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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Review: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESGenre: Middle Grade/YA (not sure?? Suitable for both though) | Fantasy
Series: The Trials of Apollo #1
Goodreads rating: 4.40
My rating:  ★★★★★

summary

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies – gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood (Goodreads).

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Definitely one of my favourite books of the year, which I’m so glad about. While I enjoyed Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer last year, it didn’t really blow me away. The Hidden Oracle on the other hand was such a joy to read! I loved that a big part of the book took place at Camp, which didn’t just feel familiar but was also kind of new because usually the characters leave Camp pretty quickly to go on a quest.

Apollo had always been one of my favourite Olympians, because he’s hilarious. I can see why some people might dislike him, but his character development in the book was amazing. I won’t go into it too much, of course, because

But it was one of my favourite parts of the book, besides the humour, the haiku chapter titles, seeing familiar faces, the friendships, Apollo bonding with his kids… And of course a certain couple…

Okay basically I just loved it a lot. Also that ending. Seriously if you love Uncle Rick’s books just read this. I can’t wait for the next one.

This is a really short review for several reasons: 1) I should’ve reviewed this sooner, but I thought I already had? 2) I don’t want to go into too many details and spoil you 3) mostly the first reason though

Have you read The Hidden Oracle yet? What did you think of it? Are you excited for the next one as  well? Let me know in the comments!

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The Discussing Hufflepuff #5: ‘ANOTHER book set in that world?’

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE! Can you believe it’s Christmas already tomorrow? I’ve got a Christmas post coming up tomorrow, but today it’s time for another Discussing Hufflepuff. Today I want to talk about something that has been annoying me for a while now.

Next year Lady Midnight is coming out, another book in the Shadowhunter Chronicles. Chain of Gold, also a Shadowhunters book, will hopefully be released in 2017. The Hidden Oracle, the first book in Rick Riordan’s new series The Trials of Apollo, will also be released in 2016. Now you may think: Michelle, where are you going with this? What do these books have in common?

All these books get comments, mainly on Goodreads, along these lines: ‘ANOTHER Shadowhunter book?’ ‘ANOTHER mythology book?’ ‘Can’t they write something else?’ and the infamous ‘they’re doing it for the money!’.

This really annoys me. You don’t have to read these, you know. A lot of us, including me, are very excited about these new series. Why does it bother you so much? The authors, and the fans, are not ready to let go of these worlds yet. They still have many stories they want to tell, they find them fun to write, and most of us find them fun to read, so what’s the big deal? Yes, they can write something else. And they have. Rick Riordan has written non-mythology books. Cassandra Clare is writing The Magisterium series with Holly Black. But if they hadn’t, what does it matter? They’re doing what they love, I say let them. As someone who loves to write, I’m sure not going to criticise them.

Also, how many people complained about Blood of Olympus? When I finished it, I figured there was going to be another series. I mean, spoiler: Apollo went missing for crying out loud. Uncle Rick couldn’t just leave it at that. I’m not remembering this wrong am I? I didn’t make this up myself, right? There were things left unresolved, and many more things we complained about that I won’t specify here to avoid spoilers, but if you’ve read Blood of Olympus and you’re part of the fandom, you probably know what I’m talking about. It sounds like all our complaints will be resolved in this new series, so why are we complaining? (when I say we, I’m obviously not including myself. I’m not complaining. I’M HELLA EXCITED. Remind me to never use ‘hella’ again please)

But what even irks me more, is that when authors don’t write another series set in the same world, people also complain (okay I’m guilty of this one). We whine and whine that there’s no book series about the Marauders. If J.K. Rowling announced that series today, would anyone say ‘another Harry Potter book’? And if afterwards she announced a series about the Founders, would anyone say it then? No, forget I asked that. Probably someone will. My point is, we often want more series set in these worlds. We’re often not ready to let go. And again, if you are ready, you don’t have to read this new series! No one will point a gun to your head and force you to (I hope).

And ‘they’re doing it for the money’? UM. IT’S THEIR JOB. WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE WE NEED MONEY TO SURVIVE. THEY NEED TO PAY THEIR BILLS AND BUY FOOD. HOW ARE THEY GOING TO WRITE WHEN THEY’RE DEAD BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF FOOD. Guys, I would KILL (okay, maybe not kill) to be able to write for a living. I know a lot of us are. They’re writing something they love, and they’re being paid that way. If a chef makes another pasta, will you go ‘NOT ANOTHER PASTA. CAN’T YOU COOK SOMETHING ELSE FOR A CHANGE?’ Please stop criticising authors for writing several books/series set in the same world. Unless there’s a really good reason to do so! If there is, please let me know.

So what do you think? If you disagree with me, let me know! I’m really curious to find out more about the other side of this ‘debate’. AND WHO’S ALSO EXCITED ABOUT THE HIDDEN ORACLE, LADY MIDNIGHT AND CHAIN OF GOLD?

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The Weekly Hufflepuff #16

ONLY ONE MORE WEEK UNTIL CHRISTMAS BREAK

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I’ve been admiring and worshipping the illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (and reading it too of course). Expect a review soon!

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I really need to write down all the things that I want to mention here because apparently I have a terrible memory (Edit: hey look, I remembered quite a bit!)

I’m not sure how I feel about the Once Upon a Time midseason finale. I have very mixed feelings about it. BUT HEY (minor spoiler in white. If you’ve kept up with casting news it’s not a spoiler at all even if you haven’t seen the finale yet): WE’RE THEY’RE GOING TO THE UNDERWORLD AND I LOVE THE UNDERWORLD AND HERC AND MEG AND HADES THEY BETTER NOT SCREW THIS UP (though I’m not sure how I feel about the casting of Herc and Meg)

LESS THAN A MONTH UNTIL SHADOWHUNTERS.

I started watching The Heirs (Korean drama) this week and I’m quite addicted. I’ll probably write a post about it during my Christmas break.

I visited my grandpa today (which is nothing new
as I visit him every Sunday unless I’m ill/have exams for example) BUT ON MY WAY HOME I PASSED A PUG AND WE STARED AT EACH OTHER AND I SWEAR THERE WAS A CONNECTION. Me @ pug:

I swear I mentally squealed

Also I’ve started wearing hats this week (I know this is not very interesting but the next bit is): I was wearing my Pikachu hat and I passed two dogs who both aggressively barked at me. Is it the Pikachu hat?? Do they hate Pikachu?? What has Pikachu done to them??

If you missed yesterday’s posts (I don’t know in which one I mentioned it): I had a funny dream Saturday night. I dreamed that I was a talking panda with magical powers. I was on a boat with my classmates and we were being chased by some bad guys. I stopped them by creating a tsunami with my panda powers.

WE PUT UP THE CHRISTMAS TREE THIS WEEK. I’ll take some better pictures later this week. Mainly of my new Disney ornaments I got this year that are GORGEOUS

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An excerpt of The Hidden Oracle (book one in The Trials of Apollo, a new series by Uncle Rick which will be published next frickin’ year) was released. Read it here, you won’t regret it. I’m SO EXCITED. Way more excited than I am for Magnus Chase’s sequel (just realised I still haven’t posted my review…)

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Not much. I wanted to blog more, but I was so exhausted. There are so many posts I still want to post this month, I might have to post twice a day during my break to do so.

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I’m once again behind on reading blogs… Oh well! I try to keep the amount of posts in my Bloglovin feed beneath 100. Here are some of the posts I liked this week:

And that’s a wrap! How was your week? What have you been reading? Are you all set for Christmas yet? I’m not! But that’s what Christmas break is for, right? 

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