1. The Alchemaster's Apprentice by Walter Moers - anyone who enjoys 'out there' and comedic fantasy will love Walter Moers' Zamonia books. If you're a fan of either Terry Pratchett or Jasper Fforde, I highly recommend you give Walter Moers a try. This one is about Echo the Crat, a cat that can talk in several languages and has two livers. Echo bargains his life with Ghoolion, the evil alchemaster, to save himself from starvation. But as the end of their bargain draws near, Echo tries to find ways to save himself from the alchemaster's evil clutches.
2. Room by Emma Donoghue - I was pretty stunned after reading this book. It still makes me feel at a loss whenever I recall the story. It's the story of Jack, a five-year-old boy who lives in a single room with his mother. Truly unnerving.
3. The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone - a biographical novel about Michelangelo. Made me want to go back to Italy to explore Rome again and finally visit Florence.
4. The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss - the sequel to The Name of the Wind. I enjoyed it just as much as the first book. A definite must-read for fantasy fans.
5. One Day by David Nicholls - this book made me feel so heartbroken. I loved it so much that I'm actually afraid of watching the movie - I love Anne Hathaway, but I kept reading bad reviews about her role as Emma. I found One Day such a believable story, the author made the characters seem so real.
6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - my re-introduction to dystopian fiction, which set off an avaricious appetite for more. As a side note, the first dystopian story I had read was The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, which was brilliant as well, though I found the intentional spelling mistakes jarring to read. Anyway, I digress. The Hunger Games is brilliantly original. Read it.
7. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - the last book in the The Hunger Games series. I couldn't have asked for a better conclusion.
7. Divergent by Veronica Roth - another dystopian young adult book that I enjoyed. Not as much as The Hunger Games, but entertaining in its own right. I think it's brilliant that there's been a plethora of YA books written which feature strong female protagonists that don't need saving by Prince Charming every 5 seconds. Take that, Bella.
8. Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne - I haven't read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, but I thought I'd give this one a go. This book is aimed more for middle grade, I think. A beautiful story, interwoven with a surprise faerytale towards the end.
9. Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde - Jasper Fforde is a genius. If you've been a little dubious about The Nursery Crime and Thursday Next series, give this one a go. It's been described as Nineteen Eighty Four, in colour.
10. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - last, but not least, my favourite book from this year. If you want to know more, you can read my review here.
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