Read-Along Update (Blogmas)

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Hello! We are on day 9 of our Christmas read-along of I’ll Be Home for Christmas and I’m genuinely loving it so far. In my last post I wrote about how I was struggling to finish a book and reading a short story everyday has really helped me get back into reading! I’m going to update you on what my favourites are so far and what I love about them. 

My favourite stories so far are Homo for Christmas by Juno Dawson and Family You Choose by Cat Clarke. I think they’ve had such great characterisation which can be really hard to achieve in a short story, especially for lots of characters like in Family You Choose. This one really made me smile because of how loving characters like Sarah and Priya are. I love stories of people caring for each other and accepting each other regardless of how well they know them at first because they just want to do the nice thing and be a good human to someone else. It is such a positive little tale. Homo for Christmas I found to be a very good representation of the struggle to come out and leading separate lives at home and at university. I thought it was handled really well and it was such a lovely little read.

I also really loved Amir and George by Sita Brahmachari and If Only in My Dreams by Benjamin Zephaniah because of how different they are. These two stick out for me because for Amir and George, I found the style and way the speech was presented really unique and I thought it was a really great thing to do and less cliche than Amir suddenly getting over his nerves in front of the whole room. It was also very harrowing in places and it jolts you out of feeling comfortable to think about the awful experiences Amir has gone through. If Only in My Dreams also resonates with me because of the dark undertones. Many of these stories are not wholly light hearted but this one surprised me in a really great way. I didn’t at first anticipate the ending and it leaves a lot to theorise and imagine about what has or what will happen.

Special mention to Ghosts of Christmas Past by Non Pratt because it is so completely adorable and lovely and honestly warmed my heart. I felt so content after reading it and I thought the nostalgia was written really realistically.

I’ve really enjoyed all the stories and there isn’t one I haven’t liked in some way. It’s a really nicely put together book and I love seeing how different authors interpret the feeling and theme of “home”. It’s such a personal topic and it’s wonderful to see so many intimate descriptions. 

What are your favourites so far and what are your reasons why?

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