Monday, January 25, 2016

Recent Favorites: January 2016

Sometimes there are books that I read and think I'll be able to talk about in depth and with substance... And then I remember my favorite books make those things impossible.

I've been trying to write a full review of A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, but I can't. I just can't, because all I can think to say is basically gushing about my feelings (Look, I get that's what a review is, to an extent, but in this case, I'm just going "AHHHHH!"). And I've read a few others recently that I've liked a lot but haven't been able to completely wrap my mind around yet, so I thought I'd just give a little update on some of my recent favorites.

*Spoilers will be marked, but proceed with caution*


A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Oh my goodness. So, I've been putting off reading this for years, being scared of large books with a large character list and all. But one of my best friends got me this book for Christmas and I said I'd start it for her. One day and 400 pages later, I was completely into the series. Here's how I know: I love looking up fan art and fan theories about books I've read, which sometimes leads me into spoiler territory, but that's usually not a problem for me. This time, I'm actively avoiding spoilers. I loved this story so much that I need to catch up on the series before I do any of the social medias--even Goodreads (well, I gave it a five-star rating, but that's it, I swear).

If you don't know what this is about, here's a quick overview: In a fantasy world (with qualities similar to those of medieval society), different lords and ladies begin to make plays for the throne to rule the Seven Kingdoms. 

As you know, my thoughts about this one go something like incomprehensible shrieking. I was so scared to get attached to anyone because I know George R.R. Martin is notorious for killing off characters, but I couldn't help it. In the first thirty pages, I was already attached to at least three (Jon Snow especially. That scene when they find the direwolves? Fantastic). I'll admit I would skip ahead to see who the next chapter would be about, and if it was about Daenerys, I'd keep reading. If it was Ned, I'd probably stop. But that's mainly because of all the politics involved in his chapters.

I absolutely loved the world of this book. Sometimes first books in series get bogged down with details and describing all the intricacies of the political systems, but this one didn't. Or, if it did, I can't wait to read the next one and find out what it's like when it's not bogged down.

All right, last thing I'll say about this one (for now). Don't be scared of the many, many characters. Most of them constantly get introduced as "the brother of" or "the daughter of" another character. And, there are handy dandy family trees at the back of the book.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Anticipated Releases January 2016

(As you may remember, last year, I did one big "anticipated releases" post for 2015. And I had to keep adding to it throughout the year. So, I figured I could start doing it by month.)

I know it's already about halfway through January, but I just finished A Game of Thrones, so I wasn't even thinking about other books for a while there (It was so good!). And there are so many cool books coming out this month! I'm very excited for many of them, and I hope I get the chance to pick up a few.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Release Date: January 5, 2016
This is a fantasy YA about people born with magical skills in a fantasy land. Pretty basic. But the powers sound so cool. You've got a Truthwitch, who can tell truths from lies, and a Threadwitch, who can see the ties that "bind and entangle the lives around her." There are a few others, but from the synopsis, it looks like those are the main characters. I'm excited for this because some fantasy novels fall into the trap of using vague magic powers as a deus ex machina. With such specific powers, I'm interested to see where this one goes.

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: January 5, 2016
All right. I don't know much about this book (just that it involves time travel). I've heard that's a good way to go into it, too, so hopefully it works. I just know I really enjoyed this author's The Darkest Minds, so I'm excited for this one.

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
Release Date: January 12, 2016
This is about a sixteen-year old who loves YA books. When she finds out a guy might like her, she decides to look to her favorite heroines for life advice. Doesn't that sound hilarious and fantastic? It sounds like it's written for book lovers and shy/quiet book lovers, too, who'd rather be reading about life than having to go through it themselves--and I'm all for that.

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Okay, okay, listen. Regency London. But with a demon-hunter. Need I say more? Didn't think so.

Once Upon a Kiss by Robin Palmer
Release Date: January 5, 2016
I'm such a sucker for Robin Palmer books. Even if I pretend I'm too cool for them, I'll read them all, multiple times. And this one's about a girl from 1986 who ends up in 2016 (you should know I'm also a sucker for time-travel, especially when the explanation for it in the synopsis is "a freak Fun-Dip choking accident"). How could I refuse this book?


Again, I'm really excited for the books coming out this month--there is nothing more exciting to me than the idea of a new idea, a new book to read, and new characters to love! Happy reading, everyone.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Best of 2015

How did it get to be 2016 already? I don't know what I missed. There were so many books I was going to read that I haven't gotten around to yet! (Not to mention I was going to clean my room and rearrange my bookshelves and...I'm tired just thinking about my to-do list.) But I did read several books (187, actually), and many of them were published this year. SO you know what that means... Here are my top 15 books that I read in 2015--I tried to stick to the ones that were published in 2015, but some older ones might have gotten in there. They're in no particular order, of course, because I just could not choose.


1. Funny Girl by Nick Hornby
 Absolutely fantastic. I loved this story, as I've loved most Nick Hornby books I've read. This is the story of one woman in Britain who wants to be on a comedy show. It goes through her discovery, fame, and even years after the show has ended. I absolutely love books that follow the same group of characters for many years (The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer comes to mind), and this one was no exception.

2. Mosquitoland by David Arnold
Look, I've heard the complaints about Mim putting on "war paint" being cultural appropriation or worse, but that's material for another (longer) post. This is on the list because I loved the story of a girl setting out on a road trip on her own to find her estranged mom and uncover secrets of her family's history. I loved the writing style, and I loved the characters. We'll get to the other parts later.