Favorite Books of the Year | 2016

I’m not going to put these in any sort of order. That’s just unfair to the books. They have feelings too. I don’t need them ripping the pages out of the other because one got ranked higher than the other. Not happening. Not on my shelf.

I had a good reading year. It wasn’t excellent. But you know what? I hit my 50 books goal and I read some fantastic stories.

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The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare

I was not expecting to love The Infernal Devices more than I love The Mortal Instruments. But I fell in love with Will very quickly after reading the first book in the trilogy. Then I slowly fell in love with Jem. Then I was just lost. But the ending was so perfect that I found myself screaming and crying and cheering.

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik 

I just finished this a few days ago and I was floored. Everything in this world was so intricate and magical that I was intrigued the entire time. The conflict in the story was really my favorite part of this. I won’t say what it was, but when it was finally explained, it made it one of my favorite “magical conflicts” that I’ve ever read.

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

This was the first book I read by Sarah J Maas and I’m so glad that I picked it up before I picked up Throne of Glass. Not because I didn’t like TOG, but because I felt like this book had more of a fantastical feeling and that’s what I wanted at the time. The world in this book is so immersive and so unique I wanted to live in The Spring Court if only for a short time. I’m so intrigued to learn about the other Courts in the world in the next book.

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Looking for Alaska by John Green

This was a re-read. I read it in high school before John Green was such a big presence in the book world and I loved it then. I still love it now. All of the feelings and memories that were there when I read it the first time came back to life inside of me. It’s funny, it’s heart breaking and it will stay on my top books of all time list.

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

This book started a lot of things for me. It reawakened my interest in historical fiction, it turned me on to the TV show and it made my heart melt so many times. I’m hoping to continue with Dragonfly in Amber this coming year.

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A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

This had to make the list considering that Victoria Schwab is my favorite author. But also I have never read a book with such an original mix of Science Fiction and Fantasy.  I loved Kel the moment I started reading about him and wanted to live in his footsteps. I wanted his coat, his powers and his life. Everything.

Sorry that I have been absent from blogging. I’ve been pretty preoccupied in other things. But I suppose this means a goal in 2016 is going to be to blog more.

Comment and let me know if you read any of these and your opinions on them. I also welcome recommendations for 2016!

Tis’ the Season Book Tag!

I’ll be honest guys. I am not in to Christmas. My holiday is Halloween, that is when I get festive and I get excited about a holiday. But when I was tagged in this by Eve Messenger, my new comment buddy, I figured that I had to do it. This will be my festive thing of the year.

1. Do you have a favorite winter read?

I feel like everyone answers Harry Potter, but really, I think Harry Potter is an every season read. I always want to read Harry Potter, so I don’t think that counts.

Instead I’m going to say The Grisha Trilogy!
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It’s creepy, it’s thrilling, and it has the coldest of cold anti-heroes. The Darkling. Also known as my problematic favorite YA crush. The Grisha Trilogy is heavily influenced by Russian culture and mythology. I read this last winter and now I just associate one with the other.

2. Find a book with a blue cover!

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I chose The Bane Chronicles. I have had this on my shelf since it was released last year. I just completed the Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices this year. Magnus Bane is my favorite character from the Shadowhunter’s universe. This is a book of sort stories about Magnus Bane and his various adventures through his immortal life. I have no excuse for not reading it yet. None.

3. Find a book you’d use as the Star on your Christmas tree.

First off, I don’t have a Christmas tree. I haven’t since I’ve lived on my own. It just seems like a huge hassle to me.

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Gatsby will always be the top of the tree.

4. Pick one fictional place that would be perfect for a winter vacation.

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Hogsmeade village of course! Where else do book lovers think of during the Christmas season than Hogsmeade.

5. Pick one fictional character you’d take with you on your winter vacation.

Dorian Havilliard.

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He’s cute, he’s witty and he’d be a fantastic shopping companion. Besides, he’s royal, he’s loaded. Let’s be real, you know you’d be completely fine with that guy buying you everything your heart desired at Hogsmeade Village.

6. Name one book on your wish list.

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I’ve read this book, but I do not own it. All of my other Victoria Schwab books are in hardback and on my favorites shelf. It’s been sitting in my Barnes and Nobel cart for like three months. But it’s also 27$. That’s a lot for a hardcover that’s been out for over a year. I’ll get it one day.

7. Favorite holiday drink, treat & movie.

I’m not one for hot drinks and I feel like you’re suppose to pick a hot drink. I prefer all of my drinks cold even when it’s freezing out. When I do get a hot drink, I wait until it’s lukewarm. I’m also not big on treats. I’m just bad at winter holidays, guys.

Movie:

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It is both a Halloween and a Christmas movie. You cannot lose.

That was the Tis’ the Season Book Tag! If you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged. You know what, if you’re reading this comment below that it’s okay to tag you for future reference. Then I always know who to tag and we can be each other’s tag buddies.

Happy reading! ❤

The Grisha Lieutenant Recommends: Fairy Tales and Fantasy!

Greetings and salutations!

I couldn’t help but notice so many of my favorite books are hardly mentioned both on Booktube and Bookblogs, which is a travesty. To remedy this, I’ve decided to do a semi-regular series of posts of recommendations! If anything, maybe it will give these books the love that they deserve.

Are you looking for a book that will captivate you with curiosity and fill you with the familiar feeling of a fairy tale? A little tired of retelling’s but still want that fantastical thrill?

Well my friends, I have the perfect book for you.

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Reasons you should try this book:

  • First off, look at the cover. How beautiful is that cover? That’s how I was sold on it. It was love at first sight when I first picked up this beauty. What is that green smoke? What’s causing it? Is it magic? You’ll have to read it to find out.
  • Far Far Away. Can you come up with a more intriguing title? I dare you, go ahead. Fight me.
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  • One of the main characters is a Jacob freakin Grimm. Not just Jacob Grimm, but his ghost. And only the protagonist can hear him.
  • The protagonist is an honestly portrayed awkward teenager. None of that “it’s cute to be awkward”, no, he’s actually awkward. He’s not broody, he’s not “mysterious”. He’s awkward. He’s a real and believable character. All of the characters seem like people you already know. 

I’ve seriously never read a book like this one. The magic in the story is so captivating that I wish I could erase this book from my mind so I could read it again. It has such a special spot on my heart’s bookshelf and I do hope that all of you will give it a chance.

Happy reading!

-The Grisha Lieutenant

(Late) Top 5 Wednesdays | Fairytale Retellngs

Sorry for being late (again). I just had oral surgery yesterday morning and have been so busy with work that I haven’t found time for anything. I’m recovering well from the surgery but am still exhausted.

Anyway, on with the books. Mine aren’t going to be in any particular order this week because I cannot rank one higher than another in this category, it’s just too hard and I don’t have five exactly. I love Fairytale Retellings and I was shocked to find out that I haven’t read that many! I need to get on with that.

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

This was my first SJM book ever and I loved it so much, even more than Throne of Glass. (Don’t hit me)

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Dorothy Must die by Danielle Paige

I think this was the first Fairytale Retellign that I read since my interest in reading started again.

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Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

I didn’t love this one, but I did like it. It did have a very strong magical feeling to it that is the spirit of retelling’s.

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Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

I read this over and over when I was a kid. I should re-read it now that I’m in my twenties. Maybe that should be on my reading goals for next year.

Sorry for the late and short list. Comment if you have recommendations or if you’ve read any of these and what you thought.

Happy reading!

December TBR!

This one may be a little over adventurous, but I am trying to up my reading game. I’m very close to my yearly goal on Goodreads which is 50 books a year and I’m at 47!

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My goals for future months are going to be making things as diverse as possible by month. I was to read one non-fiction and one contemporary a month. I’m still going to fill the rest with fantasy because who am I kidding? It’s my favorite. Hopefully it works out for me this month. 🙂

December TBR

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The Witches by Stacy Schiff
Monthly book club pick and non-fiction pick.

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik

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Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J Maas

Red Queen

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
(Contemporary pick!)

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Neil is my favorite, so I need some Neil in my life.

If anyone’s read these, please let me know what you thought!
Comment/like! 

May you complete your TBR goals! ❤

November Wrap-Up

November went by so unbelievably fast! Wasn’t it Halloween yesterday? What the hell is up with this whole “getting old” thing and how do I make it stop?

Anyways! I had a surprisingly good reading month. I completed everything on my November TBR sans one book. That’s pretty good I think!

November Wrap Up 

Fangirl Rainbow

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: 4/5 Stars

Sadly I didn’t like Fangirl as much as I would have hoped. I really didn’t connect to Cath that much. I think I’m being a bit generous in giving it 4 stars even. But what I did like outweighed the didn’t like. I still enjoyed the writing, the intent the book had was really special in a lot of ways. What I enjoyed most was how well the book described how Fandoms can effect your life in a very big way. That’s what I took away from this book.

Menagerie

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent: 4.5/5 stars

This was my monthly book club’s pick for November (per my suggestion). I really enjoyed this book in a lot of ways. The writing first and foremost was magical, you really got a sense of the main characters situation and how confined/trapped she really felt. It’s originality really stuck out to me and it was a very strong example of Magical Realism.

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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: 5/5 stars
November Favorite

I feel like I jumped on this hype train a little bit late. But what matters is that I got here! I’m not even a little bit disappointed in the results. I REALLY loved Celaena for so many reasons. Of course she’s witty, a badass and doesn’t really let anyone tell her what to do. But what really stuck out to me was that she wasn’t a trope. She as an assassin, but she didn’t conform to that normal female assassin mindset of “I’m not like other girls! I don’t like wearing dresses!”. No, she embraced who she was while still being kick ass assassin. Can’t wait for the next one!

Cure for Dreaming

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters: 3.5/5

Kind of like Fangirl, I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. Unfortunately I found the characters to be very dry and boring. Our main character Olivia is suppose to be a somewhat rebellious girl who wants to join the suffrage movement. But I didn’t find a thing about her interesting.  She was so busy trying to be rebellious that she didn’t even have a personality. She was sort of a blank character. I get that it was somewhat needed for her to be altered throughout the story for the hypnotism plot to work, but it stuck out to me like a thumb.

There are parts that I DID enjoy, even though I typically judge books based on their characters. The setting and the time period were very well written. I really could get a sense of the excitement of the suffrage movement and just the general feeling of oppression that the women felt. I am a history major at University, so a  lot of times historical fiction bothers me for inaccuracy. But this book didn’t really have much. That for me gave it the extra half star to go from 3 to 3.5.

December TBR is coming soon! (I just haven’t fully decided on one yet. Could be tonight, could be tomorrow. Who knows?) 

Comment/like
As always, Happy Reading!