My Top 4 Summer Reads of 2018

Googling “when is summer” brings up some helpful results – June 21st to September 23rd, apparently. But, for me, summer ends on September 1st with the Hogwarts Express. For that reason, I’m going to be doing my top 4 summer reads between those two dates!

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I’ve had a pretty great summer, working my first summer camp, going away with my family, and generally just chilling. Now it’s time to go back to university and face up to the reading lists, but I thought I’d reminisce about some summer reads, and perhaps give you some recommendations too! These books are in no particular order, but we shall start with…

White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock (read: 25th July)

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I really loved this book, so much. The ending completely fucked with my mind, and then I was lucky enough to meet Tom at YALC, and he is honestly one of the nicest guys in the whole world. I really wish I could buy him a cup of coffee and talk about books and knives and stuff.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James (read: 27th July)

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This book was so heart-raising, I swear I spent most of it with my heart pumping 100bpm+! There were so many twists & turns, I loved the climax and the ending, and it’s gotten me really interested in reading books about space. I think, for example, I might try and pick up The Martian by Andy Weir pretty soon. (That one kinda helps that Sebastian Stan is the movie, BUT STILL.)

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (read: 8th August)

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Have I shouted at you about how much I love Dame Agatha Christie? No? Well, deep breath, because AGATHA CHRISTIE IS AMAZING AND YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY READ AT LEAST ONE BOOK OF HERS IN YOUR LIFE TIME AND IF YOU ARE GOING TO READ ONLY ONE, MAKE IT THIS ONE. *gasps* Seriously, this book is FANTASTIC and I loved it, and you should definitely read it.

Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton (read: 18th – 19th August)

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This is the third in the Rebel of the Sands trilogy, and I can’t decide if I preferred the 2nd or 3rd one more, but I think this one. Despite the second two books being like 500+ pages, I still read them in only a couple of days because the plot and characters draw me in completely! Absolutely love this trilogy, I really wish I’d read it sooner.

Honourable mentions also go to Big Bones by Laura Dockrill, Queens of Fennbirn by Kendare Blake, Sadie by Courtney Summers, and Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. I loved all of these books, too!

Overall, between 21st June – 1st September, I read 23 books, yay! Just glancing at the star ratings on Goodreads, my average rating seems to be about 3.5/5; I read some books that I didn’t like as much, but, as you can see above, I also read some crackers.

And out of all those 23 books, I read 13 in one day! As in…. 13 books in 13 days. 13 books in one day would probably be a world record! I’ve started reading entire books in single days a lot more now, and then having a break between novels. It’s quite a nice way to do it, because I can get sucked all the way in, but I think that reading books over multiple days draws out the enjoyment a little more. Hmm, maybe this is a topic for another blog post!

Book Review | Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (Poirot #8)

34066636A victim found stabbed multiple times. At least twelve suspects. And a detective who has to prove his worth to solve one of his most cunning cases. 

I am slowly falling in love with Agatha Christie, and I am 100% here for it. This was my second Poirot novel (although I don’t actually remember the first one I read so I really need to reread it), and I loved it.

Firstly, I love trains. Bizarre statement in any other situation, perhaps, but not when we’re discussing a book set on a train. I love old-fashioned trains, and it would be awesome if I could take a train like the Orient Express! So, the setting was, for me, truly brilliant. I was at home in the setting, so was able to really settle into the narrative and the characters.

The murder was so brilliant, and of course I was trying to work it out the whole way through (I was half right, okay!). Locked room murders are always so interesting. I think setting a murder in such a setting – where everyone is forced to be together – is really a brilliant move, as it raises the stakes for the possibility of another murder to take place, if the murderer is still on board.

Poirot is such a fantastic character. I think he’s hilarious, really witty and of course he’s so intelligent it hurts. Some of the clues I think I picked up on, but how Agatha Christie invented such a character… well, I would have loved to have met her. *Ahem* that’s by the by.

The resolution was far and away my favourite part. I won’t give any spoilers, but reading it I could feel my heart rate accelerating, and after putting it down I just had to say, “Wow,” softly to myself. I was – and still am – completely in awe of Christie, always but especially so in this novel. Her writing is masterful, and her murders even more so. I think that this book was also really human in its acting, adding to the brilliant climax and resolution, which isn’t something you often get in murder mysteries.

Overall, it’s easy to see why this is one of Christie’s most loved novels, and one of her best. I’m planning on starting at the beginning of her novels and working my way through, but I’m so glad I read Murder on the Orient Express because I was completely blown away, and definitely have a new favourite novel.

Rating: 5/5

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Source: movie tie-in cover present from my mum (thanks, mum!)


If you liked this, you might also like… Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens. [review]

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