My 5 favourite books of 2017

So, I’m a bit late, but I got a cold between Christmas and New Year, so I just had time to wrap up the last reading year now. So here are my conclusions:

  • I was reading a lot in 2017. — 153 books — although…

Half of these were comics or graphic novels that I usually read much faster than a normal book.

  • 60 were science fiction, fantasy, or a combination of young adult and other genres.

I rarely read outside my favourite genres, only one contemporary thriller and a couple of historical fictions. I know people advise you to do that, but “je ne regrette rien” 😉

  • My favourite books of 2017 are mostly quite well known.
  • 6 were non-fiction books, all about writing techniques. I started many books on writing but finished few of them, I take a long time to read non-fiction because I don’t only read them, but mostly study them.

In this year it often happened that a hyped book had the right reasons to be loved by all Booktubers, although there were also cases where they would fail to impress me in the same manner.

I discovered new favourite authors and a few “never-to-read-again” and “how-can-people-actually-like-this?” books. Let me know if you would like me to go all ranty here on the blog.

But overall it was a very nice reading year.

So, here are my (kind of) 5 favourites of 2017!

1) The Saga series (Single Issues #1 – #43)
I read all single issues of this amazing series, I just couldn’t stop. It was amazing! Brian K. Vaughan now appears as number one in my Goodreads list of most read authors due to all the Saga single issues I read. I consider him now an auto-buy and read asap author.

2) The Grisha Verse Trilogy
Leigh Bardugo is a queen! (as I heard on booktube). I really liked this trilogy, and can’t wait to read “The language of Thorns” by the same author, now one of my favourites too.

3) The Night Circus.
Magical, awesome, and special. I was looking for more books from Erin Morgenstern and couldn’t find it. I guess I have to break my rule of no-rereading while the TBR tsunami isn’t tamed and reread this book.

4) Artemis
Andy Weir’s books make you laugh (a lot), while you visit extremely well-built and possible, on-the-near-future corner of (thankfully) not-dystopian sci-fi worlds. I like dystopia, but I read this book on my cell phone while my Kindle was recharging. This is saying something about how great I found this book.

5) The Illuminae Files (#1 and #2)
I’m absolutely spoiled for boring sci-fi after this series. These books were page-turners, full of action, great characters (my favourite is AIDAN), and all the graphic elements, for this reason, I would recommend the books even if people liked the Audiobooks too. All the hype around these books is well deserved, I can totally understand why people freak about these books, lol.

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17 Book Prompts from my Reading Challenge 2017

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This year was a blast for me when it comes to reading. Since I started tracking what I read with Goodreads I never read so much, the number was 152 ‘books’ although I must confess that around the half of them were comics or graphic novels, in single issues or collected editions. This was the year I read (and loved) the whole Saga, Monstress, and East of West series and these graphic novels were page-turner-addicting reads. Besides them, I also read more of fantasy, young adult and sci-fiction. I also read around six non-fiction books on writing, a number smaller than I wanted to read this year, and a couple of books outside my favourite genres, thrillers or historical fiction, since I consider retellings another branch of fantasy. I discovered new favourite authors (Brian K. Vaughan, Leigh Bardugo, Victoria Aveyard, Collen Oakes, Brandon Sanderson, Erin Morgenstern) and gave up on others too. So now, without further ado, here are the challenge categories I managed to fulfil this busy year:

1. A book written by a member of The Dragon’s Rocketship:
P.A.W.S. (P.A.W.S. #1) by Debbie Manber Kupfer. (Rating: 4 Stars)
What a cute shapeshifter story, I could not put this book down. I’ll also quite curious to see what will happen to all the characters, so I’ll go on reading this series.

2. The next book in a series you still didn’t finish: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas. (Rating: 4 Stars)
** spoiler alert ** I liked this book more than the third in the series. Manon is a very interesting character and I’m curious about how she’ll develop in the next book. I was disappointed on how Chaol lost space in the story, but perhaps that was the right thing for the plot. Also disappointed on the extremely rushed-up resolution with the two main villains, not enough was said or developed so it was a well-rounded resolution, and the main character didn’t play the central role in both climaxes, perhaps for emotional reasons(?) For this reason, I rate this book 4 and not 5 stars even though this is a very interesting series and I’ll probably read the next book.

3. A book you can read in one sitting: How to Be Perfectly Unhappy by Matthew Inman, The Oatmeal. (Rating: 5 Stars)
What a lovely and poetic short graphic novel! I can totally relate to the questions and answers in this book. After all, what means to be happy nowadays? Is happiness or a pretence of happiness the ultimate goal? Or is it fine to be “busy, interested, fascinated” and “perfectly unhappy”?

4.A graphic novel: Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe (Manga Classics) by Stacy King (Author) (Adapted by), Edgar Allan Poe, Virginia-Nitouhei (Art “The Tell-Tale Heart”), Chagen (Art “The Cask of Amontillado”), Uka Nagao (Art “The Masque… Read Death”), pikomaro (Art “The Raven”), Linus Liu (Art “Fall of the House of Usher”), Man Yiu (Art “Fall of the House of Usher”). (Rating: 5 Stars)
Gothic, eerie, and beautiful. I liked this Manga version of Poe’s classics a lot. I haven’t read all these stories in their original version but the dark atmosphere from them seems to have been well translated into this format. The art was overall well done and the classic stories dark and eerie depth strengthened it. My favourite stories were The Cask of Amontillado, The Raven and The Mask of the Red Death.

5.A book with a LGBT Character: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. (Rating: 4 Stars)
I liked the underlying theme, but the hype it’s kind of exaggerated. Still, an entertaining comic.

6. A trilogy: The Grishaverse #1- #3 by Leigh Bardugo. (Rating: 5 Stars)
This was the year of trilogies for me, besides this, I read three others and liked them almost as much, but my favourite was “The Grishaverse”. I liked this trilogy so much, I might get the paperback or hardcover box set of it, even if I already read it on my eReader. There are books that you must have on your shelf for a reread.

7. A book in a genre you don’t normally read: You (You #1) by Caroline Kepnes. (Rating: 4 Stars)
The writer’s voice makes this thriller an engaging and page-turning read, while quite original due to the unreliable narrator. And it is indeed a warning on the excessive use of social media.

8.A dystopian: Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie. (Rating: 4 Stars)
** spoiler alert ** This book is slower paced than the most science-fiction dystopia books usually are, but this perhaps due to the characters relationships being in the foreground. This slower pace, in my opinion, also created a better world description and story development, so it was all right for me. I liked the way the story was told even if the book finishes with a hook. And the touching role the Dylan Thomas poem played in the story was so beautiful, that it alone won my good opinion on this book. I’ll probably finish this series later.

9. A book with magic: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. (Rating: 5 Stars)

Magical. It deserves the hype.

10.A book over 500 pages: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu. (Rating: 5 Stars)
This book was as fun as Illuminae, and Illuminae was already a lot of fun. I’m totally spoiled for badly written and boring sci-fi after this series.

11.A book that makes you laugh: Date Night on Union Station (EarthCent Ambassador #1) by E.M. Foner (Rating: 4 Stars)
This book was quite funny and has an interesting story. It’s not exactly a complex and serious sci-fi saga but something light for an entertaining afternoon.

12. A book that makes you laugh literally out loud: Adulthood Is a Myth (Sarah’s Scribbles #1) by Sarah Andersen. (Rating: 5 Stars)
This is quite funny. My only complaint: It’s too short! I could read one thousand pages of this, lol

13. A high fantasy: Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson.(Rating: 5 Stars)
This book is so good you will take your time reading it, so it lasts longer. And so far I can remember, it’s one of the best epic fantasies I’ve read.

14. A book with a war: Old Man’s War (Old Man’s War #1) by John Scalzi. (Rating: 5 Stars)
The author’s voice gives this sci-fi war story a light and humorous (real ROFL like moments) touch.

15.A young adult book (trilogy): Red Queen (Red Queen #1-3) by Victoria Aveyard
(Rating: 3,4,4 Stars for each book)
I found the story with silver and red people quite interesting, so why 3 to 4 stars? Mostly, and this is a pet peeve I usually have with YA, I think that romance took over other, more interesting, plot components.
I would gladly hear more about how silver appeared and came to power. When did that happen? Was it radiation, selective breeding, genetic techniques that brought the silver their special powers? The mentor figure of Julian was quite wasted as he didn’t provide any information, writers nowadays are so extremely scared of boring readers with backstory they just hint at it most times. I would have liked to know how this world came to be, this exploration of a future scenario being more interesting to me than another love triangle. Even though, I still like the characters and plot so I went on reading this series up to the third book “King’s Cage”. I still feel that the science fiction side of the story is mostly left to the side as no background explanations are given to the story world. Instead, the reader gets a lot of action and really long battle scenes, perhaps this was done so the target audience wouldn’t consider the book boring? I don’t know the reason for the lack of depth of the story world but even though missed it. Well, let’s see how the series will go on.

16. A standalone book: Northanger Abbey (The Austen Project #2) by Val McDermid
(Rating: 5 Stars)
A fresh and modern retelling of a classic. Now, can someone please tell me where can I find the Hebridean Harpies series? 😉

17a.) A book that was later made into a movie, play or tv show: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) by Richelle Mead
(Rating: 4 Stars)
I liked this book and its vampire/high school drama mixture. I may go on reading this series, I’m just not intrigued enough at the moment to do that right now.

17b.) Watch the movie you read a book based on
Vampire Academy – I can’t really recommend doing that…

READATHON TBR || BookTube-A-Thon

 

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I wouldn’t be a good BookTube follower if I would not follow and try to participate in the BookTube-A-Thon, a weeklong Readathon event that (so far as I know) started in Ariel Bissett’s YouTube Channel and became a happy celebration of BookTubers and reading.

So, without much further ado (after all, I should be tackling my TBR right now), here is my TBR list with the challenges I finished already and my TBR for the yet to be done challenges:

The 2017 Reading Challenges:

1/ Read a book with a person on the cover.

For this challenge, I chose “Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock, #1)” by Faith Hunter.
My review: I’m right now on page 32. I have only started but so far I like this book. Let’s see where it goes.

2/ Read a hyped book.

I heard frequently of “Every Heart a Doorway(Wayward Children, #1)” by Seanan McGuire on Youtube and even now it seems to be one of the most read books in the Readathon.

My review: 3 stars. A very interesting premise, but somehow underdeveloped. Great story ideas were thrown in a shallow way that surely needed more depth. I hope the next books in the series develop it further.

3/ Finish a book in one day.

This was the first challenge I finished because short is quickly done. For this challenge, I chose the “Curran POV Collection”, a collection of scenes you can download on the web page of the authors Ilona and Gordon Andrews. This scenes will mostly only make sense if you read the Kate Daniel’s series (and I sincerely recommend this series as awesome paranormal fantasy).

My review: 5 stars, ** spoiler alert **

Curran: “I spat the ear out and knocked it toward him with my paw. No, you can keep it. Doesn’t taste that great.” This line still makes me laugh by myself one day after reading this book.

Curran POV shows his side on the scenes that were mainly told in Kate’s POV during the series. It shows the hard side of what is needed to be the alpha of the shapeshifters in Kate’s world. Not an easy day at the office for sweet and wild Curran. 😉
I wished there would be more of this series than only the next book. This is also a short book that you can (unfortunately) read in one day.

4/ Read about a character that is very different from you.

I’m planning to read “Old Man’s War (Old Man’s War #1)” by John Scalzi because the character is an old man, someone very different than me. If I don’t have time to read it this week, I’ll read it the next week so my review will be here eventually.


5/ Finish a book completely outdoors.

I’m not sure I’ll manage this in a very rainy July? When I get a couple of sunny hours I do take the books to the playground where my kids play, so most books have seen sunlight. But to finish it all outdoors would be unpractical right now.


6/ Read a book you bought because of the cover.

“Northanger Abbey (The Austen Project #2) by Val McDermid”. The one published by HarperFiction with the gloomy Abbey on the cover. Besides the cover, I also chose this book to finally read something by Val McDermid, an author my mother likes a lot and because I did like the original “Northanger Abbey” by J.Austen.

My review for this book: 5 stars, A fresh and modern retelling of a classic. Now, can someone please tell me where can I find the Hebridean Harpies series?


7/ Read seven books.

If I have the time I’ll read “The Archived (The Archived #1)” by Victoria Schwab still this week. But probably I’ll delay until next week and post my review later on. After all, why hurry? Only non-connoisseurs drink a good wine quickly.
And you? Are you participating in this Readathon? Let me know in the comments!

UPDATE AFTER THE READATHON

I didn’t manage to finish the fourth book, but I think that 3 books with my hectic real life were quite OK. I did start Skinwalker and “This Savage Song”, which I read until page 61.
Not so bad and I also managed to read a lot on the playground, so I consider Challenge number 5 half done. 🙂

So my final results were:

1/ Read a book with a person on the cover.

Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock #1) by Faith Hunter — 32 pages

2/ Read a hyped book.

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire — 176 pages

3/ Finish a book in one day.

Curran POV Collection (Curran POV #1-9) by Gordon Andrews, Ilona Andrews  — 157 pages

I skipped Challenge 4 and will be reading this book later.

5/ Finish a book completely outdoors.

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab — 61 pages, finished after the readathon.

Later update (3/8/17): I didn’t manage to read this whole book outdoors, but all my books have been outdoors one moment or another so I consider this challenge half done.

This was a 5 stars book with great characters and an original and poetic story.

6/ Read a book you bought because of the cover.

Northanger Abbey (The Austen Project #2) by Val McDermid — 358 pages

And I didn’t read the seventh book yet, but later on, steady as I go…

Mid-Year Book Freak Out-BOOK TAG 2017

I saw this Book Tag on Youtube and decided to do it on my blog. So here are my answers:

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1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017.

I have different choices for different genres. In Fantasy, there would be a tie between “A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)” by Sarah J. Maas and the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. In Sci-fi, the winner would be the awesome Comics series “Saga”.

 

2. The best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017.

“A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)” by Sarah J. Maas which was better than the first book of the series.

 

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

The third book of A Court of Thorns and Roses, “A Court of Wings and Ruin” by Sarah J. Maas. I started or went on reading a lot of other series and still have this one left on my TBR.

 

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

The paperback edition of “Blood of Wonderland (Queen of Hearts Saga #2)” by Colleen Oakes. I have the first book in paperback and I don’t want to buy the second book in hardcover, this would make the series look mismatched on my shelf like many other series I was too much in a hurry to finish, so I’m trying to wait patiently this time, until October!

 

5. Biggest disappointment.

The book “Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles #1)” by Kevin Hearne because I expected much more from a series with a Druid. When I think of Druids, I think wise and ancient like Panoramix (named Getafix in English translations) from the Asterix Comics series and this one wasn’t at all what I expected. I also expected something completely different from the Celtic story world and the story itself. All the stereotyped characters, situations and not my type of jokes in this book didn’t work for me at all.

 

6. Biggest surprise.

The book “The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)” by Mary E. Pearson (Spoiler Alert) had the most surprising plot twist for me. It was so unexpected I still can’t really accept it… And I won’t lie, I felt kind of cheated.

 

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Erin Morgenstern, author of “The Night Circus”. This book is the most beautifully written I read this year so far and it will stay in my heart for a long time.

 

8. Newest fictional crush.

Crush is perhaps a too strong word for it, but Rhysand from “A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)” by Sarah J. Maas is a very interesting character.

 

9. Newest favorite character.

Prince Robot IV from the Saga comics series because he has a television head! He made me remember a Brazilian 80’s song from Rita Lee where she sang in Portuguese that “the guy had a television face,” and this royal not only embodies that song literally but, (spoiler alert) kids can watch his dreams while he sleeps. He’s also a quite lost character, still very much in doubt about being self-centered or helpful and his main answer to most of the life’s questions is… Sex. Good that he didn’t get an STD while looking for himself.

 

10. A book that made you cry.

Even with a no-books-that-makes-you-cry policy, I must confess that the Epilogue of “Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3)” by Cassandra Clare was so touching it made tears surface to my eyes. This book was a perfect ending to this trilogy.

 

11. A book that made you happy.

Now I’ll have to repeat myself and go with “A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)” by Sarah J. Maas because this was a book I felt like fist pumping and shouting ‘yes’ with the heroine choices. So I was happy with it.

 

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

I would have two different first places for this:
Beautifully drawn: “Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening (Monstress (Collected Editions) #1)” by Marjorie M. Liu (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Sana Takeda (Artist), Rus Wooton (Letterer, Designer)
My “own taste” beautiful: Trying Human (Volume #2) by Emy Bitner, because I really like how she draws/develops this series.

 

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I plan to read 10 books on Writing craft this year. So far I read six books, leaving four to go, or who knows, perhaps I’ll be lucky to read more than my new year’s resolution this time.

I have now two books as audiobooks, so I’ll hear them while organizing or coloring instead of taking the time to sit and hold them before me. It worked well for the last non-fiction book I was hearing.

 

14 Favourite Book Community Member(s)?

There are so many nice Booktubers, readers I’ve met on Goodreads, and people I met on this blog, that I couldn’t possibly name only one person or even all of them. I did though write a blog post about My favorite Booktubers not long ago.

What’s great in this online community are all the different tastes and opinions, even if someone won’t read a book what I consider a must-read for this or that genre, or love a book/author I don’t care about.

Isn’t diversity beautiful?

 

If you do the Mid-Year Book Freak Out // Book Tag on your Blog or Youtube channel leave your link in the comments. I’m curious. 😉