Five Things on Friday: Books/Authors

So, I’ve read about 40 books so far this year. This Friday Five is dedicated to:

The Five Best Things I’ve Read This Year (more appropriately the five best AUTHORS).

1. HUNGER GAMES and CATCHING FIRE, by Suzanne Collins. Let me start by saying that I am a HUGE Collins fan. I’m essentially in awe of her ability to NEVER rely on backstory/info dumps, and to seamlessly reveal her world as needed. I love her stories, I devoured HUNGER GAMES, and then I devoured CATCHING FIRE. I won’t say more about it, since many people haven’t read it yet, BUT I did have a few qualms about how the book functioned on its own. THAT SAID, I still bow before this author.

1. CITY OF BONES, by Cassandra Clare. I’m a latecomer to this series, but I fell in love with the rhythm, the world, the characters. The story was exciting and flowed so smoothly I had devoured half the book without even noticing. I can’t wait to read the others.

3. LAMENT, and SHIVER, by Maggie Stiefvater. I really, really liked LAMENT. The book passed in the blink of an eye, but I enjoyed it throughout. And I just kind of fell into SHIVER. It wrapped me up, and I loved Sam, and I loved that, like Jace in CITY OF BONES, he was fascinatingly complex. With both of Stiefvater’s books, I just found myself constantly engaged. Very strong storytelling marries with interesting characters and worlds in both books.

4. GRACELING, and FIRE, by Kristin Cashore. FIRE is the prequel to GRACELING. I’m a really hard sell when it comes to the world-building kind of fantasy (NW is magical realism), but Cashore is the kind of writer who makes me eat my words. I had high hopes for FIRE after loving GRACELING, and it did not disappoint. This is one of the only books I have actually forced myself to put down regularly, so that it wouldn’t end too soon.

5. CRACKED UP TO BE, and now SOME GIRLS ARE, by Courtney Summers. This book doesn’t hit stores until January, but OH MY. It’s spectacular. I really enjoyed Courtney’s first book, CRACKED UP TO BE, but this new one is even better! If that’s possible, which Courtney proves it is. It’s at once brutal and uncomfortable and captivating and addictive and impeccably written. Summers’ characters walk tight ropes as she balances their lives so precariously, and then does everything in her power to shake the ropes beneath their feet.

So tell me, what’s the best book you’ve read this year?


15 thoughts on “Five Things on Friday: Books/Authors

  1. You’ve got some of my faves up there! SHIVER, CITY OF BONES, GRACELING and FIRE. You’ve got to read the rest of the MI series, it’s fantastic. (Er, when you have time!)
    I suppose I must get over my fear of HUNGER GAMES and read it…

  2. veschwab says:

    HUNGER GAMES is seriously one of my favorite books OF ALL TIME.
    And also, if you’re in the mood for some great realism, Courtney is FANTASTIC. I’m not a huge realism fan, but I’m in AWE of her. I can never put her books down.

  3. seeyouupside says:

    My top 5 (since this is Friday LOL):
    2. GOING BOVINE by Libba Bray
    3. ALONG FOR THE RIDE by Sarah Dessen — the main character has never let herself open up and I related to that *so* much.
    4. BALLADS OF SUBURBIA by Stephanie Kuehnert — I do not cry EVER. I do not cry at movies or books or anything, but I cried when reading this book. Its realistic fiction about the 1990’s Chicago and a young girl trying to find who she is. It is so good. I highly recommend it.
    5. PERFECT FIFTHS by Megan McCafferty – I suppose I am a bit biased because I’ve been e-mailing with Megan since ’06, got to meet her in ’07 and my name is in the back of this book. But this series, to me, was a part of me growing up. A Jersey girl who wants to be a writer? Welcome to my life. Add in her father wanted her to be a track star (check), and a cute boy everyone but her thought she should hook up with (check) and you…yes…you have my life. (The first in this series is SLOPPY FIRST.)

  4. jeniwrites says:

    “Shiver” and “Wintergirls” are the two books I feel most passionate about so far this year. I just started “Catching Fire” last night — and I have a feeling it will be a steady companion this weekend.

  5. veschwab says:

    I went back and forth about Wintergirls. I’d say it was #6 for me. It was at once so hard to read, and so beautiful. I adored that book, too.

  6. veschwab says:

    I have quite a few books to check out, I see!

  7. jessica_shea says:

    Agggh I can’t wait for Some Girls Are! I literally coudn’t put CUTB down; I read it one swoop, crying through the end and all.
    I really ought to read Shiver and the Mortal Instruments series. I’ve had City of Bones on my shelf for ages.

  8. veschwab says:

    SGA is omg-wow-amazing.
    City of Bones read much, much faster than I thought it would. I had a lot of trouble putting it down!

  9. kessie says:

    I loved ASH so much. I can’t wait to read Malinda Lo’s next book.
    In non-YA books, I loved MAGIC BITES by Ilona Andrews. My faith in adult urban fantasy has been restored.

  10. veschwab says:

    I haven’t read ASH yet, but I want to SO badly.

  11. I own a copy of Hunger Games but I’ve been a bit of a scardy-cat & haven’t read it yet. But since so many people I trust have enjoyed it, I think I’ll give it a shot.
    I do enjoy really good realism- I think I have Cracked Up to Be on my wishlist… I usually go to Laurie Halse Anderson when I want realism, but I’m starting to branch out πŸ™‚
    Posted my top 5 on my LJ- it was really hard to choose!!!

  12. I’ve read 59 books so far, and can’t narrow it down to five. I’m sorry.
    HUNGER GAMES & CATCHING FIRE. Yes. Agreed. Amazing.
    EYES LIKE STARS by Lisa Mantchev. Totally new, totally different, but tightly-written and it made me laugh out loud. LOVE.
    THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak. Phenomenal.
    CITY OF EMBER & PEOPLE OF SPARKS by Jeanne Du Prau. I’m only two books into this series, but I’m all in love with it.
    THE YEAR THE SWALLOWS CAME EARLY. Instant classic, dealing beautifully with forgiveness.
    BEFORE, AFTER, AND SOMEBODY IN BETWEEN by Jeannine Garsee. Just finished this last night, and it broke my heart and I love it so much.
    JUST LISTEN by Sarah Dessen. Well, yeah. I know, right?
    And I have a ton of other books to read this year and I know I’m gonna love many of them, too.

  13. This is tricky!
    1) Hunger Games & Catching Fire (not cheating per your combinings)
    2)All of Cassie Clare MI books (hadn’t read them until this year… now I’ve read them twice)
    3)Fire and Graceling by Kristin Cashore
    4)Cracked up to Be by Courtney Summers
    5)Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
    *you know I’m going to want to come back and amend this, right?
    **There are a couple Not-yet-pub’d books I’d ❀ to add, but that's just teasing πŸ™‚
    *** Also Trouble by Gary Schmidt and Fade by Lisa McMann. (You really didn’t think I’d follow the rules, did you?)

  14. veschwab says:

    Haha you just couldn’t do it, Tiffany :p
    I’ll have to check out Front and Center!

  15. Anonymous says:

    ~*<3*~ you are awesome, bb. I should have said it earlier.

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