Entertaining you today will be the brilliant Aleeza from Aleeza Reads and Writes. Enjoy her perceptiveness and amazing observations about books that really should have gotten more attention.
All right, so first of all, I’m so excited to be blogging for Bibliophilic Monologues! Nafiza was the first bookish friend I made on Goodreads, and I’ve been following her lovely, deliciously bookish blog for ages now. But before this turns into a quasi-love letter, I’ll get on with the topic at hand.
You see, I’ve read lots of books this year. Lots as in, ‘more than the combined number of books I’ve read in the last five years.’ Some of them were hyped releases, some of them I just happened to stumble upon—and some of the latter I ended up REALLY liking. So I’m going to highlight the ones I read this year, which also released this year, that I feel should’ve gotten more buzz.
1—Split by Swati Avasthi: Reading about physical abuse is hard. Excruciating, actually, because I live in a place where it happens every day, all around me, even if I don’t see it happen—like my housemaid, for example, gets beaten by her husband even though she’s almost fifty, only because sometimes she gets home a few minutes late, whereas her husband sits home all days and lazes around doing nothing. This book, however, is about two brothers who’ve been broken apart because of their abusive father, and how they have to learn to live through the consequences. It made me cry my eyes out and made me want to hug every single person in this world who’s gone through similar experiences. And I am not a hugger by any stretch of the word, so you know I liked this book a LOT.
2—Ordinary Beauty by Laura Wiess: So like Split, this book also centers around how a girl’s life has been affected by a Horrible Parent ™. In this case, her mum’s a major druggie—by major I mean SHE’S NEVER, EVER, EVER SOBER—and reading about how she finally fights her way out of all that crap was tough but oh so worth it.
3—The Lost Crown by Sarah Miller: In the vein of tough but beautiful books, this one DEFINITELY deserves a mention. I mean, yeah, so maybe the first half is boring enough to make you almost cry, but once you get through that, you realize just how much of a gem this book, especially if you know of the horrible fate of the last Tsar and his family. (I didn’t. Hey, I never claimed to know much—or anything—about world history.)
4—Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez: Violins, cut-throat musical competitions, hot English competitors you’re not supposed to be attracted to but end up being so anyway, realistic and absorbing mother-daughter relationships…this book’s got it all. It’s short but GRIPPING and just…really grips you. Okay, okay, sorry about the lameness, but this book does just that—grabs you until you get totally sucked into it. Can’t believe it’s the author’s debut!
5—Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis: How can you a resist a book that has an amazeballs combination of the following: Spunky heroine, hilarious dialogue, lovable characters, a wonderfully well-executed plot AND set in Victorian England? Exactly—you can’t! I had no idea I would like this one so much and, can’t wait to reread it before the sequel comes out.
6) How to Save a Life: I don’t know a SINGLE person who’s read this book and not loved it. So I really wish more people would read it and fall in love with it. It’s about so many different things I can’t even begin to try to encapsulate it in a couple of lines—all I can say is that it’s heartbreaking and real and just so very lovely.
7—Ashfall by Mike Mullins: So yeah, a lot of people do in fact know about this book, but I’m including it anyway because LOADS more people should. As far as survival stories, this one’s top-notch.
8—Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson: Let me just tell you right away: THIS BOOK WILL BLOW YOUR MIND AWAY. You probably have heard of it, but here’s me recommending anyway to go out and get a copy ASAP. It’s that brilliant.
9—Variant by Robinson Wells: So this may not be the best book I’ve ever read, but it’s just so intriguing and suspenseful and well-executed I’d never hesitate to recommend it. Believe me when I say that the twist in this book will leave you BREATHLESS.
10—Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt: So I’m including this book last because it was actually a NYT Bestseller. Despite that it seems to me that most people in the YA blogosphere haven’t really heard much of it. I can’t really even explain how much I love this book—it’s heartbreaking and just so goddarned beautiful. It’s a historical MG contemporary—I know I just majorly contradicted myself, but I hope you get what I mean—and it’s a must read for EVERYONE. I don’t even read much MG but this one made me realize how awesome it can be if it’s well done.
And because I can’t help it, here’s some other books I also liked that I felt should’ve received more attention:
Dreams of Significant Girls by Cristina Garcia: Three girls who meet in a Swiss boarding school, all from different cultures, and how their lives intertwine with each others.
Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal: A simple yet gorgeous story about a girl falling in love for the first time, and the devastation she goes through when it goes awry.
Past Perfect by Leila Sales: Cute, unique and full of heart.
Clean by Amy Reed: Teens in rehab and their painful pasts and how they learn to live with them.
Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts: Post-apocalyptic fiction at it’s best. Will most likely result in you hiding under a rock for the rest of your life in fear of earthquakes. Or not.
Always a Witch by Carolyn McCullough: Sequel to Once a Witch, which it improves upon by approximately 17 gajillion notches.
Witchlanders by Lena Coakley: An atmospheric and absorbing high fantasy with rich imagery and heartfelt characters—including one really hot one. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself, heh.)