Summery Romance Recommendations! Lots of Fun and Fluffy Reads!

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Yes, it’s summer (I know, I can’t believe it either!) so that means I’m whipping out some romance books and looking to catch me some sun! (which, fortunately, has its hat on and is coming out to play- even in the UK!)

unhoneymooners

Unhoneymooners– who doesn’t like a bit of hate to love? This book was a trip on a number of levels and had me thoroughly entertained!

worst best man

Worst Best Man– another book I read not long ago, this also features enemies to lovers. And boy does this couple have reasons to dislike each other… which makes it all the more fun!

When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi– this is in the hate-to-love vein, since it starts out as quite a one-sided affair. But it certainly heats up over the course of the book!

ps i like you

PS I Like You– this book relied pretty heavily on miscommunication, but let me say this clearly: I really liked this book. It left me with a big, dopey smile on my face.

Sisterhood_of_the_Traveling_Pants_book_cover

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants– an old ’un, but a good ’un! If you’re craving summery feels, with all kinds of relationships, then this is the series for you! Plus it’ll feed your wanderlust- and on that note…

love and gelato

Love and Gelato– a sweet, summery read set in Italy- this has all the right ingredients for a top-notch romance!

with the fire on high

With Fire on High– speaking of delicious reads, I read this recently and couldn’t get enough of it! I practically devoured this unique contemporary about an aspiring chef!

the boy who steals houses

The Boy Who Steals Houses– as with the last one, this leans a little away from romance, focusing more on family… (luckily though there is still some love in the air and ach-gosh-darn it’s so adorable!!)

second chance summer

Second Chance Summer– I know, I know, I’ve mentioned this book so many times before… that’s just cos it’s such a fab summer’s read! Just make sure you have some tissues handy! And with that in mind…

song-of-achilles

Song of Achilles– oh boy this’ll make you weep. While perhaps not as obviously summery as the other books on this list, I do feel the setting of Ancient Greece and Troy gives it that summer feel. Plus, the romance gets a little heated 😉

heartstopper 1

Heartstopper– and finally ending on something super-cute to cleanse the palate. These graphic novels are a light and delightful romance read!

And that’s all I’ve got for now! Have you read any of these? Do you plan to? And do you have any romance recommendations for me? I’m dying to hear them, so let me know in the comments!

Falling for more fun and fluffy books!

Woohoo- it’s Fall!! (or autumn as we call it on this side of the pond)

autumn monkey 2

I absolutely love the autumn. I love getting out my cosy clothes, I love getting ready for winter and most of all I love the excuse to stay in with my books (c’mon, we all do it 😉) And what better books for this time of year than some super sweet fluff!

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the flatshare

Flatshare– if you’re after a modern love story then look no further! Cos OMG this quirky romance is the perfect homecoming if you’re still craving something summery 😀

cinder and ella

Cinder and Ella– I know I mention this a lot (because I ❤ cinderella retellings) but man, this book is so good!!

geekerella

Geekerella– yes I am addicted to Cinderella retellings, yes at least one is always bound to end up on this list. And really, you can’t go wrong with this refreshing fandom-themed take on the classic fairy tale! Also, tis the season to get dressed up in funky costumes and pretend to be someone else 😉

kindred spirits

Kindred Spirits– it’s been a long time since I mentioned this adorable novella and it’s very much overdue! This really relatable story features so much geekiness and I am SO HERE FOR IT!

eliza and her monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters– another story that’s super relevant to the modern world, this book is so relevant to the likes of us who like hanging out online… which is everyone here 😉

my lady jane

My Lady Jane– admittedly not modern, this is most definitely a contemporary take on the story of Lady Jane Grey. Hilarious, quirky and with plenty of *magic*- you can’t go wrong with this unique read! (and the next one in the Lady Janies series is good too)

goose girl

Goose Girl– admittedly with sadder aspects, nothing could have a fluffier, happier ending than this Middle Grade retelling. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

ps i like you

PS I Like You– PS I liked this book 😉 Okay don’t let my cheesy joke put you off- this is possibly my favourite Kasie West book because it is SO CUTE!

kiss quotient

Kiss Quotient– I swear Hoang is my new love in the contemporary genre- I can’t count the times I’ve recommended this- and can estimate I’m gonna mention it a lot more in the future!

zenn diagram

Zenn Diagram– with more of a magical realism twist, this book certainly adds up to a good time. And you get a really deep romance and aww-inspiring ending to boot!

And that’s all for now! Have you read any of these books? Do you plan to? And what books do you think make great fluffy reads? Let me know in the comments!

Summer lovin’ – fun (& sometimes super emotional) beachy books to read in the sun!

 

It’s that time of the year again- time for us bookworms to be packing up our books to take on picnics/beaches/park benches. Although I gotta admit that the title is a little misleading- cos I don’t know about you, but I love something with a bit of an emotional edge for summer holidays. Something, like, say…

the boy who steals houses

The Boy Who Steals Houses– I. can’t. even. with this book- such an emotional rollercoaster. Read it. Read this incredible Goldilocks retelling. That’s it. That’s all I have to say- this book steals the words right out of my mouth.

words in deep blue

Words in deep blue– if you don’t mind being a blubbering mess in public, then this is the book for you! Seriously though, I absolutely loved this romance about second chances, loss and books!

sisterhood of the travelling pants

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants– it’s not all sad- I invite you to read this and be terrifically happy! (and then sad again when you get to the last book)

lucky star

Lucky Star– another emotional read, only this time it’s more of a middle grade/younger YA style book. Cassidy is known for her sweet books, but this one always stood out to me as the one that packs the biggest punch. I loved this when I was younger (and, if I’m honest, I still do)

kiss quotient

The Kiss Quotient– moving onto a more mature romance- I read this recently and have been looking for any excuse to recommend this more!!

far from the madding crowd

Far from the Madding Crowd– there had to be a classic on the list and of course this is one of the most romantic. Now, be warned, this is Hardy- it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. BUT I did pick one of his few books with a happy ending- you’re welcome 😉

my lady jane

My Lady Jane– it’s not all doom and gloom though- if you’re looking for a laugh, this will certainly do the trick. An alternative Tudor England (with magic!) this hilarious book is guaranteed to put a smile on your face 😀

wizard heir

Wizard Heir– of course I had to squeeze some amazing fantasy onto the list- and who better to promote than Cinda Williams Chima? I absolutely love her books and this happens to be my favourite. This one’s more of an urban setting than her high fantasy series and I don’t believe gets the praise it deserves.

song of the lioness

The Lioness Quartet– oh and what a surprise- more fantasy! I did actually take this to the beach once and it was exactly the ticket!

charmed life

Charmed Life– okay, let’s be honest, you all knew I’d start stuffing as many fantasy books as I could onto this list 😉 And this is just the epitome of cute and fun and inventive that I couldn’t resist!

Alright, now that I’ve overloaded my book bag, I have to ask what kind of books do you like to take on summer holiday? Let me know in the comments!

My All-Time Favourite Romances

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Well, now that Valentine’s Day is over, it seems like an appropriate time to talk about my absolute favourite romances. Of course, I love all didn’t genres, so they’ll be a sprinkling of plenty of different types of books- enjoy!

wuthering heights book

Wuthering Heights- starting off with one that people tend to love out hate, I completely understand that this is a dysfunctional romance between terrible people… But I don’t care. Not even a little. I simply adore how utterly atmospheric and emotional this book is!

jane eyre

Jane Eyre– I can’t mention one Bronte sister and not another- especially when I’d be forcing myself to choose between two masterpieces. Again, this isn’t necessarily the healthiest  relationship- though it’s better than Cathy/Heathcliff (which isn’t saying much)- but it still moves me, no matter how many times I read it or how many adaptations I’ve seen.

Emma_Jane_Austen_book_cover

Emma– now if those first two were a little out-there, this will be more your cup of tea. The ultimate friends-to-lovers story, I don’t know anyone in literature more right for each other than Mr Knightley and Emma!

persuasion

Persuasion– ah I couldn’t make this list with just one Austen! And what better choice than beautiful story of love standing the test of time. Described as Austen’s answer to the question “but will they still love each other when the story’s done?” this resonates with the most romantic part of my heart that wants to believe love is eternal.

memoirs of a geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha– another story of constancy, this novel touched me with its poignant promise that love will find a way in the end.

a thousand splendid suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns– I couldn’t make a list like this without thinking the moving and redemptive love story wrapped up in these pages. Hosseini has a magical way with words that will transport you across time, space and emotion.

tess of the d'urbervilles

Tess of the D’Urbervilles– be warned: this one is a heartbreaker. Doomed from the outset, Hardy’ s evocative writing takes you on a journey across the near-mythical land of Wessex and to all the places of heartbreak along the way.

noughts-and-crosses

Noughts and Crosses– a modern star-crossed lover story, with a twist. This powerful, heart-wrenching story will always be favourite. That ending gets me every time.

Trudi_Canavan_The_High_Lord_cover

The High Lord– there aren’t many high fantasy books for me where the romance is the star of the show. This is my exception to that rule. The reason I ended falling for this series was the beautiful (and devastating) romance at its heart.

daughter of smoke and bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone– more of a romantic fantasy, Taylor is the expert at getting you invested in characters and finding the beauty in there love. Karou and Akiva’ spirited connection transcends anything of this world… And beyond.

strange the dreamer

Strange the Dreamer– I said Taylor was the expert, didn’t I? So there’s no need to be surprised that two of her series ended up on this list! If I had thought there was no way she could top the romance in her last series, Lazlo and Sarai proved me wrong.

midsummer night's dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream– I had to include Shakespeare, doesn’t I? I mean, he was only the finest writer in the English language 😉 Naturally his contributions to romance stand the test of time- none more so than this romantic comedy, filled with mistaken identity, misunderstandings and more than a few moving speeches.

isla and the happily ever after

Isla and the Happily Ever After– it’s no secret that this is one of my favourite contemporaries- and that’s cos of the love story!! I’m a massive sucker for discovering love that was waiting in the wings all along and this definitely delivered the *feels* in that department. It is just. so. cute.

carry on

Carry On– what is there to say this book that I haven’t already? You guys know I adore Baz and Simon; you know I think it’s the perfect Harry Potter parody. All that’s left to be said about it is there’s soon to be a sequel and I AM LIVING FOR IT.

That was a fun one to do! Naturally my question today is, what are your favourite romances? Let me know the comments!

All-Time Favourite Classics #1

Well hello! After my post the other day, where I showed off my bookshelves, and just generally talking a lot about books I love a lot recently, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favourite classics. Now of course, I quickly realised that there was no way I could do this in a single post, so decided to turn this into a mini-series. I’ve arbitrarily decided these posts will go out on Tuesdays for four weeks (basically because I wrote four posts before deciding to put a lid on it) so that’s what you’re getting… for now 😉

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Obviously, this list is not the “best” classics- just books that hit me on a deeply personal level. Nor is it a “finished” article: a) because I’ll be adding to it as I read more and b) because there were books that are hovering just outside the list and I’m always careful about saying whether a book is something I love vs a favourite. To my mind, it takes a significant amount of time and emotional connection for a book to be established as a favourite.

In the interest of keeping this list to a reasonable length, I also won’t be including: fantasy, sci fi, non-epic poetry, literary fiction or basically any other genre fiction. This is not a comment on whether they are/could be classics- only that I would prefer to talk about them in other lists- in fact I have a favourite fantasy list which I *definitely* plan on adding to with new favourites at some point cos they’ve been mounting up.

Lastly, before we get into this week’s selection, I’ve split these vaguely based on theme and don’t be alarmed by the fact there’s an uneven number each week (even after everything I’ve just said, I didn’t want to be stuck with silly, self-imposed rules)

Okay, rather long winded preamble- let’s get started with my rather romantic first set of favourites:

Emma_Jane_Austen_book_coverEmma– what could I actually say about Emma that hasn’t already been said? There’s a reason why this has been dubbed the perfect novel: the character growth, the plot structure, the romance, the friendship and the lessons that are so subtly woven into the story. I could go on, but the reason why this hits a personal note for me is that this was the book that made me appreciate Austen’s humour (though it was not the first Austen I read) and it’s because of this that I came to love all her work. I also happen to think Mr Knightley is the most appealing of all Austen’s love interests- sorry Mr Darcy fans 😉

 

little womenLittle Women– oh gosh, this book gives me the warm fuzzies whenever I think about it. There’s so much to love about it- the romance, the heartbreaking ups and downs of the story, the characters- however one of the biggest elements which always strikes me with this story *has to be* the family dynamic- the March sisters really capture that feeling of sisterhood.

 

i capture the castleI Capture the Castle– speaking of families and relationships, this one is slightly more dysfunction. Still, this quirky coming of age story is set in a crumbling castle and will always have a place in my heart (and inspires me to one day live in my own derelict castle… even though I hate the cold… whatever it’s a nice dream 😉 )

 

rebeccaRebecca– so, spoiler alert, next week I’ll be doing more gothic-y themed books and this book could certainly compete there. However one of the best things about this book is the romance- no not the romance between the unnamed protagonist and her new husband- but the ongoing romance with his dearly departed wife. I don’t want to spoil anything for people who haven’t read it, but this book illustrates what it feels like to be a third wheel… even though the third person in the relationship is in fact already dead.

 

wuthering heights bookWuthering Heights – speaking of more gothic-type books, this certainly has that feel some of the time. Yet it also is one of the most intense romances I’ve ever read. Now, I will admit that there are some faults on a structural level- however the heart of this book is one of the most sublime, passionate affairs I’ve ever read. And yes, Heathcliff and Cathy are horrible people- that’s half the point- their sole redeeming quality is there love for each other (well, it’s also their doom, so there’s that)

 

jane eyreJane Eyre– we can’t speak of one Bronte sister without mentioning another, and this book is wonderful in a different way. Of course, the main characters are flawed, but they’re not totally unlikeable; there are elements of destructive love, but it’s not the end of the world (mostly); and I can safely say the structure is tidier. And, above all, the romance still captures my imagination (that and the mad woman in the attic)

 

tess of the d'urbervillesTess of the D’Urbervilles– however if you’re looking for something slightly more on the tragic side- look no further. It’s such a sob-worthy story, from beginning to end. Poor Tess can’t catch a break. This is the book that made me fall in love with Hardy’s bleak, fatalistic outlook and visualistic world. Yes, I admit it, I’m somewhat pessimistic and this appeals to my dark side.

 

romeo-and-juliet-one-sheetRomeo and Juliet– speaking of star crossed lovers- where would we be without the ultimate ill-fated duo? (still referring to Tristan and Isolde no doubt, but I digress) I have two reasons for adoring this play: 1) the language and 2) the play with genre (yes I’m a dork)- it’s a fairly straightforward ploy of tricking the viewer into thinking it’s a comedy and then *BAM* Mercutio gets it and we’re into tragic territory. Simple, yet genius.

 

persuasionPersuasion– a slightly more romantic Austen, I read this one last in my Austen journey, and it’s always competing in my mind with Emma for the position of favourite Austen (incidentally most Austen books could have ended up on this list). Unrequited or long lost love really gets to me, so I found myself crying when they kept being frustrated in their romance (yes, I know it’s not a sad book, only the heightened romantic feel gets to me, cos I’m a sap)

 

midsummer night's dreamMidsummer Night’s Dream– this was my first ever Shakespeare play and can always put me in a good mood. Lighthearted and fun, there’s a spirit of mischief in the air. One of my absolute favourite things about it though, is how Helena’s story in particular captures that feeling of being in love with someone who doesn’t love you back. It’s still just as poignant as ever.

 

Importance_earnest_dvdImportance of Being Earnest– and let’s round this off with the play that is the most fun of all! Why do I love it? Because this is Wilde at his wittiest and honestly this can still make me laugh, no matter how many times I hear the jokes (I also highly recommend the 1952 movie version)

 

 

Hope you enjoyed that- I loved making it. Have you read any of these? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments! And I’ll have another one of these next week…