I've decided to start a blog feature where I talk about my favourite book of the year and month and invite all of you to mention yours too.
And as we're smack bang in the middle of December and the year's nearly out, I thought I'd kick this off with my Book of the Year.
Now, obviously, this is hard to do. I read a lot. Steve likes to tease me about it. He claims he can go to work and come home and, if I've been home that day, I'll probably have finished two, maybe three, full-length novels while he's been gone. I only wish I had the time to read like that, but he's not far off the mark. I can read very fast and I get through books like water. So choosing a favourite book from every single one I've read this year is incredibly difficult. But I've done it.
My 2010 Book of the Year is Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden.
Bear in mind, this is the year I read Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, which I loved. And Lucy Christopher's Stolen, which is amazing. And this has also been the year two of my blog-friends (Alex and Talli) have released debut novels, both of which I adored. And this is the year I read countless other novels I've keeled head over heels in love for. So, you know, Forbidden had a hell of a lot of tough competition.
But ultimately, it wins.
I can't stop thinking about this book. I can't stop raving about it to anyone who will listen. I might wish it ended differently, because I'm a sentimental sop, but I also just love this book to pieces.
Fair warning to the faint of heart: the crux of the story and conflict is incest, so if that bothers you or squicks you out, you might want to tread carefully. But it's not the creepy, locked-in-a-room kind of thing you immediately associate with an incest story and, even if the concept bothers you, I'd strongly encourage you to try this anyway, because it never, ever feels like Incest with all the connotations that conjures up.
It's a love story, between a teenage brother and sister, the two eldest siblings in a family of five who have to look after the younger ones because their parents have as good as abandoned them. Naturally, there's a lot of the Greek tragedy in this novel, and it plays out beautifully. At no point did I find Lochan and Maya, the protagonists, disgusting. I thought what happened between them perfectly natural given the circumstances.
The characters are spectacular, the writing incredibly moving, and if you don't feel every single thing these characters feel along the way, I'll be stunned.
I could go on about this forever. But I think I've made my point. This is one of those books you can't stop thinking about for days after you've put it down.
What would you say your Book of the Year has been?