Friday, January 12, 2018

50/50 Friday (67): Best/Worst Book Read in 2017

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Best/Worst Book Read in 2017


Best:
Since there are so many books I loved this year, I picked the one book that I'll be the most likely to reach for a reread first in 2018.  I'll be compiling a more complete list in my yearly wrap up!


Robert Langdon #2

Review to come!

Blurb:
"A fascinating and absorbing thriller -- perfect for history buffs, conspiracy nuts, puzzle lovers or anyone who appreciates a great, riveting story.

While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum. Near the body, police have found a baffling cipher. While working to solve the enigmatic riddle, Langdon is stunned to discover it leads to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci -- clues visible for all to see -- yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

Langdon joins forces with a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, and learns the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion -- an actual secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci, among others.

In a breathless race through Paris, London, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu match wits with a faceless powerbroker who seems to anticipate their every move. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle in time, the Priory's ancient secret -- and an explosive historical truth -- will be lost forever.

The Da Vinci Code heralds the arrival of a new breed of lightning-paced, intelligent thriller utterly unpredictable right up to its stunning conclusion."


This was a close tie between this and Caraval but I think I'll end up reaching for this one first.  I loved Caraval, but I think I'll want to savor my initial read and only reread it right before the sequel is released.  As for this book, I loved the chase and the puzzle solving concept.  The actual solution is something I would have never thought of.  Hopefully I'll be able to read the rest of this series soon!


Worst:
I had a few 2 star ratings this year but again, I'm going to pick the book that I feel was the weakest and I wouldn't really want to reread.


Standalone to date


Blurb:
"The United States is under siege! 
A devastating new bacterial disease sweeps across the states on the west coast and saps its victims of their own free will. Four strangers must work together to survive a mad dash across the United States to find safety in the nation’s capital. The outbreak chases them from their homes on the west coast, and they struggle to reach the capital before the disease does. When they arrive, danger rears its ugly head again, and the four must race against time to save not only themselves, but the entire country from destruction. The Departed is a story filled with the unlikeliest of heroes, who must find hope even when things look hopeless."

I just mainly had two issues with this book.  For one, I just couldn't get into the writing style.  It may be great for someone else, but I just couldn't get into it.  It's kind of like the text that used to be on Nintendo SP or Advance games (those 'real' life role play games).  I just prefer more lyrical writing.  Additionally, the geographic path the characters took was a little skewed.  The concept is really cool, but I just couldn't bring myself to give it any more than 2 stars.

Have you read either of these?  What did you think of them?  Are you a fan of books with puzzles and ciphers?  Were you a 90s kid with a Nintendo and if so, what was your favorite game?  What were the best and worst books that you read in 2017?  Make a post and link up down below!



Next Week's Topic: Book With Most Complex/Straightforward Plot Structure

8 comments:

  1. The Da Vinci Code was so much fun! Happy Friday!

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    1. It is! I really loved figuring out all the puzzles in it. Thanks for stopping by, Lauren!

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  2. You didn’t give a single book one star last year?! You’re way nicer than me. ;)

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    1. Haha it's actually kind of a problem... Now, I only rate a book one star if I DNF it but DNFing books is SO against my nature. Even if a book is bad, I really need to see how it ends. I'm going to try and fix that this year to have a more balanced average star rating. Thanks for stopping by, Jenny!

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  3. The Da Vinci Code was a lot of fun. I read it years ago. I actually liked his Angels and Demons a bit better. I haven't heard of The Departed. I think I would have had similar problems as you from the way you describe it. I hope you have a great weekend, Laura!

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    1. Really? I'll have to read that one next then! I've been hearing that from several people so if I love TDC, I'll love A&D. Thanks for stopping by, Wendy!

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  4. I haven't read The Da Vinci Code... It sounds like a great read, but for some reason I have a difficult time reading books after I've seen the movie version!

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    1. Really? It's sort of the opposite for me. I'm really glad I watched the LOTR movies before I read the books because it really helped me visualize everything. Of course, it all depends on whether a movie is done well and is true to the book's plotline. Thanks for stopping by!

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