Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Loved But Never Wrote A Review For

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - I spent 3 hours or so trying to write a review for this and gave up. I still can't decide whether I liked it or not. Incredibly powerful book but I go up and down over whether the ending was amazing or amazingly bad. Still, anything to get me thinking that hard should probably be reviewed.

2. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro - I read this about 3 years ago and it was absolutely incredible. I want to review it but would need to reread it first to make sure I did it justice. Anyone who wants a really thoughtful dystopian should try this one.

3. Hey Dollface by Deborah Hautzig - A stunning story of two girls trying to figure out in just what way they like each other. Short but unbelievably powerful for its length. Hautzig's Second Star To The Right, on the subject of eating disorders, is also wonderful.

4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher - Read this just before I started blogging, maybe a couple of months before. I think if I'd read it just that few months later I'd definitely have reviewed it. Incredible book, completely devastating in parts. Couldn't honestly say I enjoyed it, due to the subject matter, but a very powerful read.

5. Chalet School series by Elinor M Brent-Dyer - The one series I grew up reading again and again. I loved these at the time but find some of them hard to read now; especially with the quality rather tailing off towards the end. Having said that, some of the early ones - notably The Chalet School in Exile - rank amongst the very best of children's fiction prior to the YA boom, in my opinion.

6. Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon - Astounding. I read this on recommendation from one of my year 11's who claimed it was the most beautifully written book of all time. I'm not sure I'd go quite that far, but it wouldn't be out of my top 5. As a sign of how good this is, I read Zafon's The Angel's Game, which would probably make it into my top 20 of all time, and was actually disappointed with it because it pales in comparison with Shadow.

7. Funland by Richard Laymon - Have never really enjoyed horror much, but went through a spell about 15 years ago of reading everything by Laymon I could get my hands on. This tale of the youths of a town standing up to the homeless people they see as threats, with things getting out of control very quickly, is classic RL - scholocky, crazy, and wonderfully entertaining.

8. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier - My English teacher at school recommended Robert Cormier to me and I tried four or five of his books, finding them either woeful or wonderful. This was definitely wonderful and unflinching in its portrayal of bullying and mob rule in a private Catholic school in America. The sequel is nearly as brilliant.

9. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - The only book I studied at school that I actually liked; that said I liked it so much that it made up for all of the rest. A true classic with one of the greatest heroes of all time in narrator Scout's father Atticus, and a wonderfully evocative portrait of small town America. Southern Gothic at its absolute finest.

10. Jennings series by Anthony Buckeridge - While I probably read the Chalet School series more when growing up, these hold a special place in my heart because they're my dad's favourite books and he used to read them to me all the time. Colossally funny even all these years later, I still enjoy rereading them and was incredibly pleased when I tracked down a signed copy of one for my dad's birthday last year.

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