We’re coming to the end of 2019 and I’m kinda surprised by the lack of books I’ve read this year. I always try and challenge myself to read more than the year before but it seems I’ve been particularly lazy in 2019. I’ve found myself rereading a lot of things, like the Crazy Rich Asians series, and going months picking up new reads once I’ve finished something.
I’ve managed to read a few things though and hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze in a couple more before the decade (eek!) is out.
The Testaments by Margret Atwood
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s up there with one of my favourite books, so of course I was excited to get my hands on The Testaments. I loved discovering all the new details about the world of Gilead and seeing it from different characters’ perspectives was refreshing, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t think it was as good as the first one. I felt like the story lines were at times simplistic and rushed, to the point of being unbelievable, and it was really easy to guess the big spoilers before they were revealed. On the other hand, I know friends who absolutely loved it and were left feeling really satisfied. Worth a read if you’re a fan of the original but maybe don’t get your hopes up.
Vox by Christina Dalcher
Another feminist dystopian novel that’s jumped on the Handmaid’s Tale bandwagon, Vox delves into a world where American women are limited to speaking 100 words a day or risk an electric shock. Now, I am a fan of dystopian novel, don’t get me wrong, but this one really felt like it was trying really hard to be like the Handmaid’s Tale. There were so many similar plot details, like a growing religious movement that wants a return to traditional family values coming to power in the US, and the public shaming of women who disobey the rules. I looked past these similarities though and got stuck into the story line, enjoying the level of detail about this new world but then, the ending… it was so unsatisfying and rushed! Everything seemed to be wrapped up in less than 5 pages. I won’t spoil it, but would be curious to hear what other people who’ve read it think.
The Secret History Club by Donna Tartt
I first read this book ten years ago when my friend Imogen recommended it to me as she had just started it and wanted us to read along together. I absolutely loved it, and it was one of those that I just couldn’t out down once I started but I don’t think Imogen ever got around to finishing it! I decided to pick it up again after I saw someone share their copy on Instagram and I was curious to see if it would still hold up. Whilst I struggled to get into it at first, once I was a few chapters in, I was hooked. Set in the 1980s, it tells the story of Richard, who starts at a small liberal arts college in Vermont. He quickly falls in with a bunch of eccentric misfits also taking his classics course, exposing him to a new way of thinking, which is when events start taking a rather sinister turn… Highly recommend!
Any recommendations for what I could add to my reading list for the end of the year? Let me know!