The end of 2016 is upon us! Therefore, I thought it appropriate to do a top 5 post, even if I might not quite be done reading for the month. I doubt this will change much, to be honest.
This year ,so far, I've read 200 books.
Out of those 200 books, I only rated 39 with 5-star ratings.
Out of those 39, only 13 were books
(not graphic novels or comics, those are coming in a different post).
Needless to say, it's a lot easier this year to pin down some great 5-star reads. So be prepared for me to do some flailing and raving, while I explain to you why these books are a necessary addition to your TBR.
If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know what's coming. Ilona Andrews is the MASTER of amazing characters. Kate Daniels is my favorite female character ever. Ever. I haven't disliked a single book in this series, as is obviously evidenced by my high ratings across the board. Magic Binds is an amazing addition to this series. It's full of growth from Kate, so much real life love that it makes you want to cry, and the kind of action that leaves you breathless. If you haven't jumped on the Kate Daniels train yet, I don't know what else I can do to convince you. This series is worth your time. Get on that.
Looking for noir fiction, mixed with gritty Fantasy? Well, look no further. Daniel Polansky's Low Town is your jam. This book absolutely stole my heart, right from the first page. Warden is that type of character who lives in the gray area. He's not a "good guy" persay, but not a "bad guy" either. He lives in that ambiguous area that leaves you rooting for him, and also shaking your head at the same time. Everything from the writing, to the setting, to the characters, is absolutely perfect. You'll fly through this book, and then cry a little because (like me) you weren't aware of how much you were going to love it and didn't get the second book yet. Trust me. It'll happen.
Every now and then I find a book that I fell so hard for, and was so invested in, that I'll likely never be able to read it again. That first experience, and all the raw feelings that came along with it, can never be duplicated. Some Kind of Happiness is one of those books. I have a soft spot in my heart for Middle Grade fiction. It's so important for kids in that age group to find books that understand them, and embrace them. This book did just that, in the most amazing way possible. See, Finley has depression and anxiety. At 10 years old. She battles the "blue days" and the demons, always feeling like she's slightly broken. My heart shattered into a million pieces as I read her story. I saw myself. I saw my mom. I saw all the people out there struggling and afraid to ask for help. This book undid me, and I didn't even mind. It's beautiful, poignant, and perfect.
What to say about Bone Gap? First off, it's the first magical realism YA that I've experienced that really drew me in. I met Finn, he met Petey, and suddenly nothing else mattered. My whole world was this book for the 2 days that it took me to finish it. I read way too late into the night, and woke up too early to get through chapters. I shuddered at Roza's captivity, and cheered when she was too strong to be broken. Laura Ruby wove a story that I couldn't stop reading, and ended it in a way that made me really think about it. I'm honestly still thinking about it as I write this, because that's what this cover has the power to do to me.
Ah, this book. Right when I was looking for an escape, Roses and Rot came flitting into my life. I'm a sucker for a good fairy tale. I love stories where the darkness tries to take over, and the light fights back just as hard. Imogen's story caught me up in its clutches, and wouldn't let me go. I followed her through her own doubts, through her deep love for her sister, and even into the very depths of the passion that she poured into her art. If you love fairy tales, of the actual fairy type, this is definitely one to add to your reading list. It's that perfect mix between tragic, and uplifting. It's, once again, completely addictive.
So there you have it. My top 5 books of 2016! I loved many more, but these were the ones that honestly stood out, and took their rightful place on my "favorites" shelf. It's not easy to do, which should make it all the more obvious that this books are well worth your time! Potential 2017 reads? I think, yes.