I read a lot of books this year, and I didn’t feel like trying to rank them. Instead I’m splitting them up into books I liked and books I didn’t like. First, the books I liked:
Insurgent, sequel to Divergent by Veronica Roth
Ms. Roth is amazing. I loved Insurgent just as much Divergent but for different reasons. I love the idea of a society built on factions devoted to specific virtues. Insurgent delves deeper into the factions that were only mentioned in Divergent.
The ending reminded me of a movie (can’t say which without spoiling things for you). I cannot wait to read Detergent.
Gravity by Melissa West
I got this book as an early Christmas gift and devoured it in two days. This is a science fiction novel where aliens use humans to gain the antibodies they need to survive on Earth. It’s a nonviolent method agreed to by a truce between the species, but “the Taking” thoroughly creeped me out. Melissa West is an excellent writer, and I’m very curious to see what the next book has in store.
Erebos by Ursula Poznanski (translated from German by Judith Pattinson)
I avoid massively-multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) because I am easily addicted to video games in general. Main character Nick notices many of his friends at school are playing a mysterious game called Erebos. When he finally gets a copy of the game himself, it is frighteningly realistic and addictive. It seems almost alive. And then the game begins making demands that spill into the real world.
I could not put the book down. I could see myself getting in trouble with a video game just like Nick, and that made this book just as addictive as the game it described.
Illusion by Frank Peretti
I have always loved Frank Peretti’s books, and Illusion is his best so far. Peretti tends to have a specific issue he is addressing in each of his novels, such abortion in Prophet or evolution in Monster. Illusion doesn’t have an issue (or at least not one I noticed). It is simply a love story with a science-fantasy twist. I never thought I would be so absorbed in a story about magicians!
This book also has the distinction of being one of three books that has ever made me cry. Mr. Peretti should consider that a great compliment.
Sapphique, sequel to Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
It’s rare that I like a sequel more than the first book. I was unimpressed by Incarceron. I enjoyed the scenes in the sentient prison filled with bizarre landscapes, half-metal animals, and millions of cameras watching its inhabitants. But outside the prison is a world where everything is made to look medieval and technology is illegal except to improve that illusion, a premise I found completely ridiculous. I picked up the sequel at the library because I was curious about the sentient prison. Sapphique surprised me by being much better than its predecessor. I actually started to believe that someone could be crazy enough to make the world a gigantic Renaissance Fair.
A Million Suns, sequel to Across the Universe by Beth Revis
I did not adore Across the Universe. I enjoyed it and even rated it as one of my top five of 2011, but I wasn’t dying to read the sequel. A Million Suns hooked me. I had problems with the story, but I still cannot wait to see what happens to Amy and Elder in Shades of Earth. The characters were stronger, the writing was cleaner, and the mystery was even more intriguing.
Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
This one comes with a disclaimer. The language was awful. I cringed through many pages and will probably not pick up another book by this author. There was also some sexuality that I skipped over. However, the premise and execution were spectacular. The main character Christine suffers a traumatic brain injury. As a result her memories of each day are wiped clean when she sleeps, and the only way she can keep track of what has happened to her since her accident is writing in a journal. This concept could have been horrible (isn’t there an Adam Sandler movie based on this idea?), but Watson made it impossible to put down.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cinderella is a cyborg! I loved this book. I devoured it. I sang its praises to family and friends. And the sequel involves Red Riding Hood. I know, right? How will this work? Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood in one book?
All I know is Meyer is a genius, and I can’t wait to read more.
Partials by Dan Wells
Read my review here. It was good.
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Aria has lived in a domed city all her life, protected from the aether storms and dangerous beasts outside. Then she ends up outside the dome with a man named Perry who has supernatural abilities and discovers the dome may not be the safest place for her.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book despite my aversion to romance novels. The post-apocalyptic world Aria lives in kept my interest through the romance. I want to know what happens to Perry’s nephew Talon (can you tell I’m a mom?) and whether there really is a safe haven with a still blue sky.
Matched and Crossed by Allie Condie
These books were good fun. The Society determines everything through statistical calculations. Food, clothing, jobs, and relationships are all chosen by the all-knowing benevolent government. Because that arrangement always works out wonderfully, right?
Cassia is given her “match”, but instead of the person she expects, the screen flickers with another face for a brief moment. Suddenly this match doesn’t seem so inevitable, and she questions the Society she has grown up trusting. Shenanigans ensue. I hate love triangles, but the angst and puppy love weren’t too heavy-handed. Reached is sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read.
The next post will be the books I didn’t like. I hope this was enjoyable or gave you ideas for your next library and/or bookstore trip. I felt I needed to catch up after a long year of nothing on my blog.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!