Well here we are, a few short weeks into the New Year and already I have had some amazing reading experiences. Right now though, I’m heading back in time to last year and having a look at what got my blood pumping in 2013. This may end up being long. Please bear with me…
First of all I have to say. It is almost IMPOSSIBLE to mention every book that “got” me last year. I read so many and so many touched my heart, that this article would be a novel in itself before I was done. My reviews I think speak for themselves. And if you are the author or publisher I KNOW I will have told you at the time what your particular book meant to me.
So here is how this will work. First I shall talk about one book. Then I shall give some honourable mentions to a few books in 2 genre forms. I will not re-post my reviews but simply say a few words. Then I shall count down my Top 5 of last year – chosen simply like this – I popped some music on and those characters that came to dance with me were included as they arrived. If you are a reader you get it….
So here we go. Deep Breath.
Yes you KNEW it was coming right? But I am not telling you this was my No 1 book of last year. Or giving it an honourable mention. OR making up a strangely entitled bloggers award I can give it. Because how can I? What box exactly could I put this novel in that would even BEGIN to say what I want to say. Impossible. Unimaginable that I would classify it. I often call it the book that saved my life. Which is true. But even that doesnt really cover it. It just is. Its mine.
Two terrific debuts that I read back to back last Summer – Someone Elses Skin and Dead Gone had me hooked from the start, desperately turning pages, and left me with the feeling that in a few years time I am going to have a WHOLE collection of these authors on my shelves! Terrific stuff!. Then we have Derwent. Thank you Jane Casey for that series, which improves with age and who has written the one male character who I truly truly am in love with. Oh and Maeve Kerrigan ain’t so bad as a main protagonist either. Then the incredibly quirky and terrific writing of Will Carver brought us another January David novel – his best to date in my opinion, these books scare me stupid and I love every minute of it. And Well, Neil White has started a new series that offers a terrific mix of crime and legal thriller which I read through the night. Finally a new David Raker novel from Tim Weaver is a thing to be savoured and savour it I did….
Shovel Ready held me in its thrall over the Christmas break this year – a brilliantly imaginative world and a terrific main protagonist I’ll let you discover that one for yourselves. Nick Cole’s The WasteLands Saga was the closest thing I’ve found to a Post Apocalyptic novel that can match “The Stand” for me. And Steve McHughs Nate Garrett novels are refreshingly adult and so much fun as well as being fairly dark – and oh Nate will you marry me? What Lots Wife Saw, winner of the 2007 Athens Prize for Literature will blow your mind. Sarah Pinborough took real life events and turned them into something quite amazing with “Mayhem” – Murder is out later this year and I can’t wait. Then Sam Kates pulled off a miracle by actually having a refreshing take on an end of days tale. Can’t tell you how – no spoilers remember?
All of the following made my day!
There was only ONE book by THIS author that I liked (In Joke)
Short story art is not dead….
Great fun was had by all!
As for the YA Genre and Fiction you will have to wait. I have an article coming up very soon where I am looking at some of the great YA books I read last year and another one where I’m talking genre and how sometimes perhaps its hard to place. When those go up then you will be able to see some of my favourites of last year in those two categories.
So..here we go then. My Top 5.
Nope, its no good I still can’t speak. Moving and magical, you must read this.
Yes, Ella came to dance…I ran screaming from the room! Get your axe proof duvet and dive right in…
A book that had me totally involved from start to finish, it captured my imagination perhaps like no other “crime/mystery” novel this year. Coming March 2014 I would highly recommend you put it on your “must read” list. Following the aftermath of a Plane crash, where everything is not as it seems, beautifully written with some of the most engaging characters I have come across this year, it absolutely deserves a place in my top 5.
Now I adore a great post apocalyptic novel but to do something new and different within the genre is extremely difficult. As well written as they can be, they often follow the same basic path. Josh Malerman has managed to write a claustrophobic, terrifying tale of one womans fight for survival in the aftermath of an event – a truly frightening and unique event at that – with the story set in the present time and with what lead to it. I read this in one glorious not eating not drinking not sleeping session and absolutely could not put it down until I was done. Amazing.
And. Huge Drumroll before Thunderbirds are go!
My Number One Read of Last Year.
Again, I love a good dystopian novel…and this one was a doozy. You may THINK you have read dystopian before, but boy you aint seen nothing yet. With a protagonist you can truly root for, living in a world beyond imagination, with a rich, imaginative backdrop and some of the best world building I have ever seen, every single part of this book held me in its thrall. I laughed, cried, sat on the edge of my seat, fell off a few times and when I got to the end I would truly have committed murder if it meant I could get book 2 RIGHT NOW. Sadly I will have to wait…
This one I WILL link my review: http://lizlovesbooks.com/lizlovesbooks/red-rising-by-pierce-brown-sometimes-words-are-not-enough/
And that folks is your lot!
Here’s to many many great reading experiences in 2014.
Happy New Year and Happy Reading!