Sunday, 13 April 2014

a very late 'books of 2013' post

hello! so, this post is very very late. i've had this post written up since the new year but kept forgetting to photograph the books! BUT i will not waste your time with apologies, and just get straight to the story: at the start of 2013, i was not planning on reading anything more than maybe 15 books, but in the summer i got my first job and suddenly had loads of money to spend. i ended up reading a total of 57, but because it all happened so quickly, i never got the chance to really write about it. i'm not going to write about all 57 books i read, but here is the definitive list: (you can check out what i rated these books on my goodreads if you wish).

unnaturally green by felicia ricci. zombicorns #2 by john green. the great gatsby by f. scott fitzgerald. rookie yearbook one by tavi gevinson. lolita by vladimir nabokov. the hunger games by suzanne collins. catching fire by suzanne collins. mockingjay by suzanne collins. 50 fashion designers you should know by simone werle. the umbrella academy volume one by gerard way and gabriel ba. miranda hart: is it just me? by miranda hart. the hobbit by j. r. r. tolkien. a midsummer tights dream by louise rennison. the red house by mark haddon. harry potter and the chamber of secrets by j. k. rowling. twilight by stephanie meyer. the bling ring by nancy jo sales. uglies by scott westerfeld. pretties by scott westerfeld. specials by scott westerfeld. extras by scott westerfeld. the taming of the tights by louise rennison. who could that be at this hour? by lemony snicket. the mist by stephen king. the virgin suicides by jeffrey eugenides. 13 little blue envelopes by maureen johnson. the princess diaries by meg cabot. the princess diaries #2 by meg cabot. the princess diaries #3 by meg cabot. the princess diaries #4 by meg cabot. chess by stefan zweig. the princess diaries #5 by meg cabot. red tears by joanna kenrick. the princess diaries #6 by meg cabot. girl, interrupted by susanna keysen. the princess diaries #7 by meg cabot. the princess diaries #8 by meg cabot. a little bit wicked by kristin chenoweth. what they did for love: the untold story of the making of 'a chorus line' by denny martin flinn. vivian versus the apocalypse by katie coyle. paper towns by john green. doctor sleep by stephen king. the crucible by arthur miller. without you: a memoir of love, loss, and the musical 'rent' by anthony rapp. the last little blue envelope by maureen johnson. the carrie diaries by candace bushnell. please don't come back from the moon by dean bakopoulos. naomi and ely's no kiss list by rachel cohn and david levithan. ghost world by daniel clowes. submarine by joe dunthorne. more than this by patrick ness. summer and the city by candace bushnell. coraline by neil gaiman. warm bodies by isaac marion. dash & lily's book of dares by rachel cohn and david levithan. fear & loathing in las vegas by hunter s. thompson. let it snow by john green, maureen johnson, and lauren myracle.

SO that's the definitive list of all the books i read in 2013, but these are my favourites:

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'chess' by stefan zweig (goodreads): this was such a charming little story about chess players on a boat, which sounds quite quaint but it was SO GOOD. essentially, the characters come across an excellent chess player who refuses to play, and he tells the story of why he cannot ever play chess. is that not so intriguing?! what situation would make a man fear playing chess?! i absolutely loved it. plus, it's very cheap to buy on amazon (currently £2.55) and is only 90-ish pages, so it's perfect if you need to bump up your goodreads challenge.

'paper towns' by john green (goodreads): this is my favourite john green book by far! it had everything that john green writes so well; a road trip, a quirky girl, midnight adventures, hilarious side-characters. if you aren't aware, 'paper towns' essentially follows the story of quentin in his encounters with his mysterious neighbour margo, and how he tries to track her down after she goes missing. i just enjoyed reading it so much; it was everything i loved about 'the fault in our stars' but without the heartbreak and the crying and the never-ending pain.

'vivian versus the apocalypse' by katie coyle (goodreads): this was purely a cover buy for me but i ended up absolutely loving it! i'd maybe even go as far to say that it's one of my favourite books? i loved the basis for the plot because it just seems so plausible; there's been another predicted apocalypse and nobody's taking it very seriously, but on the day of the rapture all the believers have disappeared from their homes and everyone left behind on earth is facing a few months left to live before the end of the world. the plot follows vivian and some people she gathers along the way as she travels to try and find her parents who disappeared in the rapture, and there are some pretty incredible twists and some serious jaw-dropping revelations thrown in that i did not see coming at all. i absolutely love religious elements in books and this is based around the fictional 'church of america', which is a very corporate modern take on christianity, and i think one of the great successes of this book was how believable this religion was; i could actually imagine people following it in real life.

'the hunger games' series by suzanne collins (goodreads): i read 'the hunger games' just because it was hyped so much and i wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and it is so so worth the hype! i couldn't believe how much i loved it. i won't go into the story; you've probably all heard enough about it by now, but AHHHH it was so good! 'catching fire' and 'mockingjay' were not as great as 'the hunger games' but i still enjoyed the series so much. (i'm team peeta, by the way - peeniss forever haha!)

the 'uglies' series by scott westerfeld (goodreads): i picked this series up because it is compared so much to the hunger games, and after loving the hunger games, i knew i was bound to like it. it's pretty much about this society where, at the age of 16, you get sent off to be made 'pretty' and you go to live in this fancy city and spend your life going to parties and having fun, and the idea is that because everyone looks the same then there's no discrimination. i find that such an interesting concept because it could apply very well to the society we live in now; people DO actually get discriminated because of their appearance. but is this new society as great as it seems? of course notttttt! the story is centred around tally as she finds out why. i did really enjoy the series, but it wasn't perfect; 'pretties' had essentially the same plot as 'uglies', it felt at times a little preachy, and it would drag quite a lot in the middle of the books.

'13 little blue envelopes' by maureen johnson (goodreads): this book follows ginny as she travels round europe following a kind of treasure hunt set by her aunt before she died, and it was so good!! i would love for someone to do that for me! this book made me want to travel so badly; maureen johnson made every country ginny visited seem so appealing and so lovely, and literally i would just start looking at holidays online as each chapter progressed - like, "i want to go to london!... okay no i need to scotland!" etc., haha! with such an incredible premise and all those stunning places to read about, how was i ever not going to love this book?!

'a little bit wicked' by kristin chenoweth (goodreads): this is an autobiography written by kristin about her stage career, with a focus on her time as the original glinda in 'wicked' on broadway. this is definitely one of those books that, if you don't like wicked, or you don't like kristin, that you won't enjoy, but i love both! this book was SO funny and kristin is such a positive, cheery person that it was actually contagious. i had such fun reading this; it definitely is more of a light read but who says there's anything wrong with that?!

'more than this' by patrick ness (goodreads): this is the first patrick ness book i read and i picked it up completely on impulse; i was browsing waterstones and had a lot of time to kill that day so i picked this up purely based on the cover, started reading the first few pages, and before i knew it i had read half the book. patrick ness' writing style is so easy and calming and it was such a treat to read. the story begins as a boy drowns in the sea near his house, but then he wakes up, in a place he can't remember, and it continues with him figuring out where he is and what's going on. this book is definitely more about asking questions than giving answers and really, you never actually find out what's going on - only a partial reason is given - but that's just a testament to how incredible patrick ness is, because even though i had no idea what was happening or why it was happening, and a lot of it is quite still and calm, i was SO GRIPPED and could not put it down. very interesting and unique read, you should all definitely give this a go.

'doctor sleep' by stephen king (goodreads): this book was such a wonderful gift to read. i really cannot say any more than that; it was just pure happiness being able to read about danny torrance again after enjoying 'the shining' so much. it wasn't scary in the same way as stephen king's other books, but the story was excellent and it was so interesting. the character of abra is brilliant as well - such an awesome little girl, i had a huge grin on my face whenever she was in the scene. if i could i'd give it a million out of five!

so there we go! i'm so embarrassed about how long it's taken me to get this post up haha, but i suppose better late than never? let me know if you guys have read any of the books i talked about and what you thought of them in the comments!

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