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M. A. Phipps

Honorary Brit. Fiction Addict. Author.

The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger When I first heard about this book, I wasn't sure I'd like it. I'm so glad I gave it a chance. The way it has a touch of fantasy based in reality was utilized brilliantly and the relationship was real, considering the very unreal circumstances. Beautiful story with an equally beautiful ending. Really loved this book.

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro What an emotional read. Usually whenever we see clones in movies or books, the story is always set in the future amidst a highly technical science fiction background. Not this book. I loved that it was set in an alternate reality Britain (set around the 1950's if memory serves correctly) and the way the clones were utilised was not only horrifying but heartbreaking. Kathy and Tommy were amazing characters and although Ruth was a bit harder to like, you really felt sorry for her when her part of the story came to an end. I don't think I've ever cried as much as I did both reading this book and watching the film. A really fantastic read. Will be looking into more books by this author.

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West - Gregory Maguire I remember reading this when I was a teenager after seeing the musical "Wicked" on Broadway. While the musical may have been based on this book, they were so far off from each other that they don't even feel representative of one another. To me, the book was so strange and difficult to get into. There were parts that I found downright disturbing as well (something about a beastiality sex show if I remember correctly). Was not my cup of tea but I know others have loved it, my mother included. Not for me.

Mockingjay

Mockingjay  - Suzanne  Collins Loved it but did feel there was a lot going on and the book was a bit rushed. Did enjoy the melancholy ending though—felt more raw and realistic than your typical happily ever after.

Shutter Island

Shutter Island - Dennis Lehane EPIC. There are no other words to describe this book. I am a HUGE fan of the thriller genre and my god, this book got the job done. Did not see the huge twist coming at all and that's saying something since I tend to spot these things coming from a mile away. I have nothing more to say about this book other than I'm obsessed with it. One of my all time favorites.

The Painted Veil

The Painted Veil - W. Somerset Maugham Another book I read after seeing the film. And another book that wasn't nearly as good as it's adaptation. My problem with the book was that the "love" story between Kitty and Walter never felt resolved—there was never that moment where they finally seemed to forgive each other like there was in the film. I also preferred how in the film, they came to eventually (or what seemed like) care for each other. This did not happen in the book and it left a wide berth between the characters that made it difficult to care about what happened to them. What I did enjoy about it (and the same can be said about the film) is that it's not your typical love story. And the fact that it's set against the backdrop of a cholera pandemic in China makes it all the more engaging. This was a book I wanted to love but simply didn't.

The Millennium Trilogy

The Millennium Trilogy - Stieg Larsson, Reg Keeland I can't remember who recommended these books to me but I really wish I did so I could thank them. Reading the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was my first foray into the thriller genre and I've never looked back. It's become a favorite of mine and these books are responsible for opening my eyes to so many other fantastic books. Loved the dynamic between Lisbeth and Blomkvist and I can easily say Lisbeth Salander is one of the most badass women in literature EVER. She made being intelligent seem cool. Really wish the author was still around today to see how greatly these books have touched people.

Twilight

Twilight  - Stephenie Meyer Like a lot of girls, I went through a Twilight phase. I was young, naive and a hopeless romantic. Then I started to actually date and realized how WRONG the premise of this book is. The co-dependence between the two main characters is dangerous, as is their obsession with each other. Being in love is nice but the way the protagonists handled it was disturbing at times. Still, it's a guilty pleasure to read and enjoyable enough. Not the best book ever but I enjoyed it when I was younger.

Catching Fire

Catching Fire - Suzanne  Collins My favourite of the Hunger Games books. Especially loved Finnick's character and the whole clock theme of the arena. Awesome read.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games  - Suzanne  Collins Absolutely awesome book! This was my first young adult dystopian and it absolutely hooked me to the genre. One of my favourite book series!

The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien Anyone who knows me knows I am OBSESSED with the Lord of the Rings. These stories literally changed my life and touched me in ways no other stories ever have. Friendship, bravery, inner strength—there are so many lessons to be found in these books and I will always hold the works of Tolkien close to my heart. My absolute favourites ever.

Harry Potter Hardcover Box Set

Harry Potter Hardcover Box Set - Mary GrandPré, J.K. Rowling Who doesn't love Harry Potter!? The first Harry Potter book came out when I was 10—I literally grew up with Harry and I can't imagine a better series of books to have done so with. Really great books that I'm sure helped a generation of reluctant readers find something they were actually willing and excited to read.

Kafka on the Shore

Kafka on the Shore - Philip Gabriel, Haruki Murakami The strangest book I've ever read. I honestly cannot even tell you what the point of this book was. I was so confused and really didn't understand the hype. Plus there was a really disturbing part about decapitating cats. Not. My. Thing.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks I am not the type of person to ever stop reading a book, even if I don't like it. And I was shocked that couldn't even be bothered to finish this book because I LOVE zombies. Literally am all about them. I thought it was interesting how the book was told from a journalistic point of view but some of the accounts weren't interesting enough for me. It might've just been the way it was written or it might've been the fact that I kept trying to read it at night in bed (and kept falling asleep). Either way, I stopped trying to read it after a few weeks and didn't bother to pick it back up.

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies - William Golding This book is awesome. One of my absolute favourite books—a haunting display of how easily humans can revert to savages in extreme circumstances. Another book every teenager should read.

The Host

The Host - Stephenie Meyer I'm not usually into the whole alien thing but I thought this was a great book. I loved the concept of two characters in one body and the distorted love quadrangle was excellent. Ian's character was my favorite! Loved this book so much I've read it multiple times.