Friday, 1 July 2016

2016 In Books: Part 1

Hi all!
You may or may not remember, but earlier this year I wrote this post telling you about all the books I had read during the year of 2015. I was going to do that again but there's been a slight complication... I've read way more books and it's only June! I'm writing this a few days early so you might see on my Goodreads that the count has changed, but anything after I'll add into the next post.
So far, I have read 26 books! (I only had a goal of 15)... I have to say I'm pretty proud and I've loved them so much. Seriously though, everything is rated so highly.

(I apologise in advance for how long this is - but don't worry, if you don't want to read it all I've added pictures so you can skim through and pick out something that looks interesting)



The first book I read was City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, which is the second book in the Mortal Instruments series (I'm rereading them all this year for Lady Midnight). It's not as good as the first (mainly because I find Simon to be so whiny in this book) but it was still a great story and a great sequel.
Goodreads rating: 5 stars




Next I read the second half of A Storm of Swords by George R R Martin, and I honestly think that this is my favourite book of the whole series. The entire thing was so intense and dramatic and there was just so many things happening in every chapter that I was kept on my toes for the whole book.
Goodreads rating: 5 stars.




I then read Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 3 & 4. I manged to pick this up for around $12 (normally $40 something) and I really enjoyed reading it. It was great to be able to examine some of the characters in a little more depth and understand why the show-runners chose to do things in a certain way. The pictures where fantastic and I loved the look at the behind the scenes stuff.
Goodreads rating: 5 stars



I then took a bit of a dramatic turn with my reading (this happens a lot so don't be surprised) and read Anne of Avonlea by L M Montgomery. While I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first book, it was still a delightful story and Anne is an absolutely lovely character to read about. I love her so much! I'm a little shocked I haven't read these books earlier, because although I'm enjoying them now I would have absolutely loved them when I was younger. Goodreads rating: 4.75 stars





After watching the movie with some friends, I decided to pick up The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey and in some ways I was very disappointed but in others I really loved it. I did a full review at the time and you can find it here if you want to know a little more of my thoughts on it.
Goodreads rating: 3.75 stars




At my sisters insistence I also picked up my first Sarah J Maas novel and absolutely adored it. The book was A Court of Thorns and Roses. The plot was pretty intense, especially in the second half, and the world it was set in was very interesting and I cannot wait to learn more about it. Feyre, as a main character, is kick butt and so strong-willed which I really loved. I hated Rhysand and loved Tamlin and I had some very strong opinions on it all (which little did I know was all about to change).
Goodreads rating: 5 stars




The next book was also a suggestion from my sister and that was Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. Oh my god I am still not over this book at all! It was very intense and a little bit magical (hello, superpowers anyone) and it was so enjoyable. The characters were all complex and interesting and after a moment worse than Hans and Anna in Frozen, I don't think I'll ever recover from this book. I'm saying no more because I don't want to spoil it!
Goodreads rating: 5 stars




I then obviously had to pick up the sequel straight away (and luckily for me it had just come out). Glass Sword was just as good as the first and just as intense. Mare's (the main character) relationships with everyone began to change and progress and I really enjoyed reading about it. I highly recommend picking up this series!
Goodreads rating: 5 stars


(Side note: I just had a lunch break and it was so delicious I should have taken a picture. I made a salad with lettuce, spinach, feta, ham, salami, roasted capsicum, cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. So delicious!)




I then read my first and only classic (so far) and that was Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. It was a surprisingly quick read and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was very interesting to read the original story of Frankenstein and it had a very important message on human interference and meddling with things that shouldn't be meddled with.
Goodreads rating; 5 stars




The very same day actually, I read The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket which is the first book in his Series of Unfortunate Events (I know, I know, a weird pair of books). It was a delightful read and I'm sure I would have loved it had I read this when I was younger. The book just screamed adventures to me and I loved the Famous Five by Enid Blyton so this would have been right up my alley. I also really enjoyed how the author worked the definitions of big words into the story, as a child I think that would have helped me heaps!
Goodreads rating: 4 stars




I then went back to what I read at the start of the year and read City of Glass by Cassandra Clare. Simon redeems himself a bit in this book and this was a stunning wrap up for the first half of the series. I can't really say too much without giving the other books away but it was fantastic!
Goodreads rating: 5 stars




And there's another recommendation from my sister... Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. (If you can believe it this is still only February...) This was a really sweet and fluffy book about two guys who anonymously email each other but go to the same school and it was just great. If you're looking for a romance that's not too over the top then I have found the book for you.
Goodreads rating: 5 stars




You may or may not have heard, but Fallen by Lauren Kate is apparently going to be a movie sometime soon (so few details though - just the cast and one still) so I of course had to reread the book just in case! These books aren't the best written but I absolutely adore them and I am all about guilty pleasure reads. Definitely give these a go if you love fallen angels and reincarnation.
Goodreads rating: 4 stars



I then read another Cassandra Clare book (I've decided to reread in publication order) and this time it was Clockwork Angel. I honestly think that I like these better than the Mortal Instruments books. The characters are great and I love the dynamics between Will, Jem and Tessa and I love the historical setting of the book. This trilogy is just really great guys and I love it.
Goodreads rating: 5 stars




Back to Game of Thrones! I read A Feast For Crows next and while I really enjoyed it, the book was definitely slower paced then the rest. This book and the next one centers on characters geographically rather than chronologically and as such I was stuck with all the people I don't like. It was interesting all the same seeing the plotting and scheming that goes on at Kings Landing!
Goodreads rating: 5 stars




I watched the movie a while back and I really enjoyed it, so I of course had to read the book! Brooklyn by Colm Toibin (sorry I don't know how to do the accents) was a delightful book about a young girl who moves from a small town in Ireland to Brooklyn, New York. It was all about her adjusting to her new life and dealing with homesickness and I found that I really connected with the main character Eilis in a lot of ways. I definitely recommend this book if you like a slower read.
Goodreads rating: 4 stars




I then read my first truly disappointing book of the year, Soundless by Richelle Mead. I love this author and she has written some of my favourite series and them premise of this book sounded so interesting! It's about a small Chinese mining village in the mountains where everyone is deaf. It was very promising and the beginning was great, but the ending especially felt super rushed and fell very short of my expectations.
 Goodreads rating: 3.5 stars



Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin was incredible! Just picture it: in an alternate universe where Hitler won the war, a girl enters a motorcycle race because she wants to kill Hitler. It was so thrilling and captivating that I found I just couldn't put this book down. If that synopsis doesn't convince you then I don't know what will. Seriously, just trust me on this one and go read it.
Goodreads rating: 5 stars



The next book I read was another World War II book, and that was All The Light We Cannot See by Anothny Doerr. It was beautifully written and oh so sad and I loved every minute of it. The chapters are very short, which was interesting, and alternates between two people: a blind French girl and a German boy. It follows their lives and how they intertwine even though they have never met. A stunning read and I highly recommend it (I cried).
 Goodreads rating: 5 stars




I think I had a thing for sad books that week, because I read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (movie was so good btw, I watched it the other day. I think it was the best book to movie adaption I have ever read) and my gosh. I literally could not put it down! It was a uni day and so I read it on the train to uni, before French, in between lectures, on the bus, at the train station... I read so much that I had finished it not even half an hour into the return trip home. And guys, I cried on a train. In front of people! I got some strange looks but this book was so worth it, Heartbreaking and beautiful, I loved it. I also really loved Louisa as a main character - she was great.
Goodreads rating: 5 stars





I then took a break from the sadness, and read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed reading about Percy and his friends adventures! These books are absolutely delightful and I honestly think readers of all ages can enjoy them. Everything I know about Greek mythology comes from these books.
Goodreads rating: 5 stars


I can't even describe the next book to you. We Were Liars by E Lockart was so suspenseful and thrilling and mysterious and just really really great. The ending was everything you could have wanted for and more - the whole book was leading up to it and it was so climatic and dramatic. Absolutely fantastic. I'm not telling you anything about it though or you will be spoiled. This is one you will just have to trust me on (also I cried if that's something you want to know).
Goodreads rating: 5 stars



If you thought a Court of Thorns and Roses was good: prepare yourself. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas was even better. So much better that I almost changed my rating for the first one, but I loved that one at the time so I left it. I don't want to say too much but let's just say this is a game changer. It's dramatic and it's so beautiful and you will for sure jump ship by the end of it. The new cast of characters of great and I love how the dynamics with the old ones have changed completely. Can't wait to read the next installment!
Goodreads rating: 5 stars



Oh my gosh, The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman made me absolutely ball my eyes out. Honestly, I cannot remember when I cried this much over a book ever. It was very slow paced, so it might not be the right fit for a lot of you but I loved it. The settings, the characters, the storyline - it was all fantastic. And heartbreaking, but I'm wrapping this up here because I'm tearing up just thinking about it.
Goodreads rating: 5 stars



The next two books are old favourites of mine, and that is Vampire Academy and Frostbite by Richelle Mead. You're probably sick of vampire books but these a pretty great and the female lead is so kick butt and badass it's incredible. It's kind of hard to explain so just click the links and read the synopsis. Highly recommend - Richelle Mead is one of my favourite authors!
 Goodreads rating 5 stars and 4 stars respectively.



Well that was humongous! I'm very impressed if you read until the end. Maybe next year I should do it quarterly?
I hope this has inspired you to read some fantastic books of your own - if so, happy reading!
Tynnika