Guess who spilt water all over their laptop today and had planned to post this hours and hours ago? Today hasn't been the best, but my laptop is *somewhat* alive, albeit with an 'e' button that is constantly pressed down. Tomorrow it'll be time to say goodbye to the laptop that took me through uni, and start afresh on the first day of the year with a new laptop. Although that's kinda satisfying, my lil bank balance is not prepared for this complete 'new year, new laptop' mentality. RIP.
Anywho, let's get on to the last post of 2017. I've LOVED talking more about books on this blog this year, so it seemed right to end things with a bookish post. I've read a lot this year (so much so, that the books at the start of last year seem like a pretty distant memory), and doing this has reminded me of some pretty fab books I've read this year, so let's get cracking.
1.) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This so deserves the number one spot on my list. I've written a whole post all about why I love it here, but let's just say that it's a beyond incredible debut novel. If you want to really learn more about racial issues in the States, or if you're interested in it (which we all should be), then this is a fab book to read.
2.) Ruth Hall by Fanny Fern. This is hands down the best classic I've read all year. For something that was written in the mid-1800s this is incredibly progressive. We're talking way beyond the feminism of Mary Wollstonecraft and the such into a place in which a woman can be truly independent. Ruth Hall is a widowed mother of two who is cast aside both by her own family and her husband's. She works hard to support her children and herself, eventually forcing them all out of abject poverty, much to the chagrin of those who once abandoned her.
3.) I Was Here by Gayle Forman. Another YA book, I know, but I think they're some of the most revolutionary out there at the moment. I've spoken all about my anger at suicide support groups in a post here; this book opened my eyes to their existence. It tells the story of what happens after a teen kills herself to those left behind. Cody's best friend Meg kills herself, and the worst part for Cody is that she had no idea why, or that it would happen. It's touching and painful and something that reminds us that there's always someone to cling onto life for.
4.) Room by Emma Donoghue. The narrative of this book is like nothing I've ever read before. The story's told from the perspective of a five year old boy living in Room. He doesn't even know that there's a world outside of it. Once you get used to his speech and narrative style, everything begins to change, as the boy is forced to realise that there are other people in the world beside him and his Ma, and that there's a whole world outside of Room.
5.) Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. This has been sat on my bookshelf for years, but I could never bring myself to read it. Now that I have, I think it's absolutely fascinating. Gaarder takes us through an entire philosophical history, from the Greeks to *almost* modern day in a fictional form. I studied Philosophy (and Ethics) as one of my A-Levels, and this would have been so useful to read back then to get all this information in such a condensed and accessible form.
6.) Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. As a rule, I don't read autobiographies, but this is a fictionalised version that I loved. Gilbert is divorced from her husband, and wants to do all the things she missed out on due to her marriage. First, she goes to Italy, eats delicious food and has a couple of steamy affairs. Then she goes to an Indian temple, learns to meditate and strips her life back to become more spiritual. Finally, she goes to Indonesia and puts the two together: body and soul to heal her mind. It's something that I think all women should read, especially if they're going through a rough patch.
7.) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling. I've re-read the first five HP books this year, and it was a tough call as to which to include on this list, but the PoA was even better than I remembered it, and I was beyond emotional for about the last 100 pages. This is the book in which we get introduced to Sirius, where Lupin comes in, where the Dementors enter the series. I love it.
8.) Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell. This absolutely terrified me. I'm not someone that reads many horror stories, but this one was so well done, it genuinely creeped me out. It's all about a house filled with little Charlotte dolls that can move and whisper and persuade people to do bad things. They can kill and their eyes follow you around the room. I'm not sure I can think of anything more eerie and I really want to read the sequel Charlotte Says now.
9.) Alice and the Fly by James Rice. This is another book like nothing I've ever read before. It's written from the perspective of Greg, a schizophrenic with an overwhelming phobia of spiders. His school therapist encourages him to keep a journal, which is what we're reading. Everything starts to go downhill, and I completely had one of those gut-wrenching 'oh god, that isn't going to happen is it?!' moments as the novel progressed.
10.) Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland. You know what I was saying earlier about YA fiction being the most revolutionary? This book portrays a genuinely accurate impression of what it's like to suffer from a mental illness. Throughout the novel, Henry wants to be with Grace. I was lured into his love for her, and so wanted them to 'get together'. Until Grace pointed out that he only wanted her on her good days. On the bad days he wanted her to be the Grace of the good days. He didn't want all of her. I was shook - finally a novel admits that mental health isn't reparable by love, and you need to love all of someone, mental illnesses included.
What were some of your favourite reads this year?