Book review 2014

I think I’ve upped my reading game this year, and have been buying less crap.  Actually, this is clearly a lie as you can see from my Good Reads account, but I have at least felt shame and regret upon completion of said crap books.  I finished my 77th book on New Year’s Eve (last year, I made it to 70).  Here are my favourites:

yesplease
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Of course this is on my list.  I feel like I had been waiting for Amy’s book to come out for ever and it didn’t disappoint.  Funny, honest, and charming – everything I hoped it would be.  Tearily reading her chapters on Parks and Recreation have just shown that I am not emotionally ready for the final season.  Plus, look at that cover – such a lovely bit of neon!

beside
We are all Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
Such a gloriously, beautifully unique story.  This was one of several books that made me sob at work on my lunch break and almost left me incapable of going back to my desk in the afternoon.  I did know the oddity to the story before starting it (I hesitate to use the word ‘twist’) but I don’t think that ruined my enjoyment at all.  I loved the narrator, Rosemary – a fully fleshed out character who wasn’t annoyingly quirky, and the end of the book was so subtle yet heartbreaking.  I can’t wait to see what the author comes up with next.

bodies
Strange Bodies by Marcel Theroux
Another book that left me breathless – I picked this up at the airport not knowing anything about the story or the author, other than the fact that he’s Louis’s brother.  It’s science-fiction, but I would put it in the Heavy Knitwear Sci-Fi category which is a genre I LOVE.  It posed a lot of questions over what makes us unique and how easy we can be reproduced, which was particularly unsettling for me as I’ve kept a blog for almost 15 years.  Very haunting.

girl
The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey
What an astonishing debut novel.  It’s another dystopian world which completely pulled me in from the start.  Another novel where I didn’t know anything about it.  I vividly remember standing in my kitchen, wooden spoon in one hand stirring my pasta, book in the other, as I just could not put it down.  There were parts of the book which made me feel quite nauseous, but even with the very graphic descriptions, I had to finish it.  They really need to make a film or TV show about it.

liars
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Tears, so many tears.  The book was filled with such an interesting set of characters and an incredibly powerful story which throughly broke me and I can’t believe I didn’t guess the ending.  It’s a book which seems to have divided readers and I found reading the reviews afterwards really interesting.  It also made me miss Massachusetts deeply.  One of the best YA books of 2014.

 

I already have two books on my 2015 Read shelf on Good Reads (Husband says they don’t count though) and have three books waiting for me; To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris; Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel; and The Vacationers by Emma Straub.  All random Waterstones buys but I think it’ll be a very good start to the year.

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