For my first ever post on this blog, I thought I’d do a tag that introduces my reading preferences! Of course, I haven’t read as much as I would have liked to so far this year, so this isn’t completely representative of all that I read, but hopefully it’s a little taste. On to the tag!
1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2017: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, an epic fantasy YA heist novel with an amazing cast of characters, an intricate plot, and a fantastic world! Not since Harry Potter have I fell so hard for a a magical series.
2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2015: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. A reread, of course, but so have all the other sequels I’ve read this year, and this one has been, by far, my favorite.
3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To: There are quite a few that come to mind, but I’ve heard nothing but great reviews for Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo, a novel that tells the story of a childless couple in Nigeria, and the struggles they face in their marriage and family life because of it. It was short-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction this year, so I’m looking forwarding to reading it!
4. Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2015: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Her debut novel Everything I Never Told You, a complex and emotional family drama, was one of my favorite books of 2016, so I’m excited for her sophomore attempt. I have no idea what this book is about, but if it’s half as well written as her first, I couldn’t care less.
5. Biggest Disappointment: Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I read Anne of Green Gables last year, and was surprised at how much the story of eleven year old Anne Shirley and her relationship with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert moved me, going as far as to bring me to tears. I wasn’t expecting AoA to reach the same emotional heights that AoGG did, but I certainly didn’t expect to be so annoyed and frustrated by it as I was. Putting aside the lack of a compelling plot, Anne of Avonlea‘s biggest flaw came from its weak characters, who were not only two dimensional, but also out right irritating. Anne herself did not age well, as the whimsy and dreamy nature of her character that was so endearing when she still a child become only more ridiculous as she grew closer to adulthood. Other characters that were so fleshed out and explored in AoGG took a backseat and were abandoned in AoA in favor of newly introduced side characters, who were cloyingly perfect, horribly flawed, or simply strange. Needless to say, I was sorely disappointed by almost every aspect of this novel, especially since I thoroughly enjoyed its predecessor!
6. Biggest Surprise: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin follows Naomi Porter, a girl who attempts to piece together her life after losing her memories before her junior year of high school. Technically this is an accurate synopsis, as this is what happens in the novel, but it’s a synopsis that doesn’t do to justice to Zevin’s masterful portrayal of adolescence- who we think we are, and who others perceive us to be. There was a real voice of honesty in this novel, one that didn’t divide its characters into heroes and villains, but only depicted them as flawed people, and I think it is for that reason that this book has stayed with me for as long it has.
7. Favorite New Author: Kate Chopin. She’s certainly not a new author, but she’s new to me: I read The Awakening this year and loved it! Unfortunately, she hasn’t written many more (if any? I’m not sure) novels, but her simple, easy-to-read prose, interesting female characters, and ideas about women made her an instant favorite.
8. Newest Fictional Crush: Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows. He’s smart, sly, a hardened criminal mastermind, and has a secret heart of gold. He successfully falls into all of my favorite tropes!
9. Newest Favorite Character: Nina Zerik, also from Six of Crows. She’s brave, intelligent, charming, powerful, and interesting, but also very flawed!
10. Book That Made You Cry: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac.
11. Book That Made You Happy: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Those books warm my heart in a way that no others really can.
12. Favorite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year: I can’t think of any book to movie adaptations I saw this year, but I would definitely recommend Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood!
13. Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year: I haven’t been writing reviews at all lately, which is partially why I started this blog, but I really like what I wrote for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
14. Most Beautiful Book You Bought So Far This Year: Not to beat a dead horse, but …
15. What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of The Year: There are so many, so I’ll just list the top five I hope to finish before the end of the summer (not counting rereads)!
- Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
- Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
- White Oleander by Janet Fitch
- Pale Fire by Vladmir Nabokov
- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote