The thing about being a book blogger is that you constantly need to be reading in order to create new content for your space; which can be exhausting. Luckily, I am someone who can read all day, every day with a big toothy grin on my face. I’ve had the pleasure of reading many amazing books over the years, but sometimes I find it difficult to write a full review on each and every one of them. So today I thought I’d dedicate a post to those books that I loved, but never got around to writing a full review for. These are the books that broke my heart, crushed my soul, swept the rug out from under my feet and, ultimately, gave me new found hope in the world…
A COURT OF MIST AND FURY BY SARAH J. MAAS
I read this 640 page fantasy romance twice so far this year and still each time I turn that final page I have a yearning to jump right back in and experience it all over again. I’ve tried writing a full review for this book months ago but I could never do it because there is just too much that I want to say about it. ACOMAF is a book brimming with unexpected plot twists, characters that suck the air out of the room, and descriptive imagery that takes your breath away. After reading it for the second time last month I’ve seen quite a number of negative reviews on this one even though the overall rating on Goodreads is pretty high. All I can say is that this is one of my favourite books of 2016, and I’ll even go so far in saying that it is one of my favourite books, EVER. It’s torture waiting for the third book in the series!!
MODERN ROMANCE BY AZIZ ANSARI
I’m not a big reader of non-fiction books. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind reading an informative non-fiction book giving the cold hard truth about the world; but it’s just that lately I won’t go out of my way to read it. So a few months ago I made an effort to try and read more non-fiction, as well as books from genres I wouldn’t normally choose to read from, and I picked up Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari. Even though this book is piss-your-pants-hilarious, you have no choice but to take it seriously, with all the stats and data thrown your way. It is insightful, well researched and gives the reader proper, no fluff information to shed light on some of the most frustrating, embarrassing and hurtful aspects of finding love in the world we live in today. I feel that it is a book anyone can relate to, and one that says just about everything needed to be said on the matter – which is why I never wrote a full review of it up on the blog.
I AM MALALA BY MALALA YOUSAFZAI
Malala Yousafzai needs to introduction. Activist for female education, youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate, all before the age of 18, Malala is a force to be reckoned with and an unyielding inspiration to us all. I read her autobiography last year and found it to be one of the most powerful reads of 2015. After reading the book, I made the mistake of reading the reviews on Goodreads after writing one of my own, and honestly my stomach was turning so bad after logging out. I had just read the story about a young girl being shot in the face, surviving it, and doing everything she can to make sure children receives an education; and there are people cowering behind their usernames writing vile, cruel things about a girl who is genuinely making a difference in the world. I was disgusted. To me, Malala is a phoenix who has risen from her own ashes. She is a role model and inspiration; and I could not write a full review of her book because nothing I say could do justice to her story.
EMPIRE OF STORMS BY SARAH J. MAAS
I have trust issues because of SJM. She sure knows how to destroy souls! Empire of Storms put me in a major book hangover, and I don’t have a clue how to get out of it. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve entirely processed everything I read and it may take me a while to reach that point because this one was an emotional roller-coaster. Fantasy, romance, action, suspense, and war strategizing – this book had EVERYTHING plus plot twists that I did not see coming.
THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS BY JOHN BOYNE
This book is one of the most tragic, heartbreaking historical fiction books I ever read. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in set during World War II, and is told from an eight year old boy’s perspective. Going in, I KNEW this book was going to destroy me. I anticipated heartbreak and sorrow because that is just the way with historical fiction novels based on tragic events. But I did not (and I cannot stress this enough) expect the ending at all. I never got around to writing a full review for this book because I have mixed emotions about it. Even though it is well written and contains everything I’ve come to expect from a historical fiction novel, the ending still haunts me.
STOLEN BY LUCY CHRISTOPHER
This book is dangerous… Lucy Christopher completely captivates the reader, and weaves a clever web that makes you feel every emotion the narrator feels. When you reach the end of the book you wake up from a trance, as if you were beginning to accept the wrongness of everything being done, as if it were right. It is done so subtly that you have no idea it is even happening, until it is almost too late. It was dangerous and manipulative, and brilliantly written!
THE NIGHTINGALE BY KRISTIN HANNAH
This is another historical fiction book set during World War II that tore me to pieces. The Nightingale is a beautifully written book that not only kept me in anticipation, but it had some of the strongest characters I ever read about. The heroines in this book, Vianne and Isabelle, are two of the most dynamic female characters I’ve ever experienced. They were polar opposites in personality, and they had very different strengths and weaknesses that are vividly portrayed in this story. The way in which they were tested during the war, and how they changed because of their circumstances was what made both women such dimensional characters that I could not help but salute. Their distinctive, unwavering strength and determination is what makes them two of my favourite heroines. The Nightingale is an all consuming book that will tug your heartstrings every which way. The story keeps the reader in such suspense, jumping from the present to the past; and you have no real idea who is telling the story until it is revealed at the very end. When you put all of this together you get a brilliantly crafted novel that you don’t want to pass up reading.
MAKING FACES BY AMY HARMON
So many romance books I read depend on beauty. It always needs to be known that the characters are striking; and there are paragraphs upon paragraphs that describe this beauty to the reader. It’s as if the romance world is only created around pretty people. Making Faces is different though because it is about the loss of beauty, yet this book had some of the best characters I ever read about. Fern was so completely sweet, with a heart to match. She is what the author describes as unremarkable; which is insane because she was an extraordinary fictional being. She saw people beyond their outside appearances and that isn’t something you will read about often. Enter Ambrose; the guy living with his own traumatic past that he slowly over comes with the help of Fern. This is not a fluffy, superficial romance book that you should be grabbing if you are looking for something light, because it is none of those things. It is painful and ugly, and your heart will cry; but it is a book that reminds me why I love this genre so much. It is simply too hard to write an in-depth review of this emotional read.
CRESS BY MARISSA MEYER
Cress is the third installment in The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer, and to me it was the best. It took me a while to get into this book because it started out pretty slow, but I felt it more than made up for it as the story progressed. I also took quite a long time to complete this book because I was distracted by other things when I started it, but I think this is a book I can easily breeze through in two or three sittings. I still need to read the final book in the series called Winter, but from what I’ve experienced so far with the first three books is that it has strong, dynamic characters and a well thought out fantasy world enhanced with beautiful creative writing.