Around this time last year, I brought a Book Journal from Paperchase, and since then, as is the general use of a book journal, I’ve been keeping a record of all the books that I’ve been reading for the past year. When I looked back to the beginning of the journal, it took me by surprise that it had been a year. It’s amazing how fast time can go by without you even realising, then before you know it an entire year has passed. But anyway, I’m going slightly off topic. It was interesting to remind myself of all the books I’ve been getting stuck into for the past 12 months, and since April 2013 I’ve read 25 books. It didn’t sound like a great deal when I thought that in my head, but writing it down just now has made me realise that it actually is quite a lot. I’ve loved all 25 of them, but there are some I would definitely identify as firm favourites. So, out of the 25 works of fiction/non fiction I’ve had my nose in for almost 365 days, here are my top five favourites.
5. Confessions of a Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella
There are six books in total in the series, and having read the first two books back in 2012, I finally got round to buying and reading the remaining four books in April/May last year once I had finished at university, and I completely fell in love with the series as a whole. I guess they would be classed as being chick lit, but I wouldn’t say they are specifically under that category. They aren’t overly girly, despite what the inclusion of the word ‘shopaholic’ in the title may say; if anything I would say they are far more comical than other pieces of chick lit that I’ve read in the past. The characters are some of the best characters I’ve ever come across in a novel, you just can’t help but warm to them, particularly the protagonist of the series, Becky Bloomwood. There are laugh out loud moments in each and every book, but at the same time there are moments of real emotion and poignancy. Sophie Kinsella invites the reader to share in every moment of happiness, and sadness, that the characters may go through, and I feel that’s what makes these books so special.
4. Carrie by Stephen King
Bit of a jump in genre from Confessions of a Shopaholic, but Stephen King’s classic thriller novel Carrie has fast become one of my all time favourite reads. I saw the 1976 film adaptation almost a year before I purchased and read the book, having seen the film in February 2013, and only reading the book in January of this year. When I finally read it, I was hooked from the word go, getting through it so quickly I had completed it a day and a half after starting. It’s a real page turner, and I found it was one of the most difficult books to put down. Although I’m a huge fan of the film (still haven’t got round to seeing last years film adaptation starring Chloe Grace Moretz), I found the book was a thousand times better. The characters are far more in depth, the story has much more of a structure to it, and the various points of view of the characters gives it that extra something that I don’t think I’ve found in another piece of fiction. Carrie was a truly spectacular read, and I would highly recommend it to anyone that likes reading books that are that bit different.
3. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
The 1993 film adaptation is without a doubt one of my all time favourite films, but having now read the book (only finished it yesterday!), I can for sure say I prefer the book over the film, something which I definitely didn’t think I would ever say! The characters personalities really shine through in the novel, making their positions within the plot far more noticeable than it is in Spielberg’s film, and most of all, the tension is far more prominent; one of the main reasons for why I personally prefer the novel. The tension Crichton builds is at times unbearable, making it another book that is extremely difficult to put down. It’s quite a long book at almost 400 pages, but due to the continuous build up of tension that never seems to end, if anything only increases with every page, but any reader that enjoys it as much as I have will get through it in no time. It really is that superb of a book. Anyone who loves science fiction novels, or perhaps loves the film but has never got round to reading Crichton’s work, then I strongly suggest that you do.
2. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
I wrote a whole blog post reviewing this book a few months ago, but I have to include it in this list as I adore it so much. I don’t think I have ever read a book that speaks to me so much, that is so realistic and has characters that you feel as though they are your actual friends. To me, the characters aren’t fictional; they are real people, experiencing real emotions, going through things that people experience everyday if they are going through a similar situation. It’s a heart breaking novel, with many a moment that will have you sobbing uncontrollably, but at the same time, Green has been able to bring humour, and even some forms of happiness into the twist of the dark and heart breaking world of a young girl living everyday with terminal cancer hanging over her head. I don’t think much else can be said about The Fault In Our Stars other than it is one of the most beautiful and ground breaking works of fiction I have ever picked up, and I know for sure it will be one of my favourite novels for many years to come.
1. One Day by David Nicholls
Without a doubt, my now favourite book, ever. I don’t know what it is about One Day, but as soon as I began reading, I fell completely in love. Such an original, authentic way for a book to be written, and it works perfectly with the novels plot. I think it will be very difficult for me to find another novel that I love as much as this. As I have re-iterated many a time the love I have for this novel, I don’t feel as though there is much I can’t say; I can’t put into words what it is that makes One Day my favourite book. All I can say is that it’s a charming, unique and beautiful novel that I feel every bookworm should read. It’s really not one to be missed.