Happy post-holidays. I hope all your bellies are sated and your jingles sufficiently jangled.
Every year I intend to write about my favourite books. And then I don’t. No more! This year, I’ve made a list. The best books I read in 2011.
I don’t read as much as I used to so my list is small. These are the books I make my friends read. The ones that inspire me to write harder because I want to be able to tell stories like that.They’re the books I still think about. The ones that changed me.
Okay, this is three books. But if you’re going to read the first one, you might as well buy all three. Otherwise you will be kicking yourself at the end of The Knife of Never Letting Go. Trust me. Disclaimer: I love dystopian YA fiction. This series is one of the best, in my opinion, right up there with The Hunger Games. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a great read and is cool with talking dogs, space colonies, alien life forms and a lot of guns. Fast-paced story, complex characters facing tough choices, a fascinating, unique world and crazy cliffhangers. Another huge plus: Ness has created one of my favourite female YA characters of all time. Viola!
As a writer I was keen to read this book because of its voice. The story is told from the point of view of a five year-old boy who’s spent his entire life locked in a small room with his mother. What a challenge to write a whole novel through the filter of a small child without sounding either overly precious or too sophisticated to be authentic.
Well, it worked for me. I believed in Jack completely. I can’t remember the last time a book literally made my heart pound and tied my stomach in knots. Maybe I felt especially connected to the story because I have a child the same age, but man, reading Room was emotionally harrowing. It’s a powerful story.
Yep, another dsytopian YA. Delirium follows the story of Lena, a girl who lives in a future America where there’s a cure for love — and everyone must receive it at the age of eighteen. Lena is terrified of contracting deliria (ie love) and can’t wait to be cured. It’s not a stretch to figure out where the story’s going to go from there. But Oliver does a wonderful job of drawing out Lena’s awakening. I was sucked in from page one. Gorgeous writing and an ever increasing sense of dread that kept me totally engrossed. I thought this book was beautiful and can’t wait for Pandemonium’s release in February.