I have been back a week and yet I still haven’t caught up with everything I need to do – I am spending today getting drafts written up for my different blogs and needed to take a day off from posting just before it needs to go up. Luckily, my lovely friend Beth always saves the day and had in fact sent me this before I went away – so I am sharing it today!
I don’t usually do retrospectives until the year is over but what I say now could change by then – I mean, some of the books which are totally fresh in my memory as magical may fade by December and that’s kind of an indication they weren’t as great as I thought. As I’m heading into the 90s with my books so far this year I thought I could try and pin down a top five from my favourites and here they are. I’ve linked back to my reviews but don’t feel like you have to read them, hopefully my little summaries will be enough to pique your interest!
Wake by Anna Hope | The critical acclaim that Wake is getting is completely, totally deserved. I picked it up by accident on Netgalley and was completely immersed. Wake connects together women from different walks of life due to The Great War and as each story unfolds it’s inevitable where it’s going to end up. The use of the Unknown Soldier as a motif is particularly powerful and I think this book could and should be enjoyed by people who don’t even usually opt for wartime or war-related fiction.
Ugly Bus by Mike Thomas | I love Mike Thomas’ work. This is his second novel and it’s just has hard hitting and gritty as the last. The Ugly Bus is the Specialist Territorial Support Groups van and throughout the novel we learn a little more about each of the officer’s aboard the bus. There is depravity, extreme abuse and violence. It’s really really ugly and entirely captivating.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell | I read YA for a friend as a guest reviewer but as a rule I don’t choose it myself. Eleanor & Park however catapulted a YA novelist into my favourites of the year so far. Rainbow Rowell is bloody fantastic and Eleanor & Park are two characters I can’t imagine forgetting for a long time. Her writing reminds me of the films of Todd Solondz and Terry Zwigoff.
Amity & Sorrow by Peggy Riley | Peggy Riley’s writing has moved me like no other novelist’s this year. Her characters have been through the worst things and Amity & Sorrow is an eloquent yet relentless tale of young girls, brainwashed and isolated, trying to find a place in society. It’s so much more than that though and once again there is violence and serious abuse. Each of the characters is simply impossible to forget.
The Collected Works of A.J.Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin | The Collected Works of A.J.Fikry is the novel I have most recommended this year. It is a book written for lovers of books, bibliomaniacs and collectors. It’s beautiful and touching and should be eaten up in no more than three sittings. Zevin’s characters are so warm and even when they’re not they’re so genuine. It’s been a couple of months since I’ve read the novel and I still feel a connection to the characters – is that weird?
Have you read any of these books? Have I convinced you that you should? Believe me you totally should!