2014 Books: The good, the bad and the ugly.

It’s half way through the year, and thanks to my ridiculous amount of free time I’ve been able to read. A lot. The joy of that is that there’s been some absolutely brilliant books I’ve been sent (thank you, publishers and authors!) to read, but there’s also been a few… well, not so good. So here’s a few that I think fall into these categories.

dungeon funThe Good
Dungeon Fun – Neil Slorance &  Colin Bell.
This is the story of a girl and her sword. A knight is on his quest to save a princess, who is stopped by two bridge troll security guards. His sword is discarded into a pit, and so we discover Deepmoat, where the creatures live, only finding their lives disrupted by falling objects. One time, years ago, one of those discarded objects was a little girl. Fun and charming, it’s great!

Red Rising – Pierce Brown.
Darrow is a Red who lives under the surface of Mars, sacrificing himself in work for a potential society in the future. What he soon discovers is that he’s a mere slave, living under a functioning society of the welathy – a classic tale of societal hierarchy, seen through the underdog. Conflict, determintion, revenge, sacrifice, rebellion, love lost, power, fighting for revlution, discovering your enemies aren’t all evil – there’s a lot to get into.

The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson – Paige Toon.
Toon’s first foray into YA, was my first foray into Toon’s writing, and it hooked me. I’ve since discovered that she can even convert a chick-lit cynic such as myself with her writing, but this was the biggie!

wowsThe Bad
The Wolf of Wall Street – Jordan Belfort. I admit, the movie was coming out and I thought I’d give it a try. Power-crazed egotist rambles on in narcissistic fashion. Breaking news! He regails boring tales of drug and sex, proclaiming “What were we supposed to do?!” to the reader often. You didn’t care his wife’s ass was the bomb the first time he mentions it, you don’t care by the 100th. He says cautionary tale, I say pile of crap, with a narcissistic tone of pride.

The Education of Victoria – Angela Meadows. Some books are just bad, but few are so bad I laugh. This is one of the worst books, especially erotica, written in a long time. No plot, no attempt at anything. It was just a tragic read, poor euphemisms, sex-obsessed (to the point of it being cringe-worthy in a book about sex). It was hard to read, man.

Riot – Sarah Mussi. See, I feel a bit bad about this because I remember the first chapter or two and thinking it could go a 1984/Hunger Games direction, and then it just fell flat, and was full of judgement and lack of anything really happening. Action came, sure, but after about 95% of the book dragged by.

The Ugly.
listBy the ugly, I’m going to allow books that made me laugh in a completely unattractive manner on public transport take the honour. So, the ugly is a compliment, I guess. Except for how it made me look to strangers.

The List – Joanna Bolouri. Phoebe Henderson is single and ready to mingle, but her new year’s resolution is not to settle down, but to celebrate and explore her sexuality, previously stifled by a boring ex. It’s bold, to the point and hilarious. It cuts to the chase, cuts the shit and keeps you hooked in from start to finish. A+.

For Faughie’s Sake – Laura Marney. I remember reading this and thinking it had the same dry wit as The List. Instead of Phoebe’s wild and drunken adventures, this was local politics, in a totey Scottish town in the Highlands. It would usually make for dull reading – lord knows, I’ve read enough stories on boring local politics – but I remember scoffing quite a lot at turns of phrase, and just the general tone of the book.

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