(Amazon and GoodReads work on a 5 star scale)
1. Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel: 3.5 stars Amazon; 3.5 stars GoodReads
"In the near future, America is crushed by a financial crisis and our patient Chinese creditors may just be ready to foreclose on the whole mess. Then Lenny Abramov, son of an Russian immigrant janitor and ardent fan of “printed, bound media artifacts” (aka books), meets Eunice Park, an impossibly cute Korean American woman with a major in Images and a minor in Assertiveness. Could falling in love redeem a planet falling apart?"
This is a "love it or hate it" book. I loved it for the hilarious and probably accurate look at our near future. It's a great commentary on where technology is taking us and one man's attempt to hold on to something real.2. Ready Player One: 4.5 stars Amazon; 4.3 stars GoodReads
Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
My favorite book of last year - bar none.
For anyone who lived through (and was plugged in to pop culture) in the 80's this is a must-read book.3. Crystal Eyes: 5 stars Amazon; 4.75 stars GoodReads
Basically, this is a post-apocalyptic Western. It is rolliking good fun - worthy of being made into a movie - and left me wanting a sequel (which I understand the author is in the process of writing. Squee!)
This is a "revised history" - so, fact wrapped in fiction. It is a heart-pounding, scary, fun exercise in imagination.
Soon to be a major motion picture!
"In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin is drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister. Is Ender the general that Earth needs to survive?
Ender's Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel."
The brilliance of this book (and what I'm afraid will get lost in the movie) is the subtle commentary on the psychology of war and children, family dynamics, politics and more. It's a stunningly good book that is the first in a long series. I haven't read any of the others but really enjoyed this first one.