,Jane grows, learns about herself, and finally establishes a place in the world—metaphorically speaking.
This book is longer than I remembered it being! I’m not sure why exactly I like this book, I just know that I do really enjoy it, especially the beginning. I’ve read this book fully twice already, and I definitely see myself rereading it again in the future.
9. Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
Wide Sargasso Sea is a continuation and re-imagining of Bertha’s (from Jane Eyre) story. Where in Jane Eyre Bertha is rarely seen and never heard speaking a word, in Wide Sargasso Sea, she is finally given a story and a voice by Rhys.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started reading this book. The more I read, however, the more I realised that this was the type of book where you really have to slow down and consider each sentence carefully. I think that overall, I rather enjoyed this book and I think that I would like to reread it sometime in the future. To read more about what I thought of this book, check out my book review.
Have you read any of these books? If yes, did you like them? Which books have you read this year so far? Please feel free to comment down below!
Thanks for reading!