A Year of Books: 2016

As we move into to 2017, I though I would give you 12 of my favourite books, one for every month of the year.

January:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I23437156 know what your thinking, another post were I gush over this series, but that’s exactly what you’re getting. I got Six of Crows for Christmas last year, so it was one of my very first reads of the year and definitely set 2016 up to be a good reading year. This YA fantasy follows six very different characters as they come together to attempt a heist. I don’t think I should have to say more than that but in case you still need convincing, it’s super diverse, with those characters representing different abilities, disabilities, sexual orientation, and even religion and political beliefs to a certain extent. Also later in the year I re-read it via audiobook, and I loved that even character had a different narrator, it kept things fresh and fun through hours of listening. As I said, I re-read this book multiple times throughout the year, and I probably would have re-read it more if I hadn’t kept lending it to people, because I’m nice that way.

February:

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

23174274My favourite book of February was another YA fantasy in the form of the sequel to Red Queen. In this world society is split into two factions, reds and silvers, the latter of which are the ruling elite and possess special powers, such as fire or mind control. We follow a girl called Mare Barrow, a red living with her family, when she falls into an engagement with the silvers, and is forced to play their game. Without giving you any spoilers I though this was a brilliant sequel and enveloped both the story and the characters fantastically before the next book, coming out in 2017. I know a lot of people have criticised this series, but personally I love seeing these familiar tropes in a fresh and interesting way. As far as second books go, this is not one that simply pads the story out enough to force a trilogy, but really raises the stakes and had a brilliant ending.

March:

Americanah by Chimmamanda Ngozi Adichie

20939933.jpgI like to think of this as my wildcard book, because it’s not something that I would usually gravitate towards of my own free will, and I didn’t. I read this book for a Contemporary Fiction module at university but ending up getting a lot out of it. It follows the stories of two Nigerians Ifemelu an Obinze, and just tracks the course of their lives. At a time when immigration, identity and diversity are hot topics this is really interesting in order to further that discussion, as both of these characters leave Nigeria. Honestly, I think this must be the first book I’ve read where the protagonists weren’t American or British, and I really enjoyed it. Some parts of books just stick with you, and for me it was Ifemelu’s hair, which is going to sound super weird if you haven’t read it, but hopefully if you have, you’ll know what I mean.  It is a long book, and it is a slow book but it’s one that is definitely worth your time.

April:

Vicious by V.E Schwab

23717497.jpgCan you believe that this was my first experience with a V.E Schwab book? I adore this book and it’s one that I’m dying to re-read. Vicious is a YA sci-fi novel about two boys who become roommates in college and become superheroes, Eli Ever and Victor Vale. Or, at least that was the idea, however one becomes a superhero and the other ends up a super villain.  Now, if you like me, love a compelling, ambiguous villain, or if you love blurred line between the roles of hero and villain then you will adore this book. The characters in this book illustrates, better than anything I’ve read before, the whole concept of the victor writing history. Vicious  really makes you think about the dangers of a one sided story and about how different one person’s perceptions can be from your own, or from the rest of the world. Apart from those quite deep thoughts,  thing is actually really fun and reminded me a lot of the film Megamind, which I personally love, though is a little bit more realistic in the way a superhero story can be.

May:

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

28477453.jpgUgh! I know I haven’t really spoken about this book since I’ve been on here but I can’t even express how much I love this book. That ending! So, in case you’ve been living under a rock, this is the second book in a YA fantasy, fairytale retelling series from the hand that brought you the Throne of Glass Series. Are you sold yet? Are you? The first book, A Court of Thorns and Roses follows a young huntress called Feyre, who kills a wolf in the forest to feed her starving family. It turns out that that was no ordinary wolf and she has to face the punishment. It’s a beauty and the beast re-telling so you can probably guess where it’s going. But these book, these books, guys, are so superb! I am in love with the books, with Rhysand, with the night court gang in general, with Tamiln (to a point) and just everything.

June:

This Savage Song by V.E Schwab

28696452.jpgMy second V.E Schwab book, and once again it made it onto this list easy as pie. This is the first book in a YA urban fantasy, maybe bordering on dystopian slightly, the genres are a bit blurred in this one. The second, Our Dark Duet, is coming out this year sometime, I can quite remember when, but it’s coming. In this book we follow two characters, Kate Harker and Augustus Flynn , as they try to survive is a city at war with itself, and with the monsters that plague it. In this city, every time someone commits a crime, he or she, form a monster, of which there are three breeds varying in dangerousness. In this time of need the city is split into two, one half controlled by Callum Harker, who takes a more mafia route by making people pay for protection from the oysters, and the other by Harry Flynn, who simply kills monsters on sight. In the interest of keeping this shortish I do have a full review over on my GoodReads here, if your interested is some more thoughts. But this is a beautiful story, so unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and one read is definitely not enough.

July:

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

6547260.jpgHonestly, while this was the best book I read in July, I just really wanted Brandon Sanderson to be on my list. The is the second book in a high fantasy trilogy, The Mistborn Trilogy, and on elf my first times reading this genre. After reading The Hobbit I was a bit afraid of this genre, but Sanderson changed my mind completely. In the interest of spoilers I will just give you the low down on the general premise of the first books. In a world where the dark lord won, there is a ragtag bunch of thieves intent on steeling the stockpile of very valuable metal, oh, and overthrowing him, of course. This series has one for he most intricate and detailed magic systems I’ve ever read, it’s so specific, it’s more of a science, because you can follow it that well. I could imagine reading a book just explaining the magic system, because it’s just that interesting. There is the addition of a new character in this book, Zane, who I was all over like a rash, and the further development of our favourites form the first book. There are a couple of storylines going on, it is a 700 page book after all, that effort many different times for theories and even a mystery going on, encompassing a couple of different genres within.

August:

The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bollard

96358.jpgThere was a bit of change in track in August as I made the official decision to venture into the world of the graphic novel, even though I hardly knew where to start. In the end started with Batman: Year One, which was great, but this was something else entirely. The Killing Joke, though short, manages to encompass two storylines running parallel to each other. The first, and the primary one, is sort of what you expect from the Joker, as he kidnaps a certain person in an attempt to drive him to madness. The second, however, is The Joker’s origin story, told in almost sepia coloured flashbacks. There is no doubt that the origins story is really interesting, but it is the general theme of the novel that really stays with you, as the Joker endeavours to convince us that what happened to him, and drove him to madness, could happen to anyone. After all all it takes is one bad day…

September:

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

14518667_1322304631114112_867561949_nI’m sure you haven’t heard anything at all about this underdog… Of course you know that this is the fifth book in the Throne of Glass series by the queen that is Sarah J. Maas, a YA fantasy series following the antics of Celaena Sardothien, renowned assassin. All I can say is that, after the ending of this one, I am absolutely terrified for the final book in the series, and what it will bring. Thousands of ships were sunk with this book, as hearts were broken and I was swayed over by some new, and sort of unexpected alliances. Characters that I hated, I now love, and characters that I loved… well, I still love them. In short this I see this book as the beginning of the end and can only pray for the safety of my precious children in the final book.

October:

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

22299763What a surprise, it’s Leigh Bardugo! Again! As the sequel and finale of the Six of Crows duology, I can’t really tell you anything about the plot, and definitely nothing that I haven’t already told you. As I said before, the characters are so incredibly diverse and yet this is don in such a subtle way that you don’t really notice it at first. The plot it less predictable than the first in terms of where it was going, not that the first was predictable just that it was a little more straightforward with such a clear goal. It’s also entertaining to see some of the Ravkans from the Grisha series make an appearance. The ships which I love so much, developed and grew and I almost cried. Almost.

November:

23403402A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab

It’s three for three for V.E Schwab, and the first book of her newest series following Kell a rare type of magician, an Antari, who has the ability to travel between different parallel Londons. Even with boring London, Kell’s London, Scary London and Dead London to create, etc one is unique enough to be able to keep them separate in my mind. I feel as though I can easily recognise each one individually. Even though there was a lot of character depth already in this book, and definitely plenty, I also feel like there is so much potential to explore both the world, or worlds, and the characters.

December:

Beautiful Stranger (Beautiful Bastard #2) by Christina Lauren

161175062016 was also the year that I first tried out the new-adult genre and it’s safe to say that I really like it. As a 20 year old, I guess I can really relate to whee these characters are in their lives, and even though this is probably my  favourite, I’d like to think that it also stands as a representative of both Beautiful Bastard and Ugly Love by Coleen Hoover, two more new-adults contemporary romances. In this contemporary romance we follow the newly single Sara Dillon as she embarks on a kinky friends-with-benefits relationships with sexy Englishman Max Stella. This book was rivetingly addictive and super hot, though, for obvious reasons, definitely not suitable for younger reader or anyone uncomfortable with explicit sex scenes. I know, without a doubt that this a book that I will read again and again, until I know it backwards.

So there you have it one book for every month of 2016. May your coming year be filled with good books, new releases and old favourites! Thanks for reading!

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