December is almost here which means the end of another year. While 2008 hasn’t been a great year for some things, it has been a good year for books especially for books in a continuing series. Here is a brief list of some of the novels that I found the most engaging this part year.
The first book I would like to talk about is Remember Me? from Sophia Kinsella. While this book isn’t in her popular Shopaholic series it is a relatively well written novel. It takes place in the life of Lexi Smart a woman who wakes up after a car accident to find she can’t remember the last three years of her life. Her new life includes a somewhat sterile marriage with a husband, a job with great pay but no friends, an awkward relationship with her mother and sister, and a man who she may or may not be having an affair with. While this book is obviously chick lit which would make it not a good book on some lists, I really enjoyed at question it asked. Lexi woke up with the life she thought she always wanted only to find out that it was nothing like she thought it would be and people are always thinking their life would be better if they had that promotion or they had that car or they had that type of marriage, never realizing (much like Lexi) that their life is probably fine the way it is. It also begs the question that would people be happy if they actually had the life they thought they wanted or would they like Lexi yearn to go back to the way it was. This book is a great book to read on one’s day off either on the beach or on vacation because it is a relatively short book that is light but still a good read. I tend to like all of Kinsella’s work (with the exception of the aforementioned Shopaholic series) and this was no different.
Another good book this year was the long anticipated Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon. This book was essentially two novels in one huge tome with the first half being about the birth of Acheron including his god beginnings, his humiliating experience as a slave in Atlantis, the beginning of his relationship with Artemis, and his death and rebirth as the leader of the Dark-Hunters. The second half of the story is about about his new romance and release from Artemis’s grasp. I really enjoyed this story because it told about Acheron’s beginnings and how he came to be who he is now. It also created an arch in the entire series. Kenyon said herself about this novel that will bring about a whole new revelation to the Dark Hunter world. This book answered all the question the fans of the Dark Hunter series has had since it’s debut back in 2005 (Fantasy Lover is not considered an official part of the Dark Hunter series) and it is essentially Kenyon’s magnum opus because she has been working on it since she started creating the series even before it was published. It was a book that was a long time coming and it didn’t disappoint.
However I must warn readers like Kenyon does in her author’s foreword. This book is graphic in some ways and holds nothing back about Acheron’s past. It is a very gritty very rough past he has and if you are uncomfortable with his graphic it can be I would recommend skipping those parts in the book because if you are a fan of the series and you haven’t yet read this novel definitely put it on your Christmas list because it will be a good addition to your bookshelf.
Another book that was a continuation in a series was Dean Koontz’s Odd Hours. Odd Thomas is easily Koontz’s most lovable character in his writing career and this book brought a whole new axis for young Odd. In it his visions led him to a small town in Southern California where he enlists himself to protect a young woman Annamaria who may or may not be some incarnation of his Stormy Llewellyn. In the novel Odd yet again manages to save a town from certain destruction while accompanied by his ghostly companions Boo the dog and Frank Sinatra. The Odd Thomas series is amazing because while they has a supernatural quality to them, they also are different from his other novels. Odd is a good man with a unique ability to be able to see dead people and he has an extraordinary amount of chivalry to him that causes him to help the people in every dangerous situation he becomes embroiled in. What is also amazing about the series is that Odd himself has no supernatural strength and it’s not unbelievable in the fact that he never gets hurt; in fact he gets hurt quite a lot but the story telling and the way that Koontz can embody the voice of a young man who essentially is simply a fry cook who has the ability to speak with dead people who doesn’t want fame or fortune just a nice quiet life where he is not bothered by people who have had stories of him and his extraordinary adventures. I eagerly await the next book in this series and hopes that Koontz continues to write it for a few years longer.
Jennifer Weiner wrote the sequel to her debut smashing novel Good in Bed, entitled Certain Girls. This book takes place twelve years after the former novel ended with the heroine Cannie now writing a popular sci-fi series under a pen name and her daughter Joy on the verge of of womanhood and upcoming bat mitzvah. Written in both voices the novel examines Cannie’s life as a stay at home mom/novelist who is faced with a decision about whether or not she and her husband should try to find a surrogate so they can have a baby together and Joy as she is on that brink of teenage hood and nothing seems fair especially her mother and the way she treats her. Weiner is excellent at changing the voices in her novel and being able to differentiate between the two while examining the precarious relationship that is the mother/daughter relationship. Both the women go through their own personal journey through the story fraught with highs and lows and ultimately become closer after a tragedy close to their hearts helps to bring them together and make them really realize what they have in each other. This is a heart wrenching book but once again Weiner shows her talent in writing about situations in women’s life that people tend to want to gloss over and pretend that they are not serious situations (IE being barren, becoming a teenager, etc).
While there were definitely more books I read this year, this were some of the ones that I enjoyed the best. Were I to write about all the books I enjoyed that would almost be a never ending article. I hope if you haven’t read some of the books that I mentioned here that you do and you enjoy them as much as I did. Happy reading bibliophiles!!!