Emphasis on ‘freak out’ because I still have so many more amazing books that I really want to get to this year. And nowhere near enough time to get to all of them! Especially not with the various slumps I’ve been having lately. But let’s try to stay positive and not think about my never-ending TBR!!
1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2016
If we’re talking about stand-alones, this has to be Carry On (Rainbow Rowell). This book was, in a word, delightful. It was fun and cute and laugh-out-loud funny and basically everything you could expect from a Rowell book but with a magical twist. I HIGHLY recommend this story for anyone looking for a charming, light-hearted read.
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2016
Without a doubt, this has to be The Sleeping Prince (Melinda Salisbury). Probably, and I do not say this lightly, my favourite series at the moment. I gave the first book in the series 5 stars and couldn’t imagine it getting any better; it was already perfect in my eyes! Also, when I saw on Goodreads that it was to be narrated from a different character’s point of view, I was slightly scared that I wouldn’t enjoy it as much. But I needn’t have worried and The Sleeping Prince completely blew me away and I wanted to give it way more than 5 stars. The series has a wonderfully imagined story-world with strong yet flawed female characters and lovely, beautiful writing. The last book in the trilogy cannot come fast enough!
Also, honourable mention to The Hero of Ages (Brandon Sanderson) which I’ve just recently finished. IT WAS EVERYTHING I COULD HAVE EVER DREAMED FOR.
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to
This isn’t technically a new release but I bought Uprooted (Naomi Novik) recently and desperately want to read it (along with countless others on my TBR!). But Uprooted has gotten so many great reviews and when I read the first few pages in the bookstore to see if I’d like it, I struggled to put the book back down so I could purchase it! I’m only putting it off now because I want to make sure I’m in the right kind of mood for it so, hopefully, I’ll be picking it up soonish, perhaps around Autumn or Winter as it seems like a cosy kind of book, to enjoy with rain and a huge cup of tea.
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
I’m probably looking forward to seeing Kaz and the gang the most as Six of Crows was my favourite book of 2015.
I’m really hoping I love Empire of Storms because I had such mixed feelings about Queen of Shadows which is the biggest shame because for a while Throne of Glass was my favourite series. So I’m definitely hopeful, but I’ll try not to get my hopes up too much!
5. Biggest disappointment
Unfortunately this has to be Clockwork Angel (Cassandra Clare). Whilst this isn’t my lowest rated book of the year so far, it was one that I thought I’d love an awful lot more than I did. For some reason, I couldn’t get on with the MC, Tessa, and I found Will to be incredibly rude and unlikable (obviously having read the whole series, now I know why!) and the plot itself for me was just so-so. But…
6. Biggest surprise
This has to be Clockwork Prince (Cassandra Clare). After not being overly-fond of CA, I really wasn’t sure if I’d like the sequel. The only reason why I picked it up was because of Jem and there was SO MUCH JEM in CP. Also, I found Tessa and Will to be much more likeable in this sequel and I found myself really caring for them. It was at this point too that I became incredibly attached to the story and even more so to the characters. The dynamic between Jem and Will especially was probably my favourite thing in this sequel (and in the series as a whole really).
7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)
I think this might be Rosamund Hodge or Lisa Williamson. Both write completely different stories but I thoroughly enjoyed reading Cruel Beauty and The Art of Being Normal and I would definitely pick up anything else these ladies decide to write. Possibly also Paul Kearney too. I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Wolf in the Attic but I adored the writing itself so I might potentially be interested in a future story of Kearney’s. We’ll see.
8. Newest fictional crush
The magnificent Mr. James Carstairs. I’ve talked quite a bit on this blog about how much I adore him so I’ll try not to swoon too much or go on about him for too long. BUT. He’s just so lovely! And sweet and kind and good. And I want a Jem in my life. Even if we’re just friends, I would be honoured to know someone like that. We need more Jem’s in the world. More whole-heartedly good people. Okay, swoon over *fans self*
9. Newest favourite character
I have so many! So I’ll try to be ruthless with myself. Definitely Harper from Rebel Belle (Rachel Hawkins). She’s very feminine but also extremely badass and doesn’t let stereotypes get in the way of who she is.
I also love Nyx from Cruel Beauty (Rosamund Hodge). She’s unapologetically bitter and slightly twisted and unforgiving but is also capable of warmth and compassion and I love her so much for that. A very refreshing strong female protagonist.
Errin from The Sleeping Prince (Melinda Salisbury) is another strong female character I adore. She is probably the most realistic character on this list. She has a lot of weight on her shoulders and she tries her best to be/appear strong and she does everything she can but she still has her weak moments and breaks down and cries. I just really love that she’s strong but she’s still human and sometimes she feels like her life is too much sometimes. She’s very #relatable.
And, finally, Penelope from Carry On (Rainbow Rowell). She is no-nonsense, straight to the point and an all-around badass feminist that doesn’t put up with bullshit. But she’s also very caring and would do just about anything for the people she loves.
10. Book that made you cry
I cry pretty easily at basically anything but I think the book I’ve cried most at thus far this year is Clockwork Princess (Cassandra Clare). That epilogue. It ruined me. It was so perfect but it was also so very bittersweet. Also, just the dialogue and the relationship between Jem and Will had me welling up. Their friendship was beautiful to read and really struck a cord with me. This whole book was just plain beautiful!
11. Book that made you happy
I honestly don’t think I’ve read a book that has made me only happy this year! I mainly read fantasy which tends to be a tad heart-wrenching. I think I’ll just choose Beastly Bones (William Ritter) for this one because I love these characters and this world and I missed it a lot, even though I did get a little emotional over it. I’m just a really sensitive person when it comes to books I think!!
12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
All my books are beautiful! But Rebel of the Sands (Alwyn Hamilton) might just be slightly more beautiful than the rest. And it’s shiny too. Can’t go wrong with shiny.
13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
I absolutely definitely most certainly need to finish reading Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Laini Taylor). I’ve been putting off finishing this series for so long and I just need to grow a back-bone and get on with it. I’m only putting it off because I know how much it’ll hurt but, at the same time, this is one of my favourite series, so I know I’ll love it. I’m just being a wuss right now!
14. Favourite Book Community Member (Blogger, Booktuber and Bookstagrammer)
I’ve discovered so many this year so this is really hard! I think I’ll pick Francina Simone for this category though. I love watching her videos and she’s so smart, I always come away feeling like I learnt something! I’d definitely recommend checking her out if you haven’t.