I am also not reading these in a certain order and I hope Beth doesn’t mind. She’s been trying to get me to read this since it came out. Want to know how I know? I have Beth’s hard copy of this book; she loaned it to me ages ago and it’s just been in a stack of TBRs near my bed since then. So, I thought maybe I’d start with this one and then I could give it back to her when I see her next.
Fine. Kate has already read Cinder and Shatter Me. So I’m changing two of her books.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Written by Laini Taylor, who wrote the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. Which we both love. Some characters more then others. *wiink* Strange the Dreamer is nothing like anything that I have read. It’s lush and complicated. It’s full of trauma and hope and really quite beautiful. I’m sure nothing about this will get me in trouble with Kate at all. First in a Duology.
Seafire by Natalie C. Parker. This one I know you haven’t read yet because I only read it this year but totally up your alley. A crew of female pirates out for revenge against those who murdered their family. It’s all about sisterhood and friendship and what makes a family but also our own destructive behavior. First book in what I believe is a trilogy.
As we take a look back at 2018 we started some really great series but we also sadly had to say goodbye to others. It’s always a bittersweet reading the final book. On the one hand you finally get to know how it ends but on the other hand sometimes you are not ready to let go quite yet. So let’s raise a glass to the books that have entertained us over the last couple of years and who knows, maybe our favorite authors will one day return to your fave characters.
- Falling Kingdom Series by Morgan Rhodes – This epic “Game of Thrones” YA series finally came to a close after it’s 6 books. Alliances were built and destroyed, Gods sent packing and love conquers all. It was quite a ride.
- Front Lines Series (Soldier Girls) by Michael Grant – Rio, Frangie, and Rainey fight until the end of the World War Two. After three books of following our girls through battle, we finally see them through the end and what they did with their lives afterward.
- Carve the Mark Duology by Veronica Roth – Some of the story building was problematic but it was an original idea that was was engrossing. I do feel that there is enough story left over that Veronica could return this world, she could.
- Charlotte Holmes Trilogy by Brittany Cavallaro – There have been many different takes on Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. This time around the Holmes and Watson families have a long history as does the Holmes family and the Moriarty family and a century worth of feuds come to end with Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson in the center. Truly an enjoyable series for any Holmes or mystery fans.
- Talon Series by Julie Kagawa – Ember, Riley,Garrett and the soldiers of St. George have no choice to team up if they are going to save the world from Talon After 5 books it’s been a wild ride
- Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard – This may have been one of my favorite YA series since The Hunger Games ended. It had a little bit of everything. Super Powers, class warfare, racism and political philosophy. I’m sad that it’s over because it was pretty great but I do look forward to what Victoria does next.
- Warcross Series by Marie Lu – Virtual reality game is about to take dow the world unless Emika can stop it. Really it’s not that farfetched and that’s part of it’s brilliance. Emika is one of the coolest YA heroine.
- The Tiger’s Saga by Colleen Houck – This one was kind of disappointment. This maybe an example of knowing when to stop. Even though it was always planned on being a quintet, the fourth book was released almost 4 years ago and the story had pretty much been wrapped up. Tiger’s Dream while a wrap up of Kishan’s arc but was a really long rehash of the last four books. It didn’t add anything to the story and sort of made me upset with Kishan.
- Strange the Dreamer Duology by Laini Taylor – These two books were beautiful and heartbreaking. Everyone is living with some sort of a trauma and doing what they can to survive. We finally see the true depths of what the people of Weep had to live through and it’s horrifying. You really can’t blame any of them for their anger but despite all the hurt there is a real hopefulness to it.
- Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas – Seven books and several twists and turns later we finally see how Aelin’s story ends and it’s epic. There have been so many stories and characters it was almost hard to believe that Sarah was able to tie it all together in a satisfying ending. It was heartbreaking and hopeful and one wild ride.
I really don’t know the best way to describe this book or this series as it’s so lush and unique. It’s also kind of a hard read because pretty much every character is a victim of terrible abuse and trauma and the events of the book are the direct result of all the trauma. The people of Weep spent years under the threat of kidnapping and rape and even 15 years after they killed the “Gods” responsible the citadel where it all took place still stood as a reminder of what they endured. The Godspawn lived in fear of being discovered for fear of what happened to their fellow children would happen to them. This all came to a crashing half when our hero Lazlo discovered who he really was and brought them together. Even the villains of this piece were acting on their own traumas. You knew what they were doing was wrong at times you couldn’t really blame them either. In the end it was an act of compassion that saved them all. Sarai used her power to listen and understand what was the issue and finally talk them down. I highly recommend that everyone read Strange the Dreamer and the Muse of Nightmares because they are so lush in descriptions of Weep and the other strange lands. It’s truly beautiful story that is also timely to today’s me too movement.
A return trip to Weep.
Summer is over and now it’s to look forward to some fall reading. So get your pumpkin spice latte ready as here are some of the books I can’t wait to read this fall.
- The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor (October 2)-The sequel to Strange the Dreamer and left off one big cliffhanger.
- Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (October 2)-Shapeshifters, samurais and Japanese mythology. Yes please.
- A Very Large Expense of the Sea by Tahereh Mafi (October 16) In our attempt to read more diverse voices. Tahereh Mafi releases probably her most personal story yet. Shirin is a muslim girl starting a new school a year after 9/11.
- Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas (October 23)- The last book in the epic Thorne of Glass series. Who will prevail and who will die?
- Archenemies by Marissa Meyer (November 6)-The second book in the Renegades trilogy. The ending of Renegades really changes the dynamics of this one.
- The Storyteller by Traci Chee (November 13)- The final book in the Sea of Gold and Ink trilogy. Is the future already written for Sefia and Archer?
- The Reckoning of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin (November 13)-Noah Shaw has done some bad things and so has her girlfriend Mara Dyer. The consequences might be finally catching up to them.
What are you looking forward to reading this fall?
What books can you not wait to read in 2018? I have lots of course but here are 10 that I really Really can’t wait to read next year.
- War Storm by Victoria Aveyard. (May 15, 2018) The final book in her Red Queen Series. Will Mare and the Scarlet Guard be able take down the Silvers. Will Maven get overthrown? Will Cal stop being a dumbass?
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. (March 6, 2018) This sounds so amazing! I can’t wait to read it. Zelie comes from a long line of maji but the new crown prince wants to banish magic from the kingdom. Zelie has one chance to save magic and her people.
- Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi (March 6, 2018) It’s been 4 years since the end of the Shatter Me trilogy ended or so we thought. Restore Me is going to pick up at the end of Ignite Me. Juliette is the Supreme Commander and Warner is on her side but now that she has the world at her finger tips, what’s next?
- Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir. (May 22, 2018) It’s been two years since A Torch Against the Night came out and I’ve been eagerly waiting this one. Laia, Elias and Helene are all in perilously situation. I MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!
- Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. (January 16, 2018) I’ll admit I was hoping it would be the next book in the Shades of London series but I’m just so glad that Maureen has a book coming out. I do love a good mystery and good ghost story too.
- The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. (January 2, 2018) So happy that Holly is back with a new series about fairies because no one does fairies like Holly Black.
- A Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro. (March 6, 2018) The final book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy can’t come soon enough. In true Holmes form, Charlotte has really sabotage herself and Watson can’t forgive her. They try to move on with their lives but someone wants them back together and well I want them back together too.
- Dread Nation by Justine Ireland. (April 3, 2018) The American Civil War is interrupted when the Dead of the battlefields come back to life. Jane is in combat school to learn how to take down the dead and with this comes opportunity but Jane wants more. Soon she is wrapped up in a conspiracies and plots that the dead are the least of her worries.
- Untitled Sequel to Renegades by Marissa Meyer. (November 6, 2018) Renegades was such a great book and can’t wait to read what’s next. Nova has successfully infiltrated the Renegades and her old friends are no longer around to blow her cover. Will she betray her new friends or cement herself as a villain.
- The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth. (April 10, 2018) Carve the Mark may have been problematic but it was still good. I’m curious how things will turn out for Cyra and Akos. Will they be able to escape their destinies or are they running right into them?
- The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor. (No set date) I’m not sure this is coming out in 2018 but I really hope so. Strange the Dreamer was so beautiful I can’t wait to find out what happens next, especially after what happened at the end.
- Throne of Glass #7 by Sarah J. Maas. (September 4, 2018) The final book in the Throne of Glass series and it’s been quite a ride for Aelin and friends. Who knows how it will all end. Well I guess Sarah J. Maas does but for everyone else it’s anyone’s guess.
- Untitled (WarCross #2) by Marie Lu. (No set date) Another one I’m not sure if it’s coming out in 2018 but I’m pretty sure. I was riveted by the first book and I’m looking forward to meeting the “hacker” and all the potential he is inevitably going to cause.
- Heart of Venom by Sherrilyn Kenyon. (2018) It also doesn’t have a set date besides 2018. It’s either the first in the Shadows of Fire series or #9 in the Chronicles of Nick series. However you want to look at it, it’s a switch in tone and focus for Kenyon’s Dark-Hunters. With a duel narrators of the Cyprian Malachai (Nick’s Son) and the Ambrose Malachai (Nick Himself) we find out if Nick truly does embrace his destiny or if the sacrifices he made at the end of Intensity was enough to forge his own path.
- Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes. (February 6, 2018) The final book in the closest YA book to Game of Thrones with it’s epic scope, world building and body count was originally scheduled to come out this month but was pushed back. I’m sure the extra two months will be worth the wait.
- Aru Shah and the End of Times by Roshani Chokshi. (April 3, 2018) The first book to be published under Rick Riordan’s new imprint highlighting stories from authors and characters from around the world. Aru Shah takes on Hindu legends to save her mother and classmates.
- Untitled by Maureen Johnson. (No set date) The Shadow Cabinet, the last book released in the Shades of London series had me on the edge of my feet and it’s been so long since it came out. I’m not sure that the next book is coming out in 2018 but Maureen has mentioned on twitter that she has two books coming out in 2018 so it’s a safe bet. *crosses fingers*
- Untitled by Kendare Blake. (September 4, 2018) I didn’t know that the Three Dark Crowns was originally planned to be a duology. I’m glad that Kendare Blake and her publisher decided to extend it because there are so many things about this world and these character left to be explored.
- Untitled by Traci Chee (2018) The final book in the Sea of Ink and Gold Series. Sefia and Archer continue to fight what is written and defeat their destiny while also staying ahead of their enemies.
- The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green (May 1, 2018) I’m interested in this one since this in the first book that Sally Green has published since she ended her Half Bad trilogy two years ago. Half Lost left me broken and in tears. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that again but I can’t wait to see what Sally does next.
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?
Our Mom is visiting me in Brooklyn this weekend. When she comes I always look for things that we haven’t done before so when I finally realized that BookCon was going to be at the Javits Center while she was going to be here we decided to go. Both of our parents inspired our love for reading. Mom has already 81 books in 2017. Putting my 25 books to shame. She’s never been to anything like this before and my only convention experience was at BookRiot Live. Which was tiny compared to this. The Javits Center is huge. Not surprising since this is also the home to New York Comic Con. We decided first to explore the vendors as we got our bearings. Pretty much every major publisher was there with a mini store and most a signing area. Now there were signing areas that you had to sign up for ahead of time and then smaller ones that you had to line up for. It was kind of confusing what was what. Also, we seemed to always miss all the free giveaways the publishers were handing out but that’s ok. I’ll live. After we had a quick bite to eat we headed to hear Rainbow Rowell talk. I’ve read all of her books but Mom hasn’t. Before the talk began, Mom asked if any of her books would make her cry and I was like yes but I’ll lend her Attachments because of all Rainbow’s books that seems to have the less tears. I think. She was just a delightful as I imagined her to be but the one comment that stuck me was talking about Eleanor and Park and sad it is that having a fat female protagonist was somehow revolutionary. We all know someone who is overweight. We have seen them in relationships, married and have kids so why wouldn’t they have their own love stories? After Rainbow, we went back to the vendor floor. We each bought a few books, tote bags and shirts before heading down to hear Jeffery Tambor. The Arrested Development star has a new memoir coming out and after seeing him I want to read it. He was funny, smart and completely honest. We then went to our final panel of the day with Maggie Stiefvater, Kami Garcia, Laini Taylor and Marissa Meyer about Magic and World Building moderated by Daniel Jose Older. I adore all these authors books (Mr. Older’s book are on my to read list) so it was interesting to hear how they all go about crafting their stories. The most interesting part was talking about you are always building a world no matter if you are making a world from scratch or drawing from the real world. I’ve never thought of that. Maggie said that authors talk about how if they were to assign each of them to write about this room they would all write it differently because they are writing from their perspective their view and how that is reality but not completely real. It was an interesting talk. It was then that we decided to leave as it was a full day of books and fun. I’m glad we did it because it was something new and different. My one complaint was that it would have been better if they had clearer signage of where things were because it was kind of hard to figure out where things were. We had to wander around to find things. Either then that it was a fun day.
I’ve been looking forward to this since I finished The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy.