My favourite reads
There's a great discussion going on over at Inky's Forum about 'best' books, so I thought I'd throw in my two cents' worth.
I've loved hundreds of books over the years, but the ones in my list below are those that have stayed with me, changed me (or how I view the world) in some way, or I just couldn't put down.
(Most of these I've reviewed over at Goodreads, and you can check out my thoughts if you click on the links below.)
In no particular order...
Finnikin of the Rock - Melina Marchetta (I haven't read the rest of the trilogy yet, so I've no doubt they'll join this list when I have.)
Saving Francesa - Melina Marchetta
(In truth, I've loved everything I've read of Melina's, these two are just my absolute stand-outs.)
All I Ever Wanted - Vikki Wakefield
Friday Brown - Vikki Wakefield
(Vikki is one of the most exciting and important new voices in Australian YA. Both of these books have stayed with me. Great characters, powerful stories, terrific writing.)
The Book Thief - Marcus Zusak
(Sublime writing and evocative storytelling)
The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater
The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy (Shiver, Linger, Forever) - Maggie Stiefvater
(Yes, there's a pattern here. I love the lyrical way Maggie uses language, how she creates mood and atmosphere, and how she developers her characters).
As an aside, here's the cover for The Raven Boys and my signed copy from Maggie:
Graffiti Moon - Cath Crowley
(Poetic, funny, sweet and moving. Gorgeous story.)
Truth - Peter Temple
(I'm a massive Peter Temple fan and have devoured everything he's written. Truth is my all-time favourite. His dialogue, pacing, and characterisation are the reason he's one of our country's most awarded crime wrtiers. He makes you work for the story, but the pay-off is well worth it.)
The Arrival - Shaun Tan
(Stunning artwork, and an incredibly poignant story about what it means to be a stranger in a strange land.)
The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
(Do I need to explain?)
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
(First book of the trilogy was definitely the strongest for me. Highly original, with an interesting political and social subtext.)
Divergent - Veronica Roth
(Another original dystopian tale, with quality world buidling and multi-layered characters. Insurgent was a solid second instalment, but this remains the stand-out of the series so far.)
Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead
(I've read all of this series - and the first two of the spin-off series - and still remember how impressed I was with this first novel. Finally, a YA paranormal story that was as rich in plot and worldbuilding as it was in romantic entanglements.)