This year, my Goodreads challenge is to read 75 books before the year is over. I’m about five books behind (yikes), but I think I’ll be able to catch up. I’ve read a lot of good books this year, and here are my top five!
5. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein – This one was recommended by Kelli Taylor (of Blimey Cow fame) probably about a year or so ago. I put it on my To Read list, but made the mistake of judging a book by its cover and didn’t get around to reading it until earlier this year. WOWZA. What a book! It’s about a young woman bomber in WWII who gets captured behind enemy lines and is interrogated by Germans. A plot twist about halfway through totally caught me by surprise. It’s about friendship and courage and defying the odds and it’s just spectacular. Favorite character: Probably Jamie. Because “MA CHERIE” and the boots and… gah. Just read it. Favorite quotes: “We are a sensational team.” And “Fly the plane, Maddie.” And “It’s like being in love, discovering your best friend.” (Read my entire review here.)
4. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick – This one was a total DUH. I loved The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (WHAT JANEITE DOESN’T?!), and knew as soon as the book came out that I just haaaaad to get it. Unfortunately, I’m a poor college student, and, as such, resigned myself to waiting until I had a coupon or it went on sale or came to my library. But then, the stars aligned and the fates smiled down on me (jk), and I found it at Books a Million for four dollars. FOUR. DOLLARS. So that was a duh, too. The plot is essentially the same as the LBD (or Pride and Prejudice, for all you non-viewers), except we get an even more intimate view of Lizzie’s life. It’s fantastic. Favorite character: Lizzie. Because I and everyone who knows me think that I’m exactly like her. Which is true. ; ) Favorite quotes: “When it comes to languages, I’m passably fluent in HTML.” And “Two parts of me have been at war. Your… odd family, your financial troubles – you’re in a different world from me. People expect me to travel in certain circles. And I do respect the wishes of my family, but not today. I’ve tried to fight it for months now, but Lizzie Bennet… I’m in love with you.” (Read my entire review here.)
3. Landline by Rainbow Rowell – Pretty much obvious, because I absolutely love Rainbow Rowell. (I didn’t particularly like Eleanor and Park, though, but I digress.) Her writing is so funny and constantly witty and her books make me just want to curl up on the couch and laugh for hours and not stop until I’m done. (Which I did with all of her books. [SPEAKING OF, CARRY ON HAS A COVER. BLAH.]) This one’s about a middle-aged TV writer who is having marriage issues just as a big career breakthrough happens. There’s also a time-traveling phone. It’s Julie and Julia, plus The Dick Van Dyke Show, plus Back to the Future. And it’s awesome. Favorite character: Georgie. Because she’s a writer, like me, and because she’s absolutely hilarious. Favorite quotes: “I love you more than I hate everything else.” And “Georgie. You cannot be jealous of Dawn–that’s like the sun being jealous of a lightbulb.” And “I think I can live without you, but it won’t be any kind of life.” (Read my entire review here.)
2. The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen – I’ll keep the identity of the person who recommended this to me a secret (*wink*), and just say that I absolutely loved it. Yes, I found it in the Juvenile section, and, yes, it’s a little predictable… AT FIRST. Then PLOT TWIST WHAAAAATTTT. This one’s about a young orphan who is basically kidnapped and forced to train to eventually be able to pretend like he’s a long-lost prince and claim the throne. I enjoyed it so much – first because it was so clean, which was incredibly refreshing, and later because I fell in love with Sage, the main character. He’s SO brilliant and clever and just amazing. (And, btw, he’s also totally mine.) Favorite character: Sage, duh. Favorite quotes: “A person can be educated and still be stupid, and a wise man can have no education at all.” And the opening line, “If I had to do it all over again, I would not have chosen this life. Then again, I’m not sure I ever had a choice.” (Read my entire review here.)
1. Paper Towns by John Green – BLAH. JUST. BLAH. I respect and love John Green so much, partially because he’s a great writer (see The Fault in Our Stars), he’s brilliant (see his Crash Course series), and he’s just an all-around great guy (see Vlogbrothers). I literally could. not. stop. reading. this. book. I loved it even more than TFIOS, which is saying a lot. Yes, it had its faults (like some language and teen angsty contenty stuff), but I still loved it. The story centers around high school senior Quentin, who has his life figured out… until his next door neighbor and kinda-friend, Margo Roth Spiegelmen, bursts back into his life and asks him to help her with a night of revenge. After she disappears the next day, he realizes how much he needs her in his life and how much she’s changed him and sets out to find her. It’s fantastic. (Here’s the link to the trailer for the movie, which is coming out next month – YAY.) Out of my five favorites from this year, this book probably changed me the least (which is what I look for in a book) and has the most objectionable content (*rolls eyes*), but it’s stayed with me the longest (another thing I look for), and I loved it so much that it’s become my favorite. It’s challenged me to look at life a little differently and live life to the fullest. Even though I can’t totally recommend it without any hesitations, I absolutely loved it. Favorite character: Quentin, because he’s awesome. Favorite quotes: “That’s always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste.” And “IT IS NOT MY FAULT THAT MY PARENTS OWN THE WORLD’S LARGEST COLLECTION OF BLACK SANTAS.” And “It is easy to forget how full the world is of people, full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently misimagined.” (Read my entire review here.)
(Be sure to come back next week, because Morgan Huneke will be stopping here twice during her blog tour – yay!)