The Bookish Academy Awards | 2016

A resolution of mine is to actually blog more. I’ve been awful at it in 2016. Let’s be real. But this was one of my favorite posts to do last year. So I figured on the last days of 2016, I’d go over my favorites. Please comment below on your thoughts on any books or opinions mentioned. Please feel free to steal this tag, I didn’t originate it. And keep in mind these are books I READ in 2016, they didn’t all come out in 2016.

Best Male Protagonist
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Jest (Hartless by Marissa Meyer)
Daniel (Shadow of the Wind)
Kazz (Six of Crows)
Rowan (Queen of Shadows)
Kelsier (The Final Empire)

Best Female Protagonist
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Audrey Rose (Stalking Jack the Ripper)
Blue Sargent (The Raven Cycle)
Delilah Bard (A Darker Shade of Magic)
Kady (Illuminae)
Iseult (Truthwitch)

Best Plot Twist
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Illuminae
Everything, Everything
Stalking Jack the Ripper
Before I Fall
The Diviners

Best Book Cover
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The Raven King
Heartless
Everything, Everything
The Witch of Painted Sorrows
Six of Crows

Best Supporting Character
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Noah Czerny (The Raven Cycle Series)
Hatta (Heartless)
Memphis (The Diviners)
Theta (The Diviners)
Manon (Queen of Shadows)

Most Unique World
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A Court of Mist and Fury
Mistborn
The Raven Cycle
Illuminae
Truthwitch

Best “New-to-you” Author
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Brandon Sanderson
Kerri Maniscalco
Melissa Meyer
Emily St. John Mandel
Jay Kristoff

Worst Book of the Year
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Before I Fall
The Nest
My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

Best Book of the Year
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Heartless by Marissa Meyer
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Keri Maniscalco
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Illuminae by Aimee Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Let me know your favorites of this year and if you agree or disagree with my choices down below!
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Top 5 Wednesday | Books you want to finally read in 2017

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Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
(Outlander #2)

I’ve been thinking of starting Season 2 of the TV show, but my book loving brain will not let me do so without reading the book first.

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Fallen Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
(Fallen Kingdoms #1)

I recently got this for a friend for her birthday and shocker, I haven’t even read it. It’s almost a finished series and I still haven’t gotten my act together. What is wrong with me.

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This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
(Monsters of Verity #1)

My favorite author wrote a new book. I haven’t read it yet.
Problems.

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
(Six of Crows #2) 

I’m afraid. Don’t yell at me.

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Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
(Passenger #1)

At least I’ll read it right before the second one comes out? Does that work as an excuse?

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what books you want to finally get to in 2017.

October Wrap-Up | 2016

It was an okay month for me. I didn’t read nearly as much as I wanted to. I’ve been adjusting to my new schedule, getting in the the routine of my new job and having more trouble staying up passed ten or eleven at night. Adulting is hard, keeping up with reading is even harder.

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The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
(Audiobook)

4.5/5 Stars

If you’re like me, and enjoy history almost as much as fictional narratives, then this books is definitely for you. I won’t lie, it’s a big commitment even for the most ambitious readers. It’s over a thousand pages in print and 50 hours on audiobook. I took my time with it and I think that’s what made me love it so much. It chronicles the family line of our main character through hundreds of years of magic and scandal. Anne Rice has a real talent for writing deeply flawed characters that you still love unconditionally. And let me tell you, the flaws they have are pretty hard to get over. Some of course, more than others. And of course, in true Anne Rice fashion, both the family history and the two main characters meet perfectly at the end leaving you ready for more. My only criticism was that it took so long to finish this audiobook that towards the end I felt a lot of the content in the last three or four hours was a bit unnecessary.  

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Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
4.5/5 Stars
** Favorite Book of the Month**

This was an excellent spooky October read. It had a perfect balance of history, early forensic medicine and narrative. I really enjoyed the main character, especially her cleverness, bravery and intellect. I loved how she actually questioned everyone around her, even those closest to her. I guessed the culprit about midway through the book, but that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of watching the story unwind.It was the motive that was a surprise to me and it brought a whole other element to the book.

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Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by Various Authors (Selected by April Genevieve Tucholke)
Monthly Book Club Selection
5/5 Stars

This was my perfect rating book this month. I read one every few nights throughout the month and that ended up being a perfect speed to fully enjoy each story as it’s own. Of course, there were a few I hold in higher regard than others, but only one ended up boring me so much that I didn’t even finish it. A few of them surprised me with how scary they were, especially the second story in the anthology based on Alice in Wonderland. But my favorite by far was Sleepless by Jay Kristoff. No surprise there. Even though Halloween is passed, consider giving this one a read for those cold nights.

Currently Reading:
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Let me know down below what your favorite book was this month or if you read any of the ones I mentioned!

~The Grisha Lieutenant

 

 

Halloween Book Tag!

Tis’ the season to be spooky!!!

Carving Pumpkins:
What book would you carve up and light on fire?

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Normally I don’t condone mutilation of books. But I had so many issues with this one I wouldn’t be even slightly irked if someone destroyed it. I’d warm my hands knowing the world has been rid of another copy of this piece of junk. 

Trick or Treat:
What character is a trick? What character is a treat?
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My precious child Noah Czerny is the treat. Can you honestly think of a more precious character in this book? Can you? No, you can’t.
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As for the trick? AIDEN. 

Candy Corn:
What’s a book that’s always sweet?
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I always think of this book around Halloween. It’s such a beautifully written book and so original. It has the feel of a fairy tale, the charm of a contemporary and the suspense of a mystery. And it’s all in one book. 

Ghost: 
What character would you love to visit you as a ghost?
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Fred. He would be the best ghost to be haunted by.

Dressing up in a costume:
What character would you want to be for a day?
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Tessa Gray! Victorian era Shadowhunter. I’m just saying that’d be amazing for just a single day.

Wizards and Witches:
What is your favorite Harry Potter moment?
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The Weasley’s epic exit from Hogwarts. The swamp. Do I need to say anymore?

Blood and Gore:
What book was so creepy you had to take a break from it?
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I’ve been reading this book one story at a time. It’s a lot creepier than I originally anticipated. But I’m really enjoying it. Especially the short stories “Emmeline” and “Sleepless”. Highly recommend it if you want something actually creepy.

I tag:
Eve Messenger
River Moose
Book Slayer Reads

 

Thanks for reading as always! Have an awesome Halloween.
~The Grisha Lieutenant

Mid-Year Book Freak Out | 2016

The year’s a little over halfway through and it’s time to freak out about my reading goals and how behind I am. I’m not sure who made this tag, but I saw it on Little Book Owl’s Youtube channel. Please go check out her video.

The Best Book you’ve read so far in 2016
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The Best Sequel you’ve read so far in 2016
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New release you haven’t read yet, but want to
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Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
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Biggest disappointment 
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Biggest surprise
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Favorite new author (New to me)
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Newest fictional crush
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Noah Czerny

Newest Favorite Character
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Ronan Lynch

Book that made you cry
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Book that made you happy
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Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year
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What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
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Progress so far in my reading goal: 43/100

Let me know how you’re doing with your goals or if you’ve ready any of the books I’ve listed! (No spoilers please!)

~The Grisha Lieutenant

June Wrap Up | July TBR 2016

Greetings and Salutations. 
I didn’t have as good of a reading month as I had hoped I would. Same as last month, I’ve been slumping a bit. Luckily, as of last week I’m really out of it this time. I’ve been wanting to read every second since. So I’m hoping I’ll catch up and out do myself this month. I’m 13 books behind on my yearly reading goal and I really want to pick up the slack. Anyways, here’s the books! 

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Books Read in June

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Hamilton: the Revolution
Lin Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
5/5 Stars

I bought this the day it came out with so much anticipation and it did not let me down one bit. Not only is there a break down of all the lyrics, but there’s also a ton of information about how Hamilton came to be and the people behind it. The book cost a pretty penny, but it was so worth it. From the full color pictures to the frayed edges of the pages and the leather binding this book is nothing short of beautiful.A must have for Hamilton fans.

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Girl, Interrupted
Susanna Kaysen
3/5 Stars

I wasn’t planning on reading this book, but one day I looked at it on my shelf and saw how short it was. I decided to knock it out and see what I thought of it. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t connect with the author’s story as much as I thought I would. I was expecting more of a cohesive memoir, but what I got was kind of just a cluster of little stories. I enjoyed some of them more than the others, but overall I’m glad I read it.

The Diviners
The Diviners 
Libba Bray
4.5/5 Stars

What can I say about this other than I loved it. I can’t believe I waited so long to read this book (and made my book club read it with me!). All of the characters shined as individuals and there wasn’t a single one that I disliked. There wasn’t a POV that I rolled my eyes at when I went back to it. The backdrop of 1920’s New York mixed with the creepy atmosphere made you feel like you were on a foggy street watching all the events take place. I wasn’t at all disappointed in the villain either, I think I’ll remember Naughty John for quite a while. But I will say if I had a favorite POV, it was Memphis. He was such a lovable character I wish he had his own book. 

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Hollow City
Ransom Riggs
4/5 Stars

Such a satisfying sequel to an iconic first book. It took me a while to finish this book since I was still slumping, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment at all. I got to see plenty of my favorite character from the first (Horace). I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the new setting, but it ended up being just as memorable as the original. I love the new characters that we meet and it left me begging to know what happened next. It left me with several guesses and questions about the world that I hope will be answered in the last installment.

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Anna and the French Kiss
Stephanie Perkins
2.5/5 Stars

Unfortunately I was pretty disappointed with this one. I heard so many good things about this book. That it was romantic and fluffy, which was just what I needed to get me out of my slump. I read it very quickly, and not because I particularly liked it, but because it was a very easy read. But I just hated the main character. She was so boring and had very little personality. I felt like there was too much emphasis put on the main love interest rather than the main character. The only parts I really enjoyed were the bits and pieces where the main character was exploring Paris and the very end. I felt like there was so much unnecessary conflict and drama in this story that I found myself rolling my eyes a lot of the time. Sorry if you love this book, it just wasn’t for me. 

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The Evil We Love: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman
3/5 Stars

It wasn’t my favorite out of the short stories I’ve read so far, but I definitely got a lot more understanding about the Lightwood’s and some background on why Valentine came to power. I do have to admit I think I’m just really wanting more Tessa, Will and Jem more than anything.

July TBR

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Fallen Kingdoms Covers

TheRavenCycle

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I admit, it’s pretty ambitious. But I really want to catch up to my yearly goal. I think I’ve broken things up enough that it’s obtainable if I really stick to it. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of the books I’ve mentioned. As always, please do not spoil in the comments. Good luck on your TBR’s!

~The Grisha Lieutenant

Book Talk | Cry Worthy Books

This is a well known topic in the book community and we’ve all experienced those books that slap you right in the feels. Before you know it you’re reduced to a weeping mess with tear stained pages and a broken little heart. We have literally all been there at least once. Maybe you didn’t cry, but you got teary eyed or a little overly emotional. 

That moment when they really did just kill your favorite. Your moon and stars. Your baby. They just killed them and you have a lot of feelings about it. Now what do you do? Do you go on with your life? Do you just forget about all the moments you shared together? And HOW DARE THE AUTHOR DO THIS TO YOU. HOW DARE THEY END THE BOOK THERE. 

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I’m going to talk about all the moments I wanted to forsake my favorite writers, pitch a tent outside of their house and demand answers. Well, maybe not really, but you know you’ve thought about it. And you of course wish that there was some mistake and your beloved is still alive somehow. Because we fantasy readers know that no one is really dead until the body is burned or disposed of. Even then, they can write a way out of it.

All spoilers will be in black text and you will be warned before hand. Highlight below the section labeled spoilers to reveal them. You have been warned. 

The Books that Ruined my Life

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Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

It’s a very commonly mentioned one on posts on this topic. I read this book so quickly that I almost go whiplash from it. I had to consume every page and every word at warp speed so that I could see why everyone was so upset by it. I thought I was going to survive the entire book without crying. BOY WAS I WRONG. The ending to this book had so many conflicting feelings that I was confused about how I felt. I was happy, but I was distraught. I was overjoyed, but also in a deep pit of sadness from which I could never come out.

SPOILERS BELOW!! HIGHLIGHT TO REVEAL SPOILERS.
And my precious baby Will Herondale was gone forever. Written away just like that and it seriously broke my heart. He of course, lived a full Shadowhunter life, but he couldn’t live on forever with Tessa and I have never been so angry in my life that Cassandra Clare couldn’t find a way to make him live forever. And then of course, she gets to live another lifetime with Jem. Which makes me happy for her, but at the same time MY WILL IS GONE FOREVER. WHY. I NEED ANSWERS CASSIE.

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

This is one that I’ve noticed has been extremely absent from a lot of people’s posts. Maybe I just jumped too quickly on the hype train when the TV show was announced? Either way I had the most aggravating mix of pure rage and undiluted sadness when I got towards the back of this book. So many things were happening that were so far from our heroine’s control and you ultimately felt just as powerless as she did about the situation.

SPOILERS BELOW! HIGHLIGHT TO REVEAL SPOILERS!
I’m not a violent person, but if I saw Blackjack Randal in a dark alley alone, I would kick the shit out of him. WHY CAN’T YOU JUST LEAVE JAMIE ALONE. WHY. 

Ruin and Rising

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Everyone who’s read my posts knows how I feel about the love interests in this book. You all know who I wanted Alina to end up with and it just didn’t happen. Not only did they not end up together, but something much worse happened and I am still angry about it. Granted, this is before we knew that Six of Crows was coming, so I thought this universe was over and done with.

SPOILERS BELOW! HIGHLIGHT TO REVEAL SPOILERS!
HOW DARE YOU KILL MY PRECIOUS DARKLING. MY BEAUTIFUL ALEXANDER. NOT OKAY LEIGH, NOT OKAY. THEY WERE DESTINED TO BE LOVERS AND YOU DIDN’T LET IT HAPPEN. I have so many feelings that even all these capitals can’t describe how broken up I still am that Mal got to live and The Darkling didn’t. 
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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
The “I knew it was coming but still cried” books

I’m not going to bother with a spoiler section here. If you’ve read them, you know. You knew that the end was coming for both characters and you hated it. AND YOU WANTED IT TO CHANGE. But it didn’t.

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The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

I’m pretty sure that everyone agrees with me on these last few. Who didn’t cry at least a dozen times while reading these books? When you think about how many people in Harry’s life died all because of something that happened to him when he wasn’t even old enough to talk. Sometimes I’ll be sitting at work and I just think about it, then I make myself sad. I’m rereading them right now and I’m on Goblet of Fire. I know what’s coming and I am so afraid of it.

SPOILERS BELOW! HIGHLIGHT FOR SPOILERS!
YOU KILLED OFF ALMOST EVERY FATHER FIGURE HARRY EVER HAD. If Mr. Weasley didn’t survive I would have just been so done with it. Or at least I would pretend to be done with it. (I’ll never be done with these books).

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Let me know in the comments what books made you ugly sob! 

~The Grisha Lieutenant