Friday, March 21, 2014

Our Favourite Books of 2013 Part 3: Imogen's Picks

In January, Nicki picked her favourite books of 2013. Last month if was the turn of Julia to select her favourites, and this month staff member Imogen rises to the challenge of selecting just a few of her favourites from 2013...

According to my list, I read over two hundred books in 2013. They ranged from fantasy, to historical, YA and adult, but what I can say about most of them is that I loved them. So when I was asked to choose a few to talk about, my brain stopped, and my only thought was: how could I choose? Luckily, there were a few that really stood out from the rest.

My first favourite book is the last one I read (having finished it on the 28th of December) but instantly, I knew it was the best Sci-fi I had read all year. ‘These Broken Stars’ by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman is a double narrative book, from the point of view of Tarver Merendsen, a war hero and officer, and Lilac LaRoux, the apparent stuck up daughter of a rich and famous man.

The story follows them as they meet on board a spaceship (with a bit of the usual fighting, arguing, hating each other) but then tragedy strikes, and the spaceship crashes in a strange world.

Trying to find help and other survivors, the pair start to travel this alien world - but everything is not what it seems. When they start to hear strange whispers and see strange visions, they begin to pull apart the stories they were told to get to the dark truth of what is really going on.

What is it about this book I like? Everything. The characters are so convincing, when you read it, they feel real, and (if you read it in the middle of the night like I did) you swear that the whispers you read about…you almost hear. It is an amazing YA book, and one that I am sure will turn out to be a brilliant series.

'The Universe Verses Alex Woods' by Gavin Extence was by far my favourite adult book. A book without magic or other worlds, even I would not have thought this would have made it to my list. But I loved it. From the very first sentence, I was hooked. Why on earth was this 17 year old boy coming back into the country with an urn, marijuana and seeming to be proud of it?

The story, filled with humour, friendship and unlikely heroes, is one that will make you smile and cry, and remind you of what friendship is.

I loved this book because of its simplicity- but also because it’s a story you want to be involved in…just to say ‘I knew a boy that was hit by a meteorite!’

And lastly, here is the fantasy that people would expect from me. ‘Crown of Midnight’ by Sarah J. Maas. I believe there is only one thing better than a fantastic first novel: an even better second one! This follows on from ‘Throne of Glass’ (my favourite book of 2012).

Celaena, as the newly appointed King's Champion, finds it hard to adjust to life killing the king's enemies, so she does everything she can to rebel against it without getting caught. With spies round every corner, and treachery lurking in the shadows of the castle, Celaena does not know who to trust - can she even trust the people in her heart?

A fantastic, fast paced fantasy that leaves you with the best cliff hanger (the kind that makes you scream and curse the author because of how amazing they are) as you close the last page: this book is what fantasy is all about.

So those are my three books of 2013, but I didn’t just read new books last year. My actual favourite one that tops absolutely everything else I read was ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ By John Green, which was technically published in 2012. This is a rollercoaster of a read - one that makes you laugh and cry…sometimes both at the same time (trust me, it’s possible). I think, sometimes, books are not read because they are labelled - for example, this is a 'Young Adult' book. But if there is any book that should be read by everyone, it’s this. Because being YA…it just means that its suitable for teenagers- it doesn’t mean only teens should read it.

This is a book that will really make you think, make you want to go back no matter how many tears you have to see through.

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