5 books you HAVE to read this summer

I have no shame in admitting that reading is a big hobby of mine. So, as holiday season looms, I thought I would pick five of my favourite reads to share with you. Enjoy!

Driven, Toby Vintcent


This book is a pool-side must. It is a thriller, a page-turner, an absolute gem of a book.

Toby Vintcent sent me a copy of the book last year and I have since been obsessed with a capital O. So much so, I have managed to get my grandparents and friends to read it – and they do not have any interest in Formula 1.

Perhaps then it has no surprise that it has received such fantastic reviews:

“A great plot… a great read… I couldn’t put it down.” – Murray Walker

What is it about?

Things at the Monaco Grand Prix turn sinister for Remy Sabatino when his car is sabotaged. Remy’s team-mate then suffers a death-defying crash. Are these incidents somehow connected?

Matt Straker, former Royal Marine and corporate intelligence director, is brought in to investigate. He soon realises the perpetrators are deviously clever. Only by outsmarting them does he uncover a major conspiracy: Their sabotage is about far more than manipulating the outcome of the World Drivers’ Championship…

The Witness, Simon Kernick


This was the first crime novel that I ever read, and it was breathtaking. Quite literally. Right from the first page, Kernick had me hanging onto every word and the ending is something that I never would have guessed in a million years.

I’ll be honest, I read the blurb and could not decide whether or not it would be my thing. But it totally was. Since reading this, I have read a number of Kernick’s other works and have been equally impressed.

What is it about?

Jane, a South African-born lady, witnesses a brutal attack on her lover and his wife. From that moment, it is all about her survival and the hunt for the killer. The novel flits between the witness, Ray Mason who is a detective with counter-terrorism, and a couple of bad guys who may or may not be central to the plot.

Honestly, it is bloody brilliant.


I Heart New York, Lindsey Kelk


This novel is the first in a series of my favourite books. No matter how horrendous my mood is, this book will cheer me up. The protagonist is highly relatable and her predicaments are not too dissimilar to those that one may encounter.

This comedy come romance is the perfect read for a holiday. If you don’t mind people seeing you cry with laughter on the beach…

What is it about?

Angela finds her boyfriend of ten years cheating on her at her best friend’s wedding. I know, not great. Acting on an impulse, she takes a trip across the pond to New York where her life is about to turn upside down and inside out. For the better.

Kelk is such a great writer and I cannot recommend her books enough. Go read!


Chasing Daisy, Paige Toon

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Another chick-lit that I thoroughly recommend reading.

I could not believe my luck when I stumbled across this – a book about F1?! It was basically a match made in heaven right from the off!

The novel is so well researched and, thankfully, plausible. This is a huge bonus as I tend to disregard anything that isn’t relatable. Yes, that means that I have not read Harry Potter.

What is it about?

Daisy lands a role working in Formula 1 hospitality and, as you can imagine, one of the drivers takes her fancy. As tensions rise and the team reaches the breaking point, a tragedy tears those involved apart even more.

Paige Toon does such an excellent job by keeping the character and the plotline believable, whilst having you reaching for the tissues. It is beautifully written and, without a doubt, one of my favourite novels.


The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

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Yes, this might seem a bit of an odd choice. But, I studied this book for two years and it grew on me. Now, there are a number of parallels that can be drawn from Atwood’s dystopia to our modern-day society, which is rather chilling.

Channel 4 is in the midst of airing a TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, which originally debuted in America. Like the book itself, it has been receiving huge critical acclaim.

What is it about?

The protagonist of the novel is Offred, a woman fighting for liberation through the small rebellious acts she can muster. One of which is a critical play of words.

In her world, as a Handmaid, her only duty is to pro-create. Reading and writing is forbidden, and life in a totalitarian government-led society is nothing short of harrowing.

In all, the novel is fantastic. It’ll make you laugh, it will make you feel her endless pain, and it will definitely make you think. A lot.

Hope this inspired some summer reading!

Helena x




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