I didn't have the full two weeks off over Christmas, however I still managed to fit in some quality reading time and I was blown away. I somehow managed to read four AMAZING YA books back to back. That's almost unheard of! I was scared such good literary-related fortune would prove too good to be true and I'd end up in a book slump...and I kind of have but we'll get on to the 2015 books in a few weeks. For now, here's a little round-up of those books that made me smile and shake my head in awe.
It took ages to finally get into this book but I was glad I gave it a chance. It's definitely the type of book that needs to be read over a weekend (if, like me, you don't really finish books in one day). I found the beginning to be a little too twee and cutesy but in hindsight I realise that's just Isla and Josh. They're both extremely melodramatic and over emotional (well, to someone like me who even when happy has to make a mental note to actually show this on my face). They both expected far too much of each other considering their age but that's easy to say when you're looking in, almost from a parental perspective. When you're young, that's just the way things are (for some people). I really liked all of the old characters making their cameos and quite liked the ending with Isla and Hattie - sister power! Overall, whilst it isn't my favourite of Stephanie Perkins' trio, I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Wow wow wow wow...I could go on. I don't really keep up to date with the book awards - only film - but I firmly believe this book should've won them all. It's such a brave book. The subject matter is far from nice yet I felt so happy reading it. Jude is such an unforgettable character - I just wanted to hug her! Another shout out to sister power too as she has three strong and interesting women for siblings who have the most beautiful names - I need to find a way to use the name Araceli. More than anything this is a big old love story - first loves, pet loves, and that magical, unexplainable kind of family love. A wonderful book, please read it if you haven't already (and if you have - did you love it too?!)
Anyone who has read this blog more than once will probably know by now I'm a fully fledged member of the Miranda Kenneally fan club. She has a way of taking characters with 'issues' and making them not seem like their 'issue' is the only thing about them. That's a really poorly written statement but I hope you catch my drift. Anyway, Annie was no different. This book was perfect for the new year, what with all the goal setting and marathon training but also because Annie has to learn to not necessarily forget the past but begin to move on and open her eyes to the things that are just passing by. I really liked that this book was set over the course of a year that saw Annie graduate and start college. It would be great to read more books that cover this period of life. I know we have 'New Adult' books but..well, this one was different. There was a romance but that wasn't the be all and end all, whereas most 'New Adult' books I've dabbled in seem to focus on the romance between a tattooed guy and a girl-next-door. Anyway, Breathe Annie Breathe was a great addition to the Hundred Oaks series and a breath of fresh air when it comes to college based books.
If I Lie by Corrine Jackson
Another powerful and moving read. I couldn't believe this was Corrine Jackson's debut novel! I thought it was so very well written and structured - it flowed in an almost military like precision, which perfectly echoed the setting, Sophie's life, and the tone. Like Jude from The Book of Broken Hearts, Sophie Quinn will stay with me for a long time. Such a strong and brave character - the only adult amongst a bunch of adults acting like stuck-up brats. Unlike The Book of Broken Hearts, there was no light to this book but it was a compelling read. It was heavy and cold, as we carried the secret along with Sophie. Even a sense of resolution is questionable and that was affecting because that's real life. Again, if you like contemporary and haven't read this one, I'd urge you to get a copy sharpish.