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.

But.

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?