This past year I read and reviewed 15 books (I finished reading 51 total individual titles). I didn’t get through as many books from my TBR list as I’d hoped. Nonetheless, they were all great books to read. I started three new series, finished one, and continued others. Though I liked them all, there are a few that particularly left an impression on me. I felt all the feels and enjoyed my time reading each one. Here are my top favorite book reviews (and books read) of the past year (click the links [title/author] to read each review in full):
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: Snow Like Ashes, book 1
Publisher: Balzer +Bray
My Summary: Sara Raasch’s Snow Like Ashes is a riveting tale of courage, faith, and discovery. The kingdom of Winter fell to the kingdom of Spring sixteen years ago in a devastating war, leaving many dead, hundreds enslaved and small group of refugees fleeing from the destruction. With their numbers down to eight they continue their challenging search for a half of their kingdom’s broken conduit. Young, orphaned Meira desperately wants to help restore Winter and its magic. She yearns to matter to Winter in her own way and prove that she can be an asset to the cause. With danger mounting, Meira will uncover a truth that will lead to a destiny she could not have imagined. She fights to remain true to herself while saving a place she only knows of through others’ memories. A trilling adventure from start to finish, young adult readers will surely be pleased with such a strong heroine and spellbinding plot.
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Series: Study, book 5
My Summary: Danger has not stopped in this fifth installment of the Study series where Yelena and Valek must overcome even greater obstacles in order to restore peace between Sitia and Ixia. With rogue magicians like Owen being on the loose and Curare being manufactured by the wrong people, it becomes more and more apparent that there is more going on beneath the surface of it all. Yelena must tread carefully since her Soulfinder abilities have not yet returned while Valek’s relationship with the Commander has reached a new level of tension. The two suspect there is something amiss with the Commander, a plan that could jeopardize the fragile peace between the two countries. Loyalties are tested and the path towards the truth perilous for all involved. A peaceful future is at stake and it’s up to Yelena and her friends to see that the present gets there.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Series: Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years, book 1
Publisher: Philomel Books
My Summary: Things in Araluen are not as peaceful as they seem. The Ranger’s Corps, the primer fighting force in the King’s name, has been systematically destabilized, replacing Rangers with highly unskilled upstarts. And around the land, rumors are spreading that the prince, Duncan, has been raiding, pillaging, and disrupting the fragile peace Araluen has with its neighbor to the north, Picta. Not to mention, the king has taken up refuge in Castle Gorlan, after a supposed assassination attempt on his life by his own son.
All of this, Halt and Crowley believe to be the work of the sinister, cold, and calculating Morgarath, who seeks to seize the throne by discrediting Duncan’s reputation, eliminating the threat of the Ranger’s Corps, gaining popularity with the other barons, and persuading the king to name himself as heir.
In order to stop Morgarath, Halt and Crowley will have to seek out Duncan and other rangers who have been unceremoniously rejected from their positions. They will have to figure out a way to restore the Ranger’s Corps and stop the usurper before it’s too late.
Genre: Manga / Graphic Novel
Series: Ouran High School Host Club (Volumes 1-18)
Publisher: VIZ Media, LLC (English Version)
My Summary: Haruhi Fujioka is an apathetic, tom-boyish teenage girl who lands a scholarship to start her high school years at the prestigious Ouran Academy. She distances herself from the other students of whom she couldn’t possibly relate to. Instead, aiming to focus on reaching her goals. That is until one day she accidentally breaks a vase, catching the eye of the ever popular, wealthy and handsome young men of the Host Club. Faced with an $80,000 debt, Haruhi is “persuaded” to work for the Host Club to pay it back while disguised as a boy. And so, a series of comedic incidents and adventures ensue.
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Picture Book
Publisher: Philomel Books
My Summary: A boy named Duncan is in class looking for his crayons but instead finds letters addressed to him that were written by each crayon…and they have a thing or two to say to him.
It was fun posting book reviews throughout the year and sharing these wonderful stories with you all. As I posted about a few weeks ago, I’m looking forward to reading all the amazing new books I found this year (and then some). I want to get through many more books in 2017, at least 30 (that would be wonderful).
Have a great day, everyone!
And, as always, happy reading!