Wednesday, 31 July 2013

June in Review

Total Books Read: 31

Spy Society by Robin Benway
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen v1 by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill
Lions, Tigers and Bears v1 by Mike Bullock and Jack Lawrence
Rules of Summer by Joanne Philbin
Last Chance Angel by Alex Gutteridge

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Game of Thrones Graphic Novel v1 by Daniel Abraham, George R R Martin and Tommy Peterson
Nowhere by Jon Robinson
Invisibility by David Levithan and Andrea Cremer

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Highwaymen TPB by Marc Bernandin, Adam Freeman and Lee Garbett
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
The Year Of Big Dreams by Karen McCombie
Tom Strong v1 by Alan Moore and Chris Sprouse

Stormbringers by Philippa Gregory
Death Note Black v1 by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
Invisible Girl by Kate Maryon
The Manor House School by Angela Brazil
In Between Days by Andrew Porter

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider
Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess
Sandman v1 by Neil Gaiman
Mask of Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer
Luckiest Girl In The School by Angela Brazil

Angel of the Woods by Sean Michael Wilson and Jorge Heufemann
Creepy Scarlett book 1 by Graeme Buchan
Diary of a Mall Girl by Luisa Plaja
The New Girl at St Chad's by Angela Brazil
Incognito by Ed Brubaker

All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry

Random Thoughts

A slightly mixed month for me, with some good books - including several surprises - but a couple of let-downs. On the negative side, I thought Eleanor and Park was fine but couldn't quite see why so many people are raving about it, Rules of Summer and Some Girls Are were big disappointments for me, and All The Truth That's In Me was frustrating as it had some good points but was slightly too flawed for me to recommend too strongly. I also finally got my hands on volume 1 of Neil Gaiman's classic Sandman comic, and wished I hadn't - another where perhaps the hype raised my expectations unreasonably. Even the most recent Fu Manchu reprint didn't catch my interest as much as earlier books in the series did, although I'll definitely read more.

On the positive side, though, Ed Brubaker's Incognito, Graeme Buchan's Creepy Scarlett, Marc Bernandin and Adam Freeman's Highwaymen and Lions, Tigers and Bears by Mike Bullock and Jack Lawrence were a quartet of very different graphic novels which were all brilliant. Having not particularly enjoyed the first Angela Brazil I read, I got hooked on her this month with a trio of enjoyable books. Stormbringers by Philippa Gregory was a fantastic entry into what's quickly becoming a favourite series of mine. Having tried various New Adult books, I love the idea of them, but haven't liked that many of the actual books. Gemma Burgess's Brooklyn Girls stands out as fabulous. Also, having never read David Levithan or Andrea Cramer before, I really enjoyed their co-written Invisibility.

Books of the Month

Finally room for a comic in my top 3 books of the month, and surprisingly, it's from Japan. Prior to this month I'd never been really blown away by any manga, but the first part of Death Note changed that. A stunning and thought-provoking story about power corrupting, I can't wait to read the rest of this series.

In second place, a not-quite-debut novel (the author's published an MG series under a penname but this is her first YA, and her first under her own name.) Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider was a stunning read - and gets bonus points for frequent references to The Great Gatsby, which never hurt a novel! This fabulous, literary story about a teen boy coming to terms with the end of a promising tennis career due to injury, rekindling an old friendship, and possibly finding love, is sure to appeal to John Green fans.

Finally, my Book of the Month award goes to an adult novel rather than a YA book for the first time all year! Suzanne Rindell's The Other Typist is nearly completely unreviewable. All I'll say is that it's set in New York in the 1920's at the height of Prohibition, it has brilliant themes - including identity, obsession and truth vs justice - and it's one of the four adult novels of the last 5 years which have left me speechless through sheer brilliance. Oh, and Gatsby fans will love this one, as well - as will pretty much everyone else!

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