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For the most part, this year has been rather lackluster book-wise in comparison to where I was this time last year. Last year I'd already read what ended up being my favourite books of the year. (In fact my end of year list was practically the same as my half-year.) It's not that I haven't read a lot of good books so far, I just haven't read many great books so far. Hence me highlighting them now - I'm not expecting most of these to make it to my end of year list, but they are worth highlighting!
Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill
Thanks to Kirsty for putting this book on my radar! If I hadn't read The Handmaid's Tale multiple times, and this was my first experience with the subject matter this probably would make end of the year list! It's even bleaker than The Handmaid's Tale, and while it tackles the same concepts, author chose to focus on different aspects (I.e body image and mental health) which made it refreshing. I highly recommend reading this author - if you can brave the emotional trauma.
The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
This was so fun! I can't WAIT for the next book to come out! I'm a big Alison Goodman fan, and this is very different from the other books I've read by her.
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Ah the swoons! It's like Jane Austen if she wrote 50 years later and focused on the working man instead of the gentility. There were so many issues Gaskell looked at from multiple angles that still feel so relevant today. Plus of course the swoons, although my heart was not satisfied by the very short swoon confessions at the end, but that's ok. I can watch the miniseries again if I need heart palpitations.
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero
I really loved this one. If you're looking for a book with diversity where a character isn't entirely defined by said reason, look no further. This was funny, and heart breaking, and so, so real. I may even reread this one I enjoyed it so much!
The Bone Knife by Intisar Khanani
So you've probably seen me mention Intisar Khanani on the blog a few times - but trust me, it's not nearly as many as she deserves. Of all her works (and I read them ALL this year, but I'm limiting myself to one per author) this is my favourite. Which was honestly a surprise since I don't tend to like short stories much, but this one is perfect and I love it.
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Oh god this book. Of all the books on this list, this is the only one I am 99% sure will be on my end of the year list. It pretty well destroyed me, I'm not entirely sure that's a good thing, but it was unique and basically my brain goes AGH FEELINGS every time I think about it for more than 2 seconds so I'm going to not talk about it any more.
Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder
Soooo I have had a very, very, VERY rocky relationship with this series. That being said, whatever I may think about the third book in her second trilogy of this series, it doesn't change the fact that the fast paced nonstop action of this series paired with the really interesting world building and politics of this book in particular had me super addicted to this series.
Attack of the Ninja Frogs by Ursula Vernon
Ursula Vernon's Dragonbreath books have become a staple choice for dinner reading with the kids. I think we've read at least four, maybe five at this point but so far the second book is hands down the funniest (in an already funny and wonderfully informative series).
Sleeping With Her Enemy by Jenny Holiday
A romance novel with an Asian (well, half anyway) man and a white woman? Whaaaat? It was hot, and hate to love, and I'll take half-Chinese if I can't get Korean in my romance novels. Particularly since Asian men of any nationality (race? I'm not actually sure which word makes sense here) in a romance novel are hard to find (especially paired with a non-Asian partner). So if any of you have recommendations on that front...
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakani
The impossible has happened! I found a Murakami book I actually liked! I even really liked it! It's cheeky and surreal and basically the few things I had liked about his previous writing without all the things I hadn't liked. It showed he actually had a sense of humour which helped greatly too. I think his writing style is really well suited to shorter works, so I'll likely read his shorter works from here on out.