Top 10 Posts of 2017

top posts

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Some of My Favorite Quotes from In Other Lands Another post about Sarah Rees Brennan.  This one got a boost from the author herself!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Review: Endure by Sara B. Larson Another surprise.  This review made the 2016 list of Top posts too.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

In Memoriam of all the Series that Ended in 2016

In the tradition of award shows every way, we at Stacks would like to recognized those series that are no longer with us.  They have ended.  They and solved all their mysteries and tied up any loose ends.  We were said to see them go but they will always be remembered for the joy that brought to our lives.

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Review: Endure by Sara B. Larson

endure  *Spoilers Ahead*

This is the final book in the Defy trilogy.  For those who are not familiar it follows Alexa who is a guard to Prince Damian but she has to be pretend she is a boy named Alex or be subjected to the cruel breeding houses.  Over the series Alex is exposed as Alexa, saves the Kingdom from the evil King of Antion, fall in love with the Prince but also have feelings for her fellow guard, Rylan. Then after all of that has the save kingdom once again from the even more evil King of the neighboring country of Dansaii.  That’s a real simplified synopsis but you get the idea.  It’s sort of the typical YA novel where the girl must defeat evil while trying to figure out who she loves at the same time.  It’s really isn’t much of a love triangle as Alexa is pretty clearly in love with Damian and Damian makes it pretty clear that he is in love with her but you know he’s the Prince and later the King and she’s just a guard. It can’t be simple as them saying I love you and be done with it.

Alexa is a good character.  She’s a fighter both figuratively and literally.  In this world there are sorcerers that have powers to create fires or earthquakes.  Alexa isn’t but a revelation that her father might have been one and she may have inherited some of his powers in the form of quick reflexes, which makes her on the best fighters in the Prince’s guard.  She is steadfast and loyal and despite many tragic deaths she still pulls though and gets things done.  As for the other characters, they are not as fleshed out as Alexa is. Damian is giving more time.  We get that he’s vulnerable and his doubts of his own abilities and loves Alexa. The same with Rylan.  He’s a good guy who always stands by Alexa but not much else.  I would have liked to know more about them and the other characters.  Maybe one of the flaws of first person story telling.  I get this feeling that YA authors are getting over their fears of killing off characters, no matter how important they are.  I think this is great because it does give books a little more drama.  I used to feel a little cynical when characters were in trouble because you sort of knew that authors wouldn’t risk alienating readers by killing off popular characters.  Well not any more.  Now it anyone can go and boy the body count is high in this one and many I was sad to see go.

It was good series with a good ending.  I’m glad that I read it but it’s not going to go down as one of my favorites.

What I’m Reading Now: Endure by Sara B. Larson and The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

endureI don’t normally read two books at once but I got Endure an ARC downloaded to my iPad and well my iPad and case doesn’t fit in my new purse.  I need something to read on the train to work.  This is a must.  So it came down to this, move everything into a new bag so I can take my iPad with me to work or find another book to read on the train and read this at home.

royal weSo that’s what I decided to do.  The Royal We was on sale a couple of weeks ago and since I follow both the authors on twitter and love their blog, Go Fug Yourself, and I have been looking for more romances, I thought I would give it a go.

So these two books will end my reading experience for 2015 and bring me into 2016.  What are the last books you are reading this year?

Series You Should Check Out

So this is something that I’m thinking of making a regular column: Books and Series that I’ve read that I feel are underrated or under-appreciated.  There are some great books or Series that I haven’t seen much written or talked about on other blogs that I really liked!  So I’m going to attempt to give them some love. I’m going to start with the Defy series by Sara B. Larson.

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Defy came out last year and it’s sequel Ignite was just released. The story is about Alexa who has to pretend to be a boy and serve in the King’s army.  Let’s just say it would be very bad if she is ever discovered.  Alexa, now Alex, is a smart fighter and she eventually works her way into the the elite prince’s guards.  When a unbeatable sorcerer kidnaps Alex, the Prince and Alex’s friend Rylan, it becomes even harder to do her duty to protect the Prince and to protect her secret.

What I like about the books is that I found them to be really quick reads that were paced well.  You don’t have to wait too long for the action to start.  Alexa is a fighter and not just physically.  She is one of the best of the Prince’s guards, which comes into play when the Prince gets kidnapped.

The relationship between Alexa and the Prince is at first awkward.  He’s the Prince and she’s pretending to be a guy who protects him.  As they grow closer they realize they have more in common.  Both are trying to pretend to be something they are not to protect themselves.  I think you can guess where this is going to go.

It’s hard to review series because I can’t say too much about the second without spoiling the first. So I’ll say it’s worth checking out.  It’s nice to read a heroine who is strong and doesn’t take anyone’s crap.  Of course in Alexa’s case, she can beat up anyone who gives her trouble.  So go check them out.