This is a really easy question, since I did my 2008 wrap-up already. This list is taken directly from that, but I’ve got more details here.
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher: This is one of those books I think everyone should read. It’s a powerful look at teen suicide and what it does to the people left behind. For me, this book was a personal, powerful read, because I’ve been one of the ones left behind when someone who is very important to me committed suicide nearly three years ago.
- Fingersmith by Sarah Waters: This was the first book in a long time that made me sit up and take notice with its plot twists. I’d read a summary in the 1001 Books book that basically highlighted the similarities to Dickens, and that’s what drew me to it. So the plot twists were completely unexpected, and quite wonderful.
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro: This was another book that surprised me with its twists. It’s beautifully written and quietly devastating.
- The King’s Daughter by Sandra Worth: This is the best historical fiction I’ve read in a long time because it was so straight-forward. None of the characters were out of character or endowed with 21st century characteristics. Instead, Worth focused on bringing some lesser-known characters from a well-documented time to life, as well as working to correct popular myths about others.
- The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: A lyrical, beautiful historical mystery. Though some things were pretty clear from the beginning, others threads were slowly unravelled as the novel progressed.
What books made 2008 fantastic for you?