Wednesday, 31 December 2014

End of Year Review - 2014 Part 3

I am completely overwhelmed by the attention the last couple of posts have got. The wonderful Robin Hobb shared the link to Part 2 and since then it's had over 1000 hits, which is extraordinary for my humble little blog.

Part 1 covered January to April and Part 2 covered May to August.

Obviously this final part will cover September to December, and I'll try to narrow them down a little bit more. That said, it is New Year's Eve and I have had at least one glass of wine, so I won't make any promises!

September



End of Year Giveaway!





Over on Reading Lark today, you can enter to win one of my favourite reads of the year. I had to narrow it down to 14 over there, not the exhaustive list I've indulged in on here. It's an international giveaway, open to any country that The Book Depository ship to, so get entering!

Part three of my review of the year coming later today.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Review of the Year - 2014 Part 2

In Part 1 I looked at my favourite reads from January to April.

Here are my favourites from May to August.

May






If I Stay is a beautiful, heartrending story about a girl who has a near death experience, and essentially has to decide whether to live or die. As part of that process we see what's going on in the present, as well as the events leading up to the accident which ended her world. I cried buckets.

The Universe Versus Alex Woods is probably not everyone's cup of tea, but I really enjoyed it. Alex Woods gets hit in the head by a meteorite when he is ten. And that's not even the most extraordinary thing that happens to him in his life. The book explores issues such as bullying, loss, grief and euthanasia. Well worth a read.

Katie McGarry could write an essay on theoretical physics and I would buy it and love it. My glowing review of Take Me On is here. Haley has grown up around fighters and knows they're bad news, and she vows not to get involved with another one. But after West comes to her rescue and then turns up at school, her resolve is tested. Take Me On deals with issues of domestic violence and homelessness and is part of the Pushing the Limits series.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a book club read, and it's such a wonderful book. I don't know if I could say I enjoyed reading it, as enjoyed doesn't really seem to be the right word, but I felt incredible empathy for Charlie and was quite shocked by by the ending.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Review of the Year - 2014 Part 1

It's been a big year for books, and I've read more books this year than ever before. As of today (Boxing Day) I've read 112 books, and I'll probably sneak another couple in before the end of the year.

I've discovered some great authors this year, particularly from this part of the world (Australia/NZ) who I didn't previously know about, having spent the last 10 years under a rock (or in the UK). I've also revisited some authors whose books I haven't read for a while.

So, in chronological order, here are some of my favourite reads of the year.

January



Monday, 22 December 2014

The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer


The Intern (The Intern, #1)The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Purchased from iBooks

I really enjoyed this. It has shades of Ugly Betty and The Devil Wears Prada, but at the same time is unique.

Josie is 17 and in her first year of a journalism degree at the local uni. With the dream of becoming an internationally acclaimed journalist, she's not pleased about being assigned an internship at a fashion magazine. As the magazine is based in the city, and she lives too far to commute, she stays with her cousin, Tim, in his city apartment. Tim didn't tell Josie about his tall, attractive, funny flatmate, and Josie soon finds herself falling for him. Things develop fairly predictably from there, but the story is well written and the characters are engaging and likeable, so this didn't dull my enjoyment of the story.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Amnesia by Peter Carey


Amnesia by Peter Carey
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Published: 14th October 2015
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher.
Genre: Adult literary/Political

I've never read any of Carey's novels, much to my shame, but the plot of Amnesia appealed to me on a number of levels, so when I saw it available on Netgalley, I jumped at the chance to review it.

The plot is convoluted and the pace varies greatly, and at times it's very difficult to follow. It's often impossible to tell who is a hero and who is a villain. I did not expect there to be a love story at the centre of this book, but there it is.

Gaby Baillieux is the child of a radical socialist mother and a Labour minister father. Brought up in such a politicised household, it's little wonder that she became an activist. When a computer virus releases the doors of detention centres, allowing asylum seekers to escape, it also releases the doors of prisons throughout Australia and America, as well as the American Pine Gap facility in central Australia. The US government believes this is a deliberate act of terrorism, but Gaby's mother, actress Celine, doesn't believe her daughter is smart enough to have pulled it off. She is a scapegoat.