Monday, December 26, 2016

2016: The Year of Books

Happy Day after Christmas! I hope you all had an absolutely wonderful Christmas. Can you believe in just a few days we’ll be welcoming in 2017??? BECAUSE I CANNOT.

WHERE DID 2016 GO???? WHERE DID TIME GO???? WHERE DID MY SANITY GO??????? (Oh yeah, I lost it during NaNo and it still hasn’t returned…)

2016 was…well, it was an interesting year. A lot of highs, but also some really awful lows. It was a year of growth and faith and change.

But it was also a year of BOOKS. Which is funny because I actually didn’t read very many books at all this year. I’m trying to accept the fact that I’m not a fast reader anymore. When I was young, I’d devour books like a famished, word-eating piranha. But these days, well, I have to balance it with blogging and writing and, ya know, life. I suppose slow and steady reading isn’t something to be ashamed of though. Life happens. Reading doesn’t always. Such is life. (Sadly.)

ANYWAYS. Even though, ironically, I didn’t read a whole lot this year, somehow I feel like the whole years revolved around books. And you don’t hear me complaining one little bit.

First of all, there’s my job at a bookshop. I got the job back in October 2015, but this was my first full year to have that job (or any job technically). But what really turned this into “the year of books” was the enormous library sale that happened back in April and then the next week a trip out of town to an enormous bookstore causing me to get over 100 books in two weeks. I like April. I want to relive April. April was a good month.

Of course, that meant buying new bookshelves and completely rearranging my room to fit new said books and shelves in. It also spurred me on to create a #Bookstagram, because, ya know, I got to take pictures of my children like any good mother, right?

ALSO. Four of my blogging/writing buddies PUBLISHED THEIR BOOKS this year. Oh happy day (year?)!

So basically it was just a fantastic year on the bookish side of things!

In honor of that, I decided to share with you guys all the books I read this year. Which is a total of: 35. Yeah, see? Not very impressive. At all. But, again, I’m trying to accept the fact that I’m a slow reader these days. And that’s okay. Fortunately, I loved the majority of what I read this year. So let’s get to it! In order of when I read them.

Note: This got long. So you may just want to skim through and read my thoughts on any books that interest you. I think this post is more for me to be able to look back at what I read than anything. *sheepish grin*

(All titles link to their GoodReads pages.)

Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

4 stars

This was a fantastic book to start out the year with! STEAMPUNK, PEOPLE. STEAMPUNK. And alternate universes and just bizarre epic thiiiings!!! My only complaint was that it felt a little too…fast, without enough quiet time with the characters to really get to know them. The emotion felt lacking because every single time you think they’re about to have a deep conversation, BOOM! Another action scene! Action scenes are amazing buuut you gotta have a little time to slow down and develop your characters. STILL. This book was amazing and YOU SHOULD READ IT.


The Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall

5 stars

Hoooow have I gone my whole life without this precious book??? (Shoutout to Deborah O'Carroll for giving me this book. She is my book fairy! <3) It involves tiny people and adventure and yet still has this…homey, comfortable feel, like I could just crawl inside the world and happily live there for all my days. It’s seriously one of the most adorable books I’ve ever read, and I think from now on will be one of those that will forever feel like home.


We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

4 stars

I had seen people raving over this one for a while, and one day found it for like $2 at a thrift shop, so obviously I couldn’t pass it up. It’s a very, very rare day I read a contemporary but I’ve actually been kind of in the mood for them and more open toward reading them lately. (What is happening to me????) This book…what do I say? I totally understand the raving. It was kind of amazing. Buuut it also had language. Like serious, completely unnecessary language. Which is sad, because it was good, but I can’t recommend it to anyone. Then again, it’s prooobably not everyone’s cup of tea anyway. That ending…gracious. I may never recover.


The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

2 stars

Blergh. I felt nothing for this book. I’d been curious about it for a while, and then when I saw they were making a movie I broke down and gave it a try before seeing the movie. (Except…I still haven’t seen the movie. #Fail) This was not worth slogging through 457 pages through. The characters annoyed me, there was also foul language (seriously, people, can we be a bit more classy?), and there were just too many unnecessary scenes. The plot was pretty interesting, but not enough for me to have any desire to continue the series. (On GoodReads I have a slightly longer review if you’re interested.)


Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

5 stars

This was technically a reread because I hadn’t read the rest of the series and I wanted to read them all together. Which was an amazing plan because I LOVED THIS SERIES. This series was the highlight of my reading year. Futuristic fairytale retellings with the most fun writing and adorable characters and just YES. Cinderella is a CYBORG. Need I say more? (I actually wrote a review for Cinder after the first time I read it back in 2014.)


Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

4 stars

Scarlet was actually my least favorite of the 4 main Lunar Chronicles books but I STILL LOVED IT. I just enjoyed the others even more. This one is a Little Red Riding Hood retelling, which I thought was epic. We need more of these! And Wolf was precious. Scarlet herself kiiinda annoyed me sometimes, and I felt as though the romance happened a little too fast. But again, it’s a Lunar Chronicles book so obviously I still loved it.


Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

5 stars

THIS OOOONE!!!!!!!!!!!! You prooobably all know my love for it by now since I’ve been screaming about it since I read it back in March. BUT THIS BOOOOOOK!!!!!!!!! Absolutely 100% my favorite of this series, AND my all time favorite book read this year. Period. Cress is my favoritest female in the series and then there’s THORNE. <3333 And then Thorne x Cress!!!! Now officially my second favorite fictional couple EVER after Howl and Sophie (from Howl’s Moving Castle). I JUST LOVED THIS BOOK OKAY. It’s worth reading the whole series just for this one! (Except the whole series is amazing, so…)


Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer

3 stars

Okay, this was technically my least favorite of the series, not Scarlet, but it’s just a prequel novella so I don’t know if it counts. It’s about the main villain, which is pretty cool, buuut with villains comes, erm, immoral behavior. I was really disappointed with the content of this book because none of the others had anything like this. I feel like your content needs to stay consistent with a series and not shock your readers in the middle of the series, ya know? Now, again, it’s about the villain, so none of the behavior done in the book is exactly portrayed as a good thing, but still. I don’t really recommend reading this one, and it’s not necessary at all to understand the series. It was kinda cool, but not really worth the content.


Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer

5 stars

THE EPIC FINALE! AND IT WAS INDEED EPIC. Cress was still my favorite, but Winter did not disappoint in any way. And Winter herself was a precious human bean whom I wanted to hug and squeeze and call George. I LOVE THESE CHARACTERS OKAY? AND THIS SERIES. IF YOU CAN’T TELL. (I know I hide my feelings well.)


Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles #4.5) by Marissa Meyer

5 stars

Not only did we get an amazing series, but Marissa Meyer also treated us with a whole book of short stories to go along with it! I’m usually not much of a short story person, but these were fantastic! I technically read this in between reading the main books. Marissa Meyer has a wonderful suggested reading order on her blog for all the books and short stories, which I followed, and it definitely enhanced my already epic experience with these books. Oddly, my favorite story in this short story collection was a random one not about the main characters. It was a Little Mermaid retelling and almost made me cry. TWICE. Just a little short story. GAH. I LOVED IT. And then there’s a story at the end of this which is basically like an epilogue for the whole series and SDKLJF:LJS:LDJF. PERFECTION.

10/10 recommend reading this whole series together. It was an experience I want to relive sometime!


The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

4 stars

WHY OH WHY OH WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO READ THIS SERIES????? I’ve been meaning to since I was like an early TEEN. And here I am in my twenties only now getting to them. #Shame These books are hilarious!!! I’m usually not a huge fan of Greek gods and things, but, really, this series more makes fun of them than anything. It’s all so goofy and fun. Plus the characters! Percy x Annabeth is also a new favorite ship. (All the new ships that formed this year!)


The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2) by Rick Riordan

4 stars

I felt like this was the weakest of the series. The plot fell a little flat, not as big and grand as the other books, but it was still a lot of fun! And Percy and Grover’s friendship was pretty fantastic in this one.


The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3) by Rick Riordan

4 stars

This one made up for the slight meh plot of the last! Things start getting much deeper and darker from this point on. I think it was by this book that I realized a new series obsession had begun. I am now a proud member of the Camp Half-Blood fandom and there will be no going back!


The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #4) by Rick Riordan

5 stars

MY FAVORITE. I loooved the idea of the ridiculously huge and crazy complicated labyrinth and the FEEELS. Sometimes middle-grade books don’t pack a huge punch with the feels (and you all know feelsy books are my fave), but wow, this one! I’m still recovering months later! *collapses*


The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #5) by Rick Riordan

5 stars

What a finale! It was a little surprising that the whole book was basically one battle. But somehow it worked. AND I LOVED IT. It was fun and satisfying and just YES. A WONDERFUL FINALE. Plus the ending. THE ENDING!!! I still grin like a goofy monkey every time I think about the ending.

Two epic series read back-to-back. It was a happy reading time!


Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal

5 stars

EXCUSE ME WHILE I FLAIL FOR A MILLION YEARS. I got to read this book a couple of years ago long before it was published and fell. in. love. Mirriam is one of the greatest writers in existence. She is amazing! So when I learned she was getting Paper Crowns published, well. I MAY HAVE DIED FROM HAPPINESS. Obviously I bought it right away and devoured it again and it was just as amazing and whimsical and gorgeous and wonderful as I remembered! My second favorite read of the year after Cress! (I did a full review of this one.)


The Ogre Downstairs by Diana Wynne Jones

3 stars

If you didn’t know (okay, I know you do) my favorite book of all time is Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. So of course I wanted to try any and everything else she has written. Sadly…this wasn’t my favorite. It had some good, fun parts, but it was a little…too weird for me (which I didn’t think was possible). The kids were really rotten and were constantly making me nervous with their antics and…I don’t know. I liked quite a bit of it, just didn’t find it spectacular.


Brothers-in-Arms by Jack Lewis Baillot

5 stars

OKAY. THIS BOOK. This scarred me for LIFE. In the best way possible. (I did tell you I love feelsy books.) I have been following Jack’s blog for years and was ECSTATIC when she announced this book was getting a publisher. I’m not even much of a historical fiction reader but I knew I NEEDED THIS. Because it’s about FRIENDSHIP. Which is the best thing ever. And oooooh, the friendship of this story. Let me just hug Franz and Japhet forever! This book made me feel SO. MUCH. ALL THE FEELS. IT WAS AMAZING. (Full review HERE.)


Bones of Faerie (Bones of Faerie #1) by Janni Lee Simner

4 stars

Okay, wow. THIS IS A COOL BOOK. My best friend insisted I read it, and WITH GOOD REASON. I feel like it’s super obscure, which is sad, because IT’S AWESOME. The woooorld! It’s like this post-apocalyptic world after evil faeries came and took over everything. COOL, RIGHT? The worldbuilding was phenomenal! But…the plot was so simple. It worked, though, because it has a very simplistically beautiful, eerie, fairytale-like feel which is, in fact, one of my most favorite writing styles ever. BUT. I also adore ginormous epic plots and I felt like this amazing world deserved that. The plot was too simple and short for such a spectacular world. STILL. The story was really, really good, and if you like dark fairytales I’d say it’s worth a read! (It is rather dark and odd though, so be warned.)


Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

4 stars

*gasp* Another contemporary?? I knoooow! My tastes are broadening, it’s crazy! This was a really cute book, and I was pleasantly surprised at how clean it was. Although it did shed a bad light on homeschoolers, and as someone who was homeschooled, that always irks me. But otherwise it was just a clean, fun little story about how the quirky, happy-go-lucky “Stargirl” flips a high school on its head. (I have a little GoodReads review HERE.)


Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood #5) by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

5 stars

It has been WAY too long since I’ve continued the Goldstone Wood books! I LOVE THIS SERIES. Why I haven’t read all of them yet, I DON’T KNOW. It was so nice returning to this series. Dragonwitch was just as gorgeous and amazing and epic as the other books. Not my top favorite of the series, but still utterly deserving of 5 stars. It had some precious new characters but also featured Eanrin and Imraldera quite a lot which is basically a necessity because THOSE TWO. <3333


The Peculiar (The Peculiar #1) by Stefan Bachmann

4 stars

This one randomly came into the bookshop I work it (perks of working at a secondhand bookstore) and it immediately caught my eye because HELLO? STEAMPUNK. I am so happy I got it! Not only is it steampunk. But it’s steampunk with FAERIES. Two of my favoritest things! AND it has this perfectly British-like style to it which makes it so fun. It was…weird. But the good kind of weird! The best way I can describe it is that it felt like a Tim Burton movie. Seriously, Tim Burton needs to pick this one up. It would be perfect! It’s kinda dark and bizarre but totally epic. Although, like Bones of Faerie, the world is AH-MAY-ZING but the plot kinda simple. I think I have too high expectations for plots? Maybe I read too many ginormous, in depth series??? I DON’T KNOW. But still. Steampunk + faeries + British-feel = A HAPPY CHRISTINE. Except! It ended on a cliffhanger. I DID NOT REALIZE IT WASN’T A STAND ALONE. So…


The Whatnot (The Peculiar #2) by Stefan Bachman

4 stars

…I immediately bought the sequel. *sheepish grin* And loved it just as much if not more than the first! I really can’t decide which one I like better. They were equally good! These books are creepy, but the fun kinda creepy! Like I said, totally a Tim Burton-like story. So if you like bizarre steampunk and/or dark faerie stories YOU NEED TO READ THESE. Just have the sequel on hand after reading the first book because THAT CLIFFHANGER. D:


The Beguilers by Kate Thompson

1 star

(Okay, technically I read this one in between The Peculiar and The Whatnot but I wanted to stick them together.) This was my least favorite book to read this year. Ugh. It was such a waste of time. Thankfully, it was super short, so not too much time, but still. Basically the WHOLE. BOOK. is just watching this girl climb a mountain so she can capture a mysterious Beguiler (some creature made of light that is always luring people to their deaths). But…NOTHING HAPPENS. And the main character is so flat. Not to mention there was waaaay too much telling. Hardly any showing, only teensy tiny bits of dialogue, and next to no action to speak of. It was tedious to get through. Ugh. Although I think it won some awards and things, so it could just be an “it’s me, not you” thing? I don’t know. It just bored me to death.*shrugs*


Goddess Tithe (Tales of Goldstone Wood #5.5) by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

5 stars

After reading Dragonwitch I was still desperately in the mood for more Goldstone Wood. This little novella was just the fix! Even more so when I discovered it took place within the time of Veiled Rose which is my faaaaavorite Goldstone book! (So far.) It’s during the time when Lionheart traveled by sea with Captain Sunan, a part that’s mentioned in Veiled Rose, but not shown. Well, this novella gives us the whole adventure and it was a DELIGHT.


The Night Dance by Suzanne Weyn

3 stars

You should know, The Twelve Dancing Princesses is my favorite fairytale after Beauty and the Beast, and I’m obsessed with all things Arthurian Legend. So when I discovered there was a 12DP retelling with Arthurian legend weaved within I KNEW I NEEDED IT. But…it wasn’t all that great. It was kinda cheesy and ridiculous, to be honest. It had the WORST insta-love I have ever read. No joke. It was ABSURD. There was also a surprising amount of sensuality going on for such a little unassuming book. Nothing too bad, just more than I expected from a book like this. And to go along with the insta-love, the plot was really, really illogical. BUT. It wasn’t all bad. It had some fun elements, and a very beautiful fairytale feel that I’m a sucker for. Just…the whole plot needed work.


Twinepathy by C.B. Cook

5 stars

I had such a blast with this book! When C.B. Cook announced she was publishing this I knew I needed it! SUPERHEROES. AND TWINS. HOW CAN YOU GO WRONG??? It was just FUN. The characters and plot were epic, and it had the coolest, most unique superpowers. I absolutely loved it! (Full review HERE.)


The Rose and the Balloon by Kirsten Fichter

5 stars

THIS LITTLE NOVELLA. I got to beta read it back in the day, and when Kirsten Fichter announced she was publishing it I was SO. ECSTATIC. Like Paper Crowns, I snatched it up the second it was available, and how delightful was it to have an actual, for real physical copy in meh hands. This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling (which automatically means I love it, duh) with the most precious characters, witty writing, fun plot, HOT AIR BALLOONS (:D :D :D), and a touch of steampunk. I ADORE IT. (Full review HERE.)


Defying Shadows (Rising Shadows #3) by Ashley Townsend

4 stars

I NEED TO FLAIL FOREVER. I’ve been waiting for this finale after reading the first books (Rising Shadows and Chasing Shadows) last year. And it was an AMAZING FINALE. Time travel and precious characters and feels for daaaaaays! What more do you need? (Full review HERE.) (Look at me reviewing things. That doesn’t happen often.)


Resistance (Ilyon Chronicles #1) by Jaye L. Knight

5 stars

LOOK, GUYS. I READ IT. I think almost every single one of you have screamed at me in some form or fashion to READ THIS BOOK. AND I DID. AND I LOVED IT. It’s suuch a good, epic Christian fantasy series with the most lovable characters! JACE. AND KYRIN WAS SO SWEET. AND KADEN. AND JAAAAACE. Did I mention Jace? Even the minor characters are all precious babies. Jaye L. Knight has a gift for character creation. Basically I loved this and what took me so long to read it??????


Half-Blood (Ilyon Chronicles #1.5) by Jaye L. Knight

5 stars

You better believe I snatched up the prequel novella the second I finished Resistance. This one is about Jace’s life before the events of Resistance and oh my poor bleeding heart. MY BABY JACE. This book was PAINFUL. And I loved every word of it! Gimme the pain and emotions!


The King’s Scrolls (Ilyon Chronicles #3) by Jaye L. Knight

5 stars

Yep, the obsession has begun! And it’s a good thing I like painful, emotional stories because SOMEONE HOLD ME. THIS BOOOOOK. I was an emotional wreck. All the feels. All the pain. All the tears. And yes, I LOVED IT. Because I apparently don’t value my heart at all. I’d say this one was just as good as the first book! Maybe even more because THERE WERE DRAGONS. Dragons! DRAGOOOOONS!!!!


Grey Stone by Jean Knight Pace & Jacob Kennedy

3 stars

I’ve never read anything like this before. It was very interesting! Not my favorite type of thing, but still intriguing enough to keep my interest. It involved cool werewolves, and talking dogs, and awesome talking cats and a super epic plot. I couldn’t get too into the distant feeling writing style, but it was still a fun story! (Full review HERE.)


The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

2 stars

I’ve always wanted to try a Neil Gaiman book, and this one in particular, but…I’m not sure I liked it. I can’t decide if I loved it or loathed it, honestly. The story was fascinating. One of those books that just can’t be put down. But it was also…weird. Actually, I don’t think weird is a strong enough word for this story. I don’t even know what it was. Definitely nothing like I’ve ever read. And I don’t think I liked it. Even though I just HAD to know what happened next, the whole thing made me feel kinda icky. Not to mention there was a certain inappropriate scene I did not appreciate. *grumble, grumble* So did I enjoy it? Yeah. But I kind of also regret reading it. It just…wasn’t my thing. Creepy and weird and icky. Definitely not the feel-good book of the year.


Paradox by A.J. Paquette

3 stars

For some really weird reason, I’ve been in the mood for a futuristic, survivor-type story. Random, I know. I get in weird moods. Then, lo and behold, just as I was feeling this I happened to find this little book for $2. It’s about a girl trying to survive on an alien planet. Perfect. Except…I wasn’t wowed. It was okay, sometimes very good. The plot actually did satisfy my super bizarre craving. I’m not the biggest sci-fi person, but I do absolutely and completely love survivor and/or post-apocalyptic stories (so if you know of any good ones, share with me!). And this had just that. The plot kept my engaged, but the characters are everything for me in books and, well, these characters were so flat. Mainly the protagonist, Ana. I felt absolutely nothing for her…except occasional annoyance. She was your typical I-can-do-everything-myself female character that is so absurdly common in YA books. She’s portrayed as the cliché “strong female character”. Guess what? Being rude and having no emotions is not synonymous for “strong”. Buuut that’s a rant for another day. All-in-all, this book was interesting, and had a couple of good plot twists, but I just couldn’t get much into it because the characters were so flat. The writing, though not bad, could have been a bit more…emotional I think. And it was too short. I think it could have fixed a lot of things if it had been longer. But… *shrugs* It was still a fun read. Just nothing super amazing.




And there we have my 2016 in books! Almost all 4 or 5 stars with only one 1 star. I’d definitely call that a successful reading year!


My attempt at a book flower with most of the books I read this year.


Also if you haven’t gotten enough bookishness from this monster post (but really, who can get tired of books??), Ellie @ On the Other Side of Reality did a collaboration post where a bunch of bloggers shared what their favorite and least favorite books were this year. And I was one of the contributors, so obviously you want to go over there and read it. *nod, nod* You can find the post HERE.

OKAY. I think I am finally done. *hears all the sighs of relief*

I do so hope you all have a wonderful last week of 2016 and an utterly blessed 2017 (hopefully filled with many, many delightful books)! Let’s make it a good one, shall we?

Obviously I need to know, what was your favorite book you read this year? What about least favorite? Did you have a good reading year? Did you have a good YEAR??? Share with me some of your highlights!


  1. Hi, Christine!
    I'm glad you liked "The Lunar Chronicles". I read the first two books but I didn't like them enough in order to keep reading the series, so that's the end of it for me hahaha.
    YOU FINALLY READ THE PERCY JACKSON SERIES!!1 WELCOME TO THE FANDOM! There's no coming back, y'know. You're lost in here like the rest of us... no way out... there's probably not a way out of this fandom... really... Anyway, what was I saying? Oh, right! WELCOME TO THE DEMI-GODS FAMILY! "The Battle of the Laberynth" is also my favorite in the series and I hugely recommend you to read the OTHER series: "The Heroes of the Olympus".
    Glad to hear you had such a good reading year and that you consider 2016 as the year of books. I definitely do so too, I read 86 books this year. I ahd never read so much in a year! Hahahah

    1. Hey there! ^_^

      Awww, well that's okay! They're definitely not everyone's cup of tea. I'm just a sucker for any and all fairytale retellings. XD

      I DID FINALLY READ PERCY JACKSON. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Yes, I do fear I'm stuck here forever. As most fandoms, there seems to be an entrance but no exit. ;D ACK. The Battle of the Labyrinth was your favorite, too? *highfives* IT WAS JUST SO GOOD. And YES. I actually have that series sitting on my shelf! I'm really hoping to get to it next year. CAN'T WAIT.

      86 books? WHOA. YOU GO. That is amazing. o.o What a great year for reading!

  2. This poooost! *flails and huggles it* I absolutely adore getting to see all the books you read this year laid out -- there is definitely something to be said for not reading OODLES off books so that a post like this isn't too long. XD Which this one wasn't! It was the perfect length and I looooved reading all your mini thoughts on aaaall the books! Seriously, SO FUN! ^_^ (And the pics. Ohhh, the pics. <3)

    Illusionarium! Gammage!

    I muchly need to read the Lunar Chronicles. o.o I had no idea Cress was your favorite book of the year or that Thorne and Cress were your favorite ship after Howl and Sophie. O_O Like. HIGH PRAISE MUCH?? *flailing* I definitely need to try these out. Also Percy Jackson because I need funny. Fortunately I own Cinder and The Lightning Thief, so mayhaps I can read them sooon! ^_^ I love how you read two series back-to-back. XD

    PAPER CROWNSSSSS!!!! That is all. ^_^ I've been thinking about how it's probably on of my top favorites, right up there with LOTR and Howl. Like. MY TOP THREE BOOKS. And and just ACE OF SPADES I'm so so gargantuanly pleased it got published and just MY HAPPINESS KNOWS NO BOUUUUNDS. <333 (Hal and Azraal and everyone tho'. <3)

    I can see why The Ogre Downstairs wasn't your favorite, but it waaas one of her very first books (like, one of her first couple, I think. o.o) and I really enjoyed it once I figured it out, which took awhile. :) But you must totally read more books by her because they're so gooood! Even if this one wasn't your cup of tea. ;)

    So many of these I need to read. *flail*


    Twinepathy and The Rose and the Balloon and Defying Shadows though. <3

  3. (Part 2... what is it with blogger and my long comments not being accepted these days. o.o)

    I also read Half-Blood this year too! And started Resistance... *needs to finish it* Oh goodness, wait till you read Samara's Peril! My sis read it and I've heard such good things about it. :D So glad you're enjoying the series because it just sounds like something you'd love, so it makes me SO HAPPY that you do! I don't even know why. XD (JACE THOUGH. <3)

    Pretty much my exact thoughts about The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Like. GORGEOUS fantasy/writing and couldn't stop reading at all, but also... eh, what? Creepy and ick and weird and just WHAT DID I JUST READ? I'm not sorry I read it, but just not my thing either. But... what. :-/ I think it's actually probably technically horror? Like, gorgeously written fantasy horror, but still horror. Probably. So that might be why we don't like it? I dunno. (We're such braintwins and I love it. :P)

    As far as survivor/dystopia books, I don't know many since they're not my thing, but the Swipe series by Evan Angler you might enjoy (I've read the first two and they're Christian dystopian) and I've been watching the Divergent movies and they're pretty enjoyable, mostly, so you might enjoy the books. ^_^ (I think you have them?)

    And ooh, what a fun collaboration post! Loved reading your entry over there too! :)

    My fave of the year? Paper Crowns, hands-down. But so many others too! With Blood Ties and An Earthly King, and the three Bright Empires books by Lawhead that I read this year coming right in there at the top. :D

    Least favorite... meh, probably She But Sleepeth by Rachel Heffington in the ONCE collection because that ending was not okay... In fact, there were several books this year that the ending just ruined for me. The Sound of Diamonds actually had a good ending but for most of the book I just did. not. believe. that the characters loved each other. Like, WHAT EVEN? I think that's the only time that a romance didn't work for me. o.o So that one might have been the worst? (Since I enjoyed most of She But Sleepeth, and most of the other ones that I rated two stars were just for a bad ending after a lot of potential in the rest of the book?)

    2016 was kinda tough for me... but there were good things too. :) I'll have to do some wrapup posts for the year too (especially about my favorite books)! :D

    Aaaaand that got long. *coughcough* BUT IT WAS SUCH A FUN POST AND THANKS FOR SHARING! I hope you have a wonderful year of reading in 2017, and 35 books in a year is not bad at all! ^_^ *huggles post and quickly flees, leaving behind this monster comment and pretending I didn't*


      Haha, you're right! I wouldn't have done a post like this if I had read 100 books this year. XD So I guess it worked out. It was really fun looking back on everything I read this year, and remembering all my happy times with the books. I'm so very glad I didn't bore you to death!

      *le gasp* You didn't know Cress was my favorite book of the year??? OR about my obsession with Thorne x Cress? I HAVE FAILED. BUT YES. I ADORE IT ALL. Seriously, Thorne and Cress are SO close to being a ship I love as much as Howl and Sophie. THAT'S HOW AMAZING THEY ARE. GAH. I could flail for daaaays!

      You totally need to read The Lunar Chronicles and Percy Jackson! Percy Jackson I feel like you'd really have fun with. The Lunar Chronicles...I can't decide! I think you'd like a lot of it, but maybe not ALL of it. I don't knoooow.
      I WAS on a series kick at some point in the year, wasn't I? XD

      PAPER CROWNS YES. What more needs to be said? But wow, right up there with LotR and Howl? Does Mirri know this? SHE NEEDS TO KNOW THIS. She absolutely deserves to be up there with those two because PAPER CROOOOWNS. <333

      I don't think I knew the Ogre Downstairs was one of her first! It wasn't a bad book by any means, just not my most favorite. And I DEFINITELY want to read her other stuff!

      Wasn't Goddess Tithe totally the most precious thing? Those books, GAH. <333 And Twinepathy and TRATB and Defying Shadows. ALL THE THINGS. (I love how we read multiple of the same books this year! Speaking of which...)

      HALF-BLOOD. *clutches heart* ALL THE FEELS. I cannot WAIT to read Samara's Peril! It'll actually probably be the next book I read because I sort of bought it for myself recently. *grins* And now I'm even MORE excited hearing how much my Squishy likes it!

      Okay, our brain twinning is getting scary. Do you know literally MINUTES, actual minutes, before I read this comment I was thinking how The Ocean at the End of the Lane may be horror?? I've never read horror, so I don't know what the FEEL of horror is like, but I was thinking that was probably it. Which means I most certainly do no enjoy horror. But just...WE WERE THINKING THE EXACT SAME THING. So yes. I think that is probably why we don't like it. *nods* But it had fantasy elements so we couldn't help getting drawn in. XD

      I actually think I have the Swipe series on my to-read shelves on GoodReads! They caught my interest a while back. I totally need to try them! Thank you for the recommendation! And YES. I MUST try the Divergent books sometime since I've been meaning to foreverrrrr.

      Awww, thank you! That was a lot of fun to do! ^_^

      Paper Crowns was definitely my favorite standalone! GAH. So much wonderful. MEEP. So many good books. I need to read allll of those!

      Meh. It's so the worst when the endings just mess up the whole book. It's like, "I spent ALL that time reading this and THIS is what happened???" That's a real shame about the Sound of Diamonds, too! I've been wanting to try those but... *shrugs* I don't know. We'll see.

      Awww, yeah. :( 2016 just did not seem to be a spectacular year for most people. But I'm glad there were good things for you! And YES. I look forward to wrapup posts and BOOKS. :D

      But I so love your long comments! *huggles them* Thank YOU for reading this monstrous thing and talking books with me! You know I could chat about books all day with you. I hope you have a wonderful year of reading, too! <3

  4. *faints from all the bookish awesomeness* Seriously, scrolling through to see all the covers and read your thoughts on each book was like a little shot of book-caffeine! (We'll pretend that's a thing.)

    So many delightful reads! ILLUSIONARIUM. THE LUNAR CHRONICLES. PAPER CROWNS. SHALL I GO ON? Actually, excluding the books I've already read, quite a few of these are ones I'm planning to read one day, like Percy Jackson or the Ilyon Chronicles.

    But I need to pause and just fangirl over Cress for a second, because I JUST finished reading it on Christmas Eve and OH MY STARS, I LOVE-LOVE-LOVED IT. (It was waaaay better than Scarlet. It's funny, I like Scarlet and Wolf much more in books that aren't their own. XD) But CRESS. And THORNE. CAPTAIN CARSWELL THORNE IS MY NEW FAVORITE CHARACTER. He and Cress are so precious together! And Kai and Cinder keep being precious too, and IKOOOOO, my heart! Obviously I've been rendered an incoherent fangirl, so I should probably stop jabbering on before I turn this comment into a slapdash book review. ;)

    On a calmer note, I totally get what you're saying about accepting that you're a slower reader these days. I've only read 30-some books this year too, compared to the 50 to 60-some I read in highschool...compared to the probably hundreds I read as a child each year. But such is life. There's more to be done than just reading (*gasp*), and so I just have to learn to balance at all. At least I still AM reading, because I absolutely need that creative recharge. *nods*

    Anyway, lovely post, my dear! And I hope 2017 becomes your best year yet, reading and otherwise! <3333 (How is it almost the end of 2016? Hooooow, I ask you??)

    1. Tracey! <3 You sweet thing. I'm so happy you enjoyed it!
      Book-caffeine!!! THIS NEEDS TO BE A THING.

      Oh girl, you should totally read Percy Jackson and the Ilyon Chronicles sometime! I think you'd love 'em!

      HOLD THE PHONE. YOU JUST FINISHED CRESS???????? AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! WASN'T IT THE MOST PRECIOUS THING EVER??? CRESSWELL IS THE BEST SHIP TO EVER SHIP. AND IKO YES. AND CINDER AND KAI. AND ALL THE BABIES. I should probably stop using caps but...DAT BOOK. And you know what? I know what you're saying about Scarlet and Wolf! I did start liking them after their book better, too! It's weird. XD You may jabber 'til the end of time about this book/series. I will jabber with you. XD I JUST LOVETH IT.

      YES. You put it into words. I guess with adulting comes less reading. But we also DEFINITELY need to be recharged by books. I know I write much better when I'm reading more. But I also know I need to take reading time out to focus on writing. It's all balance I suppose! Which is really hard... Heh.

      Thank you so much, Tracey! How IS it almost 2017???? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. But even if Time accidentally put himself on hyperdrive, I do hope you have a wonderful New Year's! <3

  5. Sadly, the only book we have in common is The Gammage Cup. I had mixed feelings about it???? Like it was cute and amusing but didn't rock my world or anything, so... What do you do with those???

    1. That's okay! I can totally understand that book would not wow everyone. I just loved the cute, coziness of it. But hey, not everyone can love every kind of book!

      I guess with those books we just pat them and say, "You tried, that's what counts" and move on to the next book. XD


    So many booksies. I've lost most of what I was going to say other than YES TO ALL THOSE BOOKS. Percy Jackson is hilarious. xD And the Lunar Chronicles are soooo good.

    This year has disappeared like someone took a time travel machine to it. It had no business to do so. But then, looking back over the year I've also done so much!

    1. YES YOU DO. YOU SO DO! "Accidentally?" Hehehe. XD BUT SERIOUSLY. I think you'd totally love them. SO MUCH WONDERFUL.

      Percy Jackson kills me. XD I don't know HOW Rick Riordan comes up with the things he does. It's so great! AND ANOTHER PERSON WHO HAS READ THE LUNAR CHRONICLES. *glomps* Aren't they so amazing???

      YES IT DID. I am quite cross with whoever stole 2016, because I'm just positive someone did. >.> No way can a year possibly go so fast! It's insanity! But I AM looking forward to the new year!

    2. Toootally 'accidentally.' xD (I was actually reading to 'check that it was good enough to buy for my cousin's birthday' even though I knew perfectly well that it was epic. I just had to check. :P) AND NOW I SO SO NEED TO GET THEM SOMEHOW AND SOMEWHERE.

      AND GUESS WHAT? I got Stars Above for Christmas!!! EEEK I CAN'T WAIT TO READ IT.

      Yep yep. Just looking forward over what I hope to get covered in my writing next year has gotten me super enthused about it all. :)

    3. Aha, I seeeee. XD That's so great. But YES. YOU NEED THEMMM.

      You got Stars Above??? AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! YOU'RE GONNA LOVE IT!

      That's wonderful! I, too, look forward to getting some writerly things done in the new year. I do so hope it'll be a wonderful writing year for all of us! ^_^

  7. Oh my goodness, thank you for linking!

    2016 was an excellent reading year for me - mainly because, after getting a Goodreads in late July, I saw my book intake rise exponentially. (However, my TBR rose exponentially as well, which is ALL KINDS OF STRESS.) However, that also means it's super hard to pick just one favorite! I'd say my top few are Merrick by Anne Rice, The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands, and Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld. I had to read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury for school, and I didn't enjoy that too much. Winter's Heart by Robert Jordan and Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman were also pretty unenjoyable.

    As for my year in general, it and downs? I made a few new friends, and I took a few steps out of my comfort zone; at the same, this is also the year mental illness hit me somewhat hard and definitely out of nowhere. I know 2017 is going to be really stressful with junior year academics + choosing what universities to apply to + settling on a career + friend group stress + dating stress, but I'm hoping it won't be too bad. Fingers crossed!

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    1. Of course, girl! That was so fun to do!

      That's wonderful!! Nothing like good books to just make a year! I shamefully have read NONE of those. BUT I have read Leviathan, which is the book before Behemoth, right? And I loved it! I MUST finish that series.

      Yeah, that was mine. The downs kinda outweighed the ups, but I did still have some good times and good growth.
      But MEH. I am so sorry to hear mental illness is hitting you! And that 2017 may be pretty stressful. I so, so hope it'll go smoothly. Just remember to take one day at a time and enjoy this season of your life. And be kind to yourself, okay? *huggles*

  8. Such a delicious stash of books! I've already read six of that list, and there's another six that I've been wanting to read for quite some time.

    My reading year was also sadly slow. But I did enjoy How Green Was My Valley and Call the Midwife.

    1. It was very yummy, yes! ;D Oh cool! Sounds like we enjoy reading some of the same things!

      Huh. I knew Call the Midwife was a TV show, but I didn't know it was a book! And I've never even heard of How Green was My Valley. I apparently need to get around more.

  9. I'm glad you got around to the Ilyon Chronicles! I love that series. Jace is one of my all-time favorite characters.

    I've seen the 5th Wave movie, but have not read the book. I thought the movie was cheesy overall and I strongly disliked most of the characters. I can't say how it compared to the book, but in general, I would not recommend the movie.

    1. It's so good!!! And YES. Jace is so precious. I adore him. <333

      Oh really? That kinda sounds like the book. :-/ Well, the plot wasn't too cheesy, but the characters were just so annoying. I really don't get why it's so popular.

  10. SO MANY BOOKS! But in a good way. XD I'm so glad you loved The Lunar Chronicles because it's my absolute favorite! It's a pretty popular series, but at the same time, MORE PEOPLE NEED TO READ IT! I'm not even the biggest fan of sci-fi, I like it but it's not my first choice, but those books just blew my mind away.

    Isn't PJO amazing, too? Those books really started my reading obsession and introduced me to YA, so I will forever be thankful for PJO!

    I actually haven't read any of these other books, but they sound really good (or at least most of them do)! I've heard mixed things about The 5th Wave so I've never really had any desire to read it. Cress was my favorite in TLC though, so I'm glad it was yours as well! Happy reading in 2017!

    1. You can never go wrong with a bunch of books! AND IT'S ANOTHER LUNARTIC. *glomps* Isn't TLC just amazing??? I agree, EVERYONE MUST READ IT. And I'm the exact same way. I really don't like sci-fi, but those were just the best! Definitely one of my fave series now.

      PJO is indeed the best! That's so cool it started up your reading obsession. How special!

      Yeah, The 5th Wave is not something I'd really recommend. *shrugs* Not my cup of tea anyway... BUT YOU LOVED CRESS THE BEST TOO??? Kindred spirit right here! Cress and Thorne are just the most adorable things. <3

      I hope you have an amazing 2017!

  11. Eeep so many books, writing down the ones I haven't read.

    1. ALL DA BOOKS! :D That's what I'm here for, making peoples TBR piles even bigger. *grins*

  12. OHHHH CHRISTINE YOU READ THE ILYON CHRONICLES. *throws confetti* I actually haven't read them for a while, and I just love them. So. Good. o.o (Jaaace! Yes, Jaye L. Knight definitely has a gift for character development.)

    1. I DID. FINALLY. AND I'M SO GLAD. I still need to read Samara's Peril though, but it'll probably be the next book I read. :D

      JACE IS SO PRECIOUS. The character development is golden!

  13. Oh, I miss reading fast too! Although I am guilty of sneaking a nothing-but-reading day in every now and again when I can. :)

    I love the cover for Illusionarium. I gained an interest in steampunk this year, so I need to check that one out!

    And the Lunar Chronicles. Just, yes. I'm debating on whether to read them in chronological order of events or to read them in the suggested order when I reread them soon, or to read the four novels and then the novellas... Lots of choices. So many choices.

    I read Percy Jackson for the first time this year too! I've only read The Lightning Thief though. It was really fun and I want to continue reading the series.

    I need to read the other Goldstone books. I've only read Heartless and that was...a while back. I liked it but I honestly don't know why I haven't read the others yet!

    Your book photos are soooo pretty, Christine! They're elegant and classic and colorful and I love them.

    1. A reading day! Oh, that sounds lovely. I did do that a couple of times this year, but it doesn't happen NEARLY enough.

      Oh man, the Illusionarium cover! I maaaay have spent an embarrassing amount of time staring at it. *cough, cough* BUT YOU SHOULD TOTALLY READ IT. It's such a unique, epic story!

      The Lunar Chronicles = LIFE. Reading that series was one of the biggest highlights of my year! I totally hear you! I wanted to read them in the suggested reading order the first time through, but for a reread I'll probably read them in chronological order, I think that'd be fun!

      You did? SO COOL. That makes me feel better, because I thought I was like the last person on earth who hasn't read Percy Jackson yet. XD You should totally read the others. They're so good!

      GOLDSTONE WOOD. I adore those stories! But I get you. It's taking me yeeeeears to get through it. I read Heartless when it was brand new, and yet here I am STILL not caught up with the series. I don't know what's wrong with me...

      Oh, Jameson. *clutches heart* That means so much to me. Thank you!

  14. LOVED THIS POST!!!!!
    Really want to read "Paper Crowns". It looks so good! The Lunar Chronicles is one of the best series ever created. Love Winter the most.
    My absolute favorite book I've read this year is "Heartless" by Marissa Meyer. If you like Wonderland, read it!!!!!!
    Sorry. Just really like that book.
    Anyway, enjoyed this post!

    1. Awww, that makes me happy! I was worried I'd bore everyone to death!

      Oh, girl, you MUST get Paper Crowns!!! It's such a delightful story. And YESSSS. I'm so obsessed with The Lunar Chronicles! GAH. They're so perfect. <3

      HEARTLESS. I got that for Christmas and simply CANNOT WAIT TO READ IT. I'm OBSESSED (like to an unhealthy level...) of all things Wonderland, so I almost died when I heard one of my favorite authors was doing a Wonderland story. I'M SO EXCITED. It's good to hear you enjoyed it, that makes me even MORE excited to read it.


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