Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top Ten Books I've Read This Year

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens

Ok I know I still have it marked as currently reading on Goodreads, but I keep meaning to write a short review on it before I mark it as read.  I'm pretty certain this will make my top ten of the year.  If you are a feminist and like satire, this is the book for you!

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Unwind (Unwind, #1)

I am 100% ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN this will be in my end of the year top ten.  These lists are almost always in no certain order, but I will tell you that this book is an exception.  It is hands down the best book I've read all year, and with the exception of Going Bovine (which it is on par with) the most thought provoking book I've read in years.  I NEED to write a review because more people need to read it.  It is one of the important books that everyone should read.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)

It's everything I've been saying I want in a fantasy!  Body type-diversity? Check. Racial diversity? Check. Setting and cultural diversity (aka non-Western based)? Check.  I really, REALLY need to read the next two books because I loved this one so much!  That being said I also really love that this book can be read as a standalone.

Soulless by Gail Carriger

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)

I'm a big fan of Gail Carriger's Finishing School series, and I didn't think it was possible something could be even more fun! I was wrong. I love Soulless even more!  It's funny and witty and fluffy and ugh I just love it.  Gail Carriger has become a solid go to author for me.

Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey

Dark Currents (Agent of Hel, #1)

Speaking of paranormal fun stuff - there's this series too!  I've mentioned Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series like a gazillion times (because it's amazing), but it's definitely not for everyone. This series has all the diversity I loved about the Kushiel series, but it's just chock full of fun! 

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

Zita the Spacegirl (Zita the Spacegirl, #1)

I won this from The Book Wars and I'm so glad that happened! It is my very first graphic novel (excepting the Asterix and Obelix series as a kid) and I LOVED it!!  It's got everything I love - friendship as a focal point, diversity, adventure, a lovable rogue, robots, aliens, and even a giant mouse!  What more could a girl ask for?  (The next book maybe...)

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30)

This one has been making all my top ten lists since I read it. Once again I reiterate: if I had to recommend myself a series as the most me thing ever, this series would be it. There is nothing more Elizabeth than a series that is Douglas Adams +Diana  Wynne Jones.  I have never regretted being so stubborn about reading a book recommended (heck even GIVEN) to me before!  I could have been reading Terry Pratchett for years by now!  Ah well, at least he has a long catalogue of books for me to go through.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races

Shannon recommended this to me, and that I should listen to it on audio (this apparently has been the year of great recommendations since almost all of these books have been given/recommended to me).  I am so, so glad she did because the writing is beautiful and the narrators were perfect!  It's Stiefvater at her very best.  In my humble and completely correct opinion.

Good Enough by Paula Yoo

Good Enough

This is one of those books that just really spoke to me because of my background. It's clear the author was a musician and it just brought back all of my college application/being a musician in today's world feelings. And it's funny and just well...it just feels <i>true</i>.

Terrier and Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce

Terrier (Beka Cooper, #1)

Beka was well on her way to becoming my new favourite Tamora Pierce heroine...until I met the third book of this series in one of my greatest disappointments (right up there with Mansfield Park). But let's not talk about that because these two books are perfection! As expected from my favourite author :)

And that's it for me this week!  Any of our books overlap? Any you think I should check out? Leave your link in the comments and I'll stop by!


  1. BEAUTY QUEENS is SO MUCH FUN! It's hysterical!!! And that cover!!! UNWIND omg that has one of the creepiest scenes I will EVER read in YA! THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS, love love love love love. Ahhh, so glad you love it!!! I can't wait to someday read my copy of THE SCORPIO RACES. It taunts me!! Eep, I also still have to read teh Beka Cooper trilogy. I decided to wait until all three books were out b/c I know how long it can take Pierce's books to come out. And then I have had no time!!

  2. HEY! Long time no talk! I really enjoyed Girl of Fire and Thorns too! And as much as I enjoyed it, the second and third were even better! I seriously need to get started on a Gail Carriger book. I have one sitting on my shelf calling to me. Hope all is well with you! TTYL

    Amanda @ i solemnly swear

  3. I haven't read beauty queens, but I loved The Diviners, so I've been meaning to read it. Plus it's one of my book club's fave books. Unwind looks really good too! I definitely want to get to that one of these days :)

    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books

  4. Soulless! Great book. Of course, great author, too. (Seems like I always have a Carriger book on my list.) Very curious to know what I'm going to think of the third book in the Beka Cooper series - especially considering we pretty much disagree on fantasy. Very cool to see Terrier on this list though - I really enjoyed it. I've been hearing some really great things about A Girl of Fire and Thorns (the whole series, in truth) and I'm really starting to think I should read it. I totally need to read a Stiefvater book - but I just don't know where to start. I hear such great things about her books and this is me being indecisive and unable to decide which one sounds the most ME.

    My TTT

  5. Lisa @ Captivated ReaderJune 30, 2015 at 6:41 PM

    Nice list of books!! Thanks for sharing your favorite reads of the year so far with us!! I have some new to me titles to check out and potentially add to my ever growing reading wishlist!!

    Here's a link to my TTT post for the week: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2015/06/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-books-ive-read.html

  6. I know right?? Yash mentioned on a different post that it would make such a good tv show and now I NEED this tv show to be a thing!! (Also the cover is perfect. In my fantasy tv show they would not change this - except maybe to make it one of the actresses. Or all of the actresses. Clearly I have not thought about this at all...)

    THAT. SCENE. One of the most viscerally horrifying things I've ever come across - and it's just so...powerful. Did you know they made a short film inspired by that scene? I got maybe 30 seconds in and I just...I couldn't. I felt sick haha

    It's so beautiful. It's definitely worth waiting until you can really savor how gorgeous the writing is! And I love Tamora Pierce's Emelan books too, but her Tortall books are my bread and butter. And WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET ANOTHER EXCUSE ME IT'S BEEN 4 YEARS. (So yes I understand waiting haha)

  7. Hey!! Are you back around the blogosphere?? (If you are...my bloglovin feed is literally 611 unread posts long so...I'll....get there soon...ish). I honestly think anything by Gail Carriger books is a 100% Amandaish thing! Which one do you have on hand? Either way...go read it!

  8. I will say that The Diviners/Gemma Doyle books have a similar feel, and that feel is DRASTICALLY different than Beauty Queens/Going Bovine. Both are really fantastic though (and kudos to Bray being able to write in so many different styles!) And yeah. Read Unwind. I think it is the single most important book that I've read since high school and it's toppled Handmaid's Tale as best dystopia. Or at least it's tied with it because...come on it's The Handmaid's Tale. Be ready for some serious intensity though!

  9. Well, she is an awesome author so it's no surprise! I'm super curious too! Promise me that even if you don't write a review on it, when you read the third book let me know what you think because I don't know anyone who has read it and I need someone to talk to about it! (Also on a side note, have you read any other Tamora Pierce books? I can't remember)

    See, it's so hard for me to gauge with you haha! I mean obviously I loved it for all the reasons I listed, so I'd like to think you'd like it too? But I make no promises since our tastes are so drastically different. (But if you know someone else who runs more to your taste who likes it, take my love of the book as a good thing not a bad one haha!)

    I will say that I hated Stiefvater's Faerie's Lament books, and pretty much wrote her off as an author at all. But there are only so many people who you trust who can love a series before you start to question things, so I gave The Raven Boys a shot and I'm SO glad I did. The writing and plot and..everything is just so completely better than her first series! Which is always nice to see. I've avoided Wolves of Mercy Chase because I get the feeling they'll be similar to her Faerie's Lament and that's definitely not me. So I'd recommend starting with The Raven Boys of Scorpio Races, but then added disclaimer that we do have different taste. I will say that she writes a very slow plot and I don't know how much patience you have for that (usually everyone's biggest complaint about her writing), but the writing IS beautiful, so I think it's worth it haha

  10. I'm always happy to supply fodder for the never ending tbr piles haha!

  11. I've heard some mixed things about The Girl of Fire and Thrones and I've been on the fence about it. Seeing it on your list moves it firmly into the definitely need to read list. I also really enjoy Gail Carriger. She's good for a fun and unique ride.

  12. I've not actually read any of Pierce's other books yet. I've got both the first in the Circle of Magic and the first Alanna book and I'm really hoping I get to them sooner rather than later. (And I will let you know when I finish the Beka Cooper series, though I warn you that it might be a long while. I'm not really one for binging series. Or even reading them particularly quickly.)

    I've yet to actually find anyone who has similar tastes to me in books. Most of the people that I talk books with don't read much fantasy and the few that do, like very different kinds of fantasy books than I do. (I really don't have a trusted 'well, if they like it, I'll like it' person.)

    I can handle slow plots without a problem, especially if I like the characters. For me, it's definitely a toss up between The Raven Boys or Scorpio Races - as those are the two that I hear the best things about.

  13. Yay Scorpio Races!!! So SO glad you liked it. And I have to admit I'm surprised it took you so long to get to Wee Free Men, only because it seems right up your alley. :) Also, keep reading Girl of Fire and Thorns because it just gets stronger as the series goes on.

  14. Where did you find out about Unwind? I see that it is a trilogy. You need to read A Darker Shade of Magic (which is my top book so far in 2015), but it's not like Shannon and I haven't been beating you over the head with the idea. I need to read The Scorpio Races. :)

  15. I'm totally the same way..with the added bonus that the more something is recommended to me the longer I take to get to it haha!

    Yeah, I feel like most fantasy readers tend to be more along the grittier side of things (like me). I'm glad you like the other stuff though - there are so many FUN fantasy books that I don't know much about (or steampunk for that matter) and right now you're probably my go to person for that haha.

    And hopefully Stiefvater works for you!

  16. I think I've only seen good things about it, I'm curious what the criticisms are! (Although I haven't read the whole series so maybe I'll find out). And god I love Gail Carriger, she's definitely on my autobuy at any used bookstore list!

  17. I probably would have devastated you if I didn't like it haha! And I know right? It's so me! This is what happens when I refuse to read a book simply because I was being contrary. And this week's TTT lists have been really inspiring - I've picked up copies of every book I said "oh I want to read that" so far, so there's a high chance I'll be checking out Girl of Fire and Thorns!

  18. I actually found out about it because a friend had been recommending it to me for YEARS. I'd say I don't know why it took so long, but said friend has a habit of ENRAGING me when it comes to book. (Statements like "I didn't like Feed because it was too feminist, "Anne McCaffrey's books are terrible because the character's names have apostrophes in them" (yes that can be annoying but the entire worth of a book does NOT HINGE ON CHARACTER NAMES), and "Harry Potter is subpar because it isn't as good as Lord of the Rings" (WHY ARE YOU EVEN COMPARING THESE TWO THINGS)...are...well to say that they don't fly with me would be an understatement. I literally refused to talk to him for a couple weeks because I just got angry every time I saw him because that is ALL HE WOULD TALK ABOUT TO ME. I may not have fully recovered from this...)

    Lol! Eventually it will sink into my stubborn head and my fickle brain will be like...wait...I NEED A Darker Shade of Magic. RIGHT NOW. Until then... (And yes, yes you do. I think you'll like it! Shannon will definitely agree haha)

  19. Hey, would I have to read the Finishing School series to read Soulless? I mean, I totally want to read Finishing School but I NEEEEEED A BOOK LIKE SOULLESS! (And I love that you gave Rae Carson a thumbs up. She is def. on my list!)

  20. Oh man, totally didn't realize I hadn't replied to this! I actually recommend you start with Soulless - it's technically the first one she wrote and Finishing School is kind of more like a prequel series? I think you will LOVE Soulless, I'm not gonna lie. (And I kind of wish I had read this series before the Finishing School one to be honest, but I'm not going to say why haha)


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