Reading Wrap-Up and Book of the Month

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway‘s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic. To participate, just answer the prompt on your blog and leave a link over at YA Highway.

This week’s question: What’s the best book you read in September?

I’m sadly behind on my reading wrap-ups. I haven’t done tons of reading in the last few months thanks to a big ol’ revision, but here are the books I’ve managed to knock off my To-Read list:

Breathe by Sarah Crossan (available October 2nd) – I enjoyed this dystopian’s concept and Sarah Crossan’s writing, and I look forward to finding out more about this world as the series progresses. That said, I had a little trouble connecting with the main characters, perhaps because there were three first-person narrators. I never felt fully immersed in any one protagonist’s life. Regardless, this one’s worth checking out next month, especially if you’re a fan of dystopian YA.

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry – This was a very cool book, reminiscent of the gritty, no-holds-barred contemporaries of Simone Elkeles. Echo and Noah were both sympathetic main characters with distinct voices and fascinating backstories. I found myself rooting for them throughout the novel. My one criticism of this story was that their relationship was at times a bit… romance-novel-esque, which is to say, not exactly my taste. Still, this book is an entertaining read. I recommend it for lovers of more mature contemporary YA.

Skylark by Meagan Spooner – This disturbing world was so unlike anything I’ve read before, it took some time to get a grasp on all the details. Once I was immersed, though, I was intrigued by Lark’s plight and impressed by how she transformed into a smart, capable heroine. Meagan Spooner has a timeless writing style that was refreshing in this age of super-trendy teen speak. Definitely looking forward to this story’s continuation in Shadowlark.

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook (available January, 2013) – I absolutely loved this beautiful, heartbreaking, fearless tale of two damaged teens on the run. It’s one of the best YA contemporaries I’ve read. I posted a full Bookanista review HERE.

And the best book I’ve read in the last few months…

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

From Goodreads: On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Yes! An ADULT book is the best I’ve read in recent memory. I’ve seen Gone Girl recommended all over the place lately, specifically by Rachel, Ghenet, and Meredith (via Instagram), and when I purchased it at my local indie, the woman behind the counter couldn’t say enough about how fantastic she thought it was. So, I knew I was in for something good. I just didn’t know how good.

I refuse to give anything about Gone Girl away, but I will say that this book made me feel ALL THE FEELINGS. I was charmed, horrified, romanced, aghast, and sometimes even amused. Every chapter was a total trip, and most of the chapter endings left me reeling. In other words, Gone Girl is a page turner of the very best sort. Married protagonists Nick and Amy are tragically flawed, yet somehow weirdly lovable, and their marriage is a wreck. Nick and Amy are both presumably unreliable, which makes Gone Girl‘s mystery is a TRUE mystery. I had absolutely no idea what was coming next, and not even a guess at how the story would end. But, I was desperate to find out. And the writing! It’s fantastic, guys. Gillian Flynn is a master, and I pretty much wanted to stand up and applaud after every. Single. Paragraph. I’m a big fan of the thoughtful, well-placed adverb (yeah, yeah, they pave the road to hell… whatever), and let me tell you: Gillian Flynn ROCKS the deliberate adverb. All in all, Gone Girl is on my short list of 2012 favorites. It’s THAT GOOD.

So, have I raved enough? Will you please, please, please read Gone Girl?

Tell me: What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

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41 responses to “Reading Wrap-Up and Book of the Month

  1. I am reading Pushing the Limits right now and so far it’s really held my attention.

  2. DUDE. Yes. I’m so glad you liked this one as much as I did. I literally devoured it in a 24 hour period because I could not put it down! I’ll recommend it all day long!

  3. Oh my. That’s it. I have to read it…even though, like I told Ghenet…somebody ruined the ending for me!! errrr. She agree’d though that it’s still worth reading. Oh, and I’m so with you on the well placed adverb!!

  4. I keep hearing good stuff about this book, I think I’m going to have to add it to my TBR-list!

  5. Sorry I haven’t commented in forever! I have been reading your blog but haven’t had a chance to comment on any lately. I just read Gone Girl recently and I loved it! Like you said–I had no idea what was coming next! I loved that about it. I’d have to say Gone Girl was the best book I read this month too!

  6. I’ve seen a couple people mention Pushing the Limits today. Also, every time you mention Nobody But Us I get all these jealousy feelings because you REALLY made me want to read this book. I don’t read much contemporary, but every time you talk about your recent reads, I find my contemporary TBR list growing.

    Also–I’ll have to add Gone Girl to my list. 🙂

    • Well, contemporary is where my heart is, so I’m happy to pass on my love for it anytime I can. And yes, PLEASE add GONE GIRL to your TBR. I bet you’ll love it, Liz!

  7. I read GONE GIRL–actually, devoured it (I think I finished the whole thing in a day, which is very unlike me). It was so good, and the experience of reading it was awesome.
    Weird sidenote is that I passed it to my mom, who loved it. She gave it to my 90-year-old grandma. So I’m really curious to see what she thinks of it. 🙂

  8. Juliana Haygert

    I have Pushing the Limits and Nobody But Us on my TBR.
    As for Gone Girl … Yes, you did rave enough lol It sounds great. I have been hearing great things about it. Maybe I’ll give it a try =P

  9. I LOVED Breathe!!! It was a book that got me out of my reading slump. I’ve heard great things about Gone Girl but haven’t read it yet.

    http://wordsareinnermusic.blogspot.com/2012/09/road-trip-wednesday-best-book-ive-read.html

    • Any book that gets us out of a reading slump is a book to be loved! Can’t wait to hear what more and more people think after it releases and reviews start coming in. Looking forward to stopping by your blog to read about your best book of October. 🙂

  10. Just went over to Goodreads and put this on my TBR list. It sounds fascinating! Thanks for the recommendation. 🙂

  11. GONE GIRL ❤ ❤ ❤ I rave about it to everyone and they all read it and come back to me. SUCCESS IS MINE, KATY UPPERMAN!!!!! 😉 GG is my favorite book of 2012 and yes I'm aware 2012 isn't over yet 😛 I read GG in 4 days, which means for me that it's a really good book. I can read a book in 4 hours or a day depending on my schedule but when I really love something and want to savour it I try to take a week ❤ I then reread GG TWICE in 24 hours. True love, y'all. 😉 So glad you enjoyed the shit out of it!

  12. Glad you loved GONE GIRL!! I’d love to hear what you thought of the ending…email or DM me! 🙂

  13. Okay, you’ve persuaded me. Off to order GONE GIRL. It sounds fabulous.

  14. Laurie Dennison

    Second time I’ve seen this one today! Will add to the TBR pile.

  15. I’ve been eyeing Gone Girl for a while now, and I might just go out and buy it instead of sitting on the library’s wait list! On the other hand, so many books I’ve been wanting to read came out this month that I think I’ll be occupied for a while.

    I’ve been slow on the reading front this month, but I enjoyed both Something Strange & Deadly and Girl of Nightmares, the sequel to Anna Dressed in Blood (it didn’t disappoint!).

    • Oh, please, please buy it the next time you see it at the story. TOTALLY worth the money, I thought!

      I still need to read ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD and, clearly, its sequel… I’ve heard great things about both!

  16. I might have to check this one out. Sounds intriguing. 🙂

  17. Man, both you and Jaime recommended adult books today! I’ve picked up GONE GIRL in bookstores a few times but I keep not actually buying it. I feel like maybe when I’m in and out of airports in a week or two…I’m a sucker for good books in airport bookstores.

    • That’s right; Jaime picked THE NIGHT CIRCUS–one I still need to read! Oddly enough, I actually started GONE GIRL on a flight last week. It made the time FLY by!

  18. The majority of my reading lately has been for my master’s-level YA Lit class. My favorite that I’ve read so far was Allan Wolf’s ‘The Watch That Ends the Night,’ a novel in verse about the Titanic. It really gave me hope for the future of straight historical in YA. A lot of the YA historicals I’ve been seeing lately come across as Gossip Girl in period clothes.

    I honestly would never have guessed it was meant as YA if I hadn’t been told, since only a couple of the characters are young. It really transcends age-based categories, which is what a good book is supposed to do.

  19. So….You know that your recommendations are pretty much always a “must read very soon” for me 😀 That means that GONE GIRL is not only going on my TBR, it’s going to be close to the top of the list 🙂

  20. Sophia Richardson

    Alright, alright, I’ll add this to my TBR list! Sheesh, you people with your glowing reviews of books. I have things to do besides read, you know? 😉

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