I've had a productive week - 2 books read! The first, The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern is no joke, so far the best book read all summer (well, beside Marian Keyes). It stars sixteen year old Tamara Goodwin, who lived a life of privilege until her father's untimely death - she and her mum have to go and live with her uncle and aunt in a small hamlet for the summer, and their house is right next to the famous (and ruined) Kilsaney castle. There's not much for Tamara to do around there, until a travelling library appears one day, and Tamara takes out a book, a locked, leather-bounded journal. What turns out to be in those pages will change Tamara's life, and the way she looks at life, forever.
The book was amazing - it held me captive from start to finish, and Ahern's prose is sheer poetry. She's young too - 30 I think, and she's already written like 7 books. This is a strong recommendation - and since it takes place on summer holiday, a perfect summer read. Ahern has a way of making you (seriously) laugh out loud, and on the next page, bring tears to your eyes. This book also deals a lot with grief and the death of a loved one, but not in a preachy or inaccessible way - it's like having a friend to talk with.
Second, I read Getting Over Mr. Right by Chrissy Manby. I mentioned in a previous post how much I enjoyed her other book, Kate's Wedding, and so I thought I'd read another of hers. Ashleigh and Michael have been going together for a couple years, and she thinks he is ready for the next step (maybe not marriage, but moving in together) until she finds out she has been dumped. Publicly. On Facebook. The rest of the book takes Ashleigh through the five stages of grief (denial, bargaining, anger, depression, acceptance), in utterly funny ways. Through it all, she begins to find herself again, and ultimately comes out doing just fine. A really light read - very quick and fun, and probably very good if you've just come out of a break-up yourself (I could have used this book 4 or 5 years ago!)
It's the end of July, and I'm 2/3 of the way through my summer of chick lit. So far, I'm really enjoying how much I've been able to read, and it's been a great antidote to my academic reading and writing, or times when I just need to chill out.