I am, first and foremost, a chick-lit reader. I like to lose myself in fun, light-hearted books – books with nice happy endings – and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
Sometimes, however, I like to try something different.
When I first heard about Tasha Kavanagh’s Things We Have In Common, I wasn’t entirely convinced. ‘Pitch-black’, ‘chilling’, ‘twisted’ – the reviews were overwhelmingly positive, but it just didn’t appeal to me. It was only when my local bookshop – the wonderful Barton’s – held a signing with Tasha that I really considered giving it a go. Well, it had a teenage protagonist (like my own novel); it had nice dogs on the front cover; it had a lovely author. Maybe it would be okay.
Okay? It was, quite simply, remarkable.
It’s not an easy book to describe, Things We Have In Common. It’s a book about a teenager, and yet to call it a teenage read would be decidedly misleading. It’s dark and eerie, but it doesn’t have the fast pace of a typical thriller, nor the nice neat ending of a typical mystery. It’s complex without being inaccessible, serious without being even the tiniest bit dull. If I had to narrow it down to just one word? I might be inclined to say ‘weird’. But it’s weird in a wonderful, wonderful way.
Needless to say, I don’t regret the decision I made that day in Barton’s. But why am I talking about all of this on my writing blog? Well, partly because reading is a big part of My Wordy Journey. My writing is undoubtedly influenced by the books that I read and the authors who inspire me, even if I’m not always conscious of it. I’m also a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due, and Things We Have In Common is, in my eyes, wholly deserving of both readers and recognition. Above all though, it’s because I wanted to remind people just how rewarding it can be to step outside of your comfort zone.
Life is short. It’s understandable wanting to play it safe, wanting to stick to the ‘tried-and-tested’, and I for one don’t think I’ll ever be someone who’s wildly adventurous. But there are a lot of amazing things out there, and when you take a chance on something and you do strike gold, it feels pretty darn good.
(On that note, if anyone fancies taking a chance on my own book when it comes out, you’ll be more than welcome!)
Things We Have In Common by Tasha Kavanagh:
Format: Hardback (paperback due for release Feb 2016)
Pages: 272 pages
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Publication Date: 07/05/2015
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