Posted in Books

My 5-Star Reads of 2019

Hi there, everyone!

As 2019 (and this decade) draws to a close, I’ve decided to make a comprehensive lists of all of my 5-star reads for this year, and, by proxy, my favorite books that I’ve read this year. Most of these are what’d you’d expect, if you’ve scoured my book tags and reviews, but I know there’s a few that I haven’t talked much about. These are in chronological order of when I read them, though their actual rankings vary a fair bit.

Now, without further ado…this year’s 5-star lineup!

 

KING OF SCARS–LEIGH BARDUGO

KingofScars_cvr.jpg

Bardugo’s veritable masterpiece, all at once a rollicking adventure and an exploration of internal conflict, was my first 5-star rating of this year. And…Nikolai. ‘Nuff said.

Read my review here!

 

THE ILLUMINAE FILES TRILOGY–AMIE KAUFMAN and JAY KRISTOFF

illuminae-files.png

I mean, I read all of these in the span of a few months, and I gave all three books five stars…

For good reason, I think. I doubt that we’ll ever come across a trilogy quite like this in a very long time.

Read my review (Illuminae) here!

 

NEVERWHERE–NEIL GAIMAN

14497.jpg

I’ve been a fan of Gaiman’s work for some time, but I chose this one for an English project, and I fell so in love with the fantastic world-building, as well as each and every character.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

ONCE & FUTURE–AMY ROSE CAPETTA and CORI MCCARTHY

Screen Shot 2019-12-28 at 3.00.06 PM.png

A feminist, LGBTQ+ retelling of the legends of King Arthur…need we say more? A wonderfully fast-paced space adventure, reminiscent of Captain Marvel.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

HONOR BOUND–ANN AGUIRRE and RACHEL CAINE

81Rom1fmZuL.jpg

Even more daring than its predecessor, Honor Bound is a complex space opera to die for.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

TENNYSON: POEMS–ALFRED TENNYSON

Screen Shot 2019-12-28 at 3.05.02 PM.png

Yes, I was/still am that kid who sits in the corner reading depressing, 19th century poetry. Do I regret it? Absolutely not.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

AURORA RISING–AMIE KAUFMAN and JAY KRISTOFF 

81DOo37t7UL.jpg

You’ve already sing praise of this one innumerable times, so I’ll just leave it at this: I FOUND MY DREAM BOOK, PEOPLE. THIS IS EVERYTHING.

Read my review here!

 

THE PIONEER--BRIDGET TYLER

81SGx7+OnJL.jpg

An inventive, heart-pounding sci-fi adventure, The Pioneer was very nearly flawless, and I’m itching to get my hands on the sequel next spring! 😀

Read my review here!

 

AN ANATOMY OF BEASTS–OLIVIA A. COLE

40380046._SY475_.jpg

Delving deeper and growing even twistier than its predecessor, A Conspiracy of Stars, this novel is dazzlingly well-thought out, the prime example of what speculative sci-fi should be.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES–RAY BRADBURY

Screen Shot 2019-12-28 at 3.13.11 PM.png

Did I mention how much I love sci-fi? No?

Ray Bradbury is a talent to be reckoned with, able to deftly weave together a thought-provoking story in the span of under 100 pages with ease.

Also, I was today years old when I realized that the hand on the cover has six fingers.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

SOUL OF STARS–ASHLEY POSTON

81f0FTHhqsL.jpg

The epic conclusion to the Heart of Iron duology, Poston deftly wraps together a complicated universe of familial bonds and political intrigue. Love, love, love, LOVE…

Read my review here!

 

FAHRENHEIT 451–RAY BRADBURY

71OFqSRFDgL.jpg

Again, Ray Bradbury. I rest my case.

tenor.gif

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

SPARE AND FOUND PARTS–SARAH MARIA GRIFFIN

51dAh38d7kL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

A futuristic Frankenstein for the modern age, this is a grossly underrated writing, atmospheric and poetic.

Read my review here!

 

THE DEMON WORLD–SALLY GREEN

40643751.jpg

The pulse-pounding sequel to The Smoke Thieves, Green delivers an even more potent punch of her signature world-building and fantasy action.

Read my review here!

 

HOUSE OF X/POWERS OF X–JONATHAN HICKMAN

51EFc+YzmAL._SX335_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

The newest installment in the legendary X-Men mythology, Hickman weaves a mythical and symbolic world, with a hopeful conclusion and the potential of many mutant tales to come.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

LIKE A LOVE STORY–ABDI NAZEMIAN

Screen Shot 2019-12-28 at 3.24.45 PM.png

Would you look at that…I think this is the only historical fiction in this post…

bsAGvYr.gif

A hearstring-tearing and poignant coming-of-age LGBTQ+ novel. So many feels. INFINITE feels.

Read my review here!

 

THE TOLL–NEAL SHUSTERMAN

81cb5FCS08L.jpg

The conclusion to the unforgettable Arc of a Scythe trilogy, this novel is solid proof that Shusterman is a sci-fi author to be reckoned with.

Read my review here!

 

Man. What a year this has been…

 

Have you read any of these novels, and what did you think of them? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!

 

Have a lovely rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

thank you for reading.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Book Cake Tag

Hey everyone! I hope that you had a lovely Christmas, if you celebrate, and some very happy holidays!

I found this tag on Megabunny Reads, and it sounded super fun, so I figured that I’d give it a go! The tag was originally created by A Little But A Lot.

Here goes nothing…

FLOUR: A BOOK THAT WAS SLOW TO START OFF BUT PICKED UP AS IT WENT ALONG

91xgJsbnZ+L.jpg

Shirley Jackson is the master of the slow-burn story, and The Haunting of Hill House is no exception. The slow building of this creepy, atmospheric masterpiece will stay with me for a long time after I’ve read it.

 

BUTTER: A BOOK THAT HAS A REALLY “RICH” AND GREAT PLOT

91-+f0-PaFL.jpg

The plot of Sally Green’s The Smoke Thieves  was incredibly intricate in every sense of the word–in the beginning, it was so complex that I found myself wondering how Green would manage to tie everything together in a way that made sense, but surprise, surprise, everything came back together towards the end. What a gem of a series.

EGGS: A BOOK THAT YOU THOUGHT WAS GOING TO BE BAD, BUT TURNED OUT QUITE ENJOYABLE

91hmb3eo8ML.jpg

My expectations of Crier’s War were that it was going to be a steaming pile of cliches, but I was pleasantly surprised by the multi-layered world building, culture, and poetic writing…and not to mention, the swoon-worthy, enemies-to-lovers sapphic romance.

 

SUGAR: A SUGARY/SWEET BOOK

81Yz658D5UL.jpg

Oh, Rainbow Rowell, master of the heart-meltingly adorable romance…

Most of Rowell’s novels have this level of romance, on some level, but the sweetness of Fangirl stood out most to me for the purposes of this tag, from bonding over books and music to specialty lattes.

 

ICING: A BOOK THAT COVERED EVERY SINGLE ELEMENT THAT YOU ENJOY OF A BOOK

You guessed it…

81DOo37t7UL.jpg

I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again…

Aurora Rising is, for all intents and purposes, everything that I’ve ever wanted in a book–daring adventures in space, with a ragtag cast of unique characters.

 

SPRINKLES: A BOOK SERIES THAT YOU TURN TO WHEN YOU’RE FEELING DOWN

7327327.jpg

aaAAAaAAAaaaAAAAaAa chILDHOOD–

The Search for WondLa trilogy was definitely a major part of what not only got me through middle school, but what inspired me to be a writer, and my gateway to the genre  of science fiction. I haven’t re-read it in a year or so, but I always love flipping back through the gorgeous illustrations: at this point, each one’s a different way to get to Memory Lane.

 

CHERRY ON TOP: YOUR FAVORITE BOOK THIS YEAR SO FAR

…First of all, as Megabunny Reads said in their post…what? Aren’t cherries on top reserved for sundaes? I’ve only seen…maybe two pictures of cakes with a cherry on top, and it doesn’t sound all that appealing…

[ahem] Anyway, now that I’ve already mentioned Aurora Rising, I think there’s only one other choice for the top spot this year…

81cb5FCS08L.jpg

The heart-pounding conclusion to the Arc of a Scythe trilogy, Shusterman truly pulled out all the stops and then some in The TollThis is Shusterman’s storytelling at its very best, and an exemplary trilogy in the vast fount of literature that defines today’s sci-fi/dystopian novels.

 

And, that just about wraps it up! I tag:

And if you’ve stumbled across this post and want to participate, feel free!

Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves! It’s almost 2020, you can make it…

thank you for reading.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (12/24/19)-The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, book 3)

Hey there, fellow bibliophiles, and happy holidays! Whatever it is you celebrate, I hope that you have a lovely holiday season!

 

Now, I know I mentioned reviewing this book weeks ago, but I cancelled those plans abruptly due to a finals hiatus. So, sorry to keep you waiting.

giphy.gif

That aside, I managed to snag a copy of this one, which I’ve been anxiously awaiting since the end of Thunderhead (book 2), and I must say…what a monumental conclusion to an unforgettable series. Without a doubt, one of the best books to come out of this year, and one of the best trilogies to come out of this decade. (Can I get a WOOOHOOOO for Mr. Neal Shusterman?)

NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW UNLESS YOU HAVE READ BOTH SCYTHE AND THUNDERHEAD, AS IT WILL CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS. 

If you’d like to read my reviews for the previous two books, you can do from these links:

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

517PsnK17hL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3)

It has been three years since the Endura disaster, when Goddard orchestrated an attack that killed most of the world’s revered Scythes, and the Thunderhead, the artificial, world-ruling hivemind, has shut itself off to all of mankind.

In MidMerica, the diabolical Scythe Goddard has come to power, declaring himself OverBlade of the entire continent, and gleaning all who stand in his way. But on an isolated island, a Scythe that was thought dead by the world lies in wait, preparing for the opportunity to strike Goddard and his ruthless empire down.

And in the oceans where Endura once sat, a scavenger ship has uncovered a treasure that may mean the difference between restoring the balance and total anarchy.

 

 

Now, let me just say…

OH. MY GOD.

This book is very nearly flawless. The Toll is the prime example of Neal Shusterman’s storytelling prowess, a heart-pounding, dystopian epic for the ages. With even more in-depth explorations of not just the world, but of the moral grey areas in society and the consequences of religion and absolute power, The Toll brings this unforgettable trilogy to a beautiful conclusion, one that leaves the reader thinking, and provides a sense of hope. This book deserves every star in the sky, without a doubt. So thank you, Mr. Shusterman, for providing a trilogy that will stand the test of time, a beautiful spot of light in a sea of mediocrity that has defined the dystopian genre for the latter half of this decade. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Plus, you can’t argue with Jaws references. ‘Nuff said. And, if that wasn’t enough, we’ve got some LGBTQ+ representation from a secondary character who plays a major role in The Toll, how cool is that! (Jeri, who you’ll meet somewhat early on, is genderfluid.) 🏳️‍🌈

 

The Toll marks the end of the Arc of a Scythe trilogy (*wipes single tear from cheek*), but without spoiling anything, the ending *could* open itself for spin-offs, though that isn’t likely. Personally, I’d rather the trilogy be left alone, but I wouldn’t be complaining if Shusterman wrote other novels in the same universe.

 

 

And there you have it! I hope you have a lovely rest of your day, and a very happy holiday season! Stay tuned for more content later this week!

 

thank you for reading.jpg

 

Posted in Book Tags, Books

End of the Year Book Tag

Hey, fellow bibliophiles! Sorry that I haven’t been active since Tuesday. I’ve had a kind of rough, busy, and rather emotional week (and an awful lot of homework), but hey, at least I finally finished watching Good Omens. 

giphy.gif

I saw this post on Prose and Pancakes, and I figured that I’d give it a go. (And if you can, please check out Nikita’s lovely blog!) The tag itself was created by Ariel Bisett.  So, without further ado, let’s begin!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Well…not quite, in the sense of the question. I’d like to think that I’m pretty good about finishing books in one sitting. BUT, I did just start reading  Bill Konigsberg’s The Music of What Happens, which I’m enjoying so far! 🙂

51hdxm1GGjL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year? 

I read pretty much all of the autumnal books that I wanted to read either in October or over the summer (oops), but I think Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks’ Pumpkinheads would fit the bill perfectly.

519OHqOUISL._SX352_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Is there a new release that you’re still waiting for? 

I think this one technically came out in November, but I haven’t yet read Marissa Meyer’s Supernovaand I am OVER THE MOON excited for that one!

81+lEQiKzxL.jpg

What are the three books you need to read before the end of the year?

Hmmm…

I don’t really have anything that I have planned for the end of the year, so I’ll just hash out a few books off of my TBR that I’m particularly excited about…

51ylxzDEq4L.jpg

Hopefully I can get this one on my next comic-shop run…

I’m fascinated by the direction that Magneto was taken in during the Brian Michael Bendis run, and I’m excited to see it all from his perspective. I also loved Bunn’s work on Harrow County, so I’m sure it’ll translate well to the iconic villain.

And speaking of X-Men (references, anyway)…

51Py7W2FrdL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

I’ve been meaning to read Lyn Miller-Lachmann’s Rogue  for ages, and I haven’t been able to find it anywhere. I haven’t read much MG in a while, and it seems like this will be a very poignant coming-of-age story.

THE-MONSTERS-WE-DESERVE-final.jpg

Aaaaaaand completely unrelated from the other two, here’s Marcus Sedgwick’s The Monsters We DeserveAs Frankenstein is one of my favorite (if not my favorite) book of all time, I’m intrigued to see his take on the fateful night that Mary Shelley spun the iconic story.

 

Is there a book that could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

I doubt it, honestly. My expectations have practically shot through the stratosphere after the combined glory of Honor Bound, Aurora Rising, Like A Love Story, The Pioneerand The Toll(I’ll be reviewing the latter of those next week. MY GOD…)

 

Have you already started making reading plans for 2020?

Reading plans? What are these ‘reading plans’ you speak of?

giphy.gif

Not really, no. But, I’d like to up my Goodreads reading goal to…let’s say…250. I’ve already passed my goal of 200 this year, and my goal was 300 the year before, and that was veeeery stressful. Barely passed that one. So I’m hoping that 250 will be a happy medium.

 

And, that just about wraps it up! I tag:

 

 

I hope you had a wonderful week! Stay tuned for more content tomorrow!

thank you for reading.jpg