Well that was awhile when I last talked about really well…anything. It must have been the holidays. So here’s a quick but interesting way to look at 2016 in terms of my reading.
For the books that I’ve already reviewed and mentioned, I’ll link them so that you can see even more of my thoughts on the book.
1. Most likely to be in the movies: The book that would make the best movie
Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas. This is rather a cop-out since the franchise initially is a TV show (which everyone should go watch if you haven’t already!) along with a movie funded via Kickstarter. But I think Thomas does an excellent job of continuing to provide new installments in the Veronica Mars universe, and of course I always wish to see my favourite characters on-screen again. It will be great if they can make another TV or mini-series based on this book (and the other Veronica Mars book).
However, this is not just a screenplay thrown together in book format. It is an actual proper novel, and I think it reads very well – it just also happens to convey the spirit of the characters and the town very well. I do encourage people to check out the books, but I will say that the reading experience will be so much richer and entertaining if you have already at least watched or know of Veronica Mars and its various characters since it really does not attempt to provide a full back-story.
2. Biggest drama queen/king: The most (overly) dramatic book.
At first I cannot think of anything and plan to just say I read nothing dramatic in 2016. Then I remember I read Tell Me Your Dreams by Sidney Sheldon. And that immediately cinches the answer.
While I will attempt to not spoil anyone, let’s just say that this book is filled with dramatic walking cliches and mind-boggling plot twists that are hard to care for. At first the three different protagonist voices are interesting; by the end while they did not blur I also did not care about them and their tenacious connection to murder (if you’ve read the book you will know what I mean). Also, the way that the murders are handled and the ultimate verdict – there are some pretty last minute throwing oneself at the judge’s mercy after said judge has been supposedly very against the criminal – is just over-sensationalized without any actual emotional connection. Given all the character problems and high body count, this should have been an adrenaline filled read. Instead, I just wanted to reach the ending to see if the payoff is remotely worth it (unfortunately it isn’t in my opinion). If you are interested, read a couple of chapters. The writing style and overall storytelling pretty much remains the same throughout the entire book.
3. Best dressed: The book with the best cover
The Muse by Jessie Burton. The cover is gorgeous. If I end up buying a copy of the book, it will definitely be because due to the allure of the cover.
4. Most creative: The book with the most unique plot, characters, or structure
All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda. You can’t really get more creative with structure than telling a mystery backwards. While I will not say that the concept has been executed brilliantly, this is a solid read for its protagonist and the setting. The mystery is not too shabby either.
5. Most popular: The book with the most ratings on Goodreads
If I include my re-read for the year, it will be Memoirs of a Geisha coming in with over 1 million ratings on Goodreads (Yes I am quite surprised as well). I think it may have to do with it being an older book – published since 1997!
Excluding Memoirs of a Geisha, it will be Yes Please by Amy Poelher with 220,000 ratings. I love her and the book – its less hilarious than you might expect but I like all the moments about life and just being Amy Poehler sprinkled in. Still, it only has about a fifth of the ratings that Memoirs of a Geisha has. I don’t even want to think about some of the books that I’ve read this year and the number of ratings compared to that.
6. Most likely to succeed: The book that is going to be appreciated for many years to come
A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout or Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. (I couldn’t stop at one for this question) Or at least I know I will appreciate them in many years to come. Both of them have beautiful writing, a compelling narrative and ideas that make you think and stick to your mind long after the read is over. Since they are vastly different books – the first one is a memoir about being a hostage in Somalia while the other is fiction focusing on a girl with multiple reincarnations of her life in the early 20th century—it is hard to compare them beyond that, but I love them for exactly the way that they are.
7. Class clown: The book you couldn’t help but laugh at
I got slightly confused for this one – one that I will laugh at because I find it funny, or one that I will laugh at because I find it ridiculous and am probably borderline mocking it? Since it says class clown I am going for the former. I would choose Yes Please—particularly the audiobook with Amy Poehler herself narrating it—but since I have already answered it with an earlier book, I will go with Graduates in Wonderland. While it is not a partiuclarly humourous book, it is a very honest book about the early years of being an adult and a solid friendship between two college graduates stuck in opposite ends of the world.I chuckled multiple times when reading this book and it made me miss my oversea friends even more.
8. Most improved: The book that started off slow, but really picked up
Definitely The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman (here, here, and here for all three books). It is hard to imagine how much I adored the Fillory gang by the end of the third book given my reaction towards Quintin throughout the first book. It is a more than solid trilogy that requires you to read all three installments before properly assessing it.
9. Cutest couple: The cutest couple in a book
I barely touched upon it in my review, but Cassie and Sam from The Likeness by Tana French. I understand that there are a lot of people that want Rob and Cassie to be a couple, but I actually really adore the dynamics between Sam and Cassie in the second book. They are sweet towards each other without it being insta-love or overly sickening, and I can actually see them being together and supporting each other in the long run.
10. Biggest heart breaker: The book that broke your heart
One of the short stories from A Year of the Ravens – all of them are fabulous and does an excellent job in painting the Roman invasion of Britain, but I particularly adored The Daughters by E.Knight. It may be because it is the last short story in the book – I read them chronologically—but I think she just does an excellent job of humanizing and giving life to Boudica’s daughters who are just as integral to the rebellion but hardly get a mention. I particularly loved the names that Knight gives to the two daughters.
Anyways, I hope this gives a good flavour of the books I’ve read in 2016 (some of the reviews will be coming up shortly!)