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Features | My Favourite Reads Of The Year So Far

Whilst I'd been hoping to squeeze in a mid-year update I was still a little busy in June, but hopefully it's not too late to check in and share some of my favourite reads of the year so far. Instead of simply listing my top 5 reads, I'm switching things up a little and have come up with a selection of categories, sharing my top pick for each one.

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

No surprises here, right? Thanks to The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six, everyone has been talking about Taylor Jenkins Reid. Evelyn Hugo is the only book I've given a five-star rating to this year after I read the whole thing in one weekend; I just couldn't put it down. I can't wait to find out if Daisy Jones will be another five-star read for me too.

I also recently read Maybe In Another Life, one of Taylor Jenkins Reid's earlier releases, which tells the story of Hannah, who moves home to California and goes on a night out with some friends. At the party Hannah bumps into her ex boyfriend and has to choose whether to head home with her friends or stay out with Ethan. From then on the chapters alternate between the two timelines, exploring how this one decision could change her whole life, with a few interesting turns along the way. It may not be as well-loved as the author's most recent releases but I think it's definitely one to add to your TBR.

Series: Truly Devious (Maureen Johnson)

I first heard about Truly Devious from Ria last year, when she raved about the first book in the series. Set in a famous private school, this YA series follows true-crime obsessive Stevie who takes it upon herself to try and solve the mystery of what happened to the wife and daughter of the school's founder and the identity of 'Truly Devious'. I flew through the first two titles in the series (The Vanishing Stair was the reason I signed up to use the digital services at my local library!) and I'm really looking forward to finding out what will happen in the third instalment The Hand On The Wall, which is due out in January.

Cover: The Last (Hanna Jameson)

Whilst bright red isn't my favourite colour, I love the simple and striking design of The Last's cover. We're always told we're not supposed to judge books by them, but it's definitely one of the things that first drew me to this book.

Non-Fiction: Becoming (Michelle Obama)

My top non-fiction pick of the year so far has to be Becoming, and I'm sure it would make many other reader's lists too. I had wanted to listen to the audiobook version, read by the author herself, however it's reserved at my library all the way through until early 2020, so I opted for the ebook instead. Going into the book I didn't know much about Michelle Obama's background or life before becoming the FLOTUS and I found this section to be equally as fascinating as her stories from her time in the White House.

Sequel: Us Against You (Fredrik Backman)

Beartown was one of my favourite reads of 2018 so it's no surprise that I loved Us Against You almost as much. The series deals with some difficult topics but both the town and residents Backman has created feel very realistic, leaving readers wanting to know more about their stories.

Audiobook: Bridget Jones's Diary (Helen Fielding)

This year, thanks to Borrow Box, I've been making a real effort to make audiobooks part of my reading routine. Podcasts have always been a feature on my bus journey to work and lunch break walks, but it's been nice to switch things up with audiobooks too. Whilst I'm now pretty sure that Sci-Fi audiobooks aren't for me, I've had more success with this format for titles within the Women's Fiction and YA genres. In particular, I recently enjoyed listening to Bridget Jones's Diary read by Imogen Church as I felt like she really captured the personality of Bridget and the diary format worked well for me. Although I was familiar with the character and story through the film adaptation, I hadn't actually ever read the book before. Whilst there were parts I wasn't a huge fan of (including Bridget's constant calorie counting) I'd really recommend this story as an audiobook - I'm currently listening to the sequel!

Re-Read: The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)

Another way I'm keen to use audiobooks is for re-reading, and that's how I found myself listening to The Hunger Games earlier this month. With the announcement of a fourth book set within this world and Netflix UK adding all four films back into their catalogue, I decided it was about time I revisited the book I credit with getting me back into reading seven years ago - there would be no BB without it! I had originally planned to listen to the special edition, narrated by Orphan Black actress Tatiana Maslany, but there was a fairly long queue for this through my library so I picked up the original version read by Carolyn McCormick instead. I also have Catching Fire on hold but sadly it's not available until October so I have a bit of a wait before I can revisit the series again.

Which books would make your list?

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