THIS WAS A FUN FUN READING YEAR.
Well. No. That’s not entirely true. I wish I’d read more this year but the reading slump hit and stayed for like 5 months?!?! Either way, I read a lot of incredible books this year so let’s talk about them shall we? In no particular order:
Defnitely, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I’ve read the first three books this year and there’s literally no way I can just pick one as my favorite.
HOW ON EARTH HAVE I WAITED SO LONG TO START THIS SERIES?!? Honestly I’m just glad I finally did because I loved everything about it, like there was never an instance where I did not enjoy these characters and this world. It has become one of those series that I can just escape in to, completely immersing my mind in it, and that hasn’t happened to me in so long with a book. I mean it’s what we all look for in a book right?
I gave all of these books (minus Winter because I haven’t read it yet *sob*) 5 stars. Without hesitation. It’s just that good. I loved Cinder and Kai. And then I loved Scarlet and Wolf. And then I loved Cress and Thorne. And I just continues to love every character as I went along through the series and just AHHH so so good. My favorite character is definitely Thorne though, I just love how confident and snarky he is without being arrogant. It’s very much a character driven series and I don’t mind that at all because I’d pick characters over plot any day.
HONORABLE MENTION: 172 Hours On The Moon by Johan Harstad.
This book really pleasantly surprised me. I only picked it up because it was close to Halloween and I wanted to read something creepy yet fast paced for Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. So basically I stayed up all night (literally ALL NIGHT) reading this book and I was terrified. It isn’t straight up horror, there’s a lot of different elements in this book that really did add to the story and I really like the way it’s paced. I’m not gonna talk too much about what happens because I recommend you go in to this completely unaware of the contents.
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Tayor. I mean, if you know me this won’t be a shock at all. Laini Taylor is one of my all time favorite authors and I think Daughter of Smoke and Bone was actually my favorite book of last year. I finally finished the trilogy this year and honestly these books are heavenly. They just get better and better as the series progresses and all the reads were easily 5 star reads for me. But ah, this finale to the series was so good. The epic battle just left me gasping and hyperventilating and there was so much detail in the writing and just it was all sorts of perfect. Not to mention Zuze and Mik got more time and I LOVE THEM SO SO MUCH.
Passenger by Alexander Bracken would have definitely won the number one spot if it hadn’t been for the excellence that is Laini Taylor. But either way I enjoyed this so so much. Unlike most of my favorite books, I liked this one for the plot more than for the characters. In all honesty, I wish the characters had a bit more depth but the story and the time traveling aspect as well as Alexandra Bracken’s beautiful writing had me in love with this story.
My second honorable mention is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern but I’m not gonna talk much about it because I have a full, rambly review for the book which I will link here. But all I will say is: Magic. Circus. Mystery. A dash of romance. 4.5 stars. Absolutely excellent.
I usually read way more contemporary books than any other genre and this year was definitely no exception. I read a lot of excellent contemporary books this year but the best definitely has to be one I read just a few days ago actually and that is Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz.
HOLY FLAMING POTATOES, GUYS. This book blew me away. It was just so beautifully written and Ari’s narrative felt so real and honest. It wasn’t overly pretentious in the way a lot of these popular contemporary books are (just being honest here) and I think that’s the reason I enjoyed it so much. And I liked being able to watch him and Dante grow up and it wasn’t like they were the perfect best friends, they had fall-outs and they grew apart and fell back together and it was all written and represented so beautifully.
Also quick little note: I do not own a physical copy of this book, I listened to the audiobook that was narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda and I’m not entirely sure if my undying love for this brilliant man enhanced my reading experience but I’m sure that even if I had read the book and not listened to it, it would’ve still made it on this list.
HONORABLE MENTION: I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
This book genuinely surprised me, I mean I really wasn’t expecting to love it as much as it did. I have read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and while I enjoyed it tremendously, I probably enjoyed this more (*audience gasps*).
I just thought it was such an interesting concept and the character growth that you see throughout the book, not only for Ed but for his friends as well, was so fun to follow. And of course, a story as amazing as this one paired with Markus Zusak’s mind blowing writing style definitely deserves to be on this list. I cannot recommend this book enough.
BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL
Something very exciting that appeared in my reading life were graphic novels! I’m slowly falling in love with them. Now, I read nowhere near a lot of graphic novels but Nimona by Noelle Stevenson has earned it’s place in my heart as one of my FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME. That’s right, folks. It’s that good. I read this back in September and finished it in one sitting. It really isn’t the kind of book you can put down.
First off, THESE CHARACTERS. I loved all of them. If you haven’t heard of Nimona before (where have you been?!?!) it’s about this girl called Nimona who just one day randomly shows to be a sidekick for a villain called Ballister Blackheart. And at first he’s annoyed because he didn’t want a sidekick to begin with but as the story progresses we see them grow closer and form a friendship. And they go around causing mischief and it’s very fun to read about. There is also this knight (?) called Ambrosius Goldenloin who is the ‘good guy’, it is just one of those rare books where the characters and the plot are both equally good and go so perfectly together. Not to mention, Noelle Stevenson’s art is so adorable.
HONORABLE MENTION: LUMBERJANES
Lumberjanes is a comic series written by Noelle Stevenson (I’m really in love with her art, guys) and a bunch of other amazing authors, following a group of these 5 kickass girls at summer camp. And there’s a lot of mysterious and fantastical elements in their adventures that I was not expecting honestly.
I just picked up the first volume of this series just about a week ago as a way to complete my reading challenge for the year but I have completely fallen in love with these girls, and I just finished the second volume last night. It is excellent in every way.
Me and my sister are actually reading the series together at the moment, because I really think it’s a great series for middle schoolers as well. I mean, there is such a diverse range of characters and the detail that’s been put in to each one of them is great because like I said, I love character depth. Did I mention it’s LGBTQ+? Yeah. It’s amazing.
And that’s it for my favorite reads of this year, folks. If you’ve read any of these books or read some REALLY good books this year then please do let me know in the comments.