Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Monthly Book Wrangle - December

Kia Ora!

It's 2016, and below are the last books I read in 2015. It was a busy Christmas period for me, with a lot of travel, but I had a great time being able to find the time to read some of these.

I've recently created a Goodreads account, and have a goal of 45 books to read in 2016. Feel free to follow me there (if that's how it works, I'm not 100% sure as yet).

Shadows of Self Brandon Sanderson*
This is the fifth book in the Mistborn series. I read the first three a couple of years ago, and absolutely loved them! They had the same characters, and dealt with a dramatic, traumatic, and fantastical situation. I particularly loved how Sanderson made me love the villain by the end of it. The fourth one (which I haven't read) and the fifth one are set several centuries after the first three, and while they are in a similar world, a lot has changed. Shadows of Self was a great read, but I did feel quite lost for awhile about who the characters were, the differences between allomancy and feruchemy, and some of the nuances of the book were lost on me. I did fall in love with the characters, enjoyed the steampunky feel to it (combination of old-timey things with newer cars and technology), and the story was great once I was able to get into it. Basically, read as part of the series, don't skip the other books.

An Abundance of Katherines John Green
This book felt more like a piece of academic writing than young adult fiction. It was littered with footnotes (which I loved), and there are pieces of scientific formulae as well as intense mathematical equations scattered throughout the text. The main character, Colin, analyses his relationships with girls named Katherine after the latest one breaks up with him. He runs away, a la Jack Kerouac, and settles down in a tiny town to analyse his relationships and recover from heartbreak. This was a good book, a bit of hard work but well worth it. I felt like I was inside the head of someone on the spectrum, and it was an illuminating experience.

Paper Towns John Green
Quentin follows hidden clues left by Margo Roth Spiegelman and ends up in some strange places. Abandoned malls, theme parks at night, a conference room at the top of the tallest building, and a fictional town that exists only on a map. This is a great coming of age story, with the nerdy kid, the computer hacker, and the popular girls all participating in this drama. I enjoyed this book, it was a fun read with plenty of pace, and quick to get through. It teaches a lesson about being yourself and following your own path.

Dust Hugh Howey
I read Wool and Shift earlier last year, and enjoyed reading the last book in the Trilogy. I don't want to give too many spoilers for either this book or  the previous two, so I'm going to be very brief about this book. Basically, it was a great ending to the trilogy, wrapped it up nicely and followed on with the characters that had been the stars of the other books. It swapped perspective between various characters, which helped show what was happening in different places. I know this sounds really vague, but it was a good book, and a great series to read if you like dystopic fiction!

If You Find Me Emily Murdoch
This book blew my mind. It was completely absorbing, emotionally heartbreaking, and it has left a lasting impression. It's similar to Room by Emma Donoghue, with a perspective of a secluded/deprived/abused child coming back into the world and needing to learn to cope with society, being a public interest story, and their reintegration into a normal family/society. Carey, and her younger sister Jenessa, have lived deep in the forest for the last 10 years, depending on each other for survival. Their return to their father is traumatising, school is a foreign country, and both girls have trouble adjusting to a normal life. This book tugs on your heart-strings, and then rips them to shreds as the truth about the girls past comes out, and their attempts to adjust to their new lives and experiences is difficult. This novel is a wonderful example of the resilience of the human spirit, and how the power of love and family can keep you alive. Highly highly recommended, one of the best  books I read in 2015!

*PR sample and affiliate links. 

And that was my December reading folks. All really good books, and all recommended. Stay tuned for January, as that will be a big month! I participated in a reading challenge (check out my TBR list here), and would love to hear any recommendations for the future.

Until next time ...