Friday, 1 January 2016

My Year In Books

Hi everyone!

As a child I was definitely an avid reader - there was a stage where I was reading almost a book a day. But as I've gotten older I have had less and less time to participate in my favourite past time as the assignments piled up, the hours at work got longer and my social commitments grew. But, I do try to make time and while I have not read very many books this year, I have thoroughly enjoyed (almost) all of them. So, as the list is quite small this year, I thought I would share with you what I read and my thoughts on each book.

My very first book of the year was Anna and the French Kiss by Stephenie Perkins. I had tried years ago to get into this book, and found that I just couldn't connect with the characters or the storyline. This time however, Anna and Etienne had me enraptured. I thought that it was a quick and easy read and I loved every second of it. The fact that it was set in Paris instantly had me hooked, and immensely enjoyed reading the descriptions and adventures she had in the city I hope to visit someday. The romance was cute and sweet, as you would expect from such a gorgeous looking book, and if you are looking for that romantic fix than this book is for you!
My rating on Goodreads: 4 stars

The next book of the year was vastly different to the sweet love story - I was instead reading an action-packed Dystopian/sci-fi book. The Death Cure by James Dashner is the final installment in the Maze Runner series, of which I have absolutely loved. I found all three books to be fast paced and so full of action that you won't want to put the down (I didn't, each of these books were read in four hour sittings if that gives you any indication of how gripped I was by them). I love Newt and I don't like Teresa, but these books are great and I definitely recommend them. I say ignore the bad stuff you've heard - don't knock it until you've tried it!
My rating on Goodreads: 5 stars

I had to read a classic this year in English, and we all know how much of a pain they can be. I sometimes have issues reading classics where I can't get past the first couple of chapters (The Catcher in the Rye, I tried) or I somehow finish the whole entire thing, no matter how long it takes, and enjoyed the time I took to read it (A moment please to appreciate the mammoth task it was to read Les Miserables). So I had no idea which category 1984 by George Orwell (Apparently that was only a pseudonym as I learnt in class, his name was Eric Arthur Blaire - I think). 
I will tell you straight up that I struggled through some parts of this book - Goldstein's absolutely horrifically tedious book for one. But no matter how much I complained, I enjoyed it on the whole. This book makes you properly think about the world around you, the meaning of truth and it makes you ask questions.
I think the two assessment pieces I did especially helped me to fully comprehend the depth of the novel and I am glad I read it during school, as it allowed me to talk to others who were reading it and talk to my teacher who has read the book cover to cover many times. 
So thank you school, that was a compulsory reading done right.
My rating on Goodreads: 5 stars

Here's something you may not know about me: I absolutely love the TV show Game of Thrones (I know, I know, slightly different to my beloved Disney movies). I think the acting is great, the story lines are so detailed and deep and it's just all round fantastic. I didn't think I wanted to read the books though, simply because of how daunting they are. It's an absolutely colossal series and I was intimidated by them. But, as I was browsing my local bookstore, QBD, I stumbled across the series and I could not help myself; I bought the first book.
And holy hell, it was incredible! I love the detailed writing and intricate plots where every single detail matters in the grand scheme of things. The language George R R Martin uses is fantastic, and he can perfectly suit the tone of each and every character. I know many people wouldn't like it for the exact reasons I love it, but I saw give it a whirl - you'll never know until you try it!
My rating on Goodreads: 5 stars

I think after the heavy book of Game of Thrones I needed something a bit more lighthearted, and so I decided to pick up Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery. It was a very sweet book and I found myself identifying with Anne more and more as the book went on. She has such a vivid person that it's hard to believe she wasn't actually in the room next to me! It was this book I read during some tough times at school and Anne and her friends definitely cheered me up with their adventures. (Why had I not read this book before? It's so good!)
My rating on Goodreads: 5 stars

I don't like Shakespeare, so of course when I found out that we had a whole unit on him at school (complete with a soliloquy and exam essay) I was not happy. 
I find it difficult to get through the writing and I don't always understand what is happening. Literary genius or not, Shakespeare is just not my cup of tea. 
The class read the whole thing aloud, and it was hilarious when people tried putting on accents or our teacher explained the dirtier jokes to us, but I don't think that I could sit at home and read a play by Shakespeare. 
My rating on Goodreads: 3 stars

I read another Song of Ice and Fire book!
This one took me a bit longer to get through than the first, but it was just as fantastic. It was an amazing read and a great break from a the craziness of my life throughout the year. 
We are slowly learning more about the characters and their motivations and I look forward to reading the next books.
My rating on Goodreads: 5 stars

If you have not read The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, you are missing out. It is a fantastic series and I absolutely loved it. So of course, when I found out about it being made into a TV show, ( I had to reread the book. I'm so glad I did because the book is just as great and I would like to finish rereading the series in 2016..
My rating on Goodreads: 5 stars

This was a very random pick that I had picked up ages and ages ago on a whim. It's basically about a girl named Tuesday who has had all her memories wiped and she has been lost from memory. I thought it was an interesting premise and I was willing to give it a crack. Lucky I did because it is a gorgeous little book which I was utterly engrossed in. I found the ending very predictable having guessed it very early, but in spite of this it was a very enjoyable little book which I thoroughly enjoyed.
My rating on Goodreads: 4 stars

I have never seen the movie, but when I saw this book at a second hand book sale I couldn't resist. (The cover anyone?) As I'm sure many of you know it follows a girl fresh out of college and her struggles with an awful boss and what happens when work begins to take over your entire life. I quite enjoyed the story, although it took me a very long time to read it. I just found it nice to pick up randomly and read a little bit more about Andrea and her life. It was often difficult to connect with many of the characters, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
My rating on Goodreads: 4 stars

When I read Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, I adored the "fanfiction" that Cath wrote with Baz and Simon. I was absolutely thrilled when my sister handed me this book telling me it was the fanfiction come to life. It follows Simon, who is, in all honesty, the worst "Chosen One" ever. He can't seem to do anything right and his magic doesn't work the way he wants it to. He has an old rivalry with his roommate Baz and I just loved this whole book. The romance was great, I loved the plot, and the ending was a total surprise! It may seem a little Harry Potter-esque but Carry On is a magic book of its own right, with very witty spells and simple but delightful world.
My rating on Goodreads: 5 stars

My last book of the year was yet another book from the Song of Ice and Fire series, and this time it is Part 1 of Book 3. It is, of course, just as fantastic and enthralling as the previous books and I've already started to read the next part. In this book I have begun to feel sorry for and empathise with characters I disliked and they are all very grey right now, rather than the black and white sides I had initially drawn them into so I am interested to see what my opinions are like by the time I reach the last book that is out. (Yes, I've seen the show but the books are such a different experience that in spite of knowing what is happening I can't help but feel the emotions the author wants me to feel),
My rating on Goodreads: 5 stars

So, as you can see, I have not read too many books this year but I think the ones I have read should give me double points or something. It was a hectic reading year and I've enjoyed it a lot.

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