As usual, a lot of my summer has been spent reading as many books as I could stand. I'm not going to talk about every single book I've read over the past couple of months because we'd be here for an eternity, but I'll mention a few stand-outs (for whatever reason!)
Most Disappointing Read
I'm going to university in a couple of weeks (!) to study English, and this was one of my required texts. All I can say is I'm not looking forward to writing essays on Fruit of The Lemon half as much as I am on everything else I've read so far. My biggest problem with this book was that the blurb really appealed to me, and made it seem a lot more interesting than I actually found it. I expected it to be an exciting story about cultural identity and native pride. Unfortunately to me it just seemed muddled up, and only tentatively touched on sensitive topics that would have been really affecting if they were handled and discussed more forcefully. I didn't care much for the main character's quarter-life crisis. I wanted more drama! Maybe this book will grow on me when I study it? Here's hoping...
Most Surprising Read
Okay so although I had obviously heard of Wuthering Heights, I didn't know much about it. From what I'd heard it was a very dramatic romance between young lovers Heathcliff and Cathy. How wrong I was! This book was about poisonous infatuation, an obsession that destroyed not only those infected, but everyone around them for years to come. Seriously, how anyone swoons over Heathcliff is beyond me. He is despicable. (This is coming from someone who has a real weak spot for misunderstood villains and antagonists, so take me seriously.) I think the most impressive thing about this novel was that I hated all of the characters. They were all completely insufferable. Despite this, I was still excited and desperate to know how their lives would unfold. As someone who finds it very difficult to enjoy a book if I don't connect with the characters, this is why Wuthering Heights really stood out for me. God damn it Emily, why couldn't you have written more?
I wanted to just pick one, but although these books are completely different I couldn't choose between them for my favourite! Aristotle and Dante is a YA book that explores themes such as identity, friendship, family and sexuality, and handles them all expertly. The prose is beautiful yet accessible, but never cheesy or overflowing with metaphors (something I really dislike in modern YA literature.) This book will warm your heart and make you laugh and most likely make you cry.
Although it will without a doubt cause you to weep, the similarities end there with my other favourite from this summer, A Thousand Splendid Suns. I had studied Hosseini's other novel The Kite Runner, and wanted to see if the effect it had on me was just a fluke. Safe to say it was not. This man is an evil genius. This book flips between the perspectives of two women in Afghanistan. Although they are originally strangers to one another, over the course of the book they form a unique bond. Although it shows the devastating reality of life under Taliban rule, it is also a truly inspirational tale of female strength and endurance. Still absolutely heartbreaking, though.
I hope you enjoyed me rambling on about books for a while! If you want to see more of my reviews, you can add me on Goodreads. See you soon - my life is about to get pretty hectic, but I'll try to keep posting!