Monday, 8 March 2021

Five of My Latest Reads + Mini Reviews


The start of 2021 seems to have run away from me as it's March and I'm only just sitting down with a book update - my first once since November. I ended 2020 by reading 100 books, the most I've ever read in a year and I'm so proud of myself, sure the pandemic definitely played a part in all my extra time but it's still such a great reading achievement. I decided to set my 2021 reading challenge at sixty books so there was a little less pressure to work my way through them and so far I've read thirteen so not too bad, to begin with.

I've picked out five titles from what I've read so far this year to share with you and there are some brilliant books in there (even if I do say so myself!) - I can't wait to hear what you think.



Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson is beautifully poetic, written in a way I adored and was simple but hit every emotion possible - it completely blew me away.

Following a young pair of artists, their love story and vulnerability - the debut tells the story of their lives, likeness and experiences with microaggression and racism. It's beautifully tender and their love has a vibrance that's heart-warming to read, but also sadly laced with fear and insecurity. I don't want to give too much away because you really must read it, it's just shy of 150 pages so it's an easy one to slip into your TBR pile. 

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
I judged Red, White & Royal Blue BIG time when I first saw it circulating - I thought it would be really YA based, a bit Princess Diaries so I just never bothered picking it up until it was 99p on Kindle. Oh was I wrong about this book, it's cheesy and predictable but I loved it! The concept of the Prince of England falling in love with the first son of the United States is fun and sometimes that's exactly what you need. Red, White and Royal Blue is 100% deserving of the hype it has received. It's moving, heartwarming and absolutely hilarious. It 

It contains some really important topics such as coming out, relationships and friendships while combining fun, laughter and sarcasm for some real laugh out loud moments. I adored the side characters within the book too, the development was brilliant. 



Away with the Penguins by Hazel Prior 
This was a Beth's Book Club pick that I dutifully ordered and absolutely adored. 85-year-old Veronica starts wondering what to do with her millions when she's gone when she ends up finding her last living relative, her grandson Patrick. Things don't quite hit it off so Veronica decides to book the trip of a lifetime to a penguin research centre in Antarctica to learn all about the Adelies and decides that is where she wants to leave her wealth. It's original, charming and comes with a big ol' sprinkling of joy. 

Don't let the Eleanor Oliphant comparisons put you off like it did me at first - I hated the Oliphant book but Away with the Penguins really isn't similar to it at all, the characters are a touch spikey but that is as far as it goes. I urge you to pick this one up!

Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola
Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola is a beautifully, colourful collection of short mythical tales of love from countries such as Ghana, Senegal, China and Persia. Babalola has taken each tale from around the world and retold them in her own way creating such an immersive and warming experience as you turn each page.

I won't lie, the cover was a major selling point for me but as soon as I read the first tale I knew it was so much more than that. Each one totally enveloped me and with so many heartwarming quotes and passages throughout, it was such a joy to read. She just writes about love in such a beautiful yet realistic way. There are 13 tales - Attem, Psyche and Nefertiti were favourites although I enjoyed each of them in their own way. I was totally enchanted and would recommend this over and over again


The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley
This was such a breath of fresh air and I really enjoyed it, there may have been some tears at the end too. The book concept is brilliant, 75-year-old Julian, a lonely ageing artist, writes about his loneliness in a notebook titled The Authenticity Project which he then leaves in Monica’s cafe. Monica then writes about her desperation for a family and then passes the notebook on to another stranger. Slowly, all these strangers become connected, and the reader realizes that authenticity is more complicated than it seems.

This was an adorable book that kept me smiling throughout. It really reminded me of the impact we can have on those around us and how kindness always wins - an absolute must-read. 


What's on your TBR list at the moment?

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8 comments

  1. These sound like amazing reads and I like the sound of Away With The Penguins! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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  2. I really want to read Love in Colour, and after reading your review I think I need to read it!

    Katie | katieemmabeauty.com

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  3. These all sound like amazing reads, especially that last one, which is on my TBR pile x

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  4. I've added 3 to my list - Open Water, Away With The Penguins and The Authenticity Project. Out of curiosity, why did you not like the Eleanor Oliphant book? x

    Beautylymin

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  5. So many added to my list, I have really got into reading recently and love new suggestions! x

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  6. Love in colour sounds like a fabulous read and something I would enjoy.

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  7. My TBR is huge but I’m still in a reading slump x

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  8. I do agree - the cover art for Love is Colour is beautiful, I'll have to check it out

    Jasmine xx

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