Overview of 2011: Best & Worst Books

, by Zoë Gulliksen


Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York
             by Ariel Sarab
"This book was  published on January 11, 2011. I had heard about the release of this book from The Strand’s newsletter announcing a book signing with the author in February. The full title of the book immediately caught my attention, as I am obsessed with novels where the setting of the novel is New York, especially Manhattan.
All nine of the stories collected in this book are true, tracked down and researched to the very base truth of each romantic tale. This fact haunted me while reading this novel, which I devoured in two days.
This collection opens up with the story of a young runaway sleeping in Central Park in the 1940s. A sailor from the Navy comes across her, takes her out to dinner and spends the rest of the night walking with her to make sure she isn’t harmed. This first story goes on to tell of their incredible journey of how the characters lost each other and somehow over came all odds to find each other again.
Each story in the book is like this: a random and chance meetings of two people finding their soul mates on the streets on Manhattan. This book made me cry several times, not out of sadness but out of disbelief. Here are nine examples of how the chance of finding the love of your life could all depends on a choice made in a split second. If these people had not made irrational, ridiculous choices, they never would have met each other. Its frightening, thinking how close these people were to never meeting their soul mates.
It makes you wonder yourself: if you have missed out on the chance of a lifetime, if you let the love of your life slip through your finger tips. The true factor of the stories haunt you because these characters are real people who not only survived these events but stayed together despite all odds. Its inspires you to  not only believe in love, but to believe in the fact that no matter what the circumstances, two people can belong together.
Take that chance, act on your gut instinct and do what scares you. Because you never know what will happen.
I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a good read. The premise is romantic, sure. But its written by a man and most of the book happens from a man’s point of view, focusing on over coming all obstacles. If you like true stories and especially if you love New York: this is a must read."

I wrote the above review back in January 2011, a few days later on January 17th, 2011 I received the following email from the author:
Hi Zoe –
Just a quick note to thank you for the extremely kind review on your blog. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book!
All best,

It's truly my favorite book of the countless I've read this year.

Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey 
"Cold Kiss is Garvey’s first young adult novel, which is apparent. The story follows a young woman, Wren, in the weeks after she uses her somewhat magical powers to sort of bring her dead boyfriend back to life. But her now half zombie boyfriend isn’t exactly what she signed up for, especially since a hot new boy is in town. And this new boy is interested in her and has somewhat magic powers of his own.
The story was simple but, as I described, the details are all so vague. There is never any explanation or information about the magical powers the characters have; powers which the characters themselves express their puzzlement over. Unfortunately nothing is resolved by the story's end. It’s a very quick read, with a new take on the classic zombie love story but lacks real substance."
I wrote this review for The Daily BLAM! on October 8th, 2011 along with a few other young adult books. You can find the full review HERE.
In short the plot goes as this: My boyfriend died, my life sucks, I'm going to use some kind of vague magic to make him come back to life! Oh now he's back and he's all depressed and boring. OH HEY NEW HOT BOY IN TOWN! We should totes make out, too bad I have this mostly dead boyfriend. Oh YOU ARE A KIND WIZARD TOO? Cool beans, lets get rid of this dead boyfriend of mine so we can make out and stuff. YAY!

One of the worst novels I have ever read. Worse than Twilight. The plot is complete crap, the characters were never developed and nothing is explained. 

1 comment:

  1. Just finished Heart of the City and I absolutely LOVE it! You have yet to recommend a book to me that I didn't adore.

    And, yeah, sorry for making you read Cold Kiss <3