RTW: Best of November and Reading Wrap-Up

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where the ladies at YA Highway post a weekly writing- or reading-related question for participants to respond to on their own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

Today’s Topic: What’s the best book you read in November?

November was another fabulous book month. Here’s what I read…

Hushed by Kelley York – A fantastically edgy contemporary debut, full of darkness and unexpected twists and turns. Check out my Debut Love post for more about this one.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver – I absolutely loved this book! Read my Bookanista Recommendation post for all the reasons why.

Want to Go Private by Sarah Darer Littman – A cautionary tale about internet predators that left me more than a little skeeved. The teen voice in Private was younger than I normally read, and set against the very explicit language of internet pedophile Luke, it sort of gave me whiplash. While Private occasionally read as preachy, it’s certainly timely and important. Recommend for those who like contemporary “issue” books.

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting – A beautifully written, uniquely spun dystopian-set fairy tale. Check out my Bookanista Recommendation for a full review.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – A gorgeous legend-based story that takes itself utterly seriously, so I did too. A book you should avoid while you’re drafting or seriously revising… it will make you feel tragically incompetent. Still, Scorpio is too beautiful to NOT read. Check out my Bookanista post tomorrow for more on why I loved this one. 🙂

And, November’s Book of the Month: The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta

From Goodreads: Melina Marchetta’s brilliant, heart-wrenching new novel takes up the story of the group of friends from her best-selling, much-loved book Saving Francesca – only this time it’s five years later and Thomas Mackee is the one who needs saving. Thomas Mackee wants oblivion. Wants to forget parents who leave and friends he used to care about and a string of one-night stands, and favourite uncles being blown to smithereens on their way to work on the other side of the world. But when his flatmates turn him out of the house, Tom moves in with his single, pregnant aunt, Georgie. And starts working at the Union pub with his former friends. And winds up living with his grieving father again. And remembers how he abandoned Tara Finke two years ago, after his uncle’s death. And in a year when everything’s broken, Tom realises that his family and friends need him to help put the pieces back together as much as he needs them.

Oh my. I’ve yet to read a novel by Melina Marchetta that hasn’t completely shredded my heart. Here’s the thing though: The Piper’s Son (like its predecessor, Saving Francesca) isn’t exactly exciting. It’s not what I’d call a page-turner, and it certainly isn’t high concept.


I fell head over heels in love with the characters of The Piper’s Son. I wanted to hug them, smack them, lecture them, and hang out with them at the Union pub all night long. I knew Tom and Georgie and Dom and Sam and Tara and Ned (I adored Ned!), therefore I rooted for them from start to finish. In fact, The Piper’s Son might be the most perfect example of a character-driven novel I’ve ever read. It made me teary, a rarity. It also made me laugh and ponder and want to visit Australia, as is the case anytime I read a Melina Marchetta novel.

The Piper’s Son is a definite recommend for anyone who loves contemporary, older YA/new adult, flawless writing, and books centered around family dynamics and character development. I absolutely loved it!

What’s the best book YOU read in November?


36 thoughts on “RTW: Best of November and Reading Wrap-Up

  1. Sophia Richardson says:

    My favourite November read was The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong, the last book in her The Darkest Powers trilogy. It’s beaten out The Hunger Games as my favourite trilogy, and I could pick any of the three books for my top five of the year. Praise praise praise, haha.

  2. Rebecca B says:

    So, I still haven’t read Melina Marchetta–I am thinking I should start wearing a scarlet M for my shame. My New Year’s Resolution: read at least one of her books before February. But which should I read first? Help!

  3. katharine owens says:

    I loved this book, too– but I read them out of order. I need to read Saving Francesca. Tom is such a wonderfully flawed yet endearing character. I adored it. hooray for MM!

    • katyupperman says:

      Yes, definitely read FRANCESCA! It’s lovely. While Tom’s only a supporting character in it, he’s just as intriguing and likable as he is in THE PIPER’S SON.

  4. Erin L. Schneider says:

    Some fab-u-lous recos here, Katy!

    I can’t wait to read SCORPIO RACES – but I’ll heed your advice and wait until I’m done with my revisions first (cause that’s all I need right now! :)). And I’ve had BEFORE I FALL for ages now, sitting on my dresser, waiting for me to read it (I did read DELIRIUM, though, so I can’t wait to read this one, too!).

    My two picks for November: SUPERNATURALLY by Kiersten White and THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin (still reading this one and I am LOVING it!!!).

    And I still need to read JELLICOE ROAD. Yikes. I’m waaaaaaaay behind.

  5. Colin says:

    I’ve read a number of books (including LIKE MANDARIN, DIVERGENT, and LEVIATHAN) that make me feel completely incompetent, so I’m used to it. 🙂 THE SCORPIO RACES will have to go on my TBR list.

  6. kate scott says:

    Both Saving Francesca and Jellicore Road have been on my to-read list for far to long. And now you’re telling me about another great Melina Marchetta book. I feel so out of the loop. I really need to read one of Marchetta’s books ASAP.

    • katyupperman says:

      Melina Marchetta is one of y favorite authors, Kate. Her writing feels effortless, but it’s so completely moving. I highly recommend all of her books… Let me know what you think if you decide to read one (or all!) of them.

  7. Georgia Summers says:

    I adored ‘The Scorpio Races’. There was something so beautiful about the races, a more realistic ‘City of Stars’. I would happily wait on sequels to that, although I’m pretty certain that it’s going to be a standalone. I think I’ll have to pick up ‘Saving Francesca’ on my TBR list, though. Sounds amazing!

  8. Jaime says:

    BEFORE I FALL is on my TBR list already, and so is finishing the rest of THE SCORPIO RACES (kind of failed on that front this month). Good choices as usual, Katy 🙂

  9. Carrie says:

    Thanks for talking about Piper’s Son. I read Jellico Road and somehow missed this book so I’ll have to add it to my list.

    • katyupperman says:

      Yes, definitely add it to your list, but I recommend reading SAVING FRANCESCA first because THE PIPER’S SON is its follow-up. Hope you love them both, Carrie!

  10. Juliana Haygert says:

    I’m so behind on my reading list. All of those you mentioned are on my TBR pile … I read about 6-8 books per month and it isn’t enough! lol
    Can’t wait to read them all! Great choices!

    • katyupperman says:

      Six to eight books a month is fantastic! I’m not too far behind, but I always wish I could read more… there are just so many fabulous books to choose from! Hope you love the books that are on my list as much as I have!

  11. commutinggirl says:

    Reading these posts is making my “TBR” list much much longer and I looooove it! *smile* (my husband may not though, he keeps on telling me I have too many books :-)). The Piper´s son seems like a great read! (I enjoy feeling like I could hang out with the characters :-))

    • katyupperman says:

      I hope you check out The Piper’s Son… it’s excellent!

      A side note: I once asked my husband to demand that I stop buying books. He just kind of shrugged and told me that if over-book-buying is the worst I ever do, we’re in good shape. 🙂

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