Asking For It haunted us like no other book. And although it’s deeply disturbing, unsettling and enraging we urge you to give it a read. The novel follows Emma O’Donovan who lives in a small Irish town. When Emma wakes up on the front porch of her house she can’t remember what happened or how she got there. But everyone else does. Photographs taken at the party showing what happened to Emma that night begin to circulate. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s hero. Emma isn’t the perfect victim and that’s the problem. As we said, Asking For It is a tough read, but if it doesn’t get you thinking and ready to burn this society to the ground you must have read it wrong.
If you’re in the mood to be shook further by Louise we also recommend her debut novel Only Ever Yours. Although it’s set in dystopian future Only Ever Yours is a scathing commentary on life today and our obsession with how we as women look and are viewed by others. We’re very excited to read her next book, Almost Love, which will be out early next year.
We’ve spoken briefly about OMGWACA before, but it definitely merits another mention. What started off as bait of banter between friends on a Facebook group managed to morph into a novel. OMGWACA is definitely more of a light read compared to the above. The character traits are only hilarious. The ingenious thing is that we are all a bit Aisling in Ireland with our notions. Or we all know an Aisling. She is the quintessential country girl in the big smoke. It’s definitely something fun to chat to your friends about.
If you’re a Young Adult reader chances are most books you’ve read have been set in America. Forget was a breath of fresh air in that it’s set here in Ireland. It follows Eva who is dealing with the struggle of suddenly losing her father and new boy Zac. Forget is an easy, but enjoyable read. Ruth impressively wrote this as part of her Transition Year project in school. Ruth went on to write two more books, Somewhere In Between and Can You See Me? We were happy to see Ruth return to the literary world this year with a new novel, Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan.
Spare and Found Parts is set 100 years after “the Turn”, a machine generated epidemic that wiped out most of Ireland. The 10,000 or so survivors live in a computer-free world known as Black Water City. The price paid for surviving “the Turn” is missing arms, legs, eyes – and in Nell’s case, a heart. Like a lot if dystopian works Spare and Found Parts makes some very pointed observations about society today. If you’re looking for something to really spark your imagination this is the one for you.
Another heavy read, but this time from Claire Hennessy. Lauren wants to be just like other girls, but her life is rapidly falling apart. Not only is she dealing with her conflicted thoughts on being bisexual, but Lauren finds out she is pregnant. Left feeling like she has nowhere to turn because no one will understand Lauren is sent down a very dark path. Many of the battles Lauren faces take place in her own mind as she desperately searches for a way to get her life back. Like Other Girls really resonates at the moment as it deals with the issues of the the eighth amendment, gender politics and LGBT+ rights. There is a lot to take away from Lauren’s struggle and journey as a reader. Definitely add this to your reading list.
Have you read any of these great books? Or do you have any recommendations for us?