The final book in The Diviner’s series comes out on Tuesday so I decided to re-read the previous book to get ready.
It’s that time of year where we take a look back at the last 12 months. 2018 was by far our best year we have ever had here at Stacks. Thank you for all spent their time reading our little blog here. Here are the top ten posts that you all really really liked.
- Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart – I’m surprised by all the traffic from this post but hey I’m glad you came.
- Quick Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han – Thanks to the success of the movie for the first book, which I loved. I can’t wait for the sequel.
- Quick Review: Intensity by Sherrilyn Kenyon – Another surprise but maybe you are like me and miss Nick so much.
- Review: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee – Such a great book.
- Review: One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake – Another really great book.
- Review: Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray – For a series set in the 20’s, it could not be more relevant for today.
- A Wizard of Earthsea: Chapter 2: The Shadow – Interesting that our read along to A Wizard of Earthsea that Chapter 2 was the one that to the most views. Also this is the only post in the top 10 that is from 2018.
- Review: The Silver Mask by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare – Another surprised entry.
- Quick Review: The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin – Noah Shaw has some issues he has to work out.
- Some of my favorite Quotes from In Other Lands – OMG! So many great quotes in this book.
According to GoodReads.com I read 20,948 pages from 57 books. So you can imagine how hard it was to narrow down to only 10 for the best books I’ve read this year. There were so many good ones! I think I ultimately went with these 10 was because while I may have liked some of the other books more or given other’s better reviews or more stars, these 10 books stuck with me longer after finishing reading them. I would like to think that our Diverse Lives, Diverse Stacks: Diverse Narrators reading challenge is working for me because half of the books were written by Women of Color and they contain protagonists from very diverse backgrounds. That’s exciting to me but enough of this, let’s get on to the list.
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas– This book was as heartbreaking as it was realistic. Starr is caught between two worlds but doesn’t really how different they are or how truly different she acts to accommodate both parts of her life until her friend is killed by a police officer during a routine traffic stop and she is the only witness. This really should be a must read in all schools for generations to come and I’m excited that it will also be a movie coming out next year.
- Pyromantic by Lish McBride– It’s funny, it’s sarcastic, it’s action packed but mostly it is just plain fun. I really hope that Lish returns to these characters because there is just so much weirdness she can do with them.
- Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor-This is such a lush story with great imagery and original concept. There really isn’t another novel out there right now. The ending was such a surprise that I have no idea what to expect in the sequel.
- The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon-Just like The Hate U Give, this is another heartbreaking but all too realistic look at today’s youth. To strangers, meet and share a life changing day as Natasha fights to stop her family from being deported and Daniel fights the expectations of being a child of immigrants.
- The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin-How do you describe this book? It has so much going on and it’s not certain how they all interweave but you know they must somehow. It’s truly a powerful book it’s no wonder it’s won so many awards.
- Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray-The third book in The Diviners series takes place in the 1920’s but with it’s themes of race, gender equality and science it’s more relevant than you would think. Evie, Sam, Memphis, Jericho, Theta, Ling Henry and Isiah have to overcome the coming darkness but also the social limits society places on those in the minority.
- All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater-People come from far and wide to seek miracles from the Saints of Bicho Raro but even saints themselves need miracles and sometimes those miracles can’t be achieved on their own, sometimes they need a little help from others. That’s the lesson from this one, it’s great to self sufficient but don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
- The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan-A great ending to a great trilogy and the power of how diversity makes us stronger.
- Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake-It’s dark and mysterious but also cool to read of world where women rule and men play supportive roles. That women are just as complicated and conflicted and are able to be both and still show strength and vulnerability. Here we get three young women who all of those things and more.
- WarCross by Marie Lu-This was fun and exciting thrill of a book. Full of mystery and kind of a spy novel in a way. Emika a down on her luck, hacker/bounty hunter gets a chance to play in the biggest game ever in hopes of finding another hacker trying to sabotage the game. It’s full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing.
So these are my favorite books of 2017. What are yours?
2017 is almost at an end. It was quite a challenging year but at least it was filled with a lot of great books. Here are the Top 10 posts that got the most views on Stacks this year. Thank you for all of you stopped by and took a glance at our little corner of the internet.
- Quick Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han I’m pleasantly surprised this one came out on top. It got over twice many views as #2 of this list so you all must have loved it. I’ll admit, I had mixed feelings about this novel because as much as I loved Lara Jean and glad I got to spend more time with her, I’m not sure it was really needed another book.
- Sending Love to Sarah Rees Brennan This is another surprise since it was originally posted in 2016 but I hope the continue views have sent Sarah more healing vibes because I do love reading her books.
- Quick Review: Intensity by Sherrilyn Kenyon I just adore this series and even though I’m unsure if this is the last book in the series or just shift in the series focus. Either way, I can’t wait to read more about Nick.
- Some of My Favorite Quotes from In Other Lands Another post about Sarah Rees Brennan. This one got a boost from the author herself!
- Rick Riordan Presents I was excited to read about Rick’s new imprint featuring authors of color writing about myths and stories about their cultures. It’s great seeing Rick use his power to feature new voices and help diversify our stories.
- Review: Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray One of my favorite books of the year from one of the best series I have read in a long time. Here’s hoping she doesn’t take another two years to finish the series finale.
- Highs and Lows of Fandoms by Cassandra Clare and Maggie Stiefvater Another post from 2016 that was big in 2017 probably because many of the issues still exist.
- Review: Endure by Sara B. Larson Another surprise. This review made the 2016 list of Top posts too.
- Review: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare Cassandra Clare knows how to bring the drama. I’m happy that she’s decided to publish the finale of this trilogy before starting her next Shadowhunter trilogy.
- Review: Half Lost by Sally Green In 2016, this was the top post and in 2017 it’s still in the Top 10 and I’m still surprise. I guess not though because the book still haunts with it’s powerful ending.
Those who do not know their own history are doomed to repeat it. It may sound cliche but it is true. Libba Bray has set The Diviner’s series in the twenties but in our current political climate it could easily be a contemporary novel. All she would have to do is change some of the slang and add some emoji’s. Themes of race, sexual orientation, patriotism, health, sexism and worker’s rights are very prevalent through out Before the Devil Breaks You and The Diviner’s series just as they are today. The Eugenic’s movement that was full swing in the 1920’s where white supremacist used pseudoscience to prove that the white race was superior to all others. It influenced government policy, immigration and mental health and would later inspire those in Nazi Party. The racist policy was dressed up as a way to make America better and stronger. If we can weed out all the undesirable elements of our a population we would be stronger. Their “Make America Great Again” so to say. Our Diviner’s, Evie, Sam, Memphis, Henry, Ling, Isiah, Theta, Jericho and Mabel have now faced two ghosts and are starting to understand the threat they are facing. They powers are growing but are strongest together. They start working with Will and Sister Walker to improve their powers but they all have secrets. Will and Sister Walker both are part of opening the gap between the living in the dead and creating the Diviners. Making them a little less trust worthy. Evie is clinging on to her fame as a radio host but also can’t decide between Sam and Jericho. Theta is afraid the other will find out about her powers and gets an even bigger surprised when her past comes back to haunt her. Mabel, the one without any kind of powers feels out of place because she can’t read objects or disappear or walk in dreams. She want’s to change the world but more then anything she was be noticed. They individual stories are heartbreaking and true and make a for a rich story and speaks to the diverse nature of our country. The King of Crows is throwing everything at them this time because it’s not just one ghost but many and it’s not just ghost they must fight against it’s prejudice and ignorance. It’s the balance between wanted to be safe vs. wanting to feel safe. Those are two different things. When people are scared they will agree to almost anything to feel safe again even if it doesn’t actually make them safer. I would point to the entire last election cycles of examples of that. The Diviner’s came together at the beginning of the book only be torn apart which I can only assume is the perfect set up for the last book. I’ll give Miss Bray credit, she knows how to tell a story and is not at all sentimental. The last 20-30 pages. Bray channels her inner George R.R. Martin and racks up a body count that only he could appreciate. We are living in scary times and anyone who picks this book up hoping to escape will be disappointed because America hasn’t learned from our own history and we are now repeating it.
It’s that time of the year when publishers release titles in bunches so they are out before the Holidays. It also means my to-read list just gets longer and longer. Here are a few books I just can’t wait to read.
One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake – the sequel to Three Dark Crowns. Three sisters with three different powers but only one will survive to be crowned Queen.
Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray – Book three of the excellent The Diviner’s series. To quote Evie, it really is the Bees knees.
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan – It really is a shame that this is the last book in the series because Magnus has been amazing. I do hope he shows up in Rick’s other books the way Percy has.
All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater – Maggie is awesome and we love her and have no doubt this will be awesome too. Also Yeah! for standalones!
Renegades by Marissa Meyer – I believe this Marissa Meyer’s first book not based on fairy tales.
The Speaker by Traci Chee –The Follow up the The Reader that both Kate and I loved.
The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin– The first book in the Shaw Confessions series, the companion series to the Michelle Hodkin’s Mara Dyer series.