Friday 15 February 2019 / London, UK

What I Read Last Month: The Books To Read This February

There's only one way to describe this book: it's like Dolly herself climbed into my millennial head, lived there undetected for a year, crawled her way back out again, word vomited everything she overheard onto paper and then wrote a book. This raw masterpiece is about the struggles of navigating early adulthood in its early moments and a beautiful reminder to recognise that you are enough in this unpredictable but precious life we are all living.

The scattered layout weaves together satirical observations, personal stories, relatable lists and recipes and raw anecdotes that will strike a chord of recognition from women of all ages and backgrounds.

Everything I Know About Love is equally as moving as it is hilarious and you'll struggle to find one millennial (male or female) who wouldn't relate to at least one topic covered in this beautiful debut. From flat-sharing in London to finding a job to getting dumped to getting drunk to heartbreak to losing a loved one to cancer, Everything I Know About Love truly does cover it all. With a constant underlying wit and heart to her writing, Dolly perfectly articulates the emotional rollercoaster that navigating your way through your 20s is. There's no sugar-coating in this book, just raw emotion, pure honesty and an unapologetic no-bullshit attitude.

Dolly finishes off her masterpiece by writing a love letter to each of her friends, offering a highly important lesson about love and not in the romantic sense. Dolly's parting anecdotes highlight the value of female friendships and her final words will leave you wanting to dish out messages of appreciation to all of your besties and hold on to them for dear life. This is a coming of age story of the very best sort and one that will reassure you more than anyone's ever managed to before that it's ok to not have your shit together.

Everything I Know About Love Is a true masterpiece that belongs on every millennial's bookshelf to read whenever life just gets a little bit shit...

One thing's for certain with this the time you turn the final page of this heart-wrenching story, you'll be hopelessly and unapologetically in love with Eleanor. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine follows Eleanor the outsider, as she goes about her day-to-day orderly life, actively avoiding social interactions at all costs and unapologetically telling it like it is. Eleanor's unconscious wit and socially awkward ways will have you cringing at first, but howling with laughter soon after. Her innocence will have you wanting to wrap her up in cotton wool and protect her until the day she dies and bearing witness to her self development as the story develops will fill your heart with joy and leave you smiling to yourself on the tube.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine catapults the concept of loneliness into the spotlight, forcing us to question whether there is actually anything wrong with Eleanor or whether it is just that by leading a life of minimal human interaction, extreme orderliness and a traumatic experience, she has unlearnt (or in fact, never learnt) what is deemed acceptable behaviour.

She wears the same clothes, eats the same meal, buys the same bottles of vodka every weekend and speaks to nobody until Monday comes back around again. The truth is nobody has ever told Eleanor that life should be better than just fine, until one random act of kindness changes everything. Eleanor soon learns that she has to venture outside of the same 4 walls and face the past if she is to successfully live in this new world. As she starts to navigate her way through her new life in search of happiness, the story evolves...

If a heart-warming, satisfying read is what you're after, then Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is definitely the book for you.

Our House is a binge-worthy story of  secrets that will have you turning the pages faster than you can say 'WTF'.

Fiona Lawson returns home one day to discover a family moving into her house she shares with her estranged husband, Bram. The same house that was never on the market. Weird right? Now her husband and children are missing...Queue a domino effect of crimes and misdemeanors, as domestic life as Fiona knew it comes tumbling down around her, forcing into the spotlight how little her and her husband really knew about each other.

Our House is a page-turning reading experience that will leave you trusting nobody and questioning everything, as you desperately try and unveil what the hell is going on and how the hell a random family has managed to buy a house that was never up for sale. Or was it?

Definitely not my favourite thriller of all, but the suspense in this Sunday Times bestseller is enough to trigger serious binge-reading on a lazy Sunday. Just be prepared to never want to get married after finishing this novel...

Back in 2014, Reni posted a heart-felt piece triggered by her frustration from discussions of race and racism being led by those who weren't affected by it on her blog. It hit a nerve and went viral. Fast forward 3 years and it was time for Reni to dig deeper into the source of those feelings after receiving floods of comments from others desperate to speak up, resulting in an award winning book that's been talked about by the millions.

I'm gonna say this now: Why I'm No Longer Talking About Race is not a binge whilst scrolling kinda book. It's a put your phone away and concentrate because this girl is about to talk about some very real shit kinda book. Far realer than the fake shit you were about to scroll through on Instagram. Reni takes you on a raw, emotional journey, as she explores issues from whitewashed feminism to eradicated black history to the indisputable link between class and race in an unapologetically open way.

It's daring, it's deep, it's powerful and I promise that once you're done with it, you'll be better equipped to understanding the underlying issues of race in our society that we are accustomed to.

If you're only going to read one book this year, make it this one.

And there we have it...that's everything I've read so far this year. Considering my New Year's Resolution was to scroll less and read more, I'd say it's been a pretty successful resolution so far, right? If I have one suggestion to anyone out there, it's make the time to take some time out of your day to put your phone on silent, throw on some fresh Pjs, light a few candles and snuggle up with a good book. I've made a conscious effort to switch my Netflix sessions pre-sleep to pre-sleep reading sessions and I have slept like a baby every single night since. We may spend our days submerged in technology both in and outside of work, but still nothing beats the feeling of an unbroken book spine and the feeling of pages in your hands, with no screen in sight. Now the question is, which book to start next...

Tune in next month to find out what I read this month and my verdict...

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