Last year I reached my goal of reading thirty books… and by goal I mean the second number I picked when it became evident that forty books was never gonna happen. This year, we’re going for forty. Actually forty this time. And we’re already two books behind. Brilliant. However, whilst I battle through the never ending love-it/hate-it novel that is Stephen King’s It, I figured I’d talk a little about the first four books I read this year. Because they were pretty brilliant, if I do say so myself.
The Martian by Andy Weir:
Admittedly this was a rather rushed choice of book for me, as I had a plane to catch in a matter of hours and needed something to dull the ride back to España. I’d wanted to pick up this book for a while now, but I’ve never really had that much luck with sci-fi novels in the past. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised with this one. The writing was phenomenal. I’m sure you’ve all seen clips of Watney’s POV chapters floating around the Internet, and it is true that Weir creates a brilliantly realistic geek in his protagonist, but even with the smaller characters, I really felt that I knew their personalities and reasonings for things. Certain parts of the book were a bit ‘explain-y’ for me, and occasionally I did find myself scanning the seventy page descriptions of whatever Watney was doing, but in the end it actually turned out to be a good thing… because I wouldn’t have understood like half of the movie without having read the novel first. Definitely a good example of the book being better than the movie trope. Even if Matt Damon kiiiiiilled it as Watney.
I give it: 3/5 Mars Rovers
The Accident by C.L. Taylor:
This is my second C.L. Taylor book and it turned out to be just as gripping as the first one I read. Admittedly I have to thank my mum for the recommendation here, as I never would have picked up either of the author’s books without her pestering. The story follows a mother coping with her daughter being in a coma, after the titular ‘accident’… or was it one? The book started off slowly, but damn, once it got going I couldn’t put it down. I’m starting to realise maybe I don’t like crime novels… I just like really creepy, messed up mysteries. The twists and turns in this book kept me guessing constantly, and even though you know everything will get linked together eventually, your brain will explode trying to connect the pieces yourself. If you liked The Girl On The Train and Gone Girl, you really ought to give Taylor’s work a whirl.
I give it: 3.5/5 creepy ex-boyfriends
A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab:
I have wanted to read this book for SO LONG, but as I mention every time I talk about fantasy novels, I’m always apprehensive as they can be either brilliant or terrible. There’s very few examples of ‘just meh’ fantasy stories. But after a rocky start, I can safely say that A Darker Shade Of Magic is in the brilliant category. The story takes place in a world (or three) that each have a London, and follows Kell, one of the few people who can travel between the three of them. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll also say that there’s evil forces and crossdressing pirates, and if that doesn’t make you want to read it I don’t know what will. The first part of this book really took a while to get going for me, with lots of world building and character development making the actual plot take a backseat, but once shit started going down I. Was. Hooked. Everything happens so quickly, but not in a rushed way, and I really hated putting this book down every time I had to get off the train. So pumped to read the sequel.
I give it: 4/5 dangerous magical relics
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell:
I love Rainbow Rowell. She’s one of the few contemporary YA authors I can stomach, but Attachments was the first actual adult novel I’ve read of hers, but once again, she’s written a love interest who I really wanna make out with. And isn’t that all we really want when we read love stories? The book takes place in a newspaper office in 1999, right before Y2k, and is told in two ways: through the POV of Lincoln, the Internet Security Officer (the 90s <3) and through the email exchanges between two journalists called Jen and Beth that he has to read. It definitely gave me -the feeeeeeels- when reading it, and I really enjoyed screaming at my Kindle trying to make the damn characters fall in love already. This was Rowell’s first novel, and it really is impressive for a debut. If you love her YA stuff, you really should give her contemporary adult stories a chance. Next stop, Simon Snow!
I give it: 4/5 emails to your best friend
So there you have it. The first four books I read this year. I promise I’ll be back with more… if I ever finish reading It. Sci-fi, mystery, fantasy, romance, horror… I really am going all out with my genre choices this year.