Best Books of 2016

This year I read 147 books. That sounds like a lot, but a lot of those books are manga and comic books. Not that I don’t count those, but those are really quick reads (at least for me), otherwise I never would’ve been able to read this much haha. But what were my favourites this year? In no order, except for the first one:

Timekeeper by Tara Sim

Hands down my favourite book of the year. I loved it to pieces and I can’t wait for the sequel. I loved the characters, the worldbuilding, the writing, the relationships (including the romance of course), the mystery… Just everything. Read my review and listen to my playlist here.

The Ask and the Answer/Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

If I had to choose which one of these two is better, I’d probably go with The Ask and the Answer. Don’t ask me for any arguments, because I read these two at the start of the year and until I went through Goodreads I didn’t even remember that I read them this year. It feels like ages ago.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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Same with Simon. Did I seriously read this only this year?? This book was so cute and Simon is so relatable. It didn’t blow me away, but I might reread it next year and we’ll see. Cinder didn’t blow me away at first either and now it’s one of my favourite books. Read my review here.

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

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This reminds me that I need to get my hands on Heartless. Also Wires and Nerves is almost out!! But I should talk about this book instead. If you’re a fan of The Lunar Chronicles and haven’t read this one yet, I really recommend it. I felt like I got to know the characters a little bit better (even though I think the main books already do a superb job at that) and it was just a lot of fun, especially the last story. Read my review here.

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

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This book was just so much fun and hilarious. I doubt there will ever be a year where there won’t be a Riordan book on my best of list, unless he didn’t publish anything. I already loved Apollo, but Uncle Rick gave him character development and actually made him likeable (I mean, I loved him before but if I were to know him in real life I’d despise him haha). Read my review here.

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

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I finally read the entire series this year and I really get what the hype is all about! I don’t know which book would be my favourite and I haven’t reviewed any of them either woops.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I have this edition but I'm too lazy to take a picture of it woops

I have this edition but I’m too lazy to take a picture of it woops

This one was definitely a surprise! I started reading it and was quite bored, but at some point the pace picked up and I loved it so much. It was so sweet yet heartbreaking. It also felt very real and I loved seeing Anne grow up. I really need to read the rest of the series.

One by Sarah Crossan 

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I’ve been meaning to review this one but I haven’t gotten to it yet. This one is written entirely through poems and while I didn’t know what to expect at first, it worked so well. It made me feel so much closer to the protagonists and so much more emotional.

We Awaken by Calista Lynne

I may have only given this book 3.5 stars, but I loved it a lot. It’s still on my mind even now after having finished it weeks ago. I just love the fact that both the protagonist and her love interest are ace and how that’s explored and how beautiful their relationship is. Read my review here.

Orange

I meant to review this manga this Summer when I read it, but I never got to it. I read it in one sitting (okay there aren’t that many chapters but still) and I can’t even explain why I loved it so much. It just hit me real hard and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Ms. Marvel

I don’t care whether you like superheroes or not okay? Read Ms. Marvel. Okay words are not working with me. I just don’t know where to start. Okay hopefully I’ll do better once I try to properly review this which I am planning on doing. JUST READ IT.

Lumberjanes

READ LUMBERJANES TOO (okay you should read everything on this list but). It has a super diverse cast (two!! trans characters!!!!), it’s all about friendship (though there’s an adorable same-sex relationship too), it’s very strange and magical, it’s hilarious, the characters are very lovable and just READ IT.

What are the best books YOU read this year? Let me know in the comments!

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Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag A.K.A. What Happened to 2016 Tag

Thank you Jess for tagging me! Go check out her blog if you haven’t already because it’s gorgeous

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2016

This used to be Stars Above, but then I read Monsters of Men. It was an amazing rollercoaster and definitely didn’t disappoint. I havent’ reviewed any of the books in the trilogy, and I’m not sure I will. I just don’t know how to put my love for these books into words.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2016

I’m going with The Ask and the Answer, because apparently I haven’t even read that many sequels this year (and Stars Above doesn’t really count, since only the last story takes place after Winter).

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

Woops still haven’t read Lady Midnight

I kid you not I’ve been at the bookstore, stared at it, and picked up other books. I’ve kind of lost my excitement and there are other books I’d rather read. But I still want to read it! It just isn’t a priority anymore (I seriously don’t know what happened. Like I was so excited before it came out and then it did and I just…)

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

To be honest I’m not sure what books are coming out this year. I’m really not keeping up, because I’ve been really busy with school and now I figure I’ll just see when books come out when everyone in the community starts reading them lol. BUT I really can’t wait to read Heartless. Alice in Wonderland and written by Marissa Meyer? Yes please *grabby hands*

5. Biggest disappointment

a thousand nightsIT’S SO PRETTY. BOTH ON THE OUTSIDE AND INSIDE. BUT NOT STORY WISE. I was incredibly bored during this one. I love fairy tale retellings, but this one? Nope nope nope. Read my review here. Really wouldn’t recommend this one. BUT there are people out there who really love it, so that said if you’re interested in it still check it out.

6. Biggest surprise

Crystal Magic by Madeline Freeman. I got it for free on Amazon and the previous free e-books I had read weren’t that great, so my expectations were really, really low. But I really enjoyed this one! Read my review here.

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

I think it’s a tie between Becky Albertali and Maggie Stiefvater, though I’ve met Becky at YalfestNL and she was so cute and lovely so I’m leaning towards her

8. Newest fictional crush

I’m afraid to say that there’s no new addition to my fictional boy harem

9. Newest favourite characterimg_0014

Definitely Simon Spiers! Also one of my favourite protagonist *nods* I mean he’s a Potterhead so how could I not love him (yes I’m biased so what ssh) Read my review here.

10. Book that made you cry

I reread The Perks of Being a Wallflower which made me cry again

11. Book that made you happy

starsaboveStars Above. Especially the last story. If you’ve read it you know what I’m talking about. It was just perfect and put a smile on my face. I loved seeing the gang all together again. The story of Cinder and Kai’s first meeting from Kai’s POV also put a big goofy smile on my face though. Read my review here.

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

I got Harry Potter Film Wizardry for my birthday and that definitely qualifies. It’s gorgeous inside and out. While I haven’t read it yet, I definitely recommend it

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I don’t have any specific books really. I just want to read all the unread books on my shelves (not going to happen. Like I’m going to finish Les Mis hahaha. I really need to finally read that)

14. Favourite Book Community Member (Blogger, Booktuber and Bookstagrammer)

I assume this has to be someone you discovered this year? Then I’m choosing (sounds like I’m choosing a Pokemon haha – SPEAKING OF WHICH BY THE TIME THIS IS PUBLISHED I’D BETTER HAVE POKEMON GO) Liam from Hey Ashers! His reviews are brilliant – not just well-written and with good points, but also hilarious.

15. Tag! Who’s It?

Fadwa | Evi | Zin | Annemieke | Samantha | Marie | Joan | Emma 

Don’t feel obligated to do this!

How was the first half year of 2016 reading wise for you? What is your favourite and worst book so far? Any answers we have in common? Let me know in the comments!

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Review: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

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Genre: Ya | fairytale retelling | sci-fi
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4.5
Goodreads rating: 4.38
My rating: ★★★★★

summary

The Keeper: A prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, showing a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.
Glitches: In this prequel to Cinder, we see the results of the plague play out, and the emotional toll it takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch….
The Queen’s Army: In this prequel to Scarlet, we’re introduced to the army Queen Levana is building, and one soldier in particular who will do anything to keep from becoming the monster they want him to be.
Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: Thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne has big plans involving a Rampion spaceship and a no-return trip out of Los Angeles.
After Sunshine Passes By: In this prequel to Cress, we see how a nine-year-old Cress ended up alone on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.
The Princess and the Guard: In this prequel to Winter, we see a game called The Princess
The Little Android
: A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.
The Mechanic: In this prequel to Cinder, we see Kai and Cinder’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective.
Something Old, Something New: In this epilogue to Winter, friends gather for the wedding of the century…
 (Goodreads)

review

WARNING: Do not read this review if you haven’t read The Lunar Chronicles yet

I love how we learn more about the main characters’ backgrounds. Amazingly it made me love the characters even more, which I didn’t think was possible!

The Keeper
This story isn’t just about Cinder coming into Michelle Benoit’s care, but of course also about Michelle and Scarlet’s relationship. While I felt really sad when Michelle died during Scarlet, I wasn’t that emotional or involved, since we never really saw their relationship. So thank you Marissa Meyer for completely crushing my heart because they had such an amazing relationship and Michelle Benoit was really an incredible woman. And of course reading about how Selene came into her care was really interesting too.

Glitches
The only one I had already read back when I first read Cinder, as it was at the end of my copy. I never reviewed it back then though. I loved seeing young Cinder, her meeting her new ‘family’, playing with Peony and meeting Iko for the first time. Young Cinder broke my heart; trying to fit in and getting her new family to accept her. I’ll adopt you Cinder

The Queen’s Army
Oh my Stars smol Wolf can I just grab him and hug him because the poor boy needs it. Especially when he vows to never end up on the operation table again and you remember what happened in Winter hahaha NO. Marissa Meyer why must you do this to us. And to your characters. Hasn’t Wolf gone through enough

Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky
While I love all the stories, this one is definitely one of my favourites. It’s not just a fun read (because Thorne), it also explained so much about Thorne as a person. I understand him so much better after reading this story, and I love him even more.

After Sunshine Passes By
Oh my Stars poor little naive Cress come here you can live on Earth with me. We already knew from the book Cress that Cress thought she was going to Earth instead of a satellite, but actually reading her thoughts was so heartbreaking.

The Princess and The Guard
Okay this was ADORABLE. While Jacin is my least favourite of the eight (doesn’t mean I don’t love him!), I always loved his relationship with Winter and this made me love it even more. In fact, it made me appreciate Jacin more too. And ugh can I hug Winter. Basically I want to take all of these characters in.

The Little Android
I didn’t expect this one to be about an android we hadn’t met yet! I thought it would be about Iko, so I went in thinking it was Iko’s background story and was quickly confused haha. I love this twist on The Little Mermaid though and even though it was about characters that I didn’t know yet and had no attachment to, I really enjoyed it.

The Mechanic
This one and Something Old, Something New are tied for the first place. I had already read an excerpt back when Stars Above was announced and oh my Stars do I love this story. More scenes that were originally from Cinder’s perspective from Kai’s please. He’s such a dork I love him.

Something Old, Something New
Obviously I won’t tell you who’s getting married, but if you’re like me and ship all the ships, you have nothing to lose anyway. Plus the entire crew is back together and it’s beautiful. I love their friendship so much. It’s so nice to see them all hang out and have fun, instead of running for their lives. Is it greedy to ask for more

So basically I loved it and it’s beautiful and perfect just go read it if you haven’t yet seriously what are you waiting for

Have you read Stars Above yet? How did you feel about it? Was the wedding a surprise or did you suspect it was going to be between these two characters? (do be careful of spoiling people who haven’t read it yet though!) And which story was your favourite? Let me know in the comments!

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The Monthly Hufflepuff: April

Wait what happened to April. How is it May already. Stop this madness.

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  • The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman ★★★★
  • Stars Above by Marissa Meyer ★★★★★
  • Pokemon Special volume 1 (reread) ★★★★★
  • Liar Game volumes 10 and 11 (I’ll rate the entire manga once I’ve finished it)
  • Hollow City by Ransom Riggs ★★★
  • Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs ★★
  • Rise of the Dragons by Morgan Rice ★

Hollow City and Library of Souls took me sooo long that I had forgotten about the books I read at the beginning of the month! I thought I had read those in March haha. I’ve already written my reviews for Stars Above and Rise of the Dragons, so hopefully I’ll post those soon. I’m going to review the entire Miss Peregrine trilogy in one post hopefully this month and I won’t review the others (maybe I’ll review Liar Game once I’ve read all the volumes, but I’m not sure yet).

2016goals

  • I finished the Miss Peregrine trilogy for my YalfestNL Challenge. Sadly I didn’t finish the Shatter Me trilogy before the event, but turns out I had nothing to worry about. I wasn’t spoiled thankfully!
  • One of my blogging goals is to post a Blogsterdam post every month, and while I skipped March, and I think February too, I posted one this month! Maybe I’ll make up for the missed Blogsterdams and Discussing Hufflepuffs during the Summer (with the emphasis on maybe)
  • I read Stars Above, so that’s another book for my Retelling Challenge!

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After my weekly wrap up this Wednesday I:

I didn’t do a Discussing Hufflepuff this month, even though I did have a topic. Hopefully I’ll do it this month.

Other posts I’m proud of/liked writing this month:

nextmonth

My final full month of college woah! I’ll be done on June 18th (officially, I’m not sure when I’m really done) so this is crazy. Also I’m so close to turning 19 it’s scary. I’M STILL NOT OKAY THAT I’M NO LONGER THE DANCING QUEEN (YOUNG AND SWEET ONLY SEVENTEEN) OKAY.

Also The Hidden Oracle is coming out this month and I need it desperately *grabby hands*. I hope I’ll be less busy this month, but I doubt it.

So how was your April? Did you do anything exciting or read any exciting books? Let me know in the comments!

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The Weekly Hufflepuff #28

The first Weekly Hufflepuff in a few weeks! I sure missed doing these. I was actually tempted to skip this one, as I’m exhausted, but I managed to force myself to sit up and type haha.

whatiread

I started and finished Stars Above and started Hollow City. I loved Stars Above and hope to review it sometime this week. I’m not sure yet how I feel about Hollow City. I really enjoyed the first book in the Miss Peregrine’s trilogy, but so far it feels like Hollow City is suffering from second book syndrome.

personal

Hmm let’s see. I had the week off, except for Friday when I had to go to school for our radio broadcast. It was very stressful, but also a lot of fun and it went pretty well.

On Thursday one of my friends from secondary school came over and we mostly talked a lot and looked at old photos and videos and laughed our heads off. We also watched She’s The Man, which we used to be obsessed with, but now we realised that the film isn’t really that funny and it has a lot of plot twists haha. But it was still fun.

I finally got around to cleaning my room last weekend, not to mention reorganising my bookshelves. I’m really happy with the result and I’d post some pictures, but I really don’t want to get out of bed right now.

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elsewhere

Tomorrow is the first day of my last term of my first year of journalism (damn this is one complicated sentence). I can’t believe how fast time has flown by, and while I’m excited to see what this term will bring, I’m also really ready for Summer holidays. The fact that I’ve spent this entire weekend in bed is proof of that.

How has your week been? What are you reading? Are you in need of Summer holidays as much as I am? Let me know in the comments!

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