Best Reads of 2017

Hello everyone,

I know this is suppose to be a Top 5 Wednesday, but I realized I can’t fit all of the great books I read this year in just 5 spots.

These are my best reads of 2017, some of the books may have been released in another year so these are the best books I read this year.

The Hate U Give by: Angie Thomas

One of my first 5/5s of the year this is a very important book, but it was also very riveting  from start to finish. I could not put this book down.

Scythe by Neal Shustermann

A world without diseases, and death is controled by Scythes. I really loved this book, which really took advantage of a great premise.

The works of Adam Silvera

I read three books by this author and all three were amazing. Even though well all of his books are sad (I almost had to fight back tears reading TBDATE on the train). Each story is also very unique as well. All dealing with real issues, I don’t usually pick up contempory but Adam Silvera made it worth it.

Truthwitch/Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Had to include both of these books in here. I read both of these this year and loved both of them. Truthwitch was a great first book with excellent world building and characters and Windwitch expanded a lot of world and developed the charcaters. I can’t wait to see how this series goes.

Want by Cindy Pon

Last year I read Serpentine and it was one of my favorite underrated books I read. Want did sometime different from what I previously read from Pon. While Serpentine was based around Chinese mythology, Want had a more Sci Fi vibe and it was amazing. Loved the setting and the two main characters and I can’t wait to see how this series continues.

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

Such a great and emotional ending to a great duology. This Savage Song was one of my favorites of last year and this year I read the epic conclusion. August and Kate are some of my favorite characters and it was another trying to fight back tears while reading on the train.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

This is the all-female Lord of the Flies, I want to see on the big screen. This was on my TBR for years and I finally got around to reading and loving it. It wasn’t just a stranded on a desert island story, it had a lot of commentaries about feminism and “girly” culture. I also had the pleasure of meeting her at Boston Book Festival and she was amazing in person.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

This was one of my marathon reads that I read in a day, and it was such a page turner. This was a retelling of the Evil Queen from Snow White set in Asia. Since it was told from Xifeng’s perspective and it you really saw her dark decent through the pages.

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

A nice kick-ass feminist book which is about young girls fighting back against their schools sexist policies. It was inspired by the Riotgirls of the 90s. I also like that it had young girls working together.

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

Another girls fighting back against their schools and this mainly deals with the rape of another student. While Moxie is told through mostly one POV, this one has multiple POVs, which really gives it a more ensemble feel to it and the Us chapters really makes the book stands out. Also part of me would love to see a crossover with the Moxie girls meeting the The Nowhere Girls and kicking ass.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

The story of Cinderella set in a Sci Fi convention, of course I will read this. This was another nice contemporary read, which is a retelling of Cinderella. While the story of Cinderella has been retold multiple times, this one had a nice spin to it. Complete with a food truck named the Magic Pumpkin. While I don’t read a lot of contemporary this one was a great read.

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

This had me at the crew from Firefly in a Tardis, and it didn’t disappoint. I am always a sucker for time travel stories. The characters were fantastic in every way. I really wish this wasn’t a stand alone book and a full fledged series.

Warcross by Marie Lu

Marie Lu is one of my auto buy authors. She wrote two series that I really love; Legend and The Young Elites. She is also not afraid to write different genres. This one is a futuristic Sci Fi, which also incorporates the world of video games. Had so much engaging characters and a great setting.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

This had me at superheroes. I was such a fan of the Lunar Chronicles and Renegades didn’t disappoint. It had such a great character driven story, that included engaging characters, and it has an ending that makes you want to see what happens next.

Those are my favorite reads of 2017. I feel like I may have left some books out but I think it was a good reading year. What are your favorite books you read this year? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

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Top 5 Wednesday: Characters on the Naughty List

Happy Wednesday everyone,

Here is something I haven’t done in a while which is Top 5 Wednesday, and the topic is:

December 13th – Characters on the Naughty List
–These can be villains or just characters you don’t like!

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones

With the TV series almost coming to a close Cersie Lannister has proven why she is the baddest bitch of Westeros. The reason she is on the naughty list is mainly all the killing and murdering she did in order to become Queen again.

Elle’s stepmother from Geekerella

All Elle does is to go the ball, i mean Sci Fi convention, and she always belittles Elle with every chance she gets. She also puts down her father and the convention in the process.

Hailey from The Hate U Give

 

A classmate of Starr’s who is basically a racist. She tends to downgrade a lot of Starr’s tumblr posts featuring Emmett Till and also belittles the shooting and basically assuming that Khalil was a thug or drug dealer.

The Boys from the Nowhere Girls

Okay, while there are a few boys who are nice, most of the boys in that high school were mainly misogynist who viewed all of the girls like objects and also lead a gang rape of one girl, Lucy, and would harass all the other girls at the school.

Littlefinger from Game of Thrones

I know, another person from Game of Thrones, but while it was nice to see him scheme his way through Westeros, he is of course not to be trusted. He even tried to manipulate Arya and Sansa but of course failed to do so. He basically started the entire conflict set up in Game of Thrones.

Those are characters who will be getting coal in their stocking. What characters are on your naughty list? Let me know in the comments below.

Hype or Like Friday: We’re All Beautiful-Favorite Diverse Reads

Happy Friday everyone,

The theme for November is Celebrating Diversity, and the Book of the Month is:

Hype or Like Friday is a meme created by JillianLarkin, and Britt to discuss about hyped books and see if they’re hyped up or not. There would be book of the month that you can read, and the post your review for it on the end of the month, then rate it whether it’s a hype it or like it.

November 3rd – We’re All Beautiful… What are some of your favorite diverse reads?

The Hate U Give by: Angie Thomas

One of my favorite books I have read this year. This is a very powerful book that I marathon through. It was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, and Angie Thomas gave us an amazing main character in Starr.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by: Julie C Dao

This is an Asian fantasy retelling of the origin of the Evil Queen from Snow White, and this is another one of my marathon readings that took me a day to read. I am really beginning to love Asian inspired YA fantasy and the world is phenomenal.

Want by Cindy Pon

This is a Sci-Fi book set in futuristic Taiwan, and it is also one of my favorite books I read this year. This is the second book I read by Cindy Pon and she is already becoming one of my favorite authors.

Six of Crows duology

This is a very diverse book, mainly with the crew that has POC, LGBTQA, disabilities and size. All of these characters are amazing, and I know I talk about this book too much but I can’t help it, I love this series.

Those are just a few of my favorite diverse book, I have a ton on my TBR. What are your favorite diverse books? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag

Wow, it is the middle of 2017, and it is very exciting. I see a lot of the other bloggers/Booktubers doing this so I decided to do it. I wasn’t tagged by anyone.

Best Book you read so far?

A book about a world in which death has been conquered, and Scythe’s are responsible for keeping the population in control. Here is my review.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

A book inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, in which Starr sees a friend killed by the police and the aftermath of the shooting. Here is my review.

Best Sequel You’ve Read

This is a two for one deal because both of these sequels are amazing and it proves why she is one of my new favorite authors. Both books ups the stakes of the previous books, and Our Dark Duet was an emotional roller coaster.

New Releases You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want to

I have heard good things about both of these books, and I really want to read them very soon.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

If you are familiar with my blog, you should know that both Marie Lu and Marissa Meyer, are two of my auto-buy authors. Both of them are making new series so of course I am excited to read both of these books.

Biggest Disappointment

While I did enjoy the book, it just wasn’t at the potential that I thought it was. I also felt that the book was a little to short and I kinda wanted more from the story.

Biggest Surprise

This was a sort of random pick up, and I enjoyed it very much. It had me at Sailor Moon meets Pacific Rim and it was great. Here is my review.

Favorite new author

Earlier this year, I read More Happy Than Not and was completely blown away by it, and then I read History is All You Left Me which was also equally good. Now he is one my favorite YA contemporary authors.

Book that made you cry

Enough said.

Book that made you happy

This was a cute little high school story about a boy coming out and trying to find love. Really good read and I cannot wait for the movie to come out.

That is my Mid-Year Freak out Tag. If you are reading this consider yourself tagged. Also what are your favorite books you have read so far? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

The Hate U Give by: Angie Thomas

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

The Review:

This was another book from my Top 5 Debuts I am Excited For, and this was on top of the list, and it seriously did not disappoint, and maybe in the running of my favorite read of 2017, and it also one of the most important books to read.

This book was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and it really captures how a police shooting affects, a city in which the shooting took place. It examines how the police was involved within the investigation and how the media interprets what happens..

The shooting takes place right around the beginning of the book where, Khalil and Starr were pulled over by a cop and after some things escalate the officer shoots Khalil, with Starr witnessing everything.

Starr, is an amazing protagonist. I like that she is a character of two worlds, from the prep school during the weekday and the poor neighborhood, where she lives with her family.  When she is at school, she feels as if she has to act a certain way, especially around her white classmates, being one of the few black students in the school. Even after the shooting Starr feels as if she does has a responsibility to let everyone know the real story. But her being a 16 year old girl it feels like a big burden.

The whole story is within a few month period which starts with the shooting and ends after the Grand Jury verdict. Even though Starr was a witness to the events of the shooting , the media starts to twist everything calling Khalil a thug and a gangabnger, which happens a lot within officer involved shootings. Also the reaction of her classmates, in which her classmates use the term “gangbanger” as a way to justify the shooting.

Starr’s character arc goes from witness to activist in the best way possible, and you see how it is guided through her parents, who I think were some of the best parents in YA contemporary. You could tell that they always wanted what was best for their daughter, and care deeply about her. Her father reminded me a lot of one my professors in college that always tends to drop some knowledge on the class.

Starr’s relationship with her boyfriend, Chris was also well done. While Chris was white, he still was trying to understand what she was going through. I also like that the relationship while still well developed didn’t take too much time away from the plot of the book.

DeVante is another good character. He is someone who is in the gangbanger lifestyle and is always struggling to get out. His arc mainly deals with his dealings with the neighborhood gangster, and looks to Starr and her family for support. The book really does a good job at dealing with the issue of family, especially living in a poor neighborhood.

In the end, The Hate U Give was one of the most important books I have ever read, and I usually don’t pick up contemporary books, but I am glad that I read it. It has a great story, a great main character and provides a commentary about a real life issue that is going on today.

Grade 5/5