Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Recent Reads #2 - Lovers, Rockstars & Vampires

Recent Reads #2 - Lovers, Rockstars & Vampires
1. Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer / 2. The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
3. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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In an effort to read more I've started getting up an hour before I need to do anything to wake up, have some coffee and get stuck into a good book. I've found that it's such a great way to start the day and there's no better time to read than at 6am when my husband is still sleeping and the outside world is quiet. It's a good way to get some me-time which is challenging these days since we're all working from home with very few places to go, but that's the new normal. The only danger with my new routine is that sometimes it's hard, if not impossible to put a good book down and it can make for a distraction for the rest of the day. I read three books in August and they were all good, although two were much better than the other. Here are my thoughts.

1. Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

The Twilight Saga Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

I have no problem admitting that I'm a Twihard. I read the books in my late 20's after reluctantly watching the first movie I'd made fun of for so long. I instantly fell in love with the story, the characters and of course, Robert Pattinson. At the time, I lived a rather quiet, boring life on a Caribbean island and I didn't really love it, so anything entertaining and distracting was always welcome. After finishing the first movie, I immediately watched it again and the next day I went to the bookstore on my break to buy the first two books. I fell in love with the mystical world of Forks and devoured the books one-by-one, sometimes hiding them under my desk at my boring admin job or staying up way too late at night to get through one more chapter. When I heard that a new Twilight book had come out I was admittedly skeptical. Would it still be interesting to me? Would the same story from Edward's point of view be interesting or boring? Have I outgrown it? Is it still timely or just a way to squeeze a bit more income out of little vampire love story that captured millions of hearts and spawned five feature films?

The verdict: Here I am, nearly 40 years old and once again completely captivated and consumed by a teenage vampire/human love story. The beauty of it is that like the vampires, the story hasn't aged. I've loved every minute of reading this book and again I've been cancelling things in my diary or staying up too late to read just a little bit more... I've spent at least one whole weekend at home devouring the story again from a different point of view and once again I'm totally Team Edward. Midnight Sun is a huge book - 756 pages long to be exact, but it flies by... The biggest hurdle is holding the thick, heavy volume in your hands or carrying it around, but I promise it's worth it if you loved the original Twilight books. At a time when the future is really uncertain, this kind of escapist trip back to a different time is just what's needed and Stephenie Meyer has proven that she's still just as good as ever at creating a fantastic, romantic and thrilling journey for her readers.

2. The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett is a novel that was recommended a couple of years ago by someone on Instagram. I bought it, but somehow never got around to reading it until this summer. If you ever saw the Gwyneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors (which I love), this book is kind of like that. It's three versions of what happens after a guy meets a girl at Cambridge University one fateful day. Each of the stories are very different depending on how they reacted to meeting each other in that moment and the novel follows the two main characters as well as a host of supporting characters throughout the rest of their lives. 

I love the idea of this book and the stories are pretty good, but honestly it was a tough read for me. I kept getting confused and it was sad. I think two versions is easy to keep track of possibly, but three is nearly impossible. It took me all summer to read this book because I just couldn't bring myself to pick it up most of the time, though that might've been because of my lockdown blues - hard to say. I do think it's possible that this book never really grabbed me because there's just too much going on. That said, the writing is good and the way the characters journey through the decades is interesting - it would probably make a beautiful movie. I honestly think that plenty of people would do a better job of keeping up with these stories and therefore enjoy this book more than I did. If you're looking for something to read, it's worth giving this one a shot.

3. Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid caught my attention as soon as I saw it on the Reese Witherspoon Book Club Instagram feed. It's right up my street and I ordered it immediately. I finished this book super quickly because it's too fun to put down. The story takes place in the 70's and it's formatted like a rockumentary, where each of the people involved in what happened are being interviewed, telling their version of the story and in some cases, sharing very conflicting memories. It's about a band, how they got together, how they rose to the top and ultimately, how it all fell apart. It all starts with Daisy Jones, a young, directionless girl hanging out on the Sunset Strip who shone so bright she had to be a star and from page one, it's a behind-the-scenes romp filled with sex, drugs, rock & roll and all the drama. The story is touching too though, filled with emotion, relationships, heartbreaks and hard times. I absolutely loved this book and I've been recommending it to all my friends.

As one might expect from a Reese Witherspoon book club pick, Daisy Jones & the Six is set to be a series on Amazon and I can't wait to see it. The 70's fashions, the music, the drama... There's no way it won't be fun to watch!


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