Oh my goodness, what an amazing year we've had for book reviews! In the past twelve months, we've read some incredible books. And today, we're going to tell you which ones were our favorites (as hard of a choice as that is to make).
As you're well aware, we reviewed a couple of my favorite books ever this year, including The Martian Chronicles and Catching Fire. But I decided that those wouldn't be fair choices, so I limited myself to books I hadn't read until we chose them for the blog.
Before I remind you how much I love Ashes, here are my runners-up, in no particular order: Kindred, Hyperbole and a Half, The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming, and I Am Malala.
So, Ashes. I read the rest of the trilogy immediately because I had to know what happened. It defined "compelling." It is fast-paced and things happen constantly to lots of different people. Plus, it has just the right amount of gore to make me happy. (Fair warning: that's quite a bit, actually.) I loved it, I still love it, and I want everyone else to love it, too.
I loved this book. I mean, I can not even describe how much I loved this book and how surprised I was that I loved this book as much as I did. Especially because, while I did like Eleanor and Park (her other book that I read first), I didn't ADORE that book like I did Fangirl.
I think that this is a wonderful coming of age story. And I say that because, sometimes, coming of age books can really be hit you over the head obnoxious. They can be too much and over the top and condescending and so didactic you can't even stand it. But Fangirl wasn't. And while the characters in our book had problems, they were problems that were SO out of the realm of possibility. Alcoholic tenancies in college Freshman? More common than you'd probably realize. Parents up and leaving their families? Pretty damn common.
I like that the problems that Rowell gives in the story are all problems that work together, that go hand in hand, that make sense. I LOVE the characters, how they're developed and how they are so incredibly fleshed out. I have never seen an author have such a knack for character development in my life (seriously. I've read ALL of her other stuff and I ALWAYS care about her characters. I mean, always. It's uncanny.)
If you pick nothing up this year, pick this one up.