Although I love reading book series, stand alones can be just as complex and exciting. I have narrowed down my list of favourites to 5 (which was tough!), but these are not in a particular order because I love them all just as much!
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
This is a dystopian novel (my favourite genre!) in which people live a large part of their lives through a virtual reality video game, which has become synonymous with the internet. When the billionaire who invented the game dies, he leaves his company and his fortune to the lucky winner who can find the three keys and pass the three consequent gates that he has hidden Easter egg style within the game. The story follows the character Wade as he attempts to be the first to complete the Easter egg hunt.
This book blew my mind. I read it faster than I would normally read a book, because it was so captivating and enthralling. The characters were well formed, the world was fascinating and there were constant plot twists that kept me reading long into the night. I found the competing corporation to be actually terrifying, especially the shocking measures that they take to try to be the winners. The ending was great, with yet another unexpected twist, and this is truly a fantastic book.
- The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R.Carey
Another dystopian novel, this book, in the simplest description, is a scientific zombie apocalypse novel. The majority of humanity has been plagued with a fungus that causes sufferers to become zombies. However, a few children who are infected do not show signs of being a zombie, and are being experimented on to try and find a cure.
This book is fast paced, quickly leaving the confines of the military camp where the children were based and taking the reader on an adventure with the characters as they try to survive out in the open. What I especially loved about this book was the scientific descriptions; as a lover of science, I loved the prose descriptions that went into scientific detail, mainly through the character of Dr Caldwell, who it didn’t take long to despise. The interesting ending of this book could not be predicted, and it is definitely a memorable read.
- Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
This is my favourite summer reread, and is one of the most amusing books I have read. As well as being comical, this book juggles some very important themes, such as feminism, independence, friendships, sexualities and pressures that teenage girls experience.
In a similar style to Lord of Flies, the concept of this book is a plane that crash lands on a desert island, leaving the surviving girls stranded. But what makes this different is that these girls were on their way to a beauty pageant. Continuously throughout the book in a unique way are “commercial breaks” and TV show snippets that, as well as being amusing, expose the twisted society that focuses on the stereotypical feminine image, which is juxtaposed by the girls’ need to use basic instincts to survive. Not only do they have to survive, but there is a great plot twist within which leads to some very dramatic action towards the end of the book. I absolutely adore this book, and would certainly recommend it.
- The Martian by Andy Weir
I hadn’t seen the film before I read this book, and I still haven’t! But, if it is anything as good as the book, then I’m in for a treat, as this book was brilliant. Mark Watney is left stranded on Mars with the assumption that he is dead – but he isn’t. He has to fend for himself as the only person on the entire planet, in the hope that he can last until the next mission arrives on Mars.
This book had me gripping its pages at times due to the immense tension that the words created; filled with plot twists, this book had me guessing continuously what would happen at the end. I was very satisfied with the ending. This book also contained lots of science, which I found very interesting! Overall, this book was a delight to read.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This book was my first read of 2016, and it was a great one! This story is beloved by so many people, and I wasn’t really sure what I would expect from it when I started reading it; now I consider it my favourite classic. it follows the Bennett family, specifically Elizabeth, after the arrival of an eligible bachelor (and his friend) in the area.
Austen’s writing is captivating and amusing; even though the language is about 200 years old, once I got into the flow of it, I hardly noticed because the story was so well written. The characters were intriguing, and I had a great time reading it. As this book is so well known, I don’t consider this a spoiler, but I was thrilled when Elizabeth and Darcy finally got together at the end, because they are so well suited for each other and had been through so much within the book that it was relieving to say the least! I would recommend this book as a first classic if you would like to start reading classics, as it’s not too difficult to read and is very amusing.