All about Books
This is the page where I will be discussing what I'm reading, reviewing those books and be open to suggestions to keep adding to my To Be Read pile. Honestly, I'm never going to get through that thing anyway, so the more the merrier.
This post will be long. Just a heads-up. I've read so many fantastic books this year, with about five being a three stars or lower/DNF off the top of my head.
I've split the books into categories where I can, but there'll be some cross-overs. I won't go into too much detail with them, given that I've reviewed them all over the year, but still wanted to document them somewhere. It really has been a great year for reading. Thanks to Goodreads for storing all of these into one place as I'd forgotten that a couple of these were this year and not last! :)
I've read The Cruel Prince twice this year- the second time mostly in preparation for the release of The Wicked King next month. :) It's just so engrossing and brilliant.
One of my new favourite authors I've discovered is Mackenzi Lee. I didn't get a copy of The Gentleman's Guide until last Christmas, so it was the first book I read this year. I was so thrilled when I found out Felicity was going to get her own book- and both are so good. Go read them now if you haven't yet. :)
While Ace of Shades is the start of a trilogy, it was also one of the first book is thought of when planning this post. I enjoyed Daughter of the Burning City last year, but Ace of Shades is something else. I'll most likely reread it before King of Fools releases next year.
Talking more about authors to keep reading, the following three fit that category:
I've talked tons on here and Twitter about how much I adore Starfish, and then also personally because of the social anxiety rep. It makes me feel incredibly seen and lots of other emotions just thinking about it. Will I get tired of shouting about this point? Nope.
Last August, I was on a trip to the coast with a friend when I finally found If We Were Villains in that particular Waterstones. It was the only book that month which I broke my book ban for. It's Shakespeare and murder mystery and friendships and other things, which make for a brilliant book overall. :)
If there was a prettiest cover contest, I'd never be able to choose but The Exact Opposite of Okay would definitely be a candidate. The inside is just as wonderful, if incredibly real and hard-hitting. It's such a relevant book and also includes sarcasm (I'm English, sarcasm always has my vote!), great friendships, humour, diversity, and the aforementioned relevance about relationships, sex and women being amazing. Because we are. More is coming from these next year, which should be good too. :)
A book that references Mario Kart is immediately up there in enjoyment levels. :D And again with the gorgeous cover that reminds me of my old favourite Word Art. But seriously, Warcross is so much fun. I also suspected the wrong people at certain points, which just made it fun in trying to guess what was really going on. Waiting for the paperback of Wildcard, but am excited for it.
Like Starfish, when I read Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes, I felt things and I cried. It's so interesting, talks about mental health a lot (I can also speak for my own things but it felt accurate), and has the most beautiful message about being kind to yourself first. I remember going through a bad depressive patch when I first picked this up, but afterwards, I've been taking the self-care thing more seriously.
I've been following Cait's blog/Twitter for a long time now, but I loved her book too. A Thousand Perfect Notes is so hard to read at parts, but I loved Beck and August's friendship and Beck and Joey's siblingship. Looking forward to more.
I have nothing new to add that others haven't already said about how much I loved The Hate U Give and how hard it hit me. All that success Angie Thomas has had so far? Yes, she completely deserves all of it.
I'd heard good things about Give the Dark my Love and oh wow, they were right! I gushed about this in my original Goodreads review, but I love figuring out characters in books/film/TV where situations push them and I wonder how far they'd go for what they want. This is the 2nd book about necromancy I've read this year- this is a duology and I'm so ready to find out how Nedra's story ends. You need to read it. :D
I haven't read Frankenstein yet, but I knew I had to read this retelling anyway. It's by Kiersten White, for a start, whose books have gotten progressively darker throughout her career and I'm a fan. :)
Anyway, it's brilliant and truly messed with my head. There were lots of emotions and guessing that I got wrong and things I never thought of. The one thing I thought I knew how it would turn out didn't- only for me to be wrong in trusting what I'd read! Elizabeth is such a morally grey character and the others are all so well written too. Again, go read it. :)
Moving away from horror-ish things, A Sky Painted Gold was one of those books where I'd seen it because of the cover (it's so shiny in real life!) and went back to it a bit later when I had money and it was still on its Waterstones shelf. This was another book where it had to be in this list, especially given I had no real idea what to expect from it.
The writing is gorgeous, it's set in Cornwall which I really need to visit one day, and the characters drew me in immediately. It has a more diverse cast than I expected being set in 1929, yet it still manages to feel modern in many ways. There are family dynamics, strong friendships and I related to Lou in a few ways too. I hope Laura Wood continues writing YA in the future because I'd totally read it. :)
Echo After Echo was my first book by Amy Rose Capetta, but it won't be the last. It has a lot to do with the theatre, which is unusual but lovely, a romance I loved to get behind, lots of diversity, and a murder mystery/curse. It's so easy to get involved in.
One of the last fantasy books I'll read this year was The Last Namsara, another one where the plot twists completely threw me. Oh, and it has dragons. I'm not saying that was only factor in this book making my favourites list, but it helped. No, I also got on board with both loving and hating the respective characters and world building that felt real.
One of the books I got for this Christmas that I actually got to before the year's out.
The time slip part was fun and I really got a sense of how trapped the girls felt at Idlewild- as well as how Fiona couldn't leave the past of what happened to her sister alone. Along with a ghost, a bit of history and secrets everywhere, it still works so well. While I had a sense of what had happened, some of it I didn't guess. A book I'd definitely recommend, hence it's on this list.
After six books, Immortal Reign was the end of the Falling Kingdoms series- a wild ride filled with all sorts of components and where you can't trust anyone. I was sad to see it end, but it was a great ending.
Onto three trilogies:
I talk about the Rebel of the Sands trilogy a lot on here, mainly because the UK covers are so pretty, but the books are amazing. Hero at the Fall had everything, I cried a lot, but the ending was so satisfying as well.
After lots of searching and then just over a year of reading them, The Falconer trilogy ended with The Fallen Kingdom. It was brilliant and scary and beautiful. More people need to know about the books, so this is where I say you should read them if you like the sound of them. :)
I also finished the Worldwalker trilogy this year, which was pretty unique and so interesting. Split between the real world Salem and an alternate Salem with many of the same people being in both worlds, but even then, they were different. There is magic of course, but not the normal fantasy kind. If you're after books on witches, maybe try these?
This series of human-dragon shifters, forbidden love and what family can really mean ended this year. After so many ups and downs, this was one of the ones that I hated saying goodbye to in Inferno. Ember, Garrett, Riley and the others felt like friends but I'll definitely be rereading them sooner rather than later. :)
I've never read historical fiction like it before I started the Conquerors Saga, a gender-swapped retelling of Vlad the Impaler. Between Lada being mostly brutal and Radu being mostly soft and caring, sometimes it's easy to forget their siblings. There is so much in these books that I adore and the eventual ending in Bright We Burn was so satisfying. :)
Bright Ruin hurt, but was such a complex and good ending. The whole trilogy is set in a modern, slightly future-ish England with politics and magic thrown in together for good measure! The characters feel so real but you can't take most of them for how they first appear. It made for some complex mind games, but none more so than Silyen- who I adored. :)
I've been reading the Throne of Glass since Crown of Midnight was published in 2013 and SJM is one of my favourite authors. I knew Kingdom of Ash would break my heart and it absolutely did, but it also put it back together again. I'm sad it's over now, but there are other SJM books coming out in the future to look forward to!
Nightblood was the end of another trilogy where magic was involved and the characters were compelling and a lot of what kept me reading. This one felt different to the others, with the highest stakes, but I guess that's because of the end of book 2. No spoilers as always. :D
Laura Lam's books are ones I haven't shouted enough about, but I will remedy that. Masquerade was a intense and satisfying ending that began in Pantomime- a book I sped through in a couple of days less than a year. The level of diversity, magic, friendships and so many other things make for an engaging and unique trilogy that I'm sure I will reread a lot.
A year ago, I read Dreamfall, a horror book where horror is the genre I'm most uncomfortable with. I hardly ever watch horror films- I scare too easily and just don't do well with it. But it was a five-star early on. I have mild insomnia, so I can't imagine how bad the teens who go in for the cure experiment must have had it- I suppose people in real life get it that bad. Neverwake is the final book in the duology and another 5 star. It was just as creepy in many ways and a great ending. :)
There were so many more books I could have added, others I adored, but this list already got ridiculous in length. Previous posts throughout the year and my Goodreads challenge page will fill in any blanks or ones I've missed.
Happy reading and all the best for 2019. Happy New Year!! :D <3
The next six books were my November reads. All of the above books were 5 stars.
- Kingdom of Ash ripped my heart out and put it back together somehow, which means I cried a lot. One scene I had to put the book down to finish crying before finishing the chapter, but it was a brilliant end to the series.
- Smoke and Iron was so tense but brilliant as always. This time, the book was split into different characters' POV's, given they are split up for a lot of the book- that just made it easier for me to read, rather the really long chapters the first three books were done like. I don't know if I'm ready for the final book next year!
- The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein and Give the Dark my Love both completely took me by surprise in the best way possible.
I've still not read the original Frankenstein, but Kiersten White is one of my favourite authors and the book sounded great, so I had to buy it. Between this and the Conqueror's Saga, her books have become so dark over recent years and I'm loving it! :D This one threw everything at me and I never guessed half of it. I'm a little sad the book's just a stand-alone, but I'll recommend it every time!
In contrast, I admit I haven't read lots of Beth Revis' books yet, but I loved the sound of GTDML and I'd heard good things from people I trust. Again, it did things I didn't expect and the main character's journey to the darkness so completely believable. I can't wait for the second book. :)
- A Gathering of Shadows: Overall rating- 3.25 stars.
Honestly, this is my first non-5 star rating for the V E Schwab books I've read and I'm a bit disappointed. For me, the middle dragged a bit too much and I didn't feel too much danger with the White London until the end of the book, like I'm sure I was meant to.
On the other hand, I adored meeting Alucard and having the other main characters together again. The tournament was also good fun to read about. Hoping the third book will be as enjoyable as I found the first book.
- The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy: Overall rating- 4.5 stars.
I'm so glad Felicity got her own book! I enjoyed it so much- even though all the travelling gave me even worse wanderlust than I currently have haha. :) But the new places, people and Max, of course. We need more animals (especially those that survive) in YA!
I did miss not as much Monty and Percy at times, but I can't complain really. And I have to say, as much as I enjoyed it, I'm glad I live now when women have more say, even though we still have a way to go. This was one of my favourite quotes from the book:
Everyone has heard stories of women like us, and now we will make more of them.
All of these were 5 stars, apart from Song of the Current, which I gave 4 stars. That was still an amazing start to the duology and I loved it. There is a map! :D However, I knocked a star off because at times, it felt like it wasn't enough time to press pause and I'd have liked slightly more time on land, but those are minor things.
It feels I'm the last person to The Hate U Give. It blew me away, I cried, I don't have anything new to say about it that hasn't already been said 50,000 times. But Angie Thomas deserves all the weeks she's sat top of the NYT bestseller list!
I'm so sad to say I finished Masquerade, and therefore, the trilogy with it. Going through Micah's story has been an amazing reading experience and overall the last year and a half I've read them, I've found some of my newest favourite characters in the pages. The writing is so easy to get through and beautiful too. I'll always recommend this series.
The Last Namsara was such an interesting book with lots of aspects to the world that made it feel so real. But I wouldn't want to live there. :) The characters were layered, hence it's easy to like some and hate others. I loved the plot twists and didn't catch some of them before they happened. I like being surprised. Also dragons. Need I say more? I'm excited to read book 2 soon and the third next year hopefully as well.
At the moment, I'm almost finished with Two Dark Reigns and am enjoying it a lot. Though I like island, it's nice to get out of Fennbirn for once too. I'm assuming I'll get it read this weekend. :)
Finally, I'm hoping to end the year with A Reaper at the Gates. There may be a chance that I'll get in another book after it, but I'm not sure yet.
However, I've well surpassed my expectations with reading this year. I set my Goodreads challenge to 50 books and I'll end the year somewhere in the mid-90 range! It's crazy looking at like that, but feels SO good. :D
I'll have another couple of posts up before the year ends, but I hope everyone has a great Christmas and also gets lots of reading done. :) All the best.
Hi, I'm an animal lover and have a degree. You can usually find me either reading or writing. Failing that, I might have actually ventured into the outside world...