As you can probably tell from the photograph most of November has been 'catch up on library books' month as once again they were all due back around the same time. There has been quite an interesting mix though with Science Fiction, Fantasy, Crime, Dystopian, Horror and YA Thrillers all making an appearance.
A Game Of Thrones, George R.R. Martin (1996)This fantasy series has become even more popular since the TV adaptation launched last year (which I have to admit I haven't watched) so I decided to pick up the first book from the library and see what all the fuss was about. There was a lot going on in this book and the format was interesting as each chapter was written in the third person from the point of view of a main character, rotating between around nine different characters. This meant that some chapters were more enjoyable than others and there were a few chapter heading names I dreaded seeing when I turned the page. I found it quite difficult to get through especially as I wasn't able to renew it and had to read it quite quickly, not ideal for a book of such length or with so many characters! I know my opinion won't be very popular but I didn't really enjoy it, this type of fantasy setting just doesn't appeal to me. 2/5
Zom-B, Darren Shan (2012)
This was the subject of my second review for Blogger's Bookshelf and unfortunately didn't turn out to be what I had expected. It tells the story of teenager B and her relationship with her father who is a racist and bully but it set against the backdrop of a zombie tale. The zombie reports the family have seen on the news quickly turn from a suspected hoax to reality in this the first of a twelve book series. There seemed to be a lot of hype surrounding Zom-B as Shan is such a popular YA horror author, but even having never read any of his other work I was still left disappointed. To find out what rating I gave to Zom-B head on over to Blogger's Bookshelf [here] to read my full review.
Shift, Em Bailey (2011)
Shift is a 'psychological thriller' with an interesting but odd supernatural element and is the YA debut of Australian author Em Bailey. It follows the life of teenager Olive when a mysterious new student and suspected shapeshifter joins her school and changes everything. I have also written a full review of this for Blogger's Bookshelf which was posted just this week. You can find it [here] if you're interested in reading more about the story including my rating.
Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card (1985)
Considered a classic of the genre by many I was intrigued to pick up this book and find out just what that famous twist is! The story centres around Ender who is just six years old when he is taken from his family to train as a soldier to fight against an alien race called the Buggers. The book follows Ender on his journey through military training at battle school whilst also sharing the escapades of his siblings back on Earth. My main issue with Ender's Game was the chapter lengths, a 326 page book with only 15 chapters means that they were far too long for someone like me who can't stop reading in the middle of a chapter, and when you are tired but want to read a little before going to sleep fifty pages is just too much to concentrate on. A lot of time also passes over the 300 pages, like I said at the beginning of the book Ender is just six years old and by the end he is around twelve. As for the twist, honestly this was one I really enjoyed! I'm not in a hurry to read the rest of the series but I would like to make my way through them at some point. 4/5
Driven, James Sallis (2012)
I really enjoyed both the book and 2011 loosely based film adaptation of Drive so I was interested to read this newly released sequel. The book follows Driver seven years after then first book when his fiancee is murdered. Unfortunately I didn't think it lived up to the previous book and had to force myself to sit down and finish it even though it has only 159 pages and very short chapters. I was planning to read another of Sallis' books this month too but Driven definitely put me off and instead I returned it to the library unread. 2/5
The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood (1985)
I started this multi-award winning book way back in September but because of my library overload I hadn't had a chance to sit down and finish it until now. The extreme version of the world we are introduced to in this book is horrible but does make for an interesting read, although I do wish I had found the time to read it all in one go. Due to the nature of the story a fair bit of world-building was necessary which did take up a large proportion of the book and I also found the lack of quotation marks very difficult to get used to. Definitely one to pick up if you enjoy the Dystopian genre. 3.5/5
Candor, Pam Bachorz (2009)
Candor is the second YA 'psychological thriller' I read this month but unlike Shift it didn't have the supernatural element, instead it centres around the idea of brainwashing. The story is set in Florida and follows teenager Oscar who is the son of Candor town's mayor. Oscar has managed to save himself from the brainwashing messages that are played throughout the town by creating his own counter-messages but when a new resident arrives he makes it his mission to save her from the messages too. I have written a full review of this for Blogger's Bookshelf which will be up sometime soon so make sure you look out for that to find out my rating!
* Ready Player One will be in next month's roundup as I haven't managed to finish it in time for today!
What did you read in November?