I am a bit late posting my Best Of for 2018, but as these are my favourite post to write as well as read, I just had to share. If you’ve been following my blog or social media, these will come at no surprise to you, as I never seem to shut up about anything I love.Continue reading “Best of 2018”
I’ve been in a little bit of a reading slump and blogging slump during the month of December. There’s been the usual end of year family visits and festivities – as well as the mad rush at the mall where I work, so I have not had as much time to read. However, making Best Of lists is one of my favourite blogging activities, so I knew I had to get this up despite the time constraints. I’ve read many brilliant books this year, and below are some of my favourites.
- City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty: This stunning and expansive debut novel is one of my absolute favourite fantasy reads of this year (sharing the crown with the equally impressive Jade City). An #ownvoices at its best, the book uses historical and cultural cues from the real world to invent a rich world where djinns and devas roam a mythic city – steeped in courtly intrigues and surreal wonders. I cannot wait to read Kingdom of Copper!
- Jade City by Fonda Lee: I knew I needed this book in my life the moment I read the blurb hinting at clan wars and supernatural wuxia action. I got even more than I bargained for, along with the page-turning action and complex political treacheries – it was also populated with a cast of compelling characters. Also one of the most dimensional portrayal of sibling rivalries I have read.
- Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: One of the first books I read in 2017 and it remains one of the best. The writing in this book is achingly beautiful, weaving myth about a fabled city and a boy who grew up amongst books. Filled with monsters and magic, along with romance and tragedy – it has all of the signature elements that made me love Laini Taylor in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. Get this though, Strange the Dreamer is even BETTER than DOSAB.
- Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie Mclemore: I tend to love all magical realism, so it’s little surprise that Anna-Marie is quickly becoming my favourite YA author. Wild Beauty is 100% my aesthetics: a quintet of cousins with the power over flowers, a boy without memories, a dark family curse dooming lovers to disappear. Beautifully written, filled with exquisite imageries, and best paired with a reading of Secrets of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee – another book about flowers and forbidden love that I enjoyed immensely.
- Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo: I love a good fairy tale retelling, and this collection comes with several feminist reinvention of familiar tropes, made all the more delightful by the fact that the stories hail from the Grishaverse. While you can find a couple of these stories in previous publication, my favourite was Ayama and the Thorns, a new addition to this collection – hands down one of the best Beauty and the Beast retellings of all time. The book is also beautifully and thoughtfully illustrated, pick up the physical copy!
- Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashadourst: A brilliant Snow White retelling that turns a story about a stepmother’s envy into a tale about the strength of women, especially when they are working together. I loved both the narrative voices, but I particularly relished in Mina’s chapters as she turned from girl to queen. Definitely one to pick up on a chilly winter night, especially if you enjoy immersive fairy tales.
- Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtues by Mackenzi Lee: This book was just pure delight and absolute fun! Monty’s is simultaneously charming and utterly insufferable, I adored him! I also loved Percy and Felicity, the cast of characters possessed an enviable chemistry – I could read about the trio and their adventures for days. I especially recommend the audiobook – the narration by Christian Coulson (teenaged Tom Riddle in the second HP movie!) is utter perfection.
- The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Yee: This was just so much fun! The clever adaptation of a popular Chinese epic for the modern age, with characters that leaps off the page with their distinctive and larger-than-life personality. Genie is a protagonist you’ll absolutely one to root for, whether she’s trying to pass exam or save the world from hungry demons.
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: After reading this book, Celeste Ng has moved immediately into my small list of autobuy authors. I especially love the way she manages to imbue mundane tasks with so much beauty and emotional weight. This book documents the way middle-class suburbia systemically exclude everyone they consider to be an outsider, absolutely heartbreaking and powerful.
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: One of the best audiobooks I picked up this year. The book follows a fictional actress as she recounts her life story to a fledging journalist. It shows 1950-1970s Hollywood in all of its glamourous glory, as well as interrogate its inherent racism, sexism, and anti-homosexual attitude. I was captivated from the very first page, and Evelyn is one of the most intriguing protagonist of 2017.
Let me know if you’ve read any of them, or which you’re thinking of picking up! I wish you all a safe and happy new year 😀
2017 has been a decent reading year so far, but I felt that while I read a lot of good books – I haven’t read as many exceptional books this year. All of the books that ended up on this list are very special and memorable to me.
The list also came a bit later than usual because my reading life skyrocketed with a couple of excellent reads in June – so I had to wait until I finished them to complete the post. It’s still missing a couple of books I started in June, but completed in July – but you’ll find out all about them at the end of this year 😉
Hurricane Heels by Isabel Yap: I read this novella at the turning of the new year, and it touched me on such a personal level. Magical Girls is one of the tropes I grew up consuming and loving, and in Hurricane Heels it gets such a visceral and modern treatment. The book is filled with complicated friendships between girls trying to juggle their momentous destiny with daily life. Continue reading “Best of 2017 So Far”
Like many others, I am 100% ready to leave the nightmare that was 2016 behind and begin afresh in 2017. Before we look forward to the new year, I would like to look back on one of the few good things 2016 offered: all the wonderful books I got to read. I loved many books this year, but here are 8 of the books that personally touched me the most.
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo: I will never love another crew as much as I love the six characters in this series. This epic conclusion brought more character development to the table, as well as more scenes between all of my favourite ships. Filled with all the things I love best: witty banter, impossible heists, lady friendships, and Kaz Brekker’s one liners. Full Review. Continue reading “Best of 2016”
Title: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
Author: Claire North
Series: No 😦
Rating: 5/5 stars
Some of you might have seen me raving about this book on twitter and Goodreads over the past month. I know it’s still January, but I am fairly confident this book will enter my Top 10 list at the end of the year. It was at once an epic tale traversing through numerous timelines, and a quiet study on what make us human. Continue reading “Book Review: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August”
Apologies for my lack of posting in the last couple of weeks! Although I am back in Australia, the holiday season has swallowed me whole with roadtrips, daytrips, and numerous end of year meetups. I promise to be a more consistent blogger when the new year rolls around and life gets back into its usual pace.
For now, I want to send off 2015 with a list of my favourite books this year! Thanks to book blogging, I read a lot more than I usually would – but it also made picking out my favourites extremely hard. Here are my top 12 this year in no particular order:
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton: I recently finished this one and immediately kicked myself for taking so long to pick it up. The proses in book is exemplary of the lyrical, evocative writing style that I love so much. Walton mixes her hypnotic writing with a tragic yet hopeful tale about strangely beautiful women and the folly of love. It left me in a daze for days! My review.
Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace: In this dark and brutal tale, our heroine confronts her identity and helps a listless ghost in finding his purpose. Archivist Wasp defy genre boundaries, bringing to the table a post-apocalyptic dystopia, a trip to the underworld, and questions about what it means to be human. My review.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: I don’t usually read contemporary, in fact – Fangirl is one of about 4-5 I read this year. Nonetheless, the sincerity of its characters won it a space in my heart. It captures the emotional roller coaster that is college perfectly, never forgetting humour, family and love. My review.
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby: Magical realism is quickly becoming one of my favourite genres, and books like Bone Gap is wholly responsible for it! In this strange modern fairy tale, we explore societal judgement of humans – especially of women. My review.
The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin: In this unique fantasy, apocalypse are dime a dozen thanks to the ever changing tectonic plates. Themes of oppression and free will are examined as we follow the perspective of three orogene female. The proses are beautiful, the stakes are sky high, and the reveals are startling. My review.
The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey: This is one of those books that are best experienced when you know absolutely nothing about it. Hence, I won’t elaborate. Go in blind, trust me, it’s amazing! My review.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: Possibly my favourite young adult book of the year! Six of Crows with its charismatic and dangerous cast, along with whip smart dialogue and engaging world, is a book to be remembered! My review.
Golden Son by Pierce Brown: While I had some issues with Red Rising, Golden Son blows everything out of the water by raising the stakes, introducing a host of intriguing females, and being completely unputdownable. Watch as Darrow navigates through planets and wage war against both armies and his own heart. My review.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab: This was my first Victoria Schwab book and I quickly fell in love with her insane creativity. ADSOM features four Londons, two tortured magicians, a charming prince and the best leading lady of all time. Lila pretty much stole my heart! I loved going along with her and Kell’s adventures through worlds. My review.
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas: In the space of one week, I went from a non-believer to a rabid Throne of Glass fangirl – mostly thanks to the latest two books in the series. I loved seeing the added complexity each novel brings to its world and the characters. My review.
Vicious by V. E. Schwab: The amazing Victoria Schwab appears once more- I love how each of her novel are so different to the last. Vicious features one of fiction’s most compelling frenemy, and a truly grey cast of characters. Although I yearned for more depth into Eli, Victor and his gang made this book memorable. My review.
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Hoerr: I read this book thanks Jenna‘s ringing endorsement, and she did not lead me astray. There’s poetry in every sentence and beautiful symmetry to every chapter. Moving, devastating and hopeful, this is a WWII story to savour. Review to come soon!
Have you read any of my favourites this year? What were your picks? Please link me to your post if you have a similar one up on your blog 😀