As the title suggests, I’ll be gushing over all the books that I’ve read this year. Clicking the book covers will redirect you to their Goodreads page, so you can check them out if you haven’t already. Now, without further ado:
Best book you’ve read so far in 2016
Frozen Tides (Morgan Rhodes)
This was a very tough choice, because I had a lot of favorites this year. The reason I picked Frozen Tides over all the others is because it’s the last book in the longest series I’ve read so far. All the books were read one after the other in such a short period of time that I feel very connected to it. It also managed to build up to a point where it simply blew me away.
It’s not that this is the most original or even the most well written of books, but it always made me crave for more. I really enjoyed the plot and characters and couldn’t have asked for a better series to get hooked up on.
Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2016
Scarlet (Marissa Meyer)
Scarlet was such an amazing sequel. When all seemed lost after uninspiring Cinder – a book I had read so much about and one that received countless praise from everyone, but that, however, did not deliver – the author presented her fans with this lovely piece of literature, which I simply adored and could not put down.
Before I knew it, I was ten, twenty pages in and could not wait to find out what was going to happen next. Definitely one of my favorite books of the year, and now that I’m reading Cress I can appreciate Scarlet even more.
Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
Empire of Storms (Sarah J. Maas)
The Throne of Glass series is one of my absolute favorites of all times. The first two books were just amazing and I have yet to surpass my hangover. I do, however, have a few problems with the remaining series.
I thought that Maas expanding her world and thickening the plot was great, but she ended up sacrificing her characters’ personalities and the introduction of so many new ones and arcs got a bit too jumbled. I’m fervently hoping for Empire of Storms to bring me around.
Fevre Dream (George R.R. Martin)
George R.R. Martin is a known literary genius, yet he could not win me over with this one. It’s not that his writing was bad or that his characters were not good or that the story did not have major potential to be awesome. It simply was not for me.
I was bored to tears with the constant boat references, long descriptions and overall dull atmosphere. The real action only started halfway towards the end, and it still failed to celebrate the big climax. Everything about this book was just a bit of a let-down and I’m hoping other works by Martin are a bit more exciting, or at least less about men being men and their boats.
The Winner’s Curse (Marie Rutkoski)
I would never in a million years think The Winner’s Curse to be as fantastic as it actually was. The cover instantly made me think of The Selection or similar, which did not interest me in the least. I actually don’t like the cover all that much, because I don’t think it’s very faithful to the story. But a lot of people were recommending it, and after reading the synopsis I thought it actually sounded interesting so I gave it a shot. It was, by far, the best decision of the year and I have yet to find a series that can capture my heart as much as this one did. Kestrel and Arin will forever be two adorable cinnamon buns I need to protect with my life. And to think I was ready to ignore this precious jem…
Favourite new author
I know I’m late to the V.E. Schwab craze, but I’ve read enough of A Darker Shade of Magic to officially appoint her as one of my new favorite authors. I have others that I’ve discovered this year as well, but Schwab is the last one I’ve come in contact with.
Her writing style is incredible and she manages to effortlessly pull us into the story, creating empathy with her characters and wondering at the incredible world and plot she has developed. I’m halfway through the book and I honestly can’t say a bad thing about it. It’s that good and it deserves all the hype it’s been getting. I can’t wait to read more from Victoria.
Newest fictional crush
Wolf from Scarlet ♦ Arin from The Winner’s Curse
So, for this one I actually couldn’t decide between two male characters. It felt unfair to choose one over the other, when they both had a similar impact. But first things first.
It’s no surprise that I would choose the awkward yet sweet yet flirty love interest in Scarlet, who is so adorable I literally have to keep myself from uttering an “aaww” every time he so much as blinks. He stole every scene he was in, confusing and fascinating me on and on off basis. All in all, he is the ultimate sweetheart and very much deserves this place in my list. I just wished Scarlet had been longer.
Arin is not very different from Wolf. Both are vulnerable and come off as confused little boys, looking for their place in the world. But at the same time, they have an amazing inner (and outer) strength that catapults them into the spotlight. Both go through a few ordeals and come out stronger than before. Both are in difficult situations when it comes to the object of their affection. None of them have it easy, with tough childhoods that forced them to grow up too fast and adapt to the circumstances, even when that required betraying their own nature.
So, even though they’re fictional, they have certainly tugged at my heartstrings.
Newest favourite character
Scarlet, from Scarlet ♦ Kestrel, from The Winner’s Curse
Again, not the easiest choice.
Scarlet is a powerhouse. There’s no other way to describe her. She’s the redhead with a temper everyone’s heard about some time in their lives but that’s not the only thing that defines her. Besides being sassy and absolutely badass, she’s also incredibly sympathetic, kind, resourceful, and a very brave girl who loves her family and friends so much she will stop at nothing to protect them, even if it means endangering herself to the point of death. I found Scarlet to be a breath of fresh air after all the washed out heroines I’ve come across in most YA best-sellers. She’s not whiny or dependent on others to do every single thing for her, and she’s got a strong yet believable personality. She breaks down at times, and she struggles to keep going, but she always does. I could never get enough of her and I hope she maintains her position as a relevant character throughout The Lunar Chronicles.
Kestrel is, again, very similar to Scarlet, in the way that both find themselves thrown into impossible situations and have no idea how to get out of them, yet still manage to come on top. Both suffer so much, emotionally and physically, and are barely allowed to accept their pain before they have to move on. They also have to make decisions that not only affect them, but the people they love and care about, and neither is without consequences.
They are so real. And that’s why they’re my new favorite heroines.
Book that made you cry
An Ember in the Ashes (Sabaa Tahir)
I didn’t actually cry with any of the books I’ve read this year, but this one was definitely the most emotional. I truly feared for the characters, and suffered through their pain. There were some really hard scenes to stomach (which actually made me experience physical discomfort) and some moments where I just screamed internally with frustration at the injustice of it all. I simply got really mad sometimes.
So, even though it didn’t make me cry, it definitely affected me emotionally to the point of wanting to cry. Hopefully, the sequel (coming out this August!) will be as great.
Book that made you happy
Angelfall (Susan Ee)
I don’t usually go for urban fantasy these days, but the Penryn & The End of Days series was one of those magical exceptions that made me fall in love with the story and the characters, even when they were not exceptionally groundbreaking.
It’s the type of read that makes you snicker and even laugh out loud at some of the witty writing that, I found, is so intrinsic to the genre. It’s the type of read that had me feeling relaxed and just happy to be tagging along with Penryn and Raffe in their crazy and funny journey. Some parts were simply hilarious and ninety per cent of the time I had a smile on my face, ready to burst out laughing.
Favourite book to film adaption
The 100 (Kass Morgan)
This is not a book to film adaptation, but a book to TV series adaptation. Still, it was the only item on my list that fit and the most controversial one because… Well, I enjoyed the TV series more than I enjoyed the book. Yes, you’ve read correctly. I was surprised myself, because that seldom happens and I feel slightly sad about it.
I started reading The 100 after I had started watching (and fell completely in love with) the show and thought I would love the book as much or even more than I loved the show but I have to say it was disappointing.
The show follows a different path plot-wise and introduces different characters that don’t exist in the book, while excluding some that do and that play important parts in it. This change was not at all bad in my opinion and made the show so much better than the book. I found the book to be a bit stale and boring in comparison to its fast-paced, heart-racing counterpart. And no, I wasn’t happy about it.
Favourite post you’ve done this year
This was my first post, so I kind of consider it my baby. It was not an amazing post by any means, and I have so very few to compare it to, but it was definitely one I had fun writing while I played the game and got deeper into it. It was also my first game review ever, which was both exciting and nerve-wrecking. It marked my beginning in the blogging world and forced me to commit myself to posting in it weekly. Which doesn’t always happen but I do try!
Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year
The Queen of the Tearling (Erika Johansen)
I’m, of course, referring to the Harper’s hardcover of The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. There’s something about the gold embossed artwork set in an antique brown background with a castle on the top of a mountain, surrounded by dark, ominous clouds, that just screams at me to pick it up and devour it. Which is any publishing company’s dream come true.
This is easily one of the most beautiful book covers I’ve ever seen, and one that illustrates its story very well – so, two in one. I just want to hold it and run my fingers through it all day long.
New release you haven’t read yet but want to
This Savage Song (Victoria Schwab)
After becoming a big V.E. Schwab fan, of course this one had to be on my TBR by now. I’m still pondering whether to read A Gathering of Shadows after A Darker Shade of Magic, or if I should just skip to This Savage Song. Because, then, of course, I will have to wait until next year to finish the trilogy and, really, who enjoys waiting for a sequel of such an amazing series? Knowing myself, I probably won’t be able to wait to know what happens next but I’m so curious about the hype surrounding This Savage Song that I need, need to get my hands on it. Soon.
What book do you need to read by the end of the year?
Crystal Storm (Morgan Rhodes)
As I already mentioned, the Falling Kingdom series was probably my favorite this year. It had everything: a compelling plot, multi-dimensional characters, political intrigue, romance, and basically packed all the great elements of the YA fantasy genre in a cohesive, enthralling way. I honestly could not put the books down.
So, unsurprisingly, I will be getting the fifth instalment as soon as it comes out this December and will probably be done with it in a day or two. No shame about it.
So here’s my mid-year freak out list! I hope you guys enjoyed it and please share your thoughts in the comments below. I always love hearing about different opinions and preferences, so don’t be shy!
Now I tag….
If any of you has already done this tag or doesn’t want to do it, it’s all good! I’m just hoping you have fun and share this tag around so more people can join in. Be sure to reference me if you do, so I can check out your lists. Thanks!
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