2016: Reading in Review

I READ SO MANY GOOD BOOKS THIS YEAR. I finished 2015 wondering how I could possibly read more than 68 books in a calendar year. HA HA HA HA. I read almost double that this year, though I highly doubt I can beat that next year with two book releases. 

These questions are from The Broke and the Bookish. Yes, I selectively picked from the questions. Sometimes because I had no answer and other times because I COULD NOT DECIDE.

 

Here are my 2016 reading statistics and favourites. 

 

Reading Statistics

Number of Books Read: 119 (as of 12/31)

Number of Re-Reads: 0

Genre You Read the Most: YA Fantasy 

 

Favourites

 

YA Fantasy: 

THE CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo (Pub. 2016)

Runner Up:  THE GIRL OF INK AND STARS by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Pub. 2016)

 

YA Sci-Fi:  

CONSIDER by Kristy Acevedo (Pub. 2016)

Runner Up: INTO THE DIM by Janet Butler Taylor (Pub. 2016)

 

YA Historical:

AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White (Pub. 2016)

 

YA Contemporary: 

GIRL IN PIECES by Kathleen Glasgow (Pub. 2016)

Runner Up: JERKBAIT by Mia Siegert

 

YA Paranormal/Magical Realism:  

THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater (Pub. 2011)

 

Adult Romance: 

FOR REAL by Alexis Hall (Pub. 2015)

Runner Up:  SUTPHIN BOULEVARD by Santino Hassell (Pub. 2014)

 

(1) Best Book you read in 2016?

 

(2) Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going to Love More But Didn’t?

 

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

 

4. Book You “Pushed” the Most People to Read (And They Did)?

 

5. Best series you started in 2016?


6. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

 7. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

8. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

9. Most memorable character of 2016?

 

10. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

I could be a total pedant here and POINT OUT that books written in 2016 probably won't hit the shelves until late 2017 early 2018 at the earlier, but I won't.

11. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

(there is a theme here!)

 

12. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

13. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!):

Nina and Matthias from Crooked Kingdom/Six of Crows

 

14. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 from an Author You’ve Read Previously:

 

15. Best Book You Read in 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY on a Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

… and now I am a Santino fangirl for life.

 

16. Best 2016 debut you read?

17. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

18. Book That Put a Smile on Your Face/Was the Most FUN to Read?

19. Book That Made You Cry or Nearly Cry in 2016?

20. Hidden Gem of the Year?

21. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

22. Most Unique Book You Read in 2016?

23. Book That Made You the Most Mad?

This is an easy one, and I'm actually conflicted about posting it here because I don't want it to get ANY MORE advertising space than it already has. Don't get me wrong, as I think my favourites list proves, I am a pretty big m/m romance reader. But this book is a giant garbage fire. 

Not only are there massive consent issues between the protagonist / love interest, BUT the book casts a child sex slave in the role of antagonist. He's EIGHT YEARS OLD when he starts being abused, and yet, the author thinks it's appropriate to cast him as some kind of sex fiend deviant, who uses his TWELVE YEAR OLD body to ensnare older men? GROSS. GROSS. GROSS. FUCKING GROSS.

 

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2017

 

1. One Book (two books) You Didn’t Get to in 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

3. Book You Are Most Anticipating for 2017 (non-debut)?

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend to Everyone:

No cover yet, but I read Ava Jae's INTO THE BLACK (sequel to Beyond the Red) and it is fabulous.

 

2016 Reading Wrap Up – Jan/Feb

ReadingWrap

One of my goals for 2016 was to keep a more up to date reading blog! Given that I barely ever blog about the books I read, improvement is pretty easy!  I don't write negative reviews on my blog, so in each category, I will only list my top pick and a runner up!

Click the links to add to your GoodReads! I just finished a manuscript, so planning to do A LOT of reading in March!  Tell me about your favourites in the comments or let me know what you thought of the books!

 

By the Numbers

There will be some overlap in these statistics due to genre/age group/etc.

So far in 2016, I have read 18 books. 

12/18 were Young Adult

3/18 featured a LGBTQIA protagonist. 

5/18 featured a POC protagonist. 

3/18 were New Adult

2/18 were Non-fiction 

11/18 were High Fantasy

 

Young Adult

Top Pick, Rated: 5 Stars

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Wow. Where to begin? I finished this entire 400pg book in less than 24 hours. I couldn't stop reading, even when I was supposed to be at work.

When I was a teenager, I absolutely loved Timeline by Michael Crichton. I read my copy over and over again until it was a tattered mess that I eventually dropped in the bathtub. Into the Dim reminded me a lot ofTimeline … but a version that was written pretty much exactly for me.

I think because I share so many things with Hope, the book had special resonance for me. I'm an American living in Scotland. I moved here initially to pursue a PhD in Medieval Literature. Hope lives in America, then travels to Scotland when her mom vanishes … and travels to London in the Middle Ages. 

Despite its length, this book was a fast paced read. I loved the cast of incredible characters — especially Lucinda and Phoebe. I loved how Janet B. Taylor managed to touch on some real issues about the 12th century court that are often glossed in fiction that isn't strictly historical, like raging anti-Semitism and a husband's literal ownership of his wife. 

Janet managed to capture so many amazing and separate settings. I loved the evolving love story. Basically cannot wait for the next book.

 

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Runner Up, Rated: 5 Stars

This was basically my face through the entire book. The writing made me giddy from the first chapter. I can't believe it took me so long to read this. Someone should have taken me aside and told me to suspend everything else in my life until I gave it a shot. 

I loved the pace. I loved the world building. I LOVED CHAOL … like possibly more than all male-romantic heroes, ever. I love the silent awkward type and he fulfilled my every wish.

Celaena is SUCH an interesting character. I loved that she was an assassin with morals. A badass fighter with a strong love of dresses and frills. Tough and bristly but gets giddy around Dorian. 

If this wasn't a series I would have had issues with some of the plot holes or lack of information on Celaena 's background. But I'm hoping all my questions will be answered by the following books!

 

Diverse Protagonist 

Top Pick, Rated: 4 Stars

This is a Short and You can Read it Online!

Spectacular twist, that I really was not expecting!! The writing was excellent and I really did not see the ending coming, yet once it happened, it seemed like the clues had been laid all along …

I felt Dunya should have had more character, progression though. I realise it's a short, but she never seemed to evolve and I was shocked by how she interacted with her father after he effectively pawned her off to be killed.

 

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Runner Up, Rated: 4 Stars

 

Suki Fleet has a truly magical way of writing about emotion. Sometimes while reading this, I would stop and reflect on the metaphors she created and realised she had perfectly captured the feeling, in a really visceral way that the reader feels.

Her prose is beautifully constructed and it sings. 

The protagonist, Micky, was adorable. 

I read THIS IS NOT A LOVE STORY last year. FOXES will definitely appeal to fans of Suki's previous work. It's another harrowing adventure on the UK streets, following a homeless tech wizard struggling to make it while he searches for his friend's killer, a sadistic 'shark' who preys on teen prostitutes. This kind of had a modern Jack the Ripper feel to it, and I liked that. 

I do find with Suki's writing that sometimes the unrelenting sadness can get to be much. At certain points, I did find myself becoming numb. That being said, numbness is a symptom of grief, so maybe that's what she was going for.

 

2016 is COMING! Top SPRING/SUMMER PICKS

It's a dark and dreary Sunday here in Scotland. Our days have gotten so short you'd almost miss them in a blink. BUT on the plus side, I've nearly finished with my 2015 GoodReads Challenge. 

I have just two more books to go until I will have read sixty books this year. I'm quite proud of that and will be doing a "Best of 2015" round-up as soon as I've finished! 

Since starting my "journey" towards trying to get published last August, I've definitely become a lot more aware of up-and-coming books rather than just picking things up as I find them. Certainly since getting a contract for Unicorn Tracks, I've been really curious about other books coming out in 2016! 

I've made a list of the SPRING/SUMMER 2016 titles I'm most excited about. As always, if you see the little the We Need Diverse Books Box under a book's description, it means that the protagonist is LGBTIQA or a POC.

 

GoodReads Summary:

Return to the darkly beautiful world of The Sin Eater's Daughter with a sequel that will leave you awed, terrified . . . and desperate for more.

Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin's life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.

When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won't reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.

Book Details: 

Author: Melinda Salisbury

(  www.melindasalisbury.com /@AHintofMystery)

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Publication Date: April 26th 2016

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** Note: I've already gotten my hands on this one and I KNOW it's fabulous. You want this one, guys. TRUST ME **

GoodReads Summary:

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water. 

There’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.

Book Details:

Author: Emily Skrutskie

(http://skrutskie.com  /@skrutskie)

Publisher: Flux 

Publication Date: February 8th 2016

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Goodreads Summary: 

When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.      

Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is anOutlander for teens. 

Book Details:

Author: Janet Taylor

(www.janetbtaylor.com@Janet_B_Taylor )

Publisher: HMH for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 1st 2016

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Summary from GoodReads:

San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.

On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can't sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the 'bossy' cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?

 

Book Details: 

Author: Stacey Lee

(http://www.staceyhlee.com/@staceyleeauthor )

Publisher: G.P. Putnam 

Publication Date: May 24th 2016

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Goodreads Summary:

Raised in the closed cult of Mana’s Hearth and denied access to modern technology, conjoined sisters Taema and Tila dream of a life beyond the walls of the compound. When the heart they share begins to fail, the twins escape to San Francisco, where they are surgically separated and given new artificial hearts. From then on they pursue lives beyond anything they could have previously imagined.

Ten years later, Tila returns one night to the twins’ home in the city, terrified and covered in blood, just before the police arrive and arrest her for murder—the first homicide by a civilian in decades. Tila is suspected of involvement with the Ratel, a powerful crime syndicate that deals in the flow of Zeal, a drug that allows violent minds to enact their darkest desires in a terrifying dreamscape. Taema is given a proposition: go undercover as her sister and perhaps save her twin’s life. But during her investigation Taema discovers disturbing links between the twins’ past and their present. Once unable to keep anything from each other, the sisters now discover the true cost of secrets.

Book Details: 

Author: Laura Lam

( http://www.lauralam.co.uk@LR_Lam)

Publisher: Tor Books

Publication Date: June 14th 2016

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Summary from GoodReads: 

Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.

Book Details:

Author: Heidi Heilig

(heidiheilig.com / @heidiheilig)

Publisher: Greenwillow Books 

Release Date: February 16 2016

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Summary from GoodReads:

Jane Austen meets X-­Men in this gripping and adventure-­filled paranormal romance set in Victorian London.

England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.

Book Details:

Author: Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

(@tkshanker ! @KellyZekas

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Release Date: February 9 2016

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Goodreads Summary:

For fans of The Princess Bride comes the comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey.

Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger—and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. She’s about to become Queen of England. Like that could go wrong.

 

Book Details: 

Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: June 7th 2016

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