I didn't really make any New Year's Resolutions for 2017 - I mean, there's always the usual "get healthy" stuff, that's a given. But the one thing I did want to do was start reading more again.
I used to be the most avid of readers and could be reading up to 80 books in a year, even with blogging, work and a social life fitting in. Nowadays, social media is way too much of a distraction for me and I find myself invariably spending the time I used to devote to reading books, scrolling through twitter, facebook and Instagram on a loop instead.
So this year, I decided it would be different. I started using Goodreads again and I set myself a challenge - to try and read 40 books. I mean, that seems like a LOT but it's only half the amount I used to read. Plus I tend to catch up on holidays so I'm hoping it's a do-able amount.
As well as using Goodreads to record this, I thought I would do a regular post/review summing up the books I've gotten through so far. So . . . it's the final day of March and I've read . . . 5 books. Not the best of progress, but I actually read the last two in the last two weeks or so so I'm definitely picking up the pace a bit as the year goes on. Let's look at what I've read so far then!
1) 667 Ways to F*ck Up My Life - Lucy Woodhull
Now technically I started this in 2016, but I did read most of it in 2017 so it is being counted. (If I make it to 40 books I may read an extra one just to ease my conscience on this tiny oversight, OKAY???). This is the story of Dagmar, a girl who always plays it safe and does the right thing. However, when she is unfairly dismissed from work and dumped by her (horrible) boyfriend, she decides it's time for the good girl to go bad. She gets herself a job in a coffee shop, tries it on with her boss, and meets the perfect guy . . . the only problem is that her lies and sins are starting to spin out of control.
This was a really enjoyable read - the fact it took me so long to read was the fault of myself and my procrastination and aforementioned social media addiction, rather than any reflection on the book itself. 7/10
2) We Were On A Break - Lindsey Kelk
When the proposal Liv is expecting from Adam doesn't appear, their relationship goes a bit . . . awry, and they end up taking a break from their relationship. What follows is the two character's journey as they try to cope with the break and decide what they actually want from life and whether they actually want to get back together.
Now I generally love Kelk's books but, although I enjoyed this, it is probably my least favourite of her standalone novels. I liked the fact it was told through the eyes of both characters, it was very readable and it was very funny in parts. . . but her other books have had a bit more going on in them, and I really did just want to bang the two main characters' heads together at times. 6/10
3) My Not So Perfect Life- Sophie Kinsella
Katie has the perfect Instagram feed - her life, however, is not as perfect as she likes to make out. And when she loses her job, she finds herself moving back to the country to help her family out with their new glamping business. So when her old boss, the woman who fired her, turns up on holiday there, should she try and get revenge?
I always love one of Sophie Kinsella's novels, particularly ones these days that are not part of the Shopaholic series (I have started to tire of it over the past couple of years) and I was looking forward to this one coming out for ages. I was not disappointed; I absolutely loved this one, and think it is probably one of her best. Loved the characters, the storyline . . . and it really made me want to go glamping (despite my dislike of having to share toilets with strangers). 10/10
4) Girl In A Spin - Clodagh Murphy
All Jenny wants is to have a public relationship with her boyfriend. The trouble is he's recently separated and hotly tipped to become prime minister and, for a girl with a troubled past and a lot of secrets, is this really the ideal relationship?
I actually was following Clodagh Murphy on twitter long before I read my first book of hers ("The Disengagement Ring" which was ace) - she's Made in Chelsea fan too. I bulk bought her books last year for my Kindle and this was my second. At first I was thinking "politics? Oh no" but luckily that wasn't the main focus! Jenny was a great character and I was really rooting for things to work out for her . . . whatever way that may be! 8/10
5) My Sweet Revenge - Jane Fallon
Paula realises that her husband is cheating on her as this book opens. She decides that she is going to get revenge on him and ensure that Saskia, her love rival, does not want him when she finally leaves him. Revenge is sweet . . . but are things going to work out the way she thinks or will the joke ultimately be on her?
This book hooked me from the outset - I only started reading it a few days ago and it's already finished. Jane Fallon's books have always been great and this was no exception. A couple of twists and turns kept things interesting and her characters are always really great and real. The fact that the lead character was called Paula also helped - great name that. ;-) 9/10
So there we have it - five very good books which I would definitely recommend if you are in to chick-lit (I realise some see that as an offensive term but 1) I don't and 2) I can't think of a better way to describe these). I'll see you back here soon for my next instalment of books - I will probably do a post after I've finished books 6-10, which hopefully won't be three months away because then I really won't be on track with my challenge!
If you have any recommendations for books I should be uploading onto my Kindle, or you have opinions on any of the books I've mentioned so far, please feel free to share in the comments section. :-)