My 2016 in Books

Looking back on 2016 I can truly say it was a great year. Crazy, hard, and at times unexpected, but still
great. I mean, I got married after all 😉 And went to Disney World. So. Kind of a big deal.img_2291

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But this post isn’t about my life events, it is about looking back at the 15 books I managed to read amidst the chaos of life. Sure, it’s not a hugely impressive number, but if you saw me in my stressed out emotional breakdown states throughout the year, trust me. You’d be impressed.

2016 In Books:

  1. The Curse of the Seer by Daniel Schwabauer
  2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (technically started in December of 2015 but I didn’t finish this one until May of 2016 so it counts.)
  3. Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell
  4. The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch
  5. Leaper by Geoffrey Wood
  6. Mariah’s Prologues 1-4 by Grace Bridges
  7. The Progeny by Tosca Lee
  8. Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
  9. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes
  10. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
  11. The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell
  12. Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
  13. First Meetings in the Enderverse by Orson Scott Card
  14. The Baron’s Gloves by Louisa May Alcott
  15. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Let’s talk about these volumes, shall we?

The Curse of the Seer:

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Type of Book: Mid Grade to YA Fantasy

My Thoughts: I have waited for this book for a very long time. It is the third book in the Tira-Nor series written by my teacher, mentor, and friend, Daniel Schwabauer.

I am very happy to say it did not disappoint. It lived up to every expectation I had and then some. I was hooked at page one, and stayed engaged all the way through until the last page. Mr. Schwabauer knows how to craft a novel, folks.

Do you recommend this novel? Yes! Go get it right now!

 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire:

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Type of Book: Mid Grade to YA Fantasy

My Thoughts: The World of Harry Potter is a masterpiece, as is agreed by most of the Wizarding World. It’s been a while, honestly, so my thoughts on this specific volume are rather hazy. I didn’t like it as much as the first three, but it wasn’t too far from them. I enjoyed it.

Do you recommend this novel? Yes.

 

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms:

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Type of Book: Mid Grade to YA fiction

My Thoughts: See in part this post I did after reading it last year.

Further thoughts: This is one of my favorite books ever. Rundell’s attention to details and the way she describes those details is maddeningly brilliant, breathtaking, and imaginative. She catapults you right into her story worlds and doesn’t let you go until the last bit of ink on the end page.

Do you recommend this novel? YES GO BUY IT NOW.

 

The Name of this Book is Secret:

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Type of Book: Mid Grade Fiction

My Thoughts:

While this novel was entertaining and fast paced and did hold my interest, I was not interested enough to continue with the series. I was rather disappointed with how they handled children going behind parent and guardian’s backs, and the way parents were portrayed as, well, second rate? That was a large factor in making me dislike this more than I liked it.  However, the book was admittedly extremely clever, and I did enjoy the adventure. I also appreciated the quirky sides of the book – not enough books are quirky nowadays.

Do you recommend this novel? I would say so, but more to mid grade readers.

 

Leaper:

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Type of Book: Adult Christian Fiction

My Thoughts:

This novel is perplexing to me. Because it was well written, had great, three dimensional characters who never felt fake, and had some really hilarious moments. But. It left me… let down and confused. It wasn’t what I was hoping for. The back cover boasts of a barista who discovers he has the super power of leaping from one location to another. And the concept was awesome. But the storyline is what disappointed me in the end. That, and the vagueish way it was written (which was actually well done considering it was how the character was thinking and he was in a fog of caffeine the entire time.)

I have friends who absolutely love this book. But I just couldn’t find love for it. It gets points, however, for creativity and humor.

Do you recommend this novel? Maybe. Depending on the person who asked me. I know people who would enjoy it.

 

Mariah’s Prologues 1-4

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Type of Book: Adult Dystopian

My Thoughts:

I got this collection of novella prologues at the 2015 Realm Maker’s conference. I was blown away at how well written, immersive, and pleasurable they were. What especially stuck out to me was how beautiful her story world is. Like I said, it is quite immersive, and everything just… fit.  I really want to read the rest of the prologues now (something for 2017!) as well as the book they set the stage for.

Do you recommend this book? Yes, quite so, go read them.

 

The Progeny:

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Type of Book: Adult Thriller

My Thoughts:

Oh. My. Word. This book.

I read it in three days (because I had to life in between reading sessions) and was obsessed the entire time. Tosca is a master at the art of storytelling, and The Progeny did not disappoint me. I was enthralled. I laughed. I cried. I cried some more. I silently screamed. I stood staring at the page with eyes bugged out and mouth wide open in shock. This book had it all for me. It was a roller coaster ride of the best possible type.

Do you recommend this novel? YES. GO BUY IT NOW.

 

Rooftoppers:

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Type of Book: Mid Grade to YA fiction

My Thoughts:

Read my thoughts on the post I wrote about it here.

Aditional thoughts: I just want to read this again it’s a warm happy place of happiness.

Do you recommend this novel? YES. GO BUY IT NOW.

 

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride:

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Type of Book: Memoir/Entertainment

My Thoughts:

I never expected to be so deeply enthralled, so deeply moved as I was when reading this book. If you know me, then you know that The Princess Bride is my favorite book, and one of my favorite movies. I had a Princess Bride themed bridal shower, the main theme was played at my wedding ceremony, I had a Princess Bride themed table at the wedding reception.  There has never been a book that ever stood out above all the rest and secured the “Favorite Book” spot in my heart, until I read The Princess Bride.

So naturally, I was very excited to get a behind the scenes look at the making of the film and the lives of the actors who brought to life some of my favorite characters ever.

This book stirred up emotions in me I thought were possibly gone. It had long been a dearly clung to dream for me to be an actor or a filmmaker, or at least to be involved in the production of films in some way shape or form. That longing isn’t really gone, I found out while reading. Furthermore, I didn’t know I could become so attached to the real people behind the characters, and their personal lives. But I did. This book brought out a lot of emotions from the deep places of my heart.  And I wouldn’t have changed that for anything.

Do you recommend this book? Yes. All the yes. Go read it.

 

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight:

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Type of Book: YA Romance

My Thoughts:

I picked this book up at Half Price Books for several reasons. 1. It was on clearance. 2. The cover was pretty and I loved the aesthetic. 3. It takes place in an airport and on a plane and I’m in love with airports so obviously love in an airport is going to be great. 4. There were two stickers from Hot Topic stuck inside.

I was very pleased with this book at first. But it left me on a very sour note. The glorification of divorce upset me. The way things were portrayed was just… off to me. And it was too quick a turnaround of emotions that the MC had. I, by a new rule, am only keeping books on my shelves that meet a certain level of stars, and this one just barely makes it. It’s staying because the cover is pretty and the airport parts make me happy.

Do you recommend this book? Eh, maybe.

 

The Wolf Wilder:

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Type of Book: Mid Grade to YA fiction

My Thoughts:

Katherine Rundell does it again by immersing you into a world so real you can feel the sting of freezing snow on your skin and smell the fur of the wolves surrounding you.

Oh, this book. this book swept me away into frozen Russia, routing for a precious, tough little girl and her new friend Illya (as soon as he said his name I fell in love with him. Because Illya. <3) and the wolves they are protecting. Oh, please, if you love stories that are rich and glorious and beautiful and full of wonder, go and read this book. Now. Right now. Please.

Do you recommend this novel? YES. FOREVER. GO READ IT.

 

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between:

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Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Type of Book: YA Romance

My Thoughts:

This book hurt me.

I do not like it.

I hated the way the couple treated their relationship. I hated the way long distance was painted as negative and impossible. I hated the parting scene at the end in her driveway because darsh gone it, I’ve lived through that too many times and it brought back so much pain in so many degrees.

The characters were great. The pacing was excellent. The format of it happening over a 24 hour period was fantastic. But in the end, it was just… empty and sad to me.

Do you recommend this novel? No.

 

First Meetings in the Enderverse:

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Type of Book: Adult Sci-fi Novella collection

My Thoughts:

Orson Scott Card is a total genius and can hook me in less than half a page and have me glued to book until the end.  This work is genius, and if you’ve read Ender’s Game then go read this.

Do you recommend this Book? Yes.

 

The Baron’s Gloves

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Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Type of Book: Classic Romance Novella

My Thoughts:

I love Louisa May Alcott’s works. Always have. And I was enjoying this story highly before the ending made it all crash down around me.

Without spoiling anything, I was appalled by the conduct of two of the young men, the blatant manipulation, and the degrading of women. I promptly put the book in my get rid of pile.

Do you recommend this book? No.

 

Shiver:

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Type of Book: YA fiction

My Thoughts:

This one is a bit hard for me. Because wow. Maggie is an amazing writer, no doubt about it. The characters are endearing and I was swept away by the story. The negative aspects of teens sleeping together and then some really tainted it for me. Especially when they had set one of the characters up to being very cautions against doing things of that nature. The romance itself outside of passion in the bedroom, was very real and well portrayed. And honestly… I liked the book. I liked it a lot. I wish that the language and sex had been omitted and I could love it.

Do you recommend this Book? Only to mature audiences.

 

Wow. If you’ve stuck with me this far, congratulations. Now, share with me the books you read in 2016. What were your favorites? What were your least favorites?

Read on, peeps, read on!

~Adrienne

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