Monday, 27 June 2016

The Books I've Read This Year

At the beginning of the year, I made a few new year resolutions. I can't remember what they all were because I've probably broken all of those ones, but the one that I can remember was to read 15 books by the end of 2016. In the last few years, I've been so bad at reading and last year I think I probably only read about 5 books, so I thought 15 would both be a challenge but still realistic.

On Friday though, I finished the last page on my 15th book which I was so proud of because we're only half way through the year! Yes, some of them are a bit 'too young' for me, but that made a really nice change because A-Levels are so, well, adult and I wanted something to put my mind at ease. Even if some of them are recommended for age groups well below my own, they were all great books and I thoroughly enjoyed them. So, without further ado, here are the books I've read!

The "Noughts & Crosses" series, by Malorie Blackman
Consists of 4 books: "Noughts & Crosses", "Knife Edge", "Checkmate" and "Double Cross"
My Rating: 9.5/10 (I'll be like Hazel Grace and save my 10)
This is without a doubt one of the best series I have ever read. It's not a light-hearted book, and so should only be read by older readers, but the power of the characters and story lines is utter genius; it revolves around a racially segregated society, where the black crosses are the superior race and the white noughts are severely discriminated against. The book is so clever and if you want a series to make you really think and sometimes question society, then this is really the book for you.

Two of the "Alex Rider" series, by Anthony Horowitz
Source                                                               Source
Consists of 10 books: "Stormbreaker", "Point Blamc", "Skeleton Key", "Eagle Strike", "Scorpia", "Ark Angel", "Snakehead", "Crocodile Tears", "Scorpia Rising" and "Russian Roulette" 
Read this year: "Snakehead" and "Crocodile Tears"
My Rating: 7/10
This is a series for younger readers, but it's a great one. I read the first 6 when I was a lot younger, but because I haven't been reading much in the last few years, I never got round to finishing the rest! Alex Rider is a great character; he's a 14 year old boy who was recruited by MI6 as an agent. It does sound a little cliche and unbelievable, but they're cleverly written and the story lines are great scenes packed full of action. I still have 2 left to read, one of which I'm reading at the moment, but they're thoroughly enjoyable and I'd recommend them to anyone who likes a good action novel!

The "Gallagher Girl" series, by Ally Carter
Consists of 6 books: "I'd tell you I love you but then I'd have to kill you", "Cross my heart and hope to spy", "Don't judge a girl by her cover", "Only the good spy young", "Out of sight out of time" and "United we spy"
My Rating: 8/10
I loved these books. Again you could argue that I'm too old for them, but they really are great. They're about a group of girls who attend the Gallagher Academy which to the outside world is a private school for the richest, 'snobby' girls, but is actually an elite training school for secret agents and spies. The story lines are clever, and believable as there's a great balance between the spy thing, and just the fact that they're teenage girls experiencing new areas of life. They are quite easy to read because the vocabulary isn't too hard, so if you want a great book that won't stress out your brain too much, then these are the books for you!

"At the sign of the sugared plum", by Mary Hooper

My Rating: 6/10
This is a historical book set just before the great plague in London. It follows Hannah who goes to help her sister in her shop in London, which brings her many new discoveries and experiences. It humanizes the people who lived through the plague and really makes you think of it as something real that happened to real people. Although, I've probably just made you think it's a dark book, it's absolutely not; it's lovely! I really enjoyed this and it wasn't very long so it was a nice book to read in just a couple of days (or hours for all you quick readers out there!)

"The Baby", by Lisa Drakeford
My Rating: 5/10
This is a book about a group of friends, one of whom, Nicola, suddenly gives birth at Olivia's house party without even knowing she was pregnant. It's a uniquely written book, as each of the 5 characters get their own P.O.V in the book in 5 separate installments. It's also written in the present tense which was very different for me and I did find it a little difficult to read at times. Having said that, it was an enjoyable book, and if you want something a little different, then this book might be for you!

"Looking for Alaska", by John Green

My Rating: 9/10
I'm sure you've all read this, and if you have, you'll probably agree with me in saying that this is a fantastic book. John Green, being the genius that he is, has written such a captivating story, one which is anything but predictable. It is so clever, giving each chapter a different time i.e "120 days before" and each chapter counts down to something which you know is going to be big. It's so engaging and (I know, cliche but...) really makes you want to keep on reading. Please, please, if you haven't read this, you really should!

Anyway, that concludes the 15 books that I've read so far this year! I'm hoping I'll be able to add to this total by the time January comes around and maybe I'll be able to do a second one of these posts! Also, I'm considering writing a book review in more detail about some books, so you might see one of them on here soon!

What books have you read this year? Have you read any of the same as me? What did you think of them?


P.S I know it's not important, but I wanted to clear this up. I don't actually have my own copy of some of these books, so I borrowed some from the library and therefore no longer have them in my room, as I've already returned them. That's why there aren't actually all 15 books in the title photo. I know some of you don't care about this, but for any of you who may have been wondering, that's why!