Best of the Year

BOTY ’11: Books I read

This is the last BOTY list for 2011, and this one is about books. Though I’d rather watch a movie than read a book (edit ’16: What?! Really?), I like reading a lot. I do read a lot of the same books every year (Harry Potter, etc), but this time I’ve actually discovered a couple of new books. Not all of these books have been released in 2011, but it’s just those that I’ve read this year. Like the other lists, it’s in order of when I read them.

1. Voor Ik Doodga / Before I Die by Jenny Downham | Goodreads
One of the few Dutch books that I’ve read this year, simply because I just prefer reading English. This book has been translated from English to Dutch though. It’s about a sixteen year old girl, Tessa, who’s got leukemia. She doesn’t have a lot of time left, and she makes a list of things she still wants to do before she dies. She wants to drive a car, become famous, fall in love, etc. But as she works on her list, Tessa gets even more ill, and her end comes even closer. It’s a very lovely book, and I actually cried a bit at the end, but I would like to read it in English as well, just for the heck of it.

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins | Goodreads
I first heard about this book through Tumblr, where I read a lot of positive things about it. The Hunger Games is about Katniss, a sixteen year old girl, who lives in District twelve, the last and poorest district of Panem, a country that was once called America. Every year, the Capitol (where all the rich and important people live), choose one boy and one girl from each of the districts (twenty-four in total), to compete in a horrible event called ‘the Hunger Games’. These ‘tributes’ are trained, and then dropped into an arena, to fight to the death. The last person standing will be crowned victor. This year, Katniss volunteers to take her sister’s place in the games. And that’s the year everything changes.

It’s an awesome book, it’s a very easy read; and I’ve already read it a couple of times in the past couple of months. There are some weird mistakes in it sometimes, and it’s written in both present tense and first person (which I don’t really like), but it is still an amazing book!

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3. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins | Goodreads

This is part two of the Hunger Games. After Katniss has won her Hunger Games (together with her district partner, Peeta), she lives in the Victor Village with her sister Prim and their mother. This is also the year of the Third Quarter Quell, the 75th annual Hunger Games. This edition will have a special theme, and this year the tributes will be chosen from the victors, which means that Katniss will have to go back into the arena (because she’s the only female victor from her district).

Collins’ style of writing is very simple, and there are some weird sentences in it just like in the Hunger Games, but I absolutely loved this book anyway. The ending is very surprising, and I really like the new characters that are being introduced in this book (and some of them are also killed in this book, which is a bit of a shame).

4. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins | Goodreads

I bet you were already expecting this one, yes; the third and last part of the Hunger Games. In this book, the war between the rebels and the Capitol will be fought. The story has a very nice plot-twist, when a couple of tributes are freed from the claws of the Capitol. The last couple of chapters happen way too quickly to my liking, some people die, and it took me a while to register that they had actually died (I had to read those parts over again after I finished). I might have read a bit too quickly, because I wanted to know how it ended, but after rereading it a couple of times, I just noticed that it was all a bit rushed. Lots of things happened at the same time. But anyway, it is a really nice book!

5. Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden | Goodreads

I had read this book a couple of times before, but in Dutch, because it was part of a book-pack that I got from school. But this year I read it in English for the first time. Tomorrow When the War Began is about a group of teenagers, who decide to go camping for a weekend, in the ‘bush’ of Austalia. When they come back to their homes after the weekend, they find out something terrible has happened. A war has broken out, and their families are trapped on a showground in the middle of Wirrawee. The group decides to fight, and take back their country.

I loved this story, I have always been interested in war stories, and I am currently reading the second part of this series. And as you all can see, I’m really bad at writing reviews, my apologies.