Books Read This Year

Books Read This Year

Ever since I started using my Goodreads account more frequently, I decided to participate in the annual reading challenge. Earlier this year I was so positive that I could finished 20 books only to realize that I can't. It's a little bit upsetting though but what can I say, life happens. Since the year is coming to a close pretty soon, I decided to make a roundup post with a total of 15 books.

For the most part, I wrote a review or two on these books and published them here on my blog. If you're interested, just click on each title. I also wrote reviews on Goodreads so you have two options on where to read them.

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

The second book from Maggie Stiefvater's The Wolves of Mercy Falls series, Linger is easily one of the best books I've read this year. The writing is poetic and beautiful without relying on complex words and overly done metaphors. In this book we see more character developments for Grace, Sam and the bond between them. The average pacing and bittersweet plot made me think of slow walks in the woods surrounded by blankets of snow and winter mornings engulfed in solemn and peaceful loneliness. I have yet to pick the third book but I can tell you that Linger has made me feel like I should start reading Forever soon.

Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet

If you're familiar with infamous poet and author of Love & Misadventures Lang Leav, you might as well familiarize yourself with Michael Faudet whose poems are known to hold a more mature, sensual tone in them. Unlike fiction books, poetry ones are difficult to review. With poetry, everything is more open-ended and subjective so I can't really say much....or maybe I'm just terrible at reviewing books. Regardless, I can tell you that this book aims to tease and may or may tingles your pleasure depending on how much you adore a poet using repetitive, sexually blunt adjectives and verbs like the F-word. Faudet's works have been described by some as whimsical and erotic so it's no wonder that the exploration of love, relationships and sex in this book are written in such a way. As with poetry books, I do not recommend reading this book in one go the way you do with fictions because things can get really bland and emotionless pretty quickly.

Batch one

Read complete reviews here

Serpent's Kiss by Melissa de la Cruz

The second book to Witches of East End, I didn't see myself so invested in the sequel as much as I was with the prequel. It's the kind of book that you'd probably enjoy here and there but once you're done with it, this book left nothing but empty mist and no impression at all. Unlike the author's other series — entitled Blue BloodsWitches of East End fell short. Another thing that turned me off was how this book felt like a YA read even though it claims to be an 'adult fiction.' There were some steamy scenes but they felt like they're just there to fit the 'adult fiction' edginess.

A Thousand Pieces Of You by Claudia Gray

Cover, that's the first thing you'd notice from this book. Although being drawn by the cover of a book sounds pretty shallow, I won't deny that the first book to Gray's Firebird series has some amazingly done cover design. As for the book itself, it's a pretty fun story about time traveling and chasing down a criminal who is a wanted suspect for a murder case. I'm not saying this is such a groundbreaking book but it's definitely not the worst when given the chances.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

A tough book and probably the longest that I took to finish. I had to pause for a while, took a break for like a month(?) before resuming where I left off. Like Cloud Atlas, the beautifully written The Bone Clocks is divided into six sections separated by short stories based on each character's perspective. These short stories are loosely connected and centered around the main protagonist Holly Sykes who found herself carrying some semi-psychic abilities as a host. This is definitely a difficult book to get by and reading it quickly will just break its beauty so I do not recommend picking this up if you're looking for an easy read. However, if intense books are always your cup of tea then by all means try this out.

The Wonders by Paddy O'Reilly

I'm not going to spend lots of time talking about this book as it disappointed me to the point where I couldn't finished it. I was halfway through but decided to read some spoilers on Goodreads and abandoned this book. Unfortunately, everything was flat, boring and extremely slow. I had to change its rating from 2-stars to one.

The Ballroom by Anna Hope

An adult drama, historical fiction about humanity, the female gender and eugenics movement, The Ballroom was one of the best books I picked this year. Set in 1911 at the end of Edwardian era in an asylum called the Yorkshire moors, this is a place built for "chronic paupers and feeble minded" where women and men are separated by high walls and barred windows. Separated by narratives from three different characters, this emotionally intelligent book feels so mundane it's bittersweet.

The Body Electric by Beth Revis

A young adult dystopian fiction set in futuristic new Malta where people wear cuffs and are monitored under surveillance, where androids and humans co-exist. This is the story about Ella Shepherd whose ability to enter people's dreams through a device called reverie chairs turns her into a government spy and later, a truth seeker. It's not a flawless book by any means but I recommend it to anyone who loves YA science fiction and is looking for a futuristic thrilling ride.

Batch two

Read complete reviews here

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

A breathtaking and uniquely written book told from the perspectives of recording files, this is quickly becoming one of the best books I read in 2017. Blending magical realism and fantasy, Leslye Walton's writing is a lyrical prose about innocence, family and the pain and passion of human love. Even if romance isn't your forte, trust me that this isn't something cheesy or stupid. If I were to compare this book to a movie, I'd say this feels like the printed version of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Strange and quirky, Magonia is an odd combination of science fiction and magical realism fantasy about Aza Ray Boyle who was born with a mysterious lung disease that makes it harder for her to breathe, speak and even live. When the world lost her, she was found by another — Magonia, where she learns about her

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval was such a hit when it first came out and I saw people comparing it to one of my favorite books, the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I wouldn't say it's on the same line with Night Circus but I can totally see why some people feel like Caraval resonates the same frequency. With Caraval, I feel like things are more Alice in Wonderland-ish and less of a 'freak show' circus kind of thing. Like with most young adult, this book got a fair share of romance but what I appreciate is that the main focus has always been the relationship between Scarlett Dragna and her missing sister, Donatella. This is a fun, quirky and fast read for people who enjoy something like Alice in Wonderland.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

I am obsessed with Leigh Bardugo's Grisha universe (or as it's known as, "The Grishaverse") and honestly, this is the first time after Harry Potter's wizarding world where I find myself so in love with another fictional universe. The first book in Bardugo's The Grisha Trilogy, Shadow and Bone introduces the universe's lore and the story of Alina Starkov, an orphan who accidentally discovers herself as a Grisha, a term used to describe practitioners of small science. If you're looking for something fresh and new from the fantasy genre, I highly recommend this (or Six of Crows but I definitely suggest familiarizing yourself with the Grisha universe first)

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

Yet another fantasy book, only this time it revolves around magicians, sorcerers and the feud between them. Henrietta Howel is the first female sorcerer, the seemingly prophesied one who will save the world. Surrounded by an a group of male sorcerers, Henrietta needs to practice her magical abilities not only to save the world but also to prove herself worthy. Set in Victorian era London, I can totally understand why some people think this book feels a little Pride & Prejudice-like to them.

All The Birds In The Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Another tough love kind of book though not as intense as The Bone Clocks. I also took quite a long time to finish this one mainly because everything felt hollow. I can totally see how much potential the concept had but concept is just that when execution fails to do it properly. The premise started out interesting albeit weird (because magical realism is always strange, isn't it?) but as pages and chapters go, the book lost its spark and I was dreading for it to end. I did finished it though but it wasn't anything that left any impression on me.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Finally! I'm finally jumping into the bandwagon, you guys. This book deserves all the freaking hype, all the exposure and all the love. I don't remember the last time a book or series left me hungry for more and so attached to its characters until this one. This is magic in between pages, I'm telling you. I love the characters, their witty dialogues, the rising action — every single thing. I was at loss for words the moment I finished it that I couldn't even write a proper review. Set in Bardugo's Grisha universe a few years after what happened in the trilogy (I suppose...since I haven't finished reading The Grisha trilogy), Six of Crows revolves around an impossible heist done by six gang members of Ketterdam, a city known for its trade and criminal organization. I highly, highly recommend this book to everyone.

15 books out of 20 completed for the year. I'm still pretty upset with myself for not being able to read more but hey, hopefully next year works out better. I'm currently curating my 2018 TBR list and will share them on my blog soon!

What have you read this year?