September Reads + Reviews

Hiya! New feature on my blog will be book reviews, I love reading and talking about the books I’ve read and recommending them to those around me – so I thought why not put my recommendations here as well!

Here are the books that I read this last month along with my review and ratings.

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Meet Queenie.

Journalist. Catastrophist.

Expressive. Aggressive.

Loved. Lonely.

Enough?

A darkly comic and bitingly subversive take on life, love, race and family. Queenie will have you nodding in recognition, crying in solidarity and rooting for this unforgettable character every step of the way.

This book has been on my to-read list for so long, I’m so glad that I finally got it this summer. I’ve never related to a character so much as a Black British young woman as I did to Queenie, the main character and narrator. The way the book is written it makes you feel like Queenie is a friend, many times in the book I found myself rooting for her to do well and feeling sad when things go wrong.

The book follows Queenie’s life succeeding her boyfriend, Tom’s decision to take a break from their relationship – it shows her trying to deal with her life suddenly changing, having to find a new place to live in London, trying to do well at work and keeping up with the dating scene.

Carty-Williams touches on the everyday microagressions that Black people face – for example; the questioning Black British people’s identity (being asked where are you from), the non-consensual touching of our hair.

This was honestly one of my favourite books that I’ve read this year and I think I will do a further review going into more details about it. I highly recommend reading this book, it made me laugh and cry and gives a little insight on being a Black girl in London.

Rating: 5/5

You’re The One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher

Best friends since childhood, Maddy, Ben and Rob thought their bond was unbreakable. But love changes everything. Maddy has a choice to make but will she choose wisely? Her heart, and the hearts of the two best me she knows, depend on it…

Following the prospectives of Maddy and Ben, starting when they meet in class at 9 years old and the love triangle growing evermore complex throughout their lives going through university and adult life. Maddie chooses between Robert, her childhood love, and Ben, her best friend, two guys who have always loved her. Robert being confident in showing his love and capturing Maddie’s heart first and Ben being sensitive and holding in his emotions and love for Maddy until later in life. Ben’s declaration of love for Maddie sets her on a path of confusion as to who she should spend the rest of her life with.

This book is full of romance, possibly too much romance for me – I’m not so into romantic books like I often need another aspect of the character’s life to go along with the story and the romance plot be supported with something else that’s going on in their lives. The whole plot to me seemed to revolve around the love triangle, I feel like the characters only really spoke about the love triangle like all I was thinking was – Don’t you guys have other shit going on in your life?? Like no problems with school or university and they all found good post-uni jobs in London and property in London. There were just so many areas in their lives that were brushed over and seemed way too “perfect” in a way – for example both Maddy and Ben going to the same uni and Robert being able to go there all the time it seemed.

I mentioned before that the book is in the perspective of Maddy and Ben, I felt like it possibly needed the perspective of Robert as well. He’s included in the love triangle but we don’t get his point of view, how he feels about the growing connection between Maddy and Ben especially throughout their uni years. Possibly a mild spoiler but I didn’t like that he never found out about Ben’s feelings for Maddy and her feelings for Ben, he seems to be living his life totally oblivious to her arguably emotional cheating.

I first started off the book being Team Ben and rooting for him and Maddy to be together but by the end I changed my mind and was Team Robert, just wanting him to be happy and have a reciprocated love.

Rating 3/5

Once a Liar by A. F. Brady

Who killed Charlie Doyle?

Lawyer Peter Caine worked ruthlessly to reach the top and has an unbeaten track record in defending those accused of the most deplorable crimes. But when Charlie Doyle, Peter’s former lover, is found dead, Peter finds himself in the spotlight – not at the defender but as the prime suspect.

With everything on the line, Peter races to prove his innocence – and, as the evident mounts against him, he’s forced to confront his own web of lies. But the truth of who killed Charlie Doyle is more twisted than anyone could have imagined…

I got this book as it’s a genre I love to read, a psychological thriller, whodunit mystery. The book starts off a little slow building up the scene of Peter Caine’s life, the blurb talks about the death of Charlie Doyle but we don’t properly find out how important she is to Peter until a little later into the book. The book starts with the funeral of Peter’s ex wife and mother of his son, Juliette, and Peter dealing with his son, Jamie, moving into his home that he shares with his girlfriend, Claire. The chapters in the book switch back and forth between then and now – talking about him falling in love with Juliette, working with her father, (his idol) Marcus, and the lies that he had told to create this new life in New York.

With my knowledge in psychology I knew from the start that Peter was a sociopath and has Machiavellian personality traits – he has a complete lack of empathy and obviously craves power and would prioritise this over having love in his life. So right from the beginning I had a dislike towards him – his treatment to his wife and young child, his affair with Charlie, the constant lying and his selfishness. However by the end of the book I did feel a tiny little bit sorry for him trying to prove his innocence after being accused and investigated for Charlie’s death.

This book had so many twists and dramatic moments – I loved all the drama! The only reason I dropped a point in the rating is because I thought the biggest twist of the whole book just happened so suddenly with no aftermath it was just the end of the book – it just left me with so many questions. Also I thought the book was a little slow at the beginning, I understand that it was to set up the scene but it got me questioning why the blurb was all about Charlie and her death and she wasn’t even a character that was spoken much about in the first couple chapters.

Rating: 4/5

Thank you for reading!

Looking forward to doing this next month!

Antonia

xoxo

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✩ Antonia Conduah ✩ 21 ✩ Mental Health, Petite Fashion & Lifestyle ✩ Instagram Story Templates and Wallpapers

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