Good morning my darlings!
How are you doing this fine morning? Today’s post is the second in my new series “My Favourite Books….’ Today I am talking about the books that shaped my early teenage years. While some are individual books, others a just authors that I could not get enough of. Enjoy!
I’m not sure if I can remember which book I read first by Kathy Reichs but I have a feeling that my love for her books stemmed from my love of the TV adaption ‘Bones’ which is based on her novels. I think this was my first foray into this genre and it quickly became one of my favourites, so much so that it was the only genre I read for several years. The latest books I’ve read by her are the Virals series.
Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the Bones novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage “sci-philes” who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever. As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their newfound physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer’s scent. Fortunately, they are now more than friends. They’re a pack. They are Virals.
Up until about 8 years ago, I could say that I had read everything published by Jodi Picoult, I can’t say that now as I haven’t read her book for years, due to a change in reading tastes. There isn’t much I can recall now about her books as I read them so long ago but I remember being obsessed with anything she wrote at the time. One I do remember is Salem Falls. I remember reading it in one go, despite it being over 400 pages long.
Jack buries his past, content to become the mysterious stranger who has appeared out of the blue. Addie, desperate for answers, must look into her heart — and into Jack’s lies and shadowy secrets — for evidence that will condemn or redeem the man she has come to love. When Jack St. Bride arrives by chance in the sleepy New England town of Salem Falls, he decides to reinvent himself. Tall, blond, and handsome, Jack was once a beloved teacher and soccer coach at a girls’ prep school — until a student’s crush sparked a powder keg of accusation and robbed him of his reputation. Now, working for minimum wage washing dishes for Addie Peabody at the Do-Or-Diner, Jack buries his past, content to become the mysterious stranger who has appeared out of the blue. With ghosts of her own haunting her, Addie Peabody is as cautious around men as Jack St. Bride is around women. But as this unassuming stranger steps smoothly into the diner’s daily routine, she finds him fitting just as comfortably inside her heart — and slowly, a gentle, healing love takes hold between them. Yet planting roots in Salem Falls may prove fateful for Jack. Amid the white-painted centuries-old churches, a quartet of bored, privileged teenage girls have formed a coven that is crossing the line between amusement and malicious intent. Quick to notice the attractive new employee at Addie’s diner, the girls turn Jack’s world upside down with a shattering allegation that causes history to repeat itself — and forces Jack to proclaim his innocence once again. Suddenly nothing in Salem Falls is as it seems: a safe haven turns dangerous, an innocent girl meets evil face-to-face, a dishwasher with a Ph.D. is revealed to be an ex-con. As Jack’s hidden past catches up with him, the seams of this tiny town begin to tear, and the emerging truth becomes a slippery concept written in shades of gray. Now Addie, desperate for answers, must look into her heart — and into Jack’s lies and shadowy secrets — for evidence that will condemn or redeem the man she has come to love.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
This book came as a real surprise to me. I picked it up randomly because I liked the cover. I can’t even remember where I bought it, but I think it was from a random shop, or maybe the shop at the hospital. Anyway the book is just lovely. I remember The Language of Flowers being beautifully written and the story very much captivated me. Like some of the others, I haven’t read this one in a while but I certainly need to!
A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written debut novel, The Language of Flowers beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past. The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market has her questioning what’s been missing in her life, and when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
Tess Gerritsen was an author that I discovered while on holiday. The hotel I was staying at had one of those swap shelves in the reception area. Its one of those things where people swap out the books that they’ve finished reading and pick up on that someone else as left. I picked up The Surgeon by Tess Gerristen. From that point on I never looked back. When I got home from holidays I read everything I could find by her.
A killer who targets lone women, who breaks into their apartments and performs terrifying ritualistic acts of torture on them before finishing them off. His surgical skills lead police to suspect he is a physician – a physician who, instead of saving lives, takes them. But as homicide detective Thomas Moore and his partner Jane Rizzoli begin their investigation, they make a startling discovery. Closely linked to these killings is Catherine Cordell, a beautiful doctor with a mysterious past. Two years ago she was subjected to a horrifying rape and shot her attacker dead. Now the man she believes she killed seems to be stalking her once again, and this time he knows exactly where to find her…
At the same time that I was obsessed with Jodi Picoult, I was also obsessed with Cecelia Ahern. Her books are very much written in the same vein as Jodi Picoult’s books. Light-hearted and uplifting contemporaries that I could not get enough of! Up until about 8 years ago I could boast that I had read everything she had ever written. One of my favourites was The Book of Tomorrow:
Tamara Goodwin has always lived in the here and now, never giving a second thought to tomorrow. Until a traveling library arrives in her tiny village, bringing with it a mysterious, large leather-bound book locked with a gold clasp and padlock. What she discovers within the pages takes her breath away and shakes her world to its core. A mesmerising storing about how tomorrow can change what happens today…
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
Coming from the same author that wrote The Time Travellers Wife is this little gem. This is still one of my favourite books of all time, and is probably one the first magical realism / fantasy book that I ever read. I can see it on my shelf at this very moment, as I am writing this post. As with all of the other books on this list, Her Fearful Symmetry is a book that I need to pick up again, very soon.
When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her London apartment to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina. These two American girls never met their English aunt, only knew that their mother, too, was a twin, and Elspeth her sister. Julia and Valentina are semi-normal American teenagers–with seemingly little interest in college, finding jobs, or anything outside their cozy home in the suburbs of Chicago, and with an abnormally intense attachment to one another. The girls move to Elspeth’s flat, which borders Highgate Cemetery in London. They come to know the building’s other residents. There is Martin, a brilliant and charming crossword puzzle setter suffering from crippling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Marjike, Martin’s devoted but trapped wife; and Robert, Elspeth’s elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. As the girls become embroiled in the fraying lives of their aunt’s neighbors, they also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including–perhaps–their aunt, who can’t seem to leave her old apartment and life behind.
And there we have it! Some of the books that shaped my early teenage years! What books shaped you at that age? Let me know in the comments!
Peace and pages