Some of my very best reads are the Harry Potter series, Lord of the Ring trilogy and A Song of Ice and Fire series.
This is a series review with no spoilers :D
First off, let me just say that GRRM is an amazing storyteller (also my favorite author). He's created a whole new world with its own history with complex characters and wicked plot twists around every page. The character depth in the series is excellent making it very difficult to pick a favorite character. Even the characters that I love to hate are brilliantly written. I have highlighted my favorite quips and phrases from each of the books. There's so many cause GRRM is just that much of a badass writer! I love that the chapters are divided by giving each character their own perspective. This allows me to see the world through their eyes and then view that same scene through a different character's point of view. Unlike other fantasy books, the characters in ASOIAF are not purely good or evil. Not all characters are lovable but their actions are justified (in their minds, at least) even though it often affects the world and people around them in a negative way. It's a domino effect.
This an ADULT fantasy series. There is incest, rape, violence and war. Profanity abounds. This is all in accordance to the time and world that GRRM has created. If you have an aversion to any of those - maybe this isn't the series for you.
It has political intrigue where everybody has a claim to the Iron Throne and elements of magic which do not detract from the central storyline. Non-fantasy readers should give book 1 a try. There is little to almost no magic in the first novel.
Marvelous, epic, dark and twisted -- this is not an easy, mindless read. I really had to challenge myself to remember who all the characters were by reading the appendices in between books ... but ohhhh, how I love getting lost in the world of Westeros.
Prepare to invest a lot of time and emotion into the series. There are only five books out with two more still to follow. I really hope GRRM is able to finish this series. I HAVE to know how it all ends!
George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons
One Day is not your typical love story and readers who don't like surprises will not enjoy it. It is a very realistic love story that is very dark at times. It will make you laugh, cry and ponder about missed opportunities in life. It's one of those books where the characters still linger long after you've finished reading their story.
Nicholls' unique concept of revisiting the flawed yet endearing Emma and Dex on the same day every year is beautifully crafted in this novel. When I wasn't laughing at their witty banters my heart was breaking because the characters still had a lot of growing up to do and messy situations to clean up. The ending was unexpected but still satisfying (to me at least).
A wonderful, bittersweet read even if it was a struggle to understand some of the British lingo.
The characters in Whitney, My Love remind me a lot of Rhett, Scarlet and Ashley from Gone with the Wind. Not that I'm complaining. I loved Gone with the Wind and must also declare my love for this novel.
To summarize briefly, Whitney is a rebellious tomboy that enjoys performing show jumps on horses, using slingshots and having an unhealthy obsession for her neighbor Paul Sevarin. Her disappointed father sends her away to France to become the proper lady she ought to be at the tender age of 15. Fast forward three years later and Whitney has become the belle of the ton and is breaking hearts left and right. It is in France that she catches the eye of one Duke of Claymore aka Clayton Westmoreland. After her success in France she returns home to win the love of her childhood sweetheart only to have her efforts thwarted by Clayton Westmoreland.
In this novel you have Clayton- the ultimate alpha male who knows what he wants and is determined to get it no matter the cost. Whitney is outspoken and unlike other heroines of this time. She's tenacious and fights Clayton at every turn making their encounters and witty banters so much fun to read.
A lot of readers have been fixating on the forced seduction and dismissing the rest of the novel. This is a beautifully written book with two of the most endearing, often infuriating, stubborn characters that I've ever come across who have many obstacles (or in this case - misunderstandings) to overcome before finally getting their HEA. Unlike Gone with the Wind, where Scarlet O'Hara fails to realize her love for Rhett Butler until it's too late, Whitney doesn't make that mistake.
Judith McNaught is a master storyteller and the way she can evoke a range of emotions in her readers for her characters is simply amazing. This is the first book I read by JM and it remains to be my favorite in the romance genre. I've read a handful more by this author and have yet to be disappointed. This one is a keeper.