The Pretty Purple Polka Dots Book Club

I’ve always been a bookworm. You will rarely find me without a book in my hands, or next to me. The following is a small selection of the vast number of books that I have fallen in love with during my 20 years of life.

Candy by Kevin Brooks

Part of me will always find it slightly strange that my favourite book as an adolescent focused on the protagonist’s relationship with a heroin addicted prostitute. If my parents ever found out, I was dead. I didn’t care though, Candy was (and still is) one of the best books I have ever read. What drew me in was the story line.

Candy. The Whore with a Heart.

No, really, it wasn’t just the fact that this was a book about a whore. The climax of the book is one of the most thrilling pieces of literature I’ve ever read.

Even better than The Hunger Games. (Can open, worms everywhere.)

Candy was an eye opener, and not just to the kind of world I was growing up in. It showed me what first love can be like. And that, contrary to popular opinion, men get that ‘first love’ feeling too.

Well, this one did.

Joe, the book’s main character, is basically just another teenager. He’s in a band. His parents are separated. His sister is getting married. He has fallen in love with the wrong type of girl.

When we see Candy with Joe, however, she is a different girl. She’s not a crazed woman. She’s a timid, innocent girl. Who loves kangaroos.

Other books by Kevin Brooks include ‘Martin Pig’ and ‘Lucas’.



Always The Bridesmaid by Sarah Webb

This was my first ‘big girls’ book. It told the sorrowful tale of Amy Sullivan, a thirty year old Dubliner with no ring on her finger. She had a serious boyfriend, but it turns out he was slipping it to someone else. Hate when that happens.

I first read this book as an innocent twelve year old. I have to admit, some of the terms in it were a little alien to me (such as condom. I mean, I knew what they were, but I had no idea how to use one, much less why it mattered that it was a strawberry one.)

At least she didn’t have to worry about what to wear.

But once I moved past that (on my own, by the way, the internet hadn’t become the powerhouse that it has yet, and over my dead body would I ask my mother), I loved the book. Mostly because of Amy’s dream job. She wanted to present Den 2 (kids TV). She wanted to work with Soky. I knew him! Finally, familiarity!

The book also taught me a little about love, and not in the Disney way. It made me realise that somewhere inside me, there’s a part of me that wants to be whisked around Rome at twilight on a moped while my chauffeur serenades me with ‘With Or Without You.’

At that moment, the fact that I’m not a big Bono fan will fade into obscurity.

The main premise of the book was an account of Amy’s preparations for being bridesmaid at her sister’s and her best friend’s weddings. Having been at two weddings in the stage of almost as many months, and not having any official role in either, I can’t see her gripes.

I’d love to be a bridesmaid. For anyone. Doesn’t even have to be someone I know.

‘Cos God knows I’m not gonna be a bride any time soon.

Other books by Sarah Webb include ‘Anything For Love’ and ‘Three Times A Lady’.


Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern

Where Rainbows End made me believe in love again. Simple as that.

I first read it when I was 16 and had gone through my first break up. I liked PS I Love You, Cecelia’s first offering, but this one was better in my eyes.

Where Rainbows End chronicled the friendship between Rosie and Alex. They met in primary school, and stayed in contact for the rest of their lives. Who of us can say we still do that?

I can’t. Most of the people I went to primary school with and I didn’t see eye to eye, and we exchange pleasantries when we see each other. The rule heavily outweighs the exception.

This novel reminded me that life is by no means easy. In fact, life throws a  lot of stuff at you that you won’t be ready for. It’s the people who stay with you when that happens that you can count on for the good times as well as the bad.

I know what happens in the end, every time I read it. But I still find myself cringing at some of the choices Alex and Rosie make.

If they were my friends, I’d slap them across the back of the head, and lock them into a room together until the magic happened.

Think of them as the Ross and Rachel of the  literary world, if you will. They’re each other’s lobsters.

Other books by Cecelia Ahern include ‘If You Could See Me Now’ and ‘The Gift’.


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