Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Books of the Year - Jim from YA Yeah! Yeah!

The last post in my 'Books of the year' series is an especially good one! Jim always gives amazing recommendations and I'm so happy to share the books he's enjoyed most this year.

Wed Wabbit, by Lissa Evans, is a staggeringly imaginative MG novel which sees Fidge catapulted into a strange world ruled by the title character, a cruel dictator. As the 10-year-old girl and her cousin Graham struggle to try to return home, there’s action, excitement, and a huge amount of fun in store for readers. Some  of the best world-building I’ve read in ages, and pitch-perfect character arcs for both Fidge and Graham, make this an absolute gem.

Speaking of MG books with characters trying to return home, Katherine Rundell’s latest, The Explorer, is a sheer delight.  This is absolutely not a surprise, of course, but it’s an amazing read. Like her previous novels Rooftoppers and The Wolf Wilder it’s a lyrical and evocative novel with a wonderful cast of characters, and the setting of the Amazon jungle is brought vividly to life. Hannah Horn’s gorgeous illustrations add even more to this wonderful book.

Angie Thomas’s YA debut, The Hate U Give, is a stunningly powerful novel inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Lead character Starr, witness to the shooting of her unarmed friend by a police officer, is an incredible narrator whose story is hard-hitting, moving, and even surprisingly funny at times despite the subject matter. As a rousing call to arms to stand against injustice, books don’t get much better than this.

And finally All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai was a rare adult novel which completely captivated me, Starting in the 2016 we were meant to have – a wonderful utopia with unlimited energy, this follows a slacker who is the son of the man who’s invented time-travel. Despite the perfection of this world, main character Tom is left alone by a series of heartbreaks, and after a time-travel accident ends up wiping out the world and catapulting him into ‘our’ 2016 – which may seem like a nightmare world in comparison, but which has people who love him in it. He’s left to try and decide whether to ‘fix’ the universe, or to hold on to the people he cares for. Stunning voice here, genuinely unexpected twists and turns in the plot, and really lovely characters.

Thank you to everyone who helped me with 'Books of the year' week! It's been great to see such a range of favourite books and I'll definitely try to read as many of them as possible next year.

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