During September I read sixteen books and think I can safely say that I’ve got my reading mojo back! I read some absolutely brilliant books this month and honestly can’t pick a favourite. Here is a list of the books I read (in the order I read them), I’ve not reviewed all of these books but will link to the ones I have.
Sophie Someone by Hayley Long
Fragile and Perfectly Cracked: A Memoir of Loss and Infertility by Sophie Wyndham
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter
Abroad by Katie Crouch
A Parcel for Anna Browne by Miranda Dickinson
Somewhere in Between by Katie Li
Chronic Pain: The Mananagement Plan by Robert Lewin
Never Too Late by Amber Portwood
#PleaseRetweet by Emily Benet
Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin
Isabelle Day Refuses to Die of a Broken Heart by Jane St. Anthony
Bulletproof by Maci Bookout
Carefully Everywhere Descending by L. B. Bedford
Bright Stars by Sophie Duffy
Breaking Away by Anna Gavalda
It’s impossible for me to pick a favourite book from this list, I was lucky enough to read so many amazing books. I think honourable mentions have to go to A Parcel for Anna Browne and Christmas at Lilac Cottage because of the wonderful, magical powers these two books have to just make your day so much brighter and sparklier! I also want to mention #PleaseRetweet because it was the first book I’ve read in a really long time that had me full on laughing out loud. And finally I have to recommend Isabelle Day Refuses to Die of a Broken Heart because it is such a beautiful, moving look at grief and yet remains uplifting. It’s a MG/YA book but I’d recommend it to everyone, especially people who have lost a loved one.
Grifonia is an ancient Italian city which plays host to swarms of foreign exchange students every year. Irish student Tabitha Deacon arrives wanting to immerse herself fully into Italian life and so turns down the university accommodation and quickly finds herself renting a room in a small cottage with two Italian women and an American student, Claire. Tabitha, or Taz as she prefers to be known, is very insecure and desperately wants to fit in, and so finds herself unable to resist when the cliquey Brit Four invite her to join their group. The Brit Four lead a very lavish lifestyle and Taz finds herself at increasingly decadent and dark parties. The sense of foreboding is gradually heightened as Taz gets further involved in their world.
Abroad is very loosely based around the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in 2007; Amanda Knox was convicted of the crime, but this novel focuses on the fictionalised story of before.
From the beginning of this novel the reader knows that Taz’s time in Grifonia doesn’t end well, and the tales woven through her story of young women throughout ancient Etruscan civilisations who have befallen horrible, often sacrificial fates due to their being women, gives this novel a haunted feel all the way through. The narrative style adds to this by evoking such a sense of longing and loss; it is reminiscent of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones with it’s slightly distant, dream-like quality. It just makes the reader ache for these lost young women.
This novel is wonderfully written and an utterly engrossing read, albeit discomforting at times due to it’s links to a real life case. I highly recommend this book.