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Archive for the tag “The Peculiar”

Top Ten Books I Thought I’d Like More (Or Less) Than I Did

top ten

Hosted by the awesome folks as The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme celebrating all things book.

Today we’re looking for books you really wanted to love – but didn’t. And books you expected to loathe – but didn’t. These are the top ten books I though I’d like more (or less) than I did.

bronte

Because no. I read Wuthering Heights thinking “Really? THIS is a classic romance??” Huge let down given how widely this gothic novel is worshiped.

Vampire Academy

I know this keeps coming up on my lists! But really. Given the cover and the slew of vampire fiction available when VAcademy was released, I grabbed it as another waste-of-a-couple-of-hours read. And since then I (evidently) can’t shut up about how fantastic the series and Richelle Mead in general are. (PS – keep an eye out for my review of Gameboard of the Gods. This book is gonna be BIG. Because it’s amazing.)

next doorI have nothing against My Life Next Door – it was a perfectly nice coming of age YA romance. But that’s all. It didn’t stand out at all for me. And with the hype I’d been hearing about it, I really expected it to.

Rosie

On the other hand, The Rosie Project seemed like a silly romantic-comedy-in-a-book. But it was so much more! Smart, funny and a gorgeous read.

glass

Ugh. I was deeply unimpressed by Throne of Glass – and I realise I’m in the minority here. Caelena didn’t grab me at all, and the plot was confused by too many angles. I don’t get the hype.

peculiar

Whereas The Peculiar, a steampunk faerie novel set in 1920s London, was SO GOOD. I couldn’t have anticipated how much I’d love this unassuming story. Read it read it read it!

Uninvited

Yeah. I liked this crime novel a lot – until it devolved into a mystic, paranormal thriller halfway through with no warning. Pick your market.

revolution

Holy up-until-3am read, Batman! This book is the definition of an addictive read. I completely drowned out the voice that tells you to go to sleep in favour of finishing Revolution as fast as possible. An engrossing story, and beautifully written.

thief

Look, The Book Thief was okay. It was good, even. But it’s never been one of those books that changed everything for me, and it is to so many other people I’ve talked to.

promise

You know what? If you’re looking for an intelligent, creepy, taut crime novel, don’t be as surprised as I was when you have a ball with Promise. It’s the best crime I read in 2012. (And the sequel’s no slouch, either!)

Friends, readers, tell me, share with me those books that let you down, or the ones that yanked you up with a WOAH!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most

top ten

Hosted by the awesome folks at The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme celebrating all things book.

This week, they’re asking what ten books you recommend the most. I LOVE this question! I recommend books all the time – it’s the best part of my job. We often get customers looking for their next book, or trying to find a present for someone. I have to be able to recommend books over a range of genres, and it’s a fabulous opportunity to share books I love with others, passing on the obsession. These are my go-to recommends:

peculiar

The Peculiar is my top pick for 10-15 year olds who enjoy fantasy, both boys and girls. It’s a steampunk faerie tale, and has some of the most glorious language I’ve ever seen, let alone in YA. Absolutely wonderful book.

promise

Promise was the debut crime novel of a former Australian crime reporter, Tony Cavanaugh. Smart, creepy, exciting crime set in Queensland that was good enough to distract me from the real world all day when I couldn’t quite finish it in time before having to go back to work. (The sequel’s stellar, too!)

finalempireBrandon Sanderson is amazing. His magic system in Mistborn is probably the best, most well-established that I’ve come across. And the scope of his storylines is beyond ambitious. The trilogy is complete and infinitely satisfying – this book and this series is a sure thing.

(Actually, I’ll recommend either Mistborn or The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss interchangeably as my never-fail fantasy series. At work we’ll usually have run out of one or the other because I so regularly sell them through, so whichever’s there that day gets my plug!)

This is the old-school cover, the one I have!

I see your Caelena from Throne of Glass and raise you Yelena, from Maria V Snyder’s exceptional YA Fantasy series. She’s one of the original badass heroines, kicking butt and taking names before it was a big deal that she was a woman. This series is phenomenal for YA fantasy fans of all ages, and I keep passing the obsession on.

Rosie

A new favourite, this is one I recommend to customers who like contemporary romance/chick lit but want something a little smarter and more memorable than average. The Rosie Project fits the bill and then some. There are no clichés here, and this book was such a great experience.

stars

Do I even need to explain this one? I recommend it to teens (usually 14+, given the tragic nature of the story) and make a point of telling their parents to read it too. I’ve never come across anyone who hasn’t been deeply affected by how insightful, honest, painful and simply beautiful this one of a kind book is. John Green has delivered an absolute masterpiece with The Fault In Our Stars.

watermelon

Marian Keyes is chick-lit with heart. For women (hey, not stereotyping, just basing it on who I sell this to) who want drama, heartache and for everything to be mostly okay at the end, no-one fits better than Marian. Her grasp of the complexity of human emotions make her novels stand out.

woman

Not only do I recommend this all the time, I’ve bought about five copies for family and friends. Caitlin Moran is hilarious (think Kaz Cooke, Australians!), but also intelligently articulates truths about life as a woman that we don’t necessarily pay enough attention to. The perfect gift for your best friend, or a woman you don’t know all that well but need to find something for. Clever, sarcastic, sassy, and insightful.

wolf

A memoir I recommend to customers looking for something a little different. Scott Johnson‘s dad was a spy, working for the CIA through the Cold War. How this affected Scott, and his relationship with his Dad makes for compelling reading. Added to this, Johnson’s journalistic background is evident – his writing is evocative and often unexpectedly gorgeous.

SabrielNew

I have to have Garth Nix in here! Whenever possible, I’ll introduce someone to my favourite author. Nix’s work is just as good for teens as adults, and I’ve read the Old Kingdom trilogy, starting with Sabriel, more than a few times. Nix’s world-building, characters and inventive magic systems make this a Fantasy/YA Fantasy crossover series that stands the test of time. Unmissable. (Also, I couldn’t be more excited about the forthcoming – 2014 – release of Clariel, the fourth book set in this universe!)

Who are your go-to authors to recommend? I’d love to know what you think of my old reliables!

The Peculiar – by Stefan Bachmann

This book’s an upcoming release, due out in Australian on October 1st, and I was lucky enough to get a copy from the publishers early to read. Watch out people: there’s a rave a’coming!

Sometime around the 19th century, the faeries came to England. “Goblins and satyrs, gnomes, sprites and the elegant, spindly white beings with their black, black eyes.” The Smiling War between the humans and the fae was so-called because of the sheer number of grinning, white skulls it left behind in the fields. But in the end even the faeries’ magic was no match for the numbers of red-coated soldiers sent against them with cannon and gunpowder, and the remaining Hidden People were relocated to Bath, where they would live in slums, defeated and ostracised. After a time, they became simply another facet of England, living in the cities, “no worse off than the thousands of human poor that toiled by their side.” But the high faeries, the Sidhe, were by no means satisfied with their lot. They bided their time, plotting and patient.

I can hardly tell you how much I adored this book. It is without a doubt the best new young adult fantasy book I’ve come across this year, for a myriad of reasons. Rave Commencing:

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