Well it was a year. I did read more books then I did last year but not anywhere near my pre-pandemic levels. But who is. I have found it harder to write reviews recently. You may have noticed. I’ll try to do better in 2022. Anyways, without further ado. These are top 5 favorite books of the past year. In order of which I read them.
Stormbreak by Natalie C. Parker – I just loved this whole series of women pirates taking on the systems keeping society down. It was just one adventure after another and it a great ending. I highly recommend the whole series.
The Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeiine Boulley – This book is just so heartbreaking. What Daunis and her people have gone through is just so painful and yet the strength they processed is just amazing. Boulley’s writing is very striking. She doesn’t sugarcoat the experience her characters experience. Be aware. It does deal with sexual assault, drug use, racism and domestic violence.
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab – Addie Larue made a deal that she wanted to live her own life but in exchange no one remembers her. 300 years later, she finally remembers her and it seems like things maybe turning around but of course things are not as they seem. This book is such a rich book. Fantasy and historical fiction all in one. Loved it.
The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee – Jo is lady’s maid. Not by choice but because her options are limited. When an opportunity presents itself to write an advice column under a secret identity she takes it. It gives her the freedom that she doesn’t have in day to day life. I loved reading about Jo because despite the card stacked against her she doesn’t give up.
The Naturals series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – I’m choosing this series as a whole since I read them all at once. It was recommended by a coworker and she knows her stuff. Cassie and her fellow Naturals are not your normal teenagers. They know how to read people and for that makes them useful to the FBI. I just got sucked into the mystery of this series and I was so happy that I waited to read it all at once.
I’m behind in reviews so I decided to do a review of the Naturals Series as a whole instead of each book individually. So here we go.
The Naturals is centered around Cassie. She’s a profiler. She can tell you about anyone just by observing them. She was taught this by her mother who would travel the country as a psychic. Reading people was how she made a living. One day she is recruited in a secret group by the FBI of other “naturals” teenagers to help them with solve cold cases. Each naturals has their own skills. Michael can read people’s emotion. Lia can tell who is lying and telling the truth. Sloane sees the world in numbers and Dean is also a profiler. They all learn their skills thanks to traumatic pasts that forced them to cultivate their skills and oh boy, they are tragic. Cassie’s own backstory is that her mom was brutally murdered but her body was never found. This backstory plays a huge part in the series. Actually all of their back stories play a huge part of the plot. The other big part of the story is how each of them cope with their trauma. As they go through the cases, they are forced to deal with their pasts and it’s a rough road for all of them.
I do want to say, it’s not all sadness. This was a very fun series to read. The mysteries have so many twists and turns that it kept me guessing of how it would turn out. The team is all so likable and wanted them all to be happy and safe. Sloane is my favorite character. She is so endearing. She is the comic relief but often time she doesn’t understand why she is funny. She is also, out of all of them, the most heartbreaking. I really feel for her. I wanted more of her.
So for mystery readers this is a must read. It’ll keep you on your toes.