The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but no matter what I was thinking, this novel was even better than I could have imagined. Told in a unique format, the storyline circled around rather than progressing in a strictly linear fashion, which would not work for all books but was phenomenal here. From the background given on Oscar's family to the perspectives of those around him and finally to Oscar himself, every part of this book was emotional and moving. The story is both brutally realistic with its ties into the reign of Trujillo and somehow almost dream-like with its treatment in other areas, but all in all, I loved every moment of this.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman. You know those books that are chock full of those passages where you have to stop and read them over and over again because the words are so beautiful and so unsettling and so true that you need to ingrain them in your memory? That's this book, and that's why you have to read it. I won't say that the plot was absolutely perfect or all the characters absolutely wonderful (although I did love Shadow), but this is a profound book. Not a perfect story, no, but inventive, creepy, and beautiful. This is the kind of book you want to read with post-its in hand to mark down the best passages for posterity.
Recommended? No, if you're looking for a great story. Yes, if you're looking for spectacular writing.
If you would like to contact me for a review, you can reach me at silverfalcon42[at]gmail[dot]com. Every review I write is honest, and I post it both here on this blog and on Goodreads. Although I primarily review young adult fiction of nearly every genre, I love middle grade fiction and am open to young adult nonfiction and select adult fiction. Ebooks in a Kindle-accepted format as well as physical books, and I accept ARCs.
A Note About Book Reviews
The first paragraph in each review is a summary taken from Goodreads.com with the wording tweaked. All other content, unless otherwise stated, is my own.