Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Rachy Reads rating 4 *

This book was recommended to me by a friend as ‘it’s like a grown up princess diaries’. I loved reading Meg Cabot growing up and this did not fail to live upto it’s expectation. I ended up reading this book as part of a book club and I’m so glad I did. 

The book follows Alex, the half Mexican, Texas raised son of the female President of the USA. Alex forms a relationship with Prince Henry of England and it becomes a scandal in the middle of his mother’s campaign for her second term in the White House. Set in 2020, minus the worldwide pandemic, this book offers hope in a mysognist, homophobic and racist world without this being the focus on the book. It’s a love story at the core and a very beautiful one at that. 

I loved this book, I’m not hugely into politics or the royal family but I thoroughly enjoyed this book including those elements. Please write a sequel Casey! 

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Rachy Reads rating – 4.5*

So this book turns out to be like marmite, you either love it: “A lush debut; Owens delivers her mystery wrapped in gorgeous, lyrical prose.” Alexandra Fuller, author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight or hate it: “Utter Claptrap” Elizia on Amazon reviews. I picked this book up at the end of last year because I am a sucker for a beautiful cover and I’d heard a lot of hype around it and wanted to see for myself. 

The book follows Kya ‘Marsh Girl’ as she’s abandoned by each of her family members and eventually left alone as a child. A lot of the negative reviews I’ve read have suggested that this is “unrealistic” I personally would love to hear what those reviewers think of Harry Potter and what they think Fiction is? This book is heartbreakingly beautiful, following Kya living off of nature, figuring out how to grow up alone and the few people she lets in. The plot of the book is Kya accused of murdering Chase Andrews, with time jumps between chapters this book will definitely leave you on your toes. The language of the book takes a little while to get into reading, it’s dense poetic prose at times the way Delia Owens writes. I felt it took me longer to read the heavy description of nature and the world. This is worth taking the time to indulge yourself in, it does become easier to read. Owens is normally a non-fiction writer of nature which is why I think she writes in this way, it’s a lovely switch up from the language used in other novels. This being Owens first fiction novel I think she did an exceptional job and created something beautiful from non fiction and weaving her fiction in between her deep knowledge of nature.  

I loved this book, it took me a while to get into it wasn’t until page 100-ish that I was fully immersed in the world. I loved the author’s misdirection of the ending, I love to feel a little surprised and this book definitely delivered! I loved the use of nature and poetry to push the narrative and foreshadow what the author wanted us to think. I think this book is a beautiful book about nature and the strength in women. I really hope Owens decides to write more Fiction! 

4.7 on Goodreads

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Rachy Reads Rating – 5 *

The Midnight Library has been on the best seller lists since it was released in August 2020. It’s been described as “Just beautiful” by Fearne Cotton and “A beautiful book to get lost in” by Zoe Ball. 

Matt Haig is very open about his struggles with mental health, particularly depression, and this book is full of his experience with that. The book is about a woman called Nora who finds herself in a life that she doesn’t want to be anymore suffering with very severe depression. I would warn the book should possibly come with a trigger warning for suicide at the beginning but as with all of Matt Haig’s books there probably will be an enlightening ending so don’t let it put you off reading. The book explores ‘The Midnight Library’ which is a world in between life and death where you can explore different lives you could have lived. It’s an opportunity to see perhaps the grass isn’t always greener. 

I couldn’t put this book down. I love stories with repetition it has a feeling similar to films like ‘Groundhog day’ or ‘Happy death day’. It’s a really interesting premise with a deeper meaning that Matt Haig does so exquisitely. This book deserves all the hype it’s getting at the moment and it’s currently half price in most book retailers so the perfect time to give it a read! 

4.22 on Goodreads