Top 5 Wednesday: Most Disappointing Reads of 2018.

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and created by Lainey @ Gingereadslainey with different bookish topics for each week.

If you’re interested in joining in, see the Goodreads group!

–These are books you read in 2018, not only ones released in 2018.

1.) Love Her Wild by: Atticus

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This was one of many poetry collections I picked up in 2018, and one of the very few that I did not like. Nothing in this collection struck a chord with me. I literally had to force myself to finish it. It was cheesy, and unispired. It just, wasn’t good.

2.) The Chaos of Longing by: K.Y. Robinson

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This was another poetry collection that just didn’t hit it’s mark with me. Again, none of it spoke to my emotions. And, this might be a ridiculous criticism, I really couldn’t get behind all of the love poems. It might be because I’m a little jaded on the idea of love at the moment, but, that’s how I feel about it.

3.) Abel’s Island by: William Steig

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This was a book I picked up for nostalgias sake. I remember watching an animated short film based on this book when I was a kid, and thought I’d give the book a try. It was awful. The language was so dry, and pretentious. I don’t understand how this is supposed to be a book for children. The movie was definitely better.

4.) The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by: Mackenzi Lee

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This was probably the biggest disappointment of them all. I adored The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, and was so excited to see Felicity’s adventure continue. But this book just didn’t live up to my expectations. The actual plot of the book didn’t even start until more than half way through! It was just, such a let down.

5.) Tiger Lily by: Jodi Lynn Anderson

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I’ve owned this book for over 8 years, but only got around to reading it last year. Well, it wasn’t worth the wait. None of the characters were relatable, and it was impossible to connect to them. It also buries the gay, so, yeaaaa. Not a fan.

But what about y’all? What were your most disappointing reads of last year? Tell me about it down in the comments!

 

 

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Tag Tuesday: Hamilton Book Tag.

Oh my god. I’ve been meaning to do this tag for YEARS!!! Like, I honestly can’t believe it’s taken me this long. Hamilton is one of my favorite things ever! Just, sigh, I upset myself. Anywho, this tag was created by Maureen @ maureenkeavy, and AS USUSAL I was not tagged. I just love Hamilton. And books. So here we go!

1.) The Room Where It Happens: Book world you would put yourself in:

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I would say Weep from the Strange the Dreamer Duology by: Laini Taylor. It’s such a rich, and magicial, and stunning world. I’d love to go and just let my eyeballs soak in all the amazing. But I’d want to go after all the conflict gets resolved, of course.
2.) The Schuyler Sisters: Underrated Female Character:

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Aislinn from the Wicked Lovely series by: Marissa Marr. No one ever talks about this series, and it’s a shame. It’s probably my favorite faerie series, and the heroine is such a great role model. So often in paranormal-romance books, the leading lady doesn’t make the wisest decsions, but not Aislinn. She was so level headed, and logical, and responsible. And I really just love her, and wish more people knew about her.
3.) My Shot: A character that goes after what they want and doesn’t let anything stop them:

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Adam Parrish from the Raven Cycle Quartet by: Maggie Stiefvater. This is what makes Adam who he is. He is the most focused, and dedicated, and ambitious character I’ve ever read about. And it’s part of why I love him so much. We’re both little Slytherin babies who won’t let anyone or anything stand in our way.
4.) Stay Alive: A character you wish was still alive (SPOILERS!):

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Rudy from The Book Thief by: Markus Zusak. Oh man, this one hit so freakin’ hard. He was such a sweet, and genuine, and loyal boy. And he loved Liesel so much, and she loved him. It was so hard to watch him go.
5.) Burn: The most heartbreaking end to a relationship you’ve ever read:

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Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars by: John Green. This one hit me really hard too. I know what it’s like to watch a loved one succumb to cancer. I can’t imagine how much harder it would be if it was the person I was in love with. This left me absolutely sobbing in my living room.
6.) You’ll Be Back: Sassiest villain:

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Villains in books aren’t really sassy, at least not the ones I’ve read about. So I’m just gonna go with the sassiest villain I know: Scar. Always and forever the Sassy King.
7.) The Reynolds Pamphlet – A book with a twist that you didn’t see coming:

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I gotta go with More Than This by: Patrick Ness. And I don’t feel bad about saying there’s a twist, because it happens really early on. Like, in the second chapter.
8.) Non-stop: A series you marathoned:

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The Black Dagger Brotherhood by: J.R. Ward. Oh man, I got the first ten books on my eReader, and just read, and read, and read for a straight week. Barely ate, or slept. I was just so freakin’ hooked on this series. It’s so damn good. Everyone needs to read this series!!!
9.) Satisfied: Favorite book with multiple POVs:

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I’m gonna go with a recent favorite: The Watch That Ends the Night by: Allan Wolf. All of the POVs were so distinct, and offered such a broad view of what it was like for all kinds of people, from all kinds of backgrounds, to experience this tragedy. We really did get a 360 view of how this all went down, and how it affected everyone.
10.) Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story: A book/series you feel like will be remembered throughout history:

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I really think that The Shades of Magic series by: V.E. Schwab is going to stand the test of time. I think that, years and years from now, it’s going to be one of those big name fantasy series that everyone is talking about. The story, and the world, and the characters are all so rich, and complex, and fun to read about. I really think our grandkids are gonna be talking about these books.

11.) Helpless: A relationship you were pulling for from the very start:

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Danny and Colton from the Timekeeper series by: Tara Sim! From the minute those boys entered a room together, I was screaming “NOW KISS! NOW KISS!!!!” They’re such sweet, and precious cinnamon rolls, and I just want them to be happy together until the end of time! Heh. See what I did there?
12.) Ten Duel Commandments: Favorite fight scene:

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I’m gonna have to go with Muse of Nightmares by: Laini Taylor. During the big fight, I was on the edge of my seat. I was terrified of what was gonna happen to all my precious babies, and what the affect on the world would be. It was all so tense, and teeth-clentching. It was honestly one of the best fight scenes I’ve ever read.
13.) Say No To This: Guilty pleasure read:

Rereads! Rereads are my guilty pleasure. I have SOOOOO MANYYY books on my TBR, it’s not even funny. So whenever I pick up a book and reread it, I feel so freakin’ guilty.
14.) What Comes Next: A series you wish had more books:

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THE RAVEN CYCLE BY: MAGGIE STIEFVATER!!!! I mean, I know we’re getting The Dreamer Trilogy, but I want to see more Gansey, and Blue, and Henry, and the women of Fox Way!!! I wanna see all my faves together again!!!
15.) Right Hand Man – Favorite BROTP:

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Ugh, Kell and Rhy from The Shades of Magic series by: V.E. Schwab! They’re so sweet, and loyal, and dreamy. And they care about eachother so very, very much. Their relationship was probably my favorite in the entire series. We need more devoted Bros.
16.) What’d I Miss: A book or series you were late to reading:

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I’m pretty sure I’m the last person on Earth to read The Night Circus by: Erin Morgenstern. I didn’t read it until last year. I KNOW I KNOW!!! But it’s such a hyped book, and so many people are obsessed with it! I was afraid it was going to live up to my expectations. But it totally did! It’s such a beautiful book. I understand why it’s so many peoples favorite.

Whew! That was a long one, huh? But I really wanted to do the bonus questions! I just love all these songs so much! But what about y’all? Do you agree with my answers? What’s your favorite Hamilton song? Let me know down in the comments!

Sunday Fun-Day: Most Anticipated Books of 2019.

Woohoo! New year, new fantastic books! There are soooo many books I can’t wait for this year, and I know it’s gonna kill me to have to put them all off while I’m reading for school. But, at least for now, I can dream about holding them in my hands and devouring them page by page. So, let’s look at the beautites I’m anticipating most! And these are in no particular order.

1.) Firestarter by: Tara Sim

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Ugh, I’ve fallen so deeply in love with this series. All the characters are my precious babies, and I can’t wait to see how their journey wraps up! Hopefully Tara won’t hurt me too badly. Hopefully.

2.) Darkdawn by: Jay Kristoff

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Now, I know there’s no hope for zero-pain here. I KNOW Jay is gonna make this hurt. But I don’t care. I can’t wait to see my babes Mia and Ashlinn kicking ass and taking names again! This series has gotten so freaking good and I can’t wait to see how it ends!

3.) Again, But Better by: Christine Ricco

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I’ve been watching Christine on Booktube for six years. I’ve watched her go from hundreds of subscribers to thousands. From waiting in endless lines to attend book panels, to being on book panels. And now, I’ve watched her go from reading books, to writing one of her own. And I’m soooo excited to read it. I know it’s gonna be great.

4.) Water Runs Red by: Jenna Clare

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This is a similar case to the one above. I’ve watched Jenna on Booktube for years, and have always thought that she was capable of writing books, or poems, or songs. And now, she’s finally doing it! And she’s incorperating her graphic designs, and ugh! I know this is going to be one of the most beautiful poetry collections ever! I can’t wait!

5.) I Wish You All the Best by: Mason Deaver

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Again! Another case of me watching this work come to life over a period of time. I’ve followed Mason since day one of being on Twitter, and I’ve always really respected their views on so many things. And I loved watching them create this book. And I know that it’s going to be wonderful. And it’s going to change and save so many kids lives.

6.) King of Scars by: Leigh Bardugo

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I ALWAYS SAID MY BABY NIKOLAI DESERVED BETTER! And now we get to see him get what he deserves, and I’m over the moon about it! Leigh has written some of my favorite books, and favorite characters. And I know she’s not going to disappoint me.

7.) Wicked Saints by: Emily A. Duncan

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There has been so much hype about this book, and so many people I trust have absolutely adored it. So I’m intrigued. And it sounds so deliciously dark, and tense. I really think I’m gonna love this. And I can’t wait to see if I’m right.

8.) Wayward Sons by: Rainbow Rowell

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The only problem I had with Carry On was that there wasn’t enough interaction between Simon and Baz. And now we’re getting an entire book with them together! And I’m so stoked!!!

9.) Daisy Jones and the Six by: Taylor Jenkins Reid

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I absolutely loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo last year. So when I heard that Taylor Jenkins Reid was coming out with a new book, I was so super excited. This sounds like it’s going to be so intense and full of emotion, and I’m so here for it!

10.) The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried by: Shaun David Hutchinson

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Shaun has written some of my all-time favorite contemporary books. I’m always excited when I hear that he’s releasing a new book, and this time is no different. I’m sure that this book is going to be just as touching and queer as all the others, and I’m sure I’m going to love it just as much.

That’s it! Those are all the books I’m looking forward to most! But what about y’all? What books are you most excited about? Are you looking forward to any of the books I listed? Let me know down in the comments!

Review Friday: The Sun and Her Flowers.

35606560The Sun and Her Flowers by: Rupi Kaur

Released: October 3, 2017

Pages: 256

Rating: * * * * *

Goodreads

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From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.

Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.

This is the first time I’m reviewing a poetry collection. So forgive me if it’s not my best work. But I’ve really been getting into reading poetry recently, and thought I’d take a crack at reviewing it for the blog. So, here we are!

I’ve discussed this in various, recent posts: I’ve had a really hard couple of years. I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I was in a toxic and abusive relationship, had to come to terms with the fact that my friends chose my abusers side over mine, had to deal with what it meant to be a victim, then a survivor of absue. It was a lot. And I found that the people that understood what I was going through the most, were women poets. And Rupi Kaur is no exception.

The entire first half of this collection felt like it was written entirely for me. There were so many things that she wrote about that I connected to so deeply, and really tugged on my heartstrings. The ones that really felt like they were coming from my own brain were “what love looks like,” and “the underated heartache.” Those two poems spoke about experiences and feelings that were EXACTLY like mine. It just felt so validating and comforting to read about someone who’d gone through similar things. It really made me feel like I wasn’t alone, or crazy, or being overly dramatic. I felt heard. And I felt safe, if you can believe that.

I wish that I could’ve connected to the entire collection as much as I did the first half, but there are some experiences that I just can’t relate to in this book. I wasn’t a victim of sexual assault. I’m not a person of color. I’m not a child of immigrants. And I haven’t been able to fall in love after my last relationship. But that didn’t prevent me from being moved by what Kaur was writing about, and sympathizing with her. I just couldn’t completely connect with it, and that’s okay. Those poems weren’t written for me. They were written for other people who need them. And I hope they find them.

Top 5 Wednesday: Hyped 2019 Releases You Don’t Care About.

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and created by Lainey @ Gingereadslainey with different bookish topics for each week.

If you’re interested in joining in, see the Goodreads group!

–If you dare, now is your time to get shady.

1.) Superman: Dawnbreaker by: Matt de la Pena

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I don’t even understand how this novel is still being published, given all the accusatations that have been made about the author. Hence why I won’t be touching this with a 40 foot pole.

2.) There’s Something About Sweetie by: Sandhya Menon

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I’ve heard really polarizing thoughts on When Dimple Met Rishi, so I’ve put off reading it for quite some time. I also haven’t gotten around to reading From Twinkle, with Love. So, it makes sense that I’m not in a rush to get my hands on this. Maybe one day I will. But not today.

3.) Finale by: Stephanie Garber

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This is another very polarizing one. Some people are OBSESSED with this series, and others think it’s terrible. So, I’ve yet to pick up any of the books in this trilogy. So, while I know that so many people will be raving about this book, and collecting every single one of the editions, I will be watching on with complete disinterest.

4.) Two Can Keep A Secret by: Karen M. McManus

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So many people adored the first book in this series, so I’m sure they’re all anxiously awaiting this one. But, I’m just over the whole “school-group-involved-in-scandalous-mystery” story. I think it’s just been done to death at this point. I’m also not a big fan of mystery/thriler books anyway. So, I really don’t care about this one. Sorry.

5.) Chain of Gold by: Cassandra Clare

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This is the one I’m most on the fence about. I’m not entirely sure I can read this. I’ve read all of The Infernal Devices trilogy, but I’m only on City of Glass in The Mortal Instruments series. So, I don’t know if I’ll be spoiling myself, or missing anything, if I jump into this one. It’s the one that I’m most likely to change my opinion on.

But what about y’all? What hyped books do you not care about at all? Let me know down in the comments!

Tag Tuesday: The Classics Book Tag.

Okay, so, this tag is ANCIENT. But, I hardly ever talk about classics, so I figured I’d drag this one out of the vault. This tag was created by It’s a Books World, and per usual, I wasn’t tagged. But oh well! Let’s get to it!

1. An overhyped classic you didn’t really like

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The Old Man and the Sea by: Ernest Hemingway. Seriously, how did this thing win the Pulitzer? This was a Florida-Heat-Fever-Dream that Hemingway had down in the Keys, and then he wrote it down. His war pieces are far better. This was just, bad. So bad.
2. Favorite time period to read about

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The 1920’s. This time period was just full of people striving for that American Dream, and absolutely failing at it. Now, I know that sounds harsh, but I’m completely against the old-fashioned idea of the American Dream. It was a false promise that didn’t include the marginalized. The 20’s was all about throwing caution to the wind, and living life however you wanted. American Dream be damned.
3. Favorite fairy tale

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Well, it’s not really a fairytale, but I love the Hades and Persephone story from Greek mythology. It’s always been my favorite, for as long as I can remember. So many people consider it an “abduction” story, or even a “rape” story, but I’ve never seen it that way. I’ve always believed that Persephone chose to become the Queen of the Underworld. She was a strong, independent woman who took what she wanted. And I love that.
4. Which classic are you most embarrassed you haven’t read yet?

Anything by Jane Austen. That’s right. I’ve never read a Jane Austen book. I’m not a huge fan of British Lit to begin with, and couple in all the hype, and it leaves me a little weary to pick an Austen book up. But I do plan to change that soon, after all, I can’t avoid her forever. I’m an English major!
5. Top classic you want to read soon

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I really want to read Animal Farm by: George Orwell! I’ve been meaning to ever since I read 1984 in high school, but I’ve just never gotten around to it. It’s one of my reading goals for the year though!
6. Favorite modern book/series based on a classic

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The first thing coming to my mind is The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by: Kiersten White. It’s such a progressive, and brilliant retelling, and I love it to bits. You can hear more of my thoughts about it in my full review here.
7. Favorite movie/TV series based on a classic

The first thing coming to my mind is an animated TV series. It’s Over the Garden Wall. It’s based on Dante’s Purgatorio, and I absolutely adore it! It’s one of my all-time favorite TV shows. I rewatch it all the time.
8. Worst classic to movie adaptation

I have to say Beowulf! Oh my god! It’s soooooo bad! And the original story wasn’t all that great to begin with, so that’s REALLY saying something! They just changed entire plot points around, and added so many ridiculous things! It was terrible!
9. Favorite editions you’d like to collect more of

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The Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics! They’re so beautiful! I have a few of them, but I need them ALL!!! And they’re reasonably priced, they’re on sale often, and they’re easy to just go and pick up at the store. I really need to get more of these this year.
10. An underhyped classic you’d recommend to everyone

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Editha by: William Dean Howells. This is probably my favorite short story of all-time. It deals with such modern, and meaningful themes in such a refreshing way. It was probably the best thing I read my entire first year of college. I really wish it was taught in high schools. A LOT of teenagers could use the lessons that it teaches.
11. What’s your favorite classic of all time?

It’s a neck-and-neck tie between The Great Gatsby by: F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Slaughterhouse Five by: Kurt Vonnegut. Both of these books were so beautiful, and touched me so deeply in different ways. I really can’t pick between them. They’re both so fantastic, and I can’t wait to make my future students read them!

Well that’s it! Now y’all know more about my feelings on the classics! But what about y’all? What are your favorite classics? Do have any Jane Austen recommendations for me? Let me know down in the comments!

Sunday Fun-day: Best Books of 2018.

Welp! It’s a new year, and it’s time to reflect on all the books that blew my mind in 2018. And trust me, there were A LOT! But, I’ve managed to narrow it down to just twelve that were just, the best of the best. So, let’s get started!

12.) Magic Bites by: Illona Andrews

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This year, I went back to my paranormal-romance roots, and finally gave this series a chance after having it recommended to me forever ago. It’s everything I love about the paranormal-romance genre and more! There’s a kick-ass heroine, a kick-ass love interest, a complex world and magic system, out-of-this-world high stakes, drama, action, etc. I devoured the first five books of this series, and I can’t wait to get to more!

11.) Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by: Don Brown

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This was one of the most heartwrenching things I’ve ever read. So much about what happend during, and after, Katrina has been kept so quiet, and after reading this book I can understand why: it was horrific. The way that our government let down the people of New Orleans was a travesty. And this novel really shows that. The artwork really brings to light what mere words wouldn’t be able to convey. This really should be required reading for everyone in America.

10.) The Cruel Prince by: Holly Black

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Oh man, does Holly Black know how to write faeries. Brutal, coniving, vain, fickle, and beautiful. She really knows how to get them just right. I was worried, with all the hype that was surrounding this book, that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. But it did…and then some. The characters were all so flawed, and morally grey, and just awful some times, and I LOVED it. And all the tension was just TOO good. I can’t wait to get my hands on more of this series. Holly Black is the Faerie Queen.

9.) Sadie by: Courtney Summers

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Holy crap did this one hit hard. This book just, covers such a tragic and hard topic, but the thing that makes it THAT much harder and more tragic, is that it happens all the time. This novel really makes you open your eyes to the really ugly side of the world, and start asking yourself some REALLY hard questions. The way this book was written was also so brilliant, and intriguing, and suspenseful. And the audiobook was AMAZING.

8.) The Watch That Ends the Night by: Allan Wolf

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This was the second historical-fiction book I read that was written in verse. And I’ve learned something: when trying to write about tragic events, sometimes verse is the best way to go. The free form allws authors to express emotions and events in a way so much more meaningful than if they’d been stuck in structure. This novel was packed with so much information, and so many different POVs from people from all walks of life. I really learned so much from this novel, and can’t wait to pick up more Titanic books.

7.) Wildwood by: Colin Meloy

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This one was a complete surprise for me! I picked this up on a whim at Target YEARS ago, and started to think I was never going to get to it. Oh man, am I glad I changed my mind. This book was so much fun. The world is so unqiue, and quirky, and just, FUN! That’s what I felt all throughout this book. Even when things got tense, there was still so much excitement going on! This is such a great book about family, friends, and growing into yourself. I definitely recommend it to middle grade lovers.

6.) The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by: Kiersten White

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This book has become so important to me over the course of this year. The majority of this book deals with a character in an abusive and toxic relationship, and how she finds the strength to get herself out of it. This is a situation that I have been struggling with myself for the past few years, and to see in reflected in fiction, and handled so well, really meant a lot to me. Our heroine is strong, and loving, and loyal, but she also has her flaws. She was just an amazing character to be able to relate to, and I’m really grateful to White for giving me this book this year, when I really needed it. If you want to hear more of my thoughts about this book, check out my fell review here.

5.) Dietland: Sarai Walker

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This was another one that completely took me by surprise. This was a required read for school, and I was anticipating to not like it. Boy was I wrong. This book was so empowering for women, particularly fat women. If you want to know my more in-depth thoughts, you can check out my full review here.

4.) Godsgrave by: Jay Kristoff

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This was so good. Like, way too good. Mia got more brutal, and morally grey, and so badass. Plus, my wife Ashlinn is in it so, of course it was gonna land high on this list. But the stakes were so much higher in this one, and there were so many twists I wasn’t expecting. And it absolutely left me dying for the next installment. I can’t wait until the next book comes out, but Jay better leave my wife alone. Or we will have WORDS.

3.) Bridge of Clay by: Markus Zusak

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I bet this is surprising to y’all, isn’t it? Bet y’all thought it would be first. Well, as great as it was, it couldn’t quite claim that spot. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t amazing! Because it was. It was so touching, and heartbreaking, and beautiful. No one can string together a sentence quite like Markus. There were so many lines that left me gasping, they were so beautiful. It really was worth the agonizing wait.

2.) Muse of Nightmares by: Laini Taylor

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I’ve said this more times than I can count, and I’ll say them probably a million more times: Laini Taylor is a word witch. The way she can make worlds and characters come to life on the page is nothing short of magic. This sequal was so nail-biting, and emotional, and absolutely amazing, and I just can’t figure out how she manages to do it over, and over again. This duology handled such complex themes so brilliantly. I’m just, completely in awe of her. We all need to bow down.

1.) Circe by: Madeline Miller

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I can’t express how much I love this book. It came to me, just when I needed it most. Seeing Circe getting knocked down, and having everything in the world thrown at her, and her getting right back up? It really helped me get through this year. Everytime I picked this book up I felt so empowered, and inspired, and like nothing could touch me. And even if something DID get to me, I could beat it. Circe was such a beautiful character to read about, and all the other characters were so amazing too. If you want to hear me gush about this book more, check out my full review here.

Well that’s it! Those were my top books of the year! But, what about you guys? What were your favorites of the year? Did you read any of my favorites? What did you think of them? Tell me all about it in the comments!