Being a librarian I read a shit ton of books so to keep up with trends and such but also just to entertain the fuck out of myself. In any case, I get asked a lot to recommend books to both to patrons and to friends which is fine because I like forcing my opinions on people and telling them what to do. Okay, that last part is only like 73% true. Still, when I decided to jump-start this blog again I figured having a monthly book recommendation page might kill two birds with one stone.
So, viola! Every month I will recommend five new books that I feel all you weirdos might enjoy. Past posts will be linked to on the Books page (tab up above dummy) just in case you come in late to the game or you don't listen to me right away. Please note that this is NOT a book review blog. Each suggestion will be accompanied with a blurb about why I'm suggesting it. That's it. I don't have the time or the energy to write up full book reviews of every book I read nor do I want to run full out book blogging site. I'm mostly here to ramble about stupid shit. If you'd like a book blog, I suggest my cousin Andrea's fantastic The Bookish Babe blog. Yay nepotism! (But really, she and her reviews are fabulous.)
Anyway without further ado here are my December recommendations and my favorite reads for 2012. See I told you this post will go on like The Neverending Story. Sorry, no Falkor included.
December's 'Read or Be Sorry' Recommendation List:
- What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton- First of all, yes this is a rape book. Rape books aren't typically my thing (though I have read a few) but Clayton does a wonderful job tackling a serious subject and representing the psychological effects it can have on an individual. What really makes the book a must read, besides the beautiful prose, is that it's not preachy nor all woo is me. The author does a wonderful job blending humor in with the serious. I'm not going to lie, you will experience a roller coaster of emotions. On a scale of 1 to 10 the soul crushing is about a 12. You really don't want to miss this one.
- Torched by Andrea Lynn Colt- If you need a break from the serious mentioned above, Torched will fill that void for you wonderfully. I LOVED this title. It was fast-paced and hysterical and the two main characters' chemistry jumped off the page. I really can't say enough about this book except READ. IT.
- Send Me A Sign by Tiffany Schmidt- Now, I'm one of those weirdos who hasn't read John Green's 'The Fault in Our Stars;' however, if you loved TFiOS then Send Me A Sign should be right up your alley. The main character will frustrate the shit out of you at points but I think this only adds to the realness of the story. Different reactions to circumstances and such.
- Speechless by Hannah Harrington- After reading 'Saving June' earlier this year by Harrington, this author immediately jumped onto my 'will read anything they produce' list. Speechless didn't disappoint. It takes on the issue of bullying/gossiping in schools and all the repercussions that can occur. What really makes Harrington's stories so fantastic is the realness that she writes these teens with. If you can read either of her stories and not have your heart hurt afterwards, I don't want to be your friend. (Okay, I'll still be your friend but I'll probably judge you.)
- Belles by Jen Canlonita- All you need to know about Belles is that it's all that WB/UPN/CW/ABCFamily goodness and campiness in book form. A great, light, quick read.
The books I read in 2012 that I'll hound everyone to read:
- Something Like Normal by Trish Doller- Y'all, straight up (now tell me. Sorry, had to finish that.) this is by far my FAVORITE read of 2012. There is no way I can put into words how much I loved this book. I could talk about it FOREVER basically. I will tell you it centers around Travis, a marine back from active duty and his struggles to cope with PTSD, and Harper, a girl from Travis' past who helps him feel nearly normal again. Doller's writing is so honest, raw, and real that when I finished this book in the early, early morning all I wanted to do was slow clap at its brilliance and then hug the book and never let it go.
- The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer & The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin- Quite possibly my favorite series after 'The Hunger Games' thanks all to Hodkin's witty dialogue and the bajillion pop culture references. Oh, she might have also created one of my top five fictional boyfriends in Noah Shaw. He's so misunderstood y'all just don't even know. Really a perfect meshing of the humor, psychological, suspense, and paranormal. These books will leave you wanting to re-read them asap.
- Ashfall & Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin- In my opinion, this is the best dystopian/post-apocalyptic series to be written since 'The Hunger Games' and it hardly seems to get the recognition it deserves. While I didn't even flinch at children murdering children for entertainment purposes in THG, Mullin writes scenes in these books that leaves me asking, "WTF? Did I really just read that?" *Goes back and re-reads the scene.* "Yeah, I did just read that. Man, that's fucked up." I mean, if that doesn't sell you on it right there, I don't know what will.
- The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith- If there was ever a book to make you SWOON repeatedly, it's this book. I own both a print and an e-book version of this book and I can't tell you how many lines I have highlight in the e-book. (NEVER HIGHLIGHT IN A PRINT BOOK. THAT IS CRUEL AND USUAL PUNISHMENT WORTHY! Also, don't dog ear pages either.) Anyway, I'm in love with this book and I want it to be made into one of those artsy independent movies because I don't want big Hollywood to ruin this beautiful and soul crushing story. Plus, it's set in LONDON, Y'ALL!
- Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill- This is another book set in London (I have a Great Britian/Ireland obsession, fyi.) but while TSPoLaFS is soul crushing with its heaviness, MTB is light and hopeful. The main character Julia is one of the nerdy not quite popular yet not a loser either girls in high school who actually loves school and learning. Hey, I can relate to that for sure. Fuck, I would still be a student if I could get away with it. A super fun, fast, humorous read with plenty of butterfly moments.
- Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver- This was probably the biggest surprise read for me this year because I HATED it up through the first hundred pages but by the end I'd have to take breaks just because I didn't want it to be over. Oliver's writing does come off as slow and drawn out at points but she knows how to hook a reader and leave you wanting more. This book will haunt you for DAYS afterwards I promise. It still haunts me and I read it back in January.
- Raw Blue by Kristy Eagar- Powerful, emotional, and raw. This is a book you have to order from outside of the United States (I used The Book Depository ) but it's so worth it. You'll want to add this to your collection and loan it out to everyone you know. Shit, I even special ordered a copy for a friend because I KNEW it'd be come one of her favorites. I'm not telling you much about this book on purpose because I want to you to experience it all yourself. I will say it's definitely a mash up of Something Like Normal and What Happens Next in terms of tone and feel.
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington- This book WRECKED me on so many levels as Harper embarks on a cross country road trip with the most unlikely companion in an attempt to understand her sister June's suicide and to fulfill a dream of hers. I'm still traumatized by it I think because I want to re-read constantly but my emotions just won't allow me to go there again so soon.
- Leaving Paradise by Simone Elleles- This book wins for most frustrating read ever but in a good way. I wanted to throw the book against a wall SO MANY times but it was on my phone so I refrained in an attempt to keep from shelling out $200 for a replacement. One of the best YA contemporary novels written.
Here are two books coming in 2013 that I've read and think you should keep an eye out for. I mean, these will definitely be on future recommendation lists closer to their releases but it never hurts to be prepared.