Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016 Favorites

2016... There aren't a ton of great things to say about 2016. A lot of bad things happened, and the general consensus is that 2016 was a dumpster fire. BUT it wasn't all bad. I started college, and I'm enjoying myself. I moved to a new place, with new people, and I was completely out of all my comfort zones, but I still found myself happy. So, as rough as 2016 was, there might have been some redeeming qualities.

Another redeeming quality? I read a lot of really good books. Sure, school was really busy, so I slowed down a lot in my reading in the last few months, but it was still a good reading year. 

Way back in January, I read A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I've been getting more into fantasy lately, and this one is unavoidable. If you're looking for a fantasy to read, almost everyone will point you towards this series. And, while I don't love every little thing about this series (I'm still working through the gendered violence), I really do enjoy the politics of the world, and the stories are just so compelling! I'm really looking forward to continuing this series.

November 9 by Colleen Hoover was my first venture into New Adult fiction, and I absolutely loved it. As I recall, I read it all in one morning. I just could not put it down! It's about a couple who meet the day before one of them is about to move across the country. They agree to meet on the same day each year (it's November 9th, if you hadn't put that together). It's cliche, and I've probably read variations of this multiple times before, but I still devoured this book.

If you read only one young adult book this year, read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (And then, if you are inevitably drawn into the world and you need to read more, read its sequel, Crooked Kingdom). It's set in a Russia-like fantasy world, where a criminal puts together an incredibly diverse crew to pull of a heist. The writing is fantastic, the plot is compelling, and, again, the characters are incredibly diverse. What else could you want?

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie earned a spot on my favorite books of all time. I read it quickly, right before Adichie came to my city for an event, and I loved it. If I hadn't had to read it fast, I probably still would have, due to the fact that I couldn't think about anything other than this book the whole time I was reading it (Sorry, two days of school during which I zoned out). It's about a woman from Nigeria who goes to America and begins to recognize the implications of being black in America. Thinking about it now (and the new relevance brought on by certain events), I'm definitely going to want to re-read this pretty soon.

What's that? You want a diverse, contemporary, young adult book? And if it could be funny and smart and cute and sad all in one, that'd be just great? Read Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate. It's about a high school, where the different characters who tell the story represent the seven deadly sins. Come on, what else could you want?

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle is one of those books that makes you laugh out loud and then feel like crying, within a few pages. This one's about a boy who wants to write for movies, but hasn't really left his house since his sister died in a car accident. When he does leave his house, he meets a guy and starts liking him. So, you can see the crying parts, but I promise there's also hilarity ensuing.

I also have to include Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples, but I can't choose which volume I liked best, so we're just going to include them all (hey, it's my blog, I'm making these rules). It's fantastic and I cannot wait to read more of it.

My 2016 reading year was full of good books, but I'm looking forward to reading many more in 2017. I'm getting excited about my extremely large TBR list again, so let's get started. Happy New Year!