Happy Friday everyone! This is a new feature that I'm starting here on the blog, highlighting some of my all-time favourite books. This is partially inspired by Jaime @ The Perpetual Page-Turner's Before I Blogged series, where she highlights books that she read and loved before she started blogging. I have SO MANY favourite books to share and plan on doing at least a couple of these per month ... it'll take off the pressure to post frequent reviews, since I'm sharing thoughts on books that I read a while ago, while also giving me the chance to plug some older titles that you might not have read.
Janet Fitch's White Oleander was one of the first adult titles that I read. I think I originally picked it up after it was reviewed in Seventeen magazine (but I was in Grade 12 at the time ... so my memory might not be 100% accurate on that detail!) I absolutely fell in love with the writing style; it's so beautiful and poetic. If you've seen the movie, the novel is so, so, SO much better.
White Oleander is the story of Astrid, whose mother has just been convicted of murdering her lover. Astrid is thrust into a series of foster homes and, with each new home, her world is shattered in new and unexpected ways. The story is beautiful, yet horrifying and heart-wrenching. It's difficult to read about the things that Astrid experiences, but at the heart of the story is Astrid growing stronger and becoming an independent woman who refuses to live her life in her mother's shadow. Where some might see this book as depressing, I really enjoyed watching Astrid grow as a character.
I fell in love with this book from the opening pages and was so upset when I finished that I flipped back to the first page and started reading Astrid's story all over again. It is truly a heartbreakingly beautiful story that will tear your heart out, but one that I highly recommend.