A complete list of books read in 2014. Continue reading
I moved towns recently, and I’ve barely been on my computer since. Living with someone curtails the time you have to waste on the internet, apparently. To put it mildly, I’m unimpressed 😉 Today marks the start of my online catching up, so let’s get to it.
Read in March:
- Bitter Greens – Kate Forsyth. I picked up this book after coming across it in a fairy tales for adults display at my local library, because who doesn’t like a good retelling of Rapunzel? The cover is beautiful, and the book was too. It wasn’t quite to my taste, as I found myself slogging through certain sections. The other bits though, were worth the slog.
- And Another Thing… – Eoin Colfer. I’ve been rereading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series sporadically over the last year so that I could pick this up and have it make sense. To be fair, it stands alone well, but it’s nice to find all those references back funny. The book itself was solid but not mind-blowing. Funny, but not quite Douglas Adams.
- The Isobel Journal – Isobel Harrop. I picked this up at random and quite enjoyed it. A quirky graphic novel for awkward teenagers (or former teenagers!) everywhere.
- Pirate Club: Brainwash Escape Victims – Derek Hunter. A reread. Telling the tale of a group of kids and the secret club they form, it was just as bonkers and fun the second time around.
- First Term at L’Etoile – Holly & Kelly Willoughby. Awful. Genuinely a terrible, terrible book. The narrator’s voice treats the reader like an idiot, which I always hate. Children don’t need to be talked down to. But worse than that was the skewed morals imparted by the book where being rich and pretty is always better than being genuinely talented, and the division between the two is reinforced on a daily basis. Haaaaaaaaaated it!
- Hazed – Mark Sable & Robbi Rodriguez. I bought this as part of a mystery bag of comics a few years ago, so wasn’t expecting much. Shows what I know. This is Heathers with plastic surgery. Caustic and cutting and very, very mental, and it all came together in quite an enjoyable way.
- Re-Gifters – Mike Carey, Sonny Lieu & Marc Hempel. Loved it! The Minx line may have had its problems, but it really did produce some quality material. The main character in this is just awesome and the kind of person I would love to see girls be inspired by, rather than the dreary popstars they tend to look to.
- Hoarder to Order – Sue Kay. Read this in preparation for the move and it was hilarious, though not deliberately. I’m not sure how helpful it was, but what can you do?
- My Vision For a New You – Steve Bell. Well, it’s Steve Bell. ‘Nuff said really. (I liked it, in case this is not clear. I’m a fan of Bell’s political cartoons and this was an excellent compilation.)
- Lovely, Dark and Deep – Amy McNamara. I won’t lie – had I known that one of the main characters in this had MS, I would not have picked it up. That’s an issue that hits just a little bit too close to home. I did, however, enjoy the book. Although it’s aimed at people in their late teens/early adulthoods and deals with depression and chronic illness, it never becomes one of those dreadful ‘issues’ books. The lead character is so, so flawed and yet you want to find out what happens to her. You want to see her move forward with her life. One of the things that I liked about it the most is that the ending isn’t really a resolution, something which rings much more true than wrapping all the plot points up in a neat little bow.
- Deadly Little Secret – Laurie Faria Stolarz. This book recycles quite a few of the most popular YA cliches, but it’s well written enough to rise above them. Not earth-shattering, but a fun, breezy read nonetheless.
Read in April:
- Rooftoppers – Katherine Rundell. After reading a review over at Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?, and seeing the nomination list for the Guardian Children’s Prize, I snatched this book up off the library shelves. Happily, it lived up to expectations, spinning a charming story that was a delight to read.
- The Coldest Girl in Coldtown – Holly Black. I thought this was a fairly original spin on vampires and the teenage girls that love them, but then I’ve always had a soft spot for Holly Black’s work.
- Uncanny X-Men: Broken – Brian Michael Bendis, Frazier Irving & Chris Bachalo. Nice art, pretty good storyline.
- Raised By Wolves – Jennifer Lynn Barnes. A really interesting spin on werewolves in YA. I’ve always enjoyed books that delve into pack dynamics, and this book does that and then challenges them. Yay feminism!
- Shiver – Maggie Stiefvater. A reread. I had completely forgotten how mental the ‘cure’ was.
- Linger – Maggie Stiefvater. I’ve had this since it came out so it was about time that I read the fecking thing. Good, though not particularly original or memorable. Cole grated on me hugely at first but he grew on me.
- Forever – Maggie Stiefvater. See above.
- Every Day – David Levithan. The most ridiculous thing soured this book for me – there’s a blurb on there by Patrick Ness (I think), saying that Every Day is wholly original. Which is clearly bullshit. You can tell just from the back cover that it’s Quantum Leap for teens. Which, by the way, I have no problem with. I mean, it’s Quantum Leap for teens done really, really well and dealing with all sorts of interesting issues in interesting ways, but come the fuck on Patrick Ness.
Read in May:
- Delirium – Lauren Oliver. This was a pick based on random clicking over at Fantastic Fiction and I ended up quite liking it. In a future where love has been classified as a disease, a teenage girl fumbles her way to an awakening. The thing I enjoyed the most about the book was the ending which was sparse and beautiful and inspiring. What I didn’t know at the time, is that Delirium is the first part in a trilogy which disappoints me a little because it means that that wonderful ending will be hugely diluted.
- A Second Chance – Jodi Taylor. The third volume in The Chronicles of St Mary’s and just as much of a rip-roaring ride as the first two. To be honest, it’s not the most wonderfully written thing ever (though it’s far from the worst), but I just really enjoy these books. They’re fun, and those twists and turns keep me turning pages frantically.
- Mister October, Volume 1 – Christopher Golden (ed.). I’m not a huge horror reader. I read a lot of supernatural and urban fantasy, a lot of which strays into the horror arena, but I can’t really name any horror books or authors that I’ve really enjoyed off the top of my head. This collection had highs and lows but it kept me reading, so that’s always a good sign.
- 30 Days of Night: 30 Days ‘Til Death – David Lapham. Blood-coated fun. Not as creepy as the early stuff but still good.
I’ve been in a bit of a funny mood lately, reading-wise. Any novels that I’ve picked up have been quickly put aside in favour of staring out the window, for some reason. To be fair, I’ve also been reading the news, but the staring out the window thing is getting a bit out of control. But all is not lost – I read some stuff before this lethargy overtook me.
- A Symphony of Echoes – Jodi Taylor. I downloaded the first volume of this series when it was a free download on Amazon and enjoyed it so much that I paid for this one. (I’m not a big ebook supporter. They’re fine and great and all those things, but if I’m shelling out money, I want a physical copy.) The second one wasn’t quite as good but was still a really fun romp through history that I would recommend to people looking for a history/sci-fi mash-up that’ll make them grin.
- Dead Space: Catalyst – B.K. Evenson. The first three quarters of this book dragged like a mother fucker. The last quarter was excellent, conjouring the atmosphere of Dead Space with ease, but I’m not sure it was worth the intial slog :/
- The Schoolgirl Refugee – Olive C. Dougan. I picked this up after reading a review of it over at So This is School! Set in the lead-up to World War II, it follows Trudi Strieff as she tries to make sense of the changes in her world, especially after she is sent to England. It was a decent recent, and Trudi a very sympathetic heroine, but I’m not sure that I’ll ever feel the urge to revisit it.
- Black Orchid – Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean. Everything about this was beautiful.
- Incognito: Bad Influences – Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips. Although this revisits some of the themes that made up Criminal, I enjoyed this much, much more.
- Wolverine & the X-Men, Volume 7 – Jason Aaron & Pasqual Ferry. A bit jumpy but I’m still enjoying the hell out of Wolverine & the X-Men which I wasn’t really expecting when it started. I really want them to focus on what the fuck is going on with Husk a bit more though, because, dude… what?