82. The Circle by Dave Eggers - 8/10. I wasn't sure what to expect from this futuristic drama, but it turned out to be one of the most memorable books of 2013 so far. It's set mainly within a social media/tech conglomerate named The Circle, where a naive new worker finds herself sucked into the increasingly sinister company ethos. Although the protagonist, Mae, isn't likeable, the plot is smart, thought-provoking and feels very relevant to issues surrounding online privacy and social media culture. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
83. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh - 8/10. A compilation of hilarious stories from the creator of the website of the same name. A very quick read, but truly laugh-out-loud funny. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
84. Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - 6/10. Published in Spanish in 1999 but not translated into English until this year, this is the last young adult novel written by Ruiz Zafón. It's an interesting, fantastically gothic story, and the author's influences and the key themes of his adult work are clear to see, but the story gets bogged down with too many subplots and characters. Not to mention the problem of the terrible female characters. However, the powerful atmosphere and imaginative prose make it worth a look, especially if you're a fan of Ruiz Zafón's other books. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
85. Printer's Devil Court by Susan Hill - 7/10. A short ghost story in which a young trainee doctor becomes unwittingly involved in a devilish scheme devised by two of his acquaintances, which will come to haunt him for many years afterwards. Delightfully creepy and definitely worth the bargain price of 99p. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
86. Petit Mal by DBC Pierre - 2/10. This new collection by Pierre includes short fiction, autobiographical writing, cartoons and photography. I was excited about this since I loved the author's most recent novel, Lights Out in Wonderland, but sadly it was very disappointing. It feels very half-hearted and unfinished, and is oddly dull considering Pierre's writing is usually so vibrant and original. Maybe I didn't 'get' it, but some of it reminded me of something Nathan Barley would've come up with, and the cartoons may as well have been taken from the pages of a tabloid newspaper. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
I read a strange mixture of books this month. Only one true novel - the others were a) a humorous book partly made up of comic strips, b) a gothic YA tale, c) a spooky Kindle Single, and d) a collection of mini-stories, miscellaneous writings and art. It's not difficult to decide which my favourite of the month was - The Circle, obviously. I'd also recommend Printer's Devil Court to ghost story fans, especially those who have enjoyed Susan Hill's full-length ghostly tales. Hyperbole and a Half really made me laugh, and the print edition would make a great Christmas gift if you know anyone who enjoys Allie Brosh's blog.
The end of the year is usually rubbish for new releases (unless you really want a celebrity autobiography) but that's quite a good thing, as the next couple of months will hopefully give me a chance to catch up on some of the fiction I've acquired and not had time to read this year. I'm also building up an ever-growing list of 2014 releases to look forward to!