Welcome to the July edition of Bookish! This month, I’ve had the pleasure of reading a fair few books, particularly Note to Boy, which I was sent in return for an honest review (below). I hope you give the books I recommend a chance because I really think you’ll enjoy them. If you like my suggestions, consider joining my book club on Facebook. Just search for The Bookmarkers Bookclub group!
Note to Boy
For Fans Of: Taylor Jenkins Reid
What’s in the pages? Eloise is a tough-talking forgotten British fashion icon; Bradley is a melancholic, sneaky teenager.
Eloise needs Bradley to help her write her memoirs; Bradley needs the money and is urgent to escape a difficult home life. They depend on each other, but neither wants to admit the fact, and both have secrets they will never divulge. But when both Eloise’s and Bradley’s worlds turn upside down – they find out just what friendship means and just how much they rely on each other!
Why should you read it? Note to Boy is a charming, hilarious story about an unlikely friendship that develops between different generations. It will seem familiar to those who have read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo because it has a similar concept of a former celebrity being interviewed for her memoirs, but that’s where the similarities stop. While Hugo is filled with glamour and Hollywood, Note to Boy is English and gritty. Eloise has a Miss Havisham-esque quality to her. Bradley (who is called Boy for most of the book) comes from a London council estate.
The book itself is an exceptionally well written and highly humorous ‘light’ read that’s perfect for your afternoon on the beach. While I initially found it slightly slow, the payoff at the end of the story is profoundly gratifying. I highly recommend this clever book to anybody this summer – I’m sure you’ll love it!
Genre: Murder Fiction / Romance For Fans Of: Nick Hornby
What’s in the pages? It’s 1997, Charlie Lewis has just flunked his exams; as he thinks about the future, he is filled with a sense of dread. But, then, one day, he stumbles upon Fran Fisher and gives his life all sorts of meaning again – through the Company.
While it may sound like a cult, the Company’s reality is much more appalling to a teenage boy who values the respect of his friends. The price of hope, it seems, is a Shakespeare acting group!
Why should you read it? David Nicholls is a Booker Prize nominated author for a good reason. Sweet Sorrow could just be the quintessential British coming of age story. This book is filled to the brim with the awkwardness of first love, the difficulties of feeling grown-up but not quite there yet and the confusing time of being 16 years old.
With its witty language and perfect pacing, this nostalgic book is the ideal read for anyone who’s ever been a teenager, which is all of us. So get ready to relive all of the good and bad feelings of your sixteenth summer while learning about the healing power of Shakespeare.
An excellent read for people who love Perks of Being a Wallflower, Catcher in The Rye or Nicholl’s other books, One Day and Us.
Let Me Hear a Rhyme
Tiffany D. Jackson
Genre: Young Adult For Fans Of: Elizabeth Acevedo
What’s in the pages? It’s 1998, and Biggie Smalls was right when he sang “Things done changed” – they have. Teens Quadir and Jarrell have just lost their friend Steph after being murdered, but they are not ready to let him be forgotten. So after finding a box of Steph’s old rap tracks, they enlist the help of Steph’s little sister Jasmine and come up with a plan to make sure he is heard.
First, they create a new moniker for him, ‘The Architect’, and soon enough, everyone in Brooklyn is vibing to it. There’s only one problem; when a hotheaded music rep gets his hands on the tape, he demands more – which they don’t have.
With the pressure on and time running out, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine need to discover what really happened to Steph and decide what they stand for before losing everything – including their friendship.
Why should you read it? Get ready to be transported back to the ’90s with this young adult book about Hip Hop, friendship and the power of words. This story has been told many times before but never entirely in this way, and Jackson manages to approach it with fresh eyes. Her way with words is full of love and respect for Brooklyn in the ’90s and Hip Hop culture as a whole.
It will make you laugh and cry and have you biting your fingernails in anticipation and stress. I cannot recommend this book enough – p.s. If you find all of the slang daunting, there’s a glossary at the back of the book!