When friends recommend great books, I’m excited to read something of which they speak so highly, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little bit nervous … what if I hate the book they love? Last week, two people recommended books. I know both are big readers, and I was curious to read both books. Luckily, I know both people well enough that I would be comfortable being honest with them about my opinion of the book they recommended. So, I dove into reading both.
The first book was recommended to me by my friend, and Hamlethub Books, Ink editor, Sally Allen. She recommended "Always Emily" by Michaela MacColl. This historical fiction follows Emily and Charlotte Bronte through adventure and mystery. MacColl does a brilliant job pulling the reader in from page one. She explores family dynamics and the relationship between two strong willed sisters, while creating a captivating mystery that the sisters must work together to solve.
The second book was recommended to me by my mom. She spoke so highly of "The Memory Box" by Eva Lesko Natiello, I knew I had to read it. Although it was a big jump from 19th century England, this book was just as captivating. The suspense opens with Caroline Thompson searching her own name online. She discovers things about herself that she seems to have forgotten. The more she reads about herself, the more she needs to know. Did these things really happen? Did she really forget them? The story takes many twists and turns, and while reading, I couldn’t wait to see where it was going next.
As Sally outlined in her article “What Makes A Book 'Good' or 'Bad'?" both of these books were good for so many reasons. While the stories were quite different, ranging from 19th century England to the present day and what one finds on google, both stories have incredible characters who evoke strong emotion in the reader. Whether you like them or not, you feel like you know them and need to know what happens to them. Both stories took the reader on an incredible journey to solve their mystery. I highly recommend both books. I could not put either one down, and I look forward to reading more from both Michaela MacColl and Eva Lesko Natiello. They were both recommended to me, and now I recommend them to all of you.