Dear bookworms, it’s February, and love is in the air – whether that be the love for a person or, in my case, books. So, with that in mind, I think you’re going to find your book match in one of these novels this month – I hope you enjoy them!
People We Meet on Vacation (You and Me on Vacation)
For Fans Of: Lily King
What’s in the pages? Poppy and Alex are best friends, even though they have nothing in common. They live miles away and barely see each other, but every summer for a decade, they take a week off on vacation together. Well, that was until they ruined everything two years ago, since then, they haven’t spoken.
Poppy is determined to make things right and convinces Alex to take one last vacation together and try to fix everything. He agrees in an unlikely turn of events, and now she has just seven days to fix everything. So what could possibly go wrong?
Why should you read it? People We Meet on Vacation is a charming and cheesy story about love, friendship and vacations. This is the kind of book I would not usually pick up, but I’m glad I did.
Emily Henry has a lyrical style of writing that creates a dream state for her readers, allowing you to float alongside her characters within the story – it barely feels like you’re reading. Instead, it feels like you are experiencing the tale alongside the protagonists. Her wit and humour are clever, the characters are loveable, and the story is hugely entertaining.
I recommend this book for anybody in a bit of a ‘book slump’ after the New Year and looking for something light and fun to read this February.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Genre: Fiction For Fans Of: Bernardine Evaristo
What’s in the pages? Ifemelu and Obinze are young lovers in Nigeria, growing up around each other all their lives. However, when it is time to depart Nigeria for the West, Ifemelu heads to America and deals with what it means to be black. Meanwhile, Obinze finds America’s gates closed to him and is thrown into undocumented life in London.
Fifteen years later, they find themselves together again in Nigeria. Their passion burns bright for each other and their homeland.
Why should you read it? When it comes to contemporary authors, Chimamanda Adichie is in a league of her own. Each of her stories has a weight to them, unlike anything else I have ever read, and it feels like you are reading the most important story of your life.
Americanah is no different, it is probably her most accessible novel, and the one most people start with. This book is a part love story, part narrative on immigration and colonialism and part lesson on race and politics in Nigeria and the USA. Yet, it manages to handle all those themes with exquisite delicacy, allowing each to breathe and exist independently and with the other themes. Furthermore, the story is an incredibly moving tale on the struggles of youth, identity and what it means to be in love.
If you’re looking for an ambitious read by one of the best authors of the past 20 years, I’d recommend this book.
Bryan Lee O’Malley
Genre: Magical Realism For Fans Of: Noelle Stevenson
What’s in the pages? Katie is a talented young chef who has it all: a great career, a hot fling with another chef and great staff. However, just like that, everything starts going wrong, and her life becomes a shadow of what it once was. She is struggling and needs a second chance, and that’s when a mysterious girl appears in the dead of night with a magic spell to help her do her life over.
The next day she suddenly has the chance to fix her life, and the bad stuff has never happened. She is determined to get her life back on track, but you know what they say about good intentions. Can Katie regain her former glory, or is she doomed to repeat past mistakes?
Why should you read it? Seconds is a fantastic graphic novel that could only have been written by O’Malley. He has a gift for turning otherwise clichéd and boring narratives into fresh takes with solid ideas and lessons to be learned from them. The art style is light, bright, flashy and adorable. Yet, at the same time, the story is a hilarious but dark take on insecurity and imposter syndrome.
If this is your first time reading a graphic novel (except maybe some comics as a child), then I would strongly recommend Seconds as it’s an accessible and entertaining story that will charm anyone who reads it. This is an excellent book for anyone who’s looking for a relatively short but delightful read this February!