Itty Bitty Book Reviews, 2013 Round Up
Happy holidays everyone! I hope yours went splendidly, and if you’re doing anything for the new year, that it will go just as fantastically as well. So, it is already the end of a year and I think it’s the perfect time to do a little house-cleaning. Yes, it’s the good, the bad, and the downright ugly for my year in books. Some of this will be old news, so I’ll keep that list short (I mean, I can go on all day about why I loved a book, but who wants to read something I already posted?) It’s much more fun to read about why I maybe didn’t like a book. And you guys know us – we’re honest, but not brutal. Well, okay, maybe I can be a tad on the brutally honest side but it’s my nature. These lists are not cumulative of everything I’ve read this year; this, my friends, is my top of the top and the bottom of the bottom.
The Good from 2013: So, my shortlist for 2013 releases that just rocked my world is as follows:
I can’t pick a favorite from that list, mostly because I have individual reasons for loving each of them. Every one of these books hit on something that I love in good writing – characterization, plot, dialogue, etc. Rick Yancey is the only author in that list twice (for The 5th Wave and The Final Descent); and Rainbow Rowell is my new hero because of Fangirl. Tessa Dare and Elizabeth Hoyt are two of my favorite romance writers, next to Courtney Milan. Robin LaFevers did not disappoint with her sequel to Grave Mercy. And Neil Gaiman, literary hero to many a librarian and nerd alike, came back with his wonderful new novel and made his many fans very happy.
The Good from other years: My list for other books that I read this year and loved, but they weren’t published in 2013, goes like this:
Ask the Passengers is lovely and heartbreaking; I Hunt Killers is just Barry Lyga showing off (I mean that as a compliment! I love you, Barry!); and The Lies of Locke Lamora and The Name of the Wind are the novels George R.R. Martin wishes he could write. (Not that I’m biased or anything.)
The Bad: The ones that I just wasn’t thrilled with – I finished them but I would never recommend them to friends or patrons at my library.
Unfortunately, none of these books are worth writing much about. If the characters weren’t annoying me, the plot (or lack of one) irritated me, I found the writing to be subpar, or worst of all, it just wasn’t a good book. (I’ll leave my rant about “insta-love” between characters for another post.) I kept reading in hopes that they would pick up by the middle or end but sadly not.
The Ugly: And finally, books I didn’t finish (DNFs) or ones that I skimmed at least 75% of the pages:
These books were…..painful. I DNF a book if I can’t make it past page 50 or so. This was the case with all of these books.
But wait, there’s more!
I think I saved the best for last, and this book isn’t even published yet. So I can’t go into too much detail but needless to say that this book, The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow, will be making a special appearance in a post of its own sometime in Spring 2014, after it’s published. Hands down, one of the worst books I’ve ever read, and I don’t think it’s too far out there to say I’ve read thousands of books in my lifetime.
I also had the chance to read some great upcoming novels through digital copies provided by the publishers and it was a nice change of pace after reading the aforementioned “novel”. If you want to get excited about 2014, here are the books I’ve been able to get early copies of and I can’t wait to tell you about:
So that’s it! My year in books in a nutshell. I hope you’ve had the chance to read some good, some bad (and hopefully not many, if any ugly) books. Read any of these? Let me know!
Happy new year!