Monday, September 18, 2017

10 Books I Read in 2016 That Are Still On My Mind // Bookworm

Sometimes there are books that just stick with you. There are some that you are stuck in for a week after finishing, and then there are the ones that creep back in much later and make you smile or think. These are some that are still making me smile and think a year later. :)

No Baggage: A Minimalist Tale of Love and Wandering by Clara Bensen

5 Stars | Non-Fiction / Travel / Memoir | Stand Alone

Quarter-life crisis + 13 day, 8 country trip + no baggage + OK Cupid met sort-of-kind-of-boyfriend. What a premise right? That was enough to get me invested. I found this to be really relate-able and personal to read. It was quick, it was funny, it was a good mix of non-fiction and fiction-like writing. I really enjoyed this one.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden*

4.5 Stars | Historical Fiction / Magical Realism / Fantasy / YA| First in a Series but could read as stand-alone

Pagan pasts and religious tensions meet in Northern Russia. Vasya is wild like her mother was, she's a bit of a disgrace to her new mother, but she might be what can save her home. This one is pretty hard to describe, but I just LOVED it. I recommend reading it in the winter, and expecting it to read like historical fiction + a bit of magical realism for the most part. They are releasing a sequel in January, but I think you could read it as a stand alone if you wanted to.


Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake 

4.5 Stars | Fantasy / Dystopian-ish / YA | First in a Series

Every generation triplets are born, each girl having a special ability. One is a poisoner, one is a naturalist, and the other is an elemental. They are split up to develop their gifts as young children, for when they are 16 they must battle to the death to determine the one true queen. This book is like The Hunger Games but with magic. Holy Toledo. The poisoner stuff is super awesome, and it ends in a crazy crazy twisty way. The sequel was just released and I've got it on hold at the library!

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (AKA JK Rowling)

4 Stars | Mystery | First in a Series but could read as stand-alone

A slow burn mystery with an intriguing detective that you can't help but feel for. It takes a while to get his backstory, but I'd rather read that slowly than not care about the lead character, you know? The mystery was detailed enough that I didn't know what would happen, and I wasn't bored.

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia*

4.5 Stars | Urban Fantasy /  Crime Drama / Dystopian / YA | Stand Alone

Don't write this one off because it has vampires. I'm serious. It's more about the dynamics between police/gangs/vampires in Mexico City. The world building is so crazy. It's a bit dystopian, and it's just fascinating! I loved that some of the characters had questionable motivation/alignment as well. Are they good? Are they bad? Are they doing the best they can in a tough situation?

Scarlet Trilogy by A.C. Gaughan

4.5 Star Series | Historical Fiction / Fairy Tale Retelling / YA | First in a Series

This series follows Robin Hood and his band of men, as they steal from the rich and give to the poor. However, one of his men is not a man at all. Scarlet disguises herself as Will Scarlet. When a thief catcher is hired from London, Scarlet knows just who he is, and just what it will mean for Nottingham. These read like action-packed historical fiction, and I loved the twist of Scarlet along with Rob's gang. This series does not falter, start to finish it is great to read. There isn't any magic in this one, it's just based on the original story.

Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin

4 Star Series | Psychological Thriller / Paranormal Elements / YA | Series

These books follow Mara Dyer. She wakes up in a mental hospital not knowing how she got there, or that she's the only one who survived a building's collapse. Her friends are dead, her family is scared, so they move to Florida to start a new life. However, this is just the beginning of Mara's journey. I thought this trilogy was very suspenseful and interesting. You never know what is going on, which is a lot of fun. Each book has a bit of a different feel to it. The last one was not quite as strong as the others. There was a weak patch, but overall I still enjoyed the series a lot. There is a spin-off series coming out soon, which I am interested in reading. Please give it to me Netgalley!! :)

Anna and the French Kiss Series by Stephanie Perkins

4 Star Series | Contemporary / YA / Romance | First in a series but could read as a standalone

Each book is about a different quirky high school girl, and the boy that catches her interest. These don't really hinge on one another, but there are some little overlaps within the books/characters. The last one was by far my favorite, but I think I just related to those characters more than the others. While I don't generally gravitate toward books that take place in high school, these felt different because they were more about their other experiences, and were also set in interesting settings like Paris and San Francisco. They were all really cute. I highly recommend if you enjoy contemporary YA, these are super feel-good.

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

5 Stars | Contemporary / YA | Might be a series someday...? Can read as standalone.

This book follows Willowdean, a "self-proclaimed fat girl," living in Texas with her former pageant queen mother. This book is a sweet coming of age novel, with body positivity to-boot. I can tell you that I am not overly interested in pageants, Texas, high school set books, etc. but this book was fantastic. It oozes charm, the characters are colorful, and it makes you root for everyone involved.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

4 Star Series | Sci-Fi / Dystopian / Fairy Tale Retelling | Series

This series is set in the future where the Earth and the moon (Luna) are inhabited. Androids live among humans, there is an epidemic sweeping the Earth, and tensions are high between Earth and Luna. These books follow 4 heroines as they fight for a better world. These are based upon the fairy tales Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White respectively. I have not read the companion short stories, etc. yet, but I really enjoyed the series. And that's saying something because I don't normally love Sci-Fi.

What are some books you read last year that have stuck with you? I'd love to know!

HOW DO YOU RATE #.5 STAR BOOKS?!?!?! Do you round them up?!



*This title was given to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. These reviews are my own opinion, and based on the edition of the book I was given at the time. Thank you Netgalley!

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