Review recap: my top five books of 2015

In a happy coincidence, I gave five books 5 stars in 2015.

Top five books of 2015 Claire Huston

I reviewed 70 books on this blog this year. Only five of them got 5 stars. I don’t feel able to say any of them is “better” than the others. However, I will rank them according to how wide an audience I think would enjoy them (my total guess here… other opinions are available!).

Click on the book title for my full review. Click on the book cover to go to Goodreads.

So here we go. Counting down…

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WWW Wednesday 30th December 2015

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A quick note and apology. My internet access will be a bit variable over the next few days. I will visit all your posts; but I might get there a little late.

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

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Review | The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness

An oddly enchanting mixture of the mythic and mundane. I doubt you’ll have read anything else quite like this. 4/5 stars.

The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness book cover

The blurb: The extraordinary happens every day…

One night, George Duncan – decent man, a good man – is woken by a noise in his garden. Impossibly, a great white crane has tumbled to earth, shot through its wing by an arrow. Unexpectedly moved, George helps the bird, and from the moment he watches it fly off, his life is transformed.

The next day, a kind but enigmatic woman walks into George’s shop. Suddenly a new world opens up for George, and one night she starts to tell him the most extraordinary story.

Wise, romantic, magical and funny, The Crane Wife is a hymn to the creative imagination and a celebration of the disruptive and redemptive power of love.

My take (being as vague as possible to avoid spoilers):

This is a strange mix of the mythical and mundane. My advice: don’t think too hard about what’s going on when you read The Crane Wife. Don’t try to figure out what’s real, what’s not, what’s magic/metaphorical. Just let the brilliant writing flow over you and enjoy the weird and wonderful experience that is this book.

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WWW Wednesday 23rd December 2015

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

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WWW Wednesday 9th December 2015

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Review | The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Very good, but I wanted something extraordinary. Satchel and all. 3.5 stars

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness book cover

The blurb: What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life. Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

My take:

The concept of this book is terrific. You’ll enjoy the satire even more if you’ve read a lot of the books or seen any of the TV shows and movies The Rest of Us Just Live Here is satirizing. I laughed out loud the first time we find out the main “indie kid” heroine is called Satchel. Genius.

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WWW Wednesday 2nd December 2015

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WWW Wednesday 25th November 2015

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Review | More Than This by Patrick Ness

Though very good in many ways, More Than This left me wanting exactly that. 3.5/5 stars.

More Than This by Patrick Ness

What it’s about: A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies. Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive. How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place? As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?

My take:

After reading Ness’ A Monster Calls and the Chaos Walking trilogy (click on the titles for my reviews), I had high expectations for this book. And sadly, in some important ways, they weren’t met.

As you can see from the fact I gave it 3.5 stars, I think this is a very good book. The writing, as always from Patrick Ness, is superb. His style is deceptively clear and simple, something which only increases its impact. When the punches land, they land hard.

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WWW Wednesday 18th November 2015

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

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