Our Favorite Books of 2020!

Well 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year. Thank goodness it’s about to end. We’ve been pretty open with our struggles we had this year when it came to our reading lists. We didn’t read as much as we wanted and don’t have as many books to pick from. So this year we are going to do something different this year. Instead of picking our Top 5 or 10 books we are just going to list our favorite books we read this year. So here we go.

  1. Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 – by Cho Nam-Joo This was such a powerful book to me. Like the main character Kim Jiyoung. I was also born in 1982 and can identify with so many of her struggles. The fact that she is Korean and I am American just goes to show how alike we are all no matter where we are from. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
  2. Deathless Divide – by Justina Ireland The sequel of Dread Nation about a Zombie apocalypse after the US Civil War. In this one we see more the aftermath of what happened and the hardships they all have to endure. Jane is the best protagonist. She’s funny, strong, and damaged but she never gives up. She’s who we all would want if a zombies ever attack and considering how 2020 went, I’m surprised they didn’t. (Beth don’t jinx it)
  3. The King of Crows – by Libba Bray The final book in The Diviner’s series was ever the sweeping epic I wanted it to be. It brought all of them together and made them all work together to defeat the King of Crows. The sad thing about this series is how so many of the problems of the 1920’s are still too relevant today. Racism, poverty war and greed all played a part in the novels and the last couple of years. I’m truly going to miss all of these characters.
  4. Midnight Sun – by Stephenie Meyer Controversial choice I know because I wasn’t very kind to it or to Edward and Bella. It has not aged well and I’ll never read it again but It was kinda fun to reminisce back to a time when I loved these books and when I was excited to go see the movies in theaters. (Remember when we could do that?) No matter what I feel about the now, I’ll always be grateful to them and Stephenie Meyer because they introduced me to a whole new genre of books that I probably wouldn’t have sought after before. So yes, It wasn’t a good book but it brought back some good memories.
  5. There’s Something about Sweetie by Sandhya Menon Sweetie is an awesome main character. Her development is amazing. The romance is adorable. I totally forgot I had read that one.
  6. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz This was such a beautiful novel about a friendship between two teenagers. I loved it so much. It broke my heart and lifted me up. It was just so great. Plus, Lin Manuel Miranda reads the audiobook.
  7. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro This novel was so horrifying. The quiet romance that hid the dark realities that Ishiguro created in the novel made it such an amazing piece of speculative fiction. I was so disturbed by it.
  8. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness The world building here is neat and I’m interested in where the story is going. I didn’t read a whole lot this year, but this one did get me into the sequel. So, even though there are things that definitely annoy me, I am adding it to the list. 

Beth’s Favorite Books of 2019

It’s that time of the year.where we all take a moment and look back at all the books that we read this year and try to narrow it down to our favorites. I read 42 books this year which is actually less then normal but that’s okay. It’s quality over quantity right? How do you pick a favorite? Do you go by the book that you just coulnd’t put down? The one you wanted to reread as soon as you finished? The one that gave you the most feels good or bad? All of the above? It’s really hard to choose but I will do my best.

The list is in the order I read them this year as I’m chickening out in saying which one if my favorite favorite. It was too hard to choose.

  1. On The Come Up by Angie Thomas – This was honest and heart breaking as a young girl finds her voice through many challenges.
  2. Seafire by Natalie C. Parker – Girl Pirates. That’s it. I mean what else do you want in a book? Besides some great characters. Interesting world building and twist and turns around every corner. The sequel Steel Tide is just as good.
  3. Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee – I really wished this wasn’t a standalone because they are so many adventures awaiting Min. Such a fun story and adventure.
  4. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson – This book was a couple of years old but I never got around to reading. I’m glad that I finally did because I couldn’t put the trilogy down.
  5. Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell – What do you get when a Witch, a vampire and a former wizard with wings and a tail take a road trip? The coolest car ride ever!
  6. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo – Traumatic and harrowing but a good mystery. I’m truly intrigued on where it goes from here.
  7. Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater – Ronan Lynch is one of my favorite Maggie characters so I was pretty sure I was going to like this book but I surprised at how much I felt for Declan Lynch and new character Jordan.
  8. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black– No one does fairies like Holly Black and the finale to your the Folk of the Air trilogy proves why.

What were your favorite books of 2019? Comment down below and let us know what books we need to add to our stacks.

Series We Said Goodbye to in 2019

After years of following your favorite characters. You’ve laughed. You’ve cried. You’ve screamed at them for every stupid decision they make. And then you come to the end. As everything must end at some point. Here are the series that I finished this year and I will miss.

  1. The Dark Artifices Series by Cassandra Clare – Another Shadowhunter trilogy in the books. It was good and I love that Cassandra continues to push boundaries and populates her worlds with diverse set of characters. I was kinda surprised on how it ended but as always with her books, one series bleeds into another.
  2. Caraval Trilogy by Stephanie Garber – It’s rare that I actually find a series as it’s ending but this one I hit at the right time and read all three back to back and I’m glad I did because I don’t think I would have liked to have wait to see how the Caraval ended. Even if only liked one of the sisters.
  3. Three Dark Crowns Series by Kendare Blake – This is like the Game of Thrones but mostly only the women in the kingdom. It had everything from palace intrigued to rebellions and betrayals and magic. It really kept me guessing to the end and really cemented Kendare Blake as one of those authors I just have to read.
  4. Legend Series by Marie Lu – Technically I’ve already said good bye to this series once already a couple of years ago but that was before Marie Lu decided she needed to close a few plots she left open and give us readers the closure we all needed.
  5. Renegades Trilogy by Marissa Meyer – Superheros with superpowers fighting each other is pretty awesome stuff. It was a quite ride as we follow our heroes and watch them debate who has what best for the city in mind. In the end, it was villains and heroes coming together to save the day.
  6. The Folk of the Air Trilogy by Holly Black – I’ve probably said this numerous times but Holly Black really knows how to write fairies. She just understands how they think or how they would think. This was a perfect ending to a really great series and she even seamlessly wove in her other characters from past books into the narrative without it being obvious or distracting. That’s a true feat.
  7. The Magisterium Series by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. – Call and friends when through a lot in the year 5 years at the Magisterium. I kinda miss Call’s sassiness.
  8. The Charlotte Holmes Series by Brittany Cavallaro – Charlotte Holmes would have made her famous ancestor proud in how she solved her mysteries. She was truly a class above all else.

What Series did you finish this year? Comment below and let us know what series we need check out next.

It’s That time of the Year…

Over the next two weeks, we will be looking back at all the books we read in 2019 and make out lists of our favorites, our top posts and saying goodbye to all our of favorite series we’ve read over the years. As we go through our lists, we would love to hear all your reading highlights for the last year. Don’t be shy. Leave a comment below and let us know all the awesome books you read and what we absolutely need to add to our To-read piles.

What We Can’t Wait to Read in 2019

Now that we have looked back on 2018, it’s time to look ahead to 2019.  We have a lot of fun things planned for next year.  New challenges read a-longs and podcasts!  But most of all we are excited for all the new books to read.  Expanding our already to long to-read lists even more. 2019 is already shaping up to be our best year ever!  So here are some of the books we are looking forward to the most reading next year.

Beth

  1.  King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – Leigh returns to the shores of Ravka to tell us of what happened to Nikolai after the events of Ruin and Rising.  We saw Nikolai make a cameo appearance in Crooked Kingdom so we know he still uses his Sturmhond alias even though he is now the King.  What other things will we learn about him? and what characters from the past series will show up?
  2. The Everlasting Rose by Dhoinelle Clayton – Camille is on the run from Queen Sophia who is beyond a psychopath.  She must find the Princess Charlotte, heal her and come up with a plan with her friends to save everyone.  Hopefully she has learned from past mistakes and be a little bit more observant.
  3. Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi – I can only hope that sequel is as impressive as the first book because damn it was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.  I can’t wait to read what happens next for Zelie and Amari.
  4. The Wicked King by Holly Black – Holly is really at her best when she writes about Faries and that demonstrated with The Cruel Prince.  Now that Jude has tricked Cardan into becoming the King of Faerie, what is she going to do next?
  5. Untitled Sequel to Dread Nation by Justina Ireland – I’m not sure this is even coming out in 2019 but I really want it to.  I need to know what happens next for Jane and Katherine.  Do they make it California?  Who did Jane’s mom marry that gave her away?  So many questions that need answering.
  6.  Final book in the Diviners Series by Libba Bray – Another book that I’m not sure if will be published in 2019 but I’m putting it out into the universe so it will.  The final batle with the King of Crows is coming and only our heroes can stop him.  
  7. Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa – The sequel to the Shadow and the Fox is going to be epic.  Yumeko is still on her mission to keep the scroll safe but Tatsumi is now possessed by the demon from him sword.  Can Yumeko save Tatsumi and the scroll?
  8. Book 1 of the Dreamer Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater – yet another book that I’m not sure if is coming out in 2019 but I know she has book working on it.  Centered on Ronan from the Raven Cycle and how he has and hasn’t changed since the end of The Raven King.  It’ll be nice to get back to the barns and see what dreams Ronan dreams next. 
  9. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas – Angie’s first book The Hate U Give destroyed me. It was so beautiful and heartbreaking. I expect nothing less for her second novel about an upcoming rapper trying to save her family.

 Kate

  1. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas– I’m also very excited about this one!
  2. Women Talking by Marian Toews– The blurb says the book is about Mennonite women who had thought that they were being visited by demons in the night to be punished for their sins but find out members of their community have been drugging and attacking them. This promises to be an intense story about women coming together to protect themselves and other women in their community.
  3. Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James-The first in a trilogy by award winning author James, the blurb on amazon calls it an African Game of Thrones. I’m so here for this
  4. Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett– Here’s what I know about this: it’s about an HIV-positive black teen. I also know that I enjoy Camryn Garrett’s twitter presence and it seems unlikely that I’m going to stop picking books this way in 2019.
  5. Internment by Samira Ahmed-In this near-future novel, Layla Amin and her parents find themselves in an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. This looks like its going to be another intense tale. Layla works, with the help of others, to obtain freedom.

What books are you looking forward to reading this year?

Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2018

can't wait books 2018

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.

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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*
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.

My Top 10 Books of 2017

top 10 books

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan-A great ending to a great trilogy and the power of how diversity makes us stronger.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?

Series We Said Goodbye To in 2017

goodbye 2017

It was a great year for books and some of my favorite series ended this year.  I’m looking back at some of the series I loved that gave us their last chapters in 2017.

  1. Prisoner’s of Peace Duology by Erin Bow -This was an unexpected ending as I didn’t know it was even in the works before I bought it.  The Swan Riders, the follow up to the Scorpio Rules was quite a ride. Greta forged her own path to save her people but not everyone was ready to let her go.
  2. Firebug Duology by Lish McBrideLish McBride has left it open for a return to this series but for now Pyromantic is the last book of the Duology.  I do hope we get more adventures with Ava, Lock and Ezra because these books have been nothing but delightful
  3.  To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Series by Jenny Han – I thought this series was over before and while I enjoyed it I’m not sure if Forever and Always, Lara Jean was truly necessary because I felt Lara Jean ended up in the same place she was before.  I will make allowance that her decided to go to school out of state was a big growth for her.
  4. Reawakened Trilogy by Colleen Houck – This one I’m glad ended because I’m not sure I would kept up with it for another book.  I just never really connected with the characters I did with her last series, The Tiger’s Saga.  I am very happy that she will be going to back to her Tiger’s in 2018.
  5. Chronicles of Nick Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon – Technically, Nick Gautier’s story will continue in a new series but the narrative that is Chronicles of Nick is at an end.  I can’t tell you how much I love Nick and I’m not ready to let him go.
  6. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Trilogy by Rick Riordan – This was a groundbreaking series in a lot of ways.  Positive representation of Muslims, Queer, Trans and those with disabilities is so important and to have all of them represented in the main cast of characters is amazing.  Thank you Rick!

Top Eight for 2016!

Well, Ladles and Jelly Spoons, today is the 31st of December, 2016. That last day of this year is finally here and I am finally getting around to my faves of this year. (Beth, of course, has been on the ball all year and has already gotten this done.)

I set my goal for reading this year intentionally low at 35 and then changed it to 30 when it appeared I wasn’t going to make it that far. Then, I only made that because I drove to my parents house for Christmas and they live 13 hours away from my house. Just. Under.The.Wire. But, I’m thrilled to pieces that I did. So, without further ado, I give you my top eight.

 

  1. The Martian by Andy Weir 
    Y’all, I know I was behind the times with this one, but it is so good. You owe it to yourself to listen to this on audio. The book was so good and R.C. Bray really brought it to life.
  2. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes  
    This book made Shonda Rhimes my hero. She is so inspirtational.

 

  1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
    Will Patton does a knock-out job of reading this book. And, you may have noticed, but Beth and I both have a big ole crush on Maggie Stiefvater’s writing.
  2. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
    This is maybe the most interesting vampire novel I have probably ever read. Plus, the presentation of race and gender going back in forth between modern times and the antebellum South was amazing.
  3. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
    I’m still working on how to use everything I learned from this book. Alexander lays out a persuasive argument and backs it up with well-presented research.
  4. Bitch Planet by Kelly sue DeConnick
    In this dystopian future, the world is full of interesting and awesome women who are treated like garbage and shipped off to a prison planet. God, I hope this isn’t prescient.
  5. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Achidie
    Achidie has her finger on the pulse of race relations in America and the story she spins is full of humor, tenderness and amazing characters. I loved this book so much.
  6. Emperor of Sound by Timbaland from childhood to sought after producer, this memoir tells the tale of Timbaland. I really enjoyed this walk through ’90s and -’00s music.
  7. The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
    510pwujvb4l-_ac_us300_fmwebp_ql65_ The Hogfather, the Santa figure in Discworld, has gone missing on his most important night of the year. It is up to Death, his assistant and his granddaughter to save the day. This book is funny, clever and such a good read (or, listen, as the case may have been.)
  8. Call my by my Other Name by Valerie Wetlaufer
     call_me_by_my_other_name_front

This is a story told in poems. The story, based on two historical figures, is about two nineteenth century women living as husband and wife told by a modern narrator. Wetlaufer spins an amazing story of love and heartache. She does a great job not putting twenty-first century categories on these historical characters. I loved the distinct voices of these poems. This is such a good book.

 

This has been a fun year of reading. I started a bunch of books in 2016 that I haven’t yet finished, so look for all of those reviews (Between the World and Me by Coates, Whipping Girl by Serano, Princess Diarist by Fisher, The Federalist Papers) in 2017!

 

Books that Rocked My Face off, Part two

Kate has already posted her list. We have some of the same books in common but unlike my sister, I don’t have any qualms about reading only fiction and mostly teen fiction.  There are a few non-fiction novels I do want to read.  I’m quite interested in the Secret History of Wonder Woman. I’ll get to it eventually.  Anyway, this is about what I read this year so let’s get on with it.  I omitted a few books from contention because I read them as ARCs and they have not been released yet.  That will have to be a post for another day.

1.Blue Lily Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater.

I love her. I might have mentioned that before but I really do love Maggie’s writing style.  Blue Lily Lily Blue is the third book of her The Raven Cycle.  The search for the Welsh King, Glendower, is back with more earnest as Blue’s Mom, Maura has gone missing. Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah all have grown up so much in the last three books and yet, if we know anything about Maggie, they have so much to learn before the series ends in the next book.

2.The Heroes of Olympus: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

I’m going to miss Percy, Annabeth, Nico, Leo, Hazel, Frank and Reina.  I’ll even miss Jason and Piper too.  They both did grow on me.  I thought it was a fitting ending for a great series. As a team, the Heroes came together, defeated the Giants and brought the Greeks and Romans together.  They all got a happy ending and there was a little bit of opening for some to return in Rick’s next series.

3. Landline by Rainbow Rowell

This was such a satisfying book. Georgie McCool is a TV screenwriter on a crappy show but she and her writing partner finally have a chance to get their own show going.  The problem is they have to write six episodes over Christmas, meaning Georgie has to stay in LA, while her family goes to Omaha.  Georgie’s marriage is already on thin ice; can it survive this?  While spending the night in her old room at her Mom’s house, she plugs in her old landline phone and magically calls her husband Neal in the past.  It soulds fantastical but it is based in the real world.  Rainbow has such a way of creating characters that you can’t help but fall in love with and want to be friends with.

4. The Young Elites by Marie Lu

In a revision of history, after the blood fever in the middle ages, the children who survived are left with scars.  Some were left with mysterious powers. They call themselves the Young Elite. Adelina is one of them. The blood fever left her disfigured with a scar over her left eye.  She has been shunned and abused by her father and when her powers surfaced, she’s a danger to herself and everyone else.  Marie creates a world with so much atmosphere that it was easy to get lost in it. Adelina, is filled with anger about how she is treated; you feel that it’s valid.  There are so many other layers of intrigue and one shocking ending, that the next book can not come too soon.

5. Cress by Marissa Meyer

I really do love the Lunar Chronicles.  A retelling of fairy tales with an alien twist.  I think they are really clever and the characters are so likable.  Cress is a take on Rapunzel.  She is a lunar and is hidden away in a satelite so she can spy on Earth for Queen Levana.  She is rescued from her prison but of course things don’t go as planned. She and Throne crash land in the desert.  Cinder seeks the doctors help for wolf, who is injured and Scarlet is captured by the Lunars.  Oh, and they only have a few days to stop Prince Kai from marrying Queen Levana.  I’m kind of mad that I have to wait until October or November for Winter, the final book but I’m sure it will be worth the wait.

6. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

In the final book of the Grisha Trilogy, the Darkling has taken over Ravka and only Alina, the Sun Summoner can stop him.  I feel in the past, I have been too hard on Alina, especially how she treated Mal in the last book.  It really started to get me to think how far more critical we are on female characters then we are of male.  Alina, is a  young girl who discovers she has a frightening power that can save them or destroy them.  It is a lot to take in.  She needed someone to understand and for a while, the Darkling was really the only one who could or so she thought.  It is a fitting ending to a dark series.  I felt like all the stories were wrapped up right and they all found some kind of peace.

7. Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

Part Gothic Novel, part Nancy Drew.  Not your usual combination but it worked for the whole trilogy.  It was funny, scary and heartbreaking without missing a beat.  It was also one of the rare YA novels that not all of the main characters get a happy ending. I sometimes feel that authors feel they have to keep them alive or they will upset their readers but lets be honest.  That’s not realistic.  How many near death experiences can one character live through?  Kami is smart, resourceful and brave and really someone I would love to be friends with.  I’m going to miss this series but I am happy with how it ended.

8. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Yet another conclusion to a fantastic Trilogy.  Excluding the last half of the first book, this series grabbed me and never let me go.  It was heartwarming and heartbreaking.  The sacrifices that had to be made were real gut punchers but necessary. In the end Karou and Akiva achieved what they set out to do and a surprising relationship for Liraz was perfect.

9. Firebug by Lish McBride

Firebug doesn’t have the clever names as Lish’s other books but has the sense of humor and urgency.  Set in the same world as Hold Me Closer, Necromancer and Necromancing the Stone (see what I mean about those titles) but in Maine and not Seattle.  Ava is a firebug, a rare gift. She is forced to work for the Coterie, a magical mafia.  When she refuses to kill a family friend, she and her team, Locke, a dryad, and Ezra, a werefox, go on the run.  It really is funny.  Lish has such a great sense of humor that comes out in such surprising ways.  I can’t wait for the next one.

10. Raging Starr by Moira Young

Apparently 2014 was the year to end trilogies.  This is the last book in the Dust Lands series.  A dystopian series that goes beyond what the Hunger Games did.  Miss Young has no problems killing off characters or being seduced.  Saba has found her brother and reunited with Jack and is now ready to take down DeMalo.  The problem is that Saba does not disagree entirely with what DeMalo is trying to do.  Maybe not with how he is going about it and it puts her in direct conflict with both Jack and her brother, Lugh.  I really had no idea where this series was going to take me and it was quite a ride.

Books I loved so much, that I read the whole series:

A Song of Ice and Fire aka A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Ok so I technically haven’t finished all the books that are out.  I just started A Dance of Dragons.  Also, I did take a 8-month hiatus to watch the series and then read other things but I do love this series.  It’s so rich and challenging.  So many characters and places and plots.  How does he keep them all straight?

Obsidian, Onyx, Opal, Origin and Opposition. The Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Daemon is a jerk and I love him for it.  He is also loyal and will do anything for his family and the ones he loves.  So the jerk with a heart of gold.  Obsidian got me hooked and well, I immediately bought the other books.  Were they the best books I’ve read this year.  No but damn, they were entertaining.

Legend, Prodigy and Champions by Marie Lu

I’ve been wanting to read these for a while and finally gave in and I’m glad. June and Day are perfectly matched heroes,  The ending was bittersweet but it did leave us with some hope.

Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Sometimes you just need a couple of good romances.  It’s really not a series but three companion novels that happen to have overlapping characters.  Anna is a new girl in an American high school in Paris, who falls for the charming St. Clair. Lola is a girl who knows exactly what she wants, except when it comes to Cricket, who lives next door and Isla has been in love with Josh, all for years of school but was to shy to do anything about it until a chance meeting over the summer. Isla is my favorite with Anna close second. Lola is ok but I just didn’t relate to her as much as the other two.  If you are looking for a sweet story with a lot of heart, you couldn’t do much better then these three.

Etiquette and Espoinage, Curtsies and Conspiraces, and Waistcoasts and Weaponry.  The Finishing Series by Gail Carriger

Sophronia is a handful for her mother. Always getting into trouble so when she is accepted into a prestigious finishing school, she’s sent packing.  However, this is no ordinary finishing school.  Not only do they teach the finer points of being a lady, they also teach the best ways to hide weapons in your skirts and what is the best poison to use.  All for Queen and Country, of course.  This steampunk look at Victorian Englad is full of humor that I did literally laugh out loud.