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27 Dec 2013

Holiday Road Trip 2013

My little Nook has cobwebs and dust everywhere.  Oops.  I've seen that I haven't blogged since November; well over a month since my last post.  I'll do a currently post around New Years to update everything but the short answer is: Christmas plays, mock tests, interviews, and English and Maths revision.  That has been my entire month and I'll explain properly soon.  For now here's the YA Highway's Holiday Road Trip!

Every year YA Highways do a special Holiday Road Trip so everyone can sum up their book (and some TV/Film) loves for that year.  There are five parts to the Holiday Road Trip but I'm going to be up in Darlington for New Years and the beginning of January so I'm doing one whole blog post.

Best Book Of The Year
Asylum by Madeleine Roux. Amazing horror.  So tense and psychological - you do end up wondering if the events are supernatural or are they actually in the character's head.  I also loved the addition of real asylum photographs.  They add to the creepiness of the book. 
Most Unexpectedly Delightful Book Of The Year
And Then There Were None by Agathe Christie.  I've never read an Agatha Christie novel before and I never thought I would be interested in one.  Then I tried out And Then There Were None on Wii and I was really interested in the storyline.  I'd also read a book and seen a couple of films that were based on the storyline and it did sound like something I'd enjoy.  And it was an amazing book.  Here's my full review.
Book I Wanted To Hate But Couldn't Because Game Recognise Game
I was so sure I wouldn't like The Iron King by Julie Kagawa because of the whole love triangle aspect.  I'll admit I'm a bit wary of any books that have love triangles these days because they seem like they're everywhere or at least compulsory to supernatural books.  And when the author adds them in I've always felt they've taken the focus away from the events that should be more important in the characters' lives.  I still wasn't a fan of the romantic aspects in this book and its sequels but I was hooked on the idea of a quest into the fey world and a darker image of fey in general.
Book I Can't Get Out Of My Mind
Allegiant by Veronica Roth, mainly because of the ending.  It was gutsy and I liked it! It's totally going to change my perspective of the film when it's released, knowing what's going to happen.  I know a lot of people weren't keen but I thought it was quite fitting for the story.  I admire Roth for her decision, especially because it felt right.  It didn't seem forced purely to get a shock reaction from her readers.  This was the nature of her Divergent trilogy.

Best "New To Me" YA Author 
I'd say Julie Kagawa because, despite the romance, she's created an amazing Fey world that's whimsical and dangerous as the same time.  It reminds me of 80s fantasy classics like Neverending Story and Labyrinth with the MC going on a quest and leading the story themselves rather than being placed in the middle of it and letting everyone else steer them in the right direction.   I like the heroine, I can see bromance happening, and there's a snarky, taking cat.  Every fantasy needs a witty, moody animal.

Best Sequel
Scarlett by Marissa Meyer.  I love the little team of characters Meyer is getting together.  They're all so different and I can see some personality clashing in the future.  I'm still loving the sci-fi retelling on fairy tale classics.  I think the two genres go so well together.  Here's my full review.

Best Debut
 I've only read one debut this year and it wasn't a great read.  Maybe I need a debut resolution for 2014.  Read more!

Most Anticipated Book Releases in 2014
 CRESS! Enough said.  Also I pre-ordered Vicious by Victoria Schwab which I know was released in September but I don't think the UK is getting it until January.  At least my order isn't coming until January.  
 Best Guilty Pleasure Book
Point horror books.  I bought and read some more cheesy 90s horror this year from Christopher Pike and Richie Tankersley Cusick.  The characters are very two dimensional and the writing is quick and easy to read but you gotta love the old YA horror from that decade.  It's what I grew up with.

Books Not Normally In My Wheelhouse That I Still Enjoyed
 Anna and the French Kiss by Stephenie Perkins.  I don't normally read romance but there were so many good reviews of it so I gave it a go and I really enjoyed it.  Here's my full review.
Best Book Cover

Best "I Want To Go To There" Setting in a Book
Paris from Anna and the French Kiss.  I've been to Paris before and this book brought back all those amazing memories.
Favourite female YA Character
Tris from the Divergent trilogy.  She grew up so much in those three books, becoming a mature leader and defender.  She had so much determination from the minute she chose to commit herself to Dauntless.  She worked hard as an initiate and when her city and loved ones were in danger she was ready to fight for them and continued doing so.  
Favourite male YA Character
 I do love Puck from the Iron Fey series.  He's the dorky, comical character who you know isn't going to stand a chance in the love triangle.  I don't know why the sulky, serious LI wins each time but I end up liking the guy who actually has a personality and can be your best friend as well as your boyfriend.  And that's Puck.  He's a sweetie pie.  Also he doesn't threaten to murder the heroine either.  Personally I'd go for the one who doesn't come across as a psychopath but whatever rocks your boat, Meghan. 

Best in YA films/television 
I really enjoyed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire this year.  And I still love The Vampire Diaries TV show.  How that show manages to make me sympathetic for even the most villainous of characters I do not know but as a writer that shows good character development and roundness there.

Best Music to Write To/Be Inspired By
This is list is more of a personal list because everyone has different tastes in music.  There is one song I keep listening to for various WiPs because it just seems to fit with every one of them.  It's also a kick ass theme tune:

Best YA/Pop culture tie-in
Anything Doctor Who! 2013 marked 50 years of the longest running sci-fi serial.  23rd November was a big day for all Doctor Who fans and merchandise went crazy on the count down to the 50th anniversary special.  My favourite was a mini-episode tie-in where we got a prequel on the nature of John Hurt's mysterious Doctor and also saw the return of Paul McGann's eighth Doctor, an incarnation only ever saw once.   
The Night of the Doctor

1 comment:

  1. *waves* Lovely to see you :D

    Have you read Madeleine Roux's zombie books? The first one is amazing, although the second one was a real letdown.

    I used to have 30 or more Point Horror books and then one year I wound up giving them to my friends as Christmas presents ^^;

    Hope you had a great Christmas ^_^