Best of 2017

Yes it’s only the beginning of November but all the good books have been published so I doubt I’ll be reading any 4.5-5 star books.

So with that being said, onto the list. Please click the titles for full reviews.

release

#10-Release by Patrick Ness

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb 1/2

Interesting story about self blaming, retaking ones power, and releasing anger in order to move on.

landscape with invisible hand

#9. Landscape with Invisible Hand by MT Anderson

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb 1/2

Heartbreaking yet funny science fiction story about optimism.

gilded-cage

#8. Gilded Cage by Vic James

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb 1/2

Fantastic alternate world building; multiple themes; great discussion book. Only issue-no family tree.

midnight at the electric

#7 Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb 1/2

Great story about three women from three different time periods who have to make sacrifices for their loved ones.

#6. Alchemists of Loom & Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb 1/2

Great world building and character development.

strange-the-dreamer

#5. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb 1/2

Beautiful yet gut wrenching story

genuine graud

#4. Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb 3/4

Interesting story about an anti-hero.

crooked saints

#3. All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

Bang Bang Rating: bang

Thought provoking story about overcoming your fears.

the speaker

#2. The Speaker by Traci Chee

Bang Bang Rating: bang

Fantastic world building. One of the best fantasies I’ve read in a LONG time!

DRUMROLL PLEASE

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godsgrave

#1. Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

Bang Bang Rating: bang

OMG, this book is great. It’s bloody and sexy and Mia is a major badass.  It’s not YA but the main characters are 17 so if you want some sex and blood in your YA, read this series, NOW!

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Any Bangs in October?

Nope, not even close.  As the end of the year nears, I fear there will probably be no more bangs (5 star ratings).

I read 9 books this month! This is largely due to Goodreads yelling that I’m 7 books behind so if I want to complete my 90 book goal, I’ll have to read 20 books in two months. new profile pic

As always, please click the titles for full reviews.

 

bombbomb Far From The Tree by Robin Benway-Nothing new to see here, folks

bombbombbomb I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sanchez-Pacing was ridiculous and I’m being generous with that 3 stars.

DNF-Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert- Too much going on; quit 75% into the book.

bombbomb Dread Nation by Justine Ireland-Just a bunch of zombies mixed in with a tropey plot.

NO RATING-The Keeper by Kim Chance-Please see my review in SLJ (School Library Journal)

bombbombbomb American StreetAmerican Street by Ibi Zoboi-Predictable and weak character development.

bombbombbombbomb Turtles All The Way Down by John Green-Multi themed but a little too slow for a John Green novel.  Not one of my faves of his.

bombbombbombbomb 1/4 Game of Thrones by George RR Martin- Too many unnecessary words and extremely close to the show.

bombbombbomb 1/2 Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab- The audiobook ruined it for me and it was too long.  Rhy didn’t sound like he does when I read it and Alucard sounded like an old man.  They also didn’t have British accents which was weird and did Kel find out who he is?


 

I need 2 more books but I don’t know what to read so hopefully I’ll find some by mid November.

The Hazel Wood

the hazel wood

The Hazel Wood

By Melissa Albert

Genre: Magical Realism

Publication Date: January 30, 2018

Overview

Alice and her mom constantly move from city to city outrunning something until Alice’s mysterious grandmother dies and they can finally settle down.  Then one day Alice’s mother is taken…excuse my unenthusiastic plot overview but I didn’t enjoy this book and I’m not going to waste time explaining the plot.

I know I’m in the minority but for such a short book, it was so long.  Firstly, I don’t like Alice in Wonderland and had I known this was a retelling I would have NEVER picked it up but that’s my problem and not the book’s problem.

After the mom was taken and weird characters started showing up, I gave up.  The plot was too much.  There’s the traveling as a kid and the red headed man and Finch and the psycho step dad and the grandmother’s backstory and the grandmother’s elusive book and Hinterland and Hazel Wood and the girl with the bird and the cabbie with the hat and on and on-TOO MUCH!

I DNFed at 75% so I don’t have a rating.

Any Bangs in September?

NOPE.

THis was a slow month for me and I’m not sure why.  I only read six books and most of them stunk. So here we go. Please click the titles for full reviews.

bombbomb1/2-Bull by David Elliot-I’m not into Greek Mythology but that wasn’t my problem.  It tried too hard to jump on the Hamilton train.  It was the story of the Minotaur but it was in verse and quite hip hop-whatever that means.

DNF-Enchantment of Ravens-It began well but I’m not in the mood for a road trip book.  I might pick it up again later.

bombbombbomb1/2-Into the Water by Paula Hawkins-I only read one adult fiction book a year and I LOVED Girl on the Train and this was for my book club and the character development was no bueno.

bombbombbombbomb-The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo-I didn’t read the last story because I’m not a fan of short stories (sorry for all the negativity).  I also thought this was going to be short stories about people from Ravka and not mythology.  I already said mythology is not my jam so double no no.  Anyway, I liked the fox story and the Duva story and the end of story illustrations were beautiful.

bombbombbombbomb 1/2-Midnight at the Electric-This was a critical read and one of my faves of the year.  If you are in the mood for a story about strong women, get out your tissues and read this book.

bombbombbomb 1/2-Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas-I think Maas is trying to hard to cram all this story in one book but ironically this book is too damn long.  It wouldn’t have been so long if the romance wasn’t sludging-UGH.  I was so close to giving up on this series but there’s only one book left and I’ve invested five years so I have to.

October TBR-One of these months I’m actually gonna read what I say I’m gonna read.

 

Midnight at the Electric

midnight at the electric

Midnight at the Electric

By Lodi Lynn Anderson

Genre: Historical Fiction/Kinda Science Fiction

Publication Date: June 13, 2017

Overview

Midnight at the Electric is set in three different decades with three different heroines that all have the same mission-save their future.

In 2065, Adri is set to fly to mars to start a new civilization because the earth’s resources are depleting and before her departure this orphan goes to meet and live her aunt for three months.  Adri is a self proclaimed awkward girl with poor social skills and the beginning of her relationship with her aunt Lily is rocky but as they coexist, Adri and Lily form a touching friendship.  Adri’s 107 year old aunt is suffering from dementia and is a tell-it-like-it-is woman. On Adri’s first night with Lily, she finds a picture of a woman which leads her to uncover her identity and takes Adri on a journey back in time.

Catherine lived in Lily’s house during the Dust Bowl of 1935.  She’s a plain girl with not a lot of ambition but when her younger sister becomes ill from the dust, Catherine realizes that she needs to get out of Kansas.  Everyone around Catherine including her mother and her crush refuses to leave their home and Catherine must make a difficult decision- leave Kansas with her sister or stay with her family.  To avoid this decision, Catherine is mesmerized by a traveling carnival that features a ball of lightning that promises cure alls called Midnight at the Electric and Catherine believes this can save her sister.

Lenore is an English girl during the post WWI era.  Her brother has died in the war and although she has other brothers and sisters, Lenore feels alone.  She decides to save money to travel to Kansas to be with her best friend, Catherine’s mother. While she’s earning, she befriends a mysterious young man who’s face has been left deformed by the war.

This is a very simple story about three generations of women who must make drastic decisions that impact their futures and their families.  Anderson retold this simple plot by featuring three different women who are all connected yet live in different decades and who are facing very different circumstances.  I liked that Anderson began Midnight in the not so far future where this current generation has consciously used up the earth’s resources which ultimately makes this novel incredibly relevant.   Midnight avoided tropes while introducing a new refreshing voice with Adri.  This was a touching novel and I found myself really caring about all these women and the turtle.

If you are a librarian who is looking for an engaging discussion book for your teens, I highly recommend this.

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb 1/2

 

Tower of Dawn Spoilers

Tower of Dawn is happening concurrently with Empire of Storms.  Chaol and Nesryn have gone to Antica which is not on the map in the beginning of the book but the in southern continent. They have gone to heal Chaol’s back as well as ask the king to join forces to defeat Erawan.

When Chaol and Nesryn arrive to Antica, we learn that the king is called the Great Khagan and the heir is not born into the title, he/she is chosen.  When you are chosen to be heir, all siblings must sworn fealty to the king and not challenge them or risk execution.  When sibling swear fealty they cannot have children (I don’t understand why) but if they do have a wife and kids when the heir is chosen they can all be executed (once again, i’m not sure why.  Because they can try to claim the throne?) Anyway, the Great Khagan had his sibling killed or exiled and made them infertile.  What’s the point? The Great Khagan has five living kids and has not named his heir.  One of his daughters is married and pregnant so technically when he names Sartaq his heir, is he going to follow tradition?  I’m guessing no. Anyway, Sartaq was named heir and he loves Nesryn.

The youngest sibling died from a fall but Kashin thinks it was murder and asks Chaol to investigate.  We finally learn that the Valg has made its way to Antica, entered Duva (the pregnant one) and made her kill her sister.  This revelation finally makes the king believe that evil is going to take over and allows Chaol to use his army.

Yrene Towers is from Fenharrow and her mother was a healer.  When the king of Adarlan outlawed magic, he had Yrene’s mother burned to death as Yrene watched.  She fled to Innis where she met Aelin (she doesn’t know it was Aelin).  This story is in Assassin’s Blade.  She made it to Antica to study at the Torre-healers.  Yrene wants to go back to Fenharrow to heal the fighters but the head healer wants her to heal Chaol first. At first she hates him but then they fall in love and get married at the end.

When Yrene was researching in the Torre library, a healer that resembled her was murdered by the Valg and she thinks they are after her.  They are after her because she is a healer and they don’t want healers.

Nesryn and Sartaq fly the ruks and they discover some giant Valg spiders.  The ruk is injured trying to save them but the spiders take Sartaq.  To save him, Nesryn takes a shapeshifter named Falken, Lysandra’s uncle, to the spider cave and while they are there, Nesryn learns that Maeve is the Valg Queen.

Hundreds of years ago, Maeve married Orcus but fled to a new universe.  She then cast a spell on Mab and Mora and made them and everyone believe that she was their sister. She also took the keys.  The kings almost found her but didn’t and she sent all of them except Brannon back to the other universe.  Brannon is the fire king and I think Maeve fears him because Valg doesn’t like fire.

Hasan gets news that Aelin has defeated Maeve and has gone back to Terresen but what they don’t realize is that Aelin has been captured and who they saw was Lysandra.

We find out that Anthril is loyal to Silba because he had the owl symbol somewhere around him. Mala gave the immunity ring to Anthril and not Brannon even though she loves Brannon. That wasn’t answered-I think. Because Brannon is the fire king and the Valg fear fire so he doesn’t need immunity? IDK.

In the end, Duva was going to kill Yrene but Chaol jumped between and she damaged his back even further.  As Chaol lay dying, Yrene prayed to save him at any cost and the cost was that when Yrene is exhausted from healing, Chaol will be paralyzed.  When she’s recovered, he can walk.  When one dies, they both die.

They are all sailing to the north to help fight the Valg.

The last chapter is Brannon? But I’m not sure who he is talking to.  Mala?

 

Any Bangs in August?

NO!! But one book came close.

This was a rough month for me; I read nine books but only liked two.  I decided to read more critical books and less fantasy this month because I moderate the Mock Printz Goodreads group (you are welcome to join us) and I wasn’t too impressed.  YIKES!

As always, please click on the titles for full reviews.

bombbombbombbomb Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds-Great theme; thought provoking.

bombbombbomb Wild Beauty by Anna Marie McLemore-Beautiful world but too many ideas muddled the plot.

bombbombbomb Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff-Too much what and not enough why.

bombbombbomb Little & Lion by Brandi Colbert-The story was fine but the voice was not new nor compelling.

bombbombbomb The Last Namsara byKristen Ciccarelli-Unique world but the main character didn’t ask enough questions which ultimately had a negative affect of the plot.

bombbombbomb 1/2-Bang by Barry Lyga-Lacked nuance.

bombbombbomb 1/2-We Are Okay by Nina LaCour-Weak character development.

bombbombbombbomb 1/2-Release by Patrick Ness-Great exposition on blame and letting go.  Adam had a unique and honest voice.

The Devil in Ohio by Daria Polatin-Catch my review in SLJ.

TBR for September:

  • Got my hands on Tower of Dawn (librarian perk!) so I’ll try to finish this behemoth by Labor Day.
  • I need to finally read Conjuring of Light. I’m always a bit scared to read final books because I’m afraid they’ll suck.
  • I’m still trying to read critical reads for Mock Printz and that would include Invisible Hand, Dear Martin, and Midnight at the Electric