- hardback or paperback
- Borrow or buy
- fantasy or sci-fi
- love-triangle or love at first sight
- Wall shelves or bookcases
- Bad plot with good characters or good plot with bad characters
- Harry Potter or Percy Jackson
- Booklr or Bookstagram
- Contemporaries or Fantasy
- English books or books in your native language
- Buy in a bookshop or buy online
- amazon or book depository
- buy because of the cover or because of the description
- Alphabetical shelves or colour coordinated
- different sized books or matching sizes
- wait to marathon a series or read as they’re released
- movie or tv adaptations
- zombies or vampires
- Reading indoors or outdoors
- coffee or tea
- bookmarks or random objects to mark your page
- dog-earing or bookmarks
- Be your favourite character or be their best friend
- physical or e-book
- Read in bed or on a chair
- audiobook or ebook
- series or stand-alones
- Reading in the winter or reading in the summer
Send some numbers 😀
Happy Top Ten Tuesday! It’s already the last one of 2016! Today’s theme is the best of 2016. I read a lot of great books this year, so rather than agonize over which ones to include, I’m using this as a general overview of my favorites. In early 2017, I’ll have a more detailed list available for you, broken down by genre.
Below are Goodreads links for all titles included in the graphics:
What were your favorites of 2016?
To all of my followers who celebrate, Merry Christmas! I hope you’re all having a great day with people you love.
PS: This amazing cookbook is by far my favorite Christmas gift. (Review to come!)
Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree. Well, there are a lot of books I wouldn’t mind finding on Christmas morning, but here are ten near the top of my list. (I tried to avoid books I’ve recently posted about.)
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.
Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”
At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.
With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”
Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.
Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.
Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.
And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.
Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.
The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone
It’s a summer for first love, last wishes, and letting go.
Maddie has big plans to spend the last months before college tying up high school “loose ends” alongside her best friends. Then her beloved grandmother drops two bombshells: (1) Gram is dying. (2) She’s taking her entire family on a round-the-world cruise of dreams come true—but at the end, Gram won’t be returning home.
With a promise to live in the now without regrets, Maddie boards the Wishwell determined to make every moment count. She finds new friends in her fellow Wishwellians, takes advantage of the trip’s many luxuries, gets even closer to her quirky family, and falls for painfully gorgeous Enzo. But despite the copious laughter, headiness of first love, and wonder of the glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram, and she struggles to find the strength to let go in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, grief, and laughter.
A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody
When I made the wish, I just wanted a do-over. Another chance to make things right. I never, in a million years, thought it might actually come true…
Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason!
As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent set on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?
From the author 52 Reasons to Hate My Father and The Unremembered trilogy comes a hilarious and heartwarming story about second (and third and fourth and fifth) chances. Because sometimes it takes a whole week of Mondays to figure out what you really want.
Draw the Line by Laurent Linn
Adrian Piper is used to blending into the background. He may be a talented artist, a sci-fi geek, and gay, but at his Texas high school those traits only bring him the worst kind of attention.
In fact, the only place he feels free to express himself is at his drawing table, crafting a secret world through his own Renaissance art-inspired superhero, Graphite.
But in real life, when a shocking hate crime flips his world upside-down, Adrian must decide what kind of person he wants to be. Maybe it’s time to not be so invisible after all—no matter how dangerous the risk.
Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler
What happens when the person you’re becoming isn’t the one your family wants you to be?
When Aaron Hartzler was little, he couldn’t wait for the The Rapture: that moment when Jesus would come down from the clouds to whisk him and his family up to heaven. But as he turns sixteen, Aaron grows more curious about all the things his family forsakes for the Lord. He begins to realize he doesn’t want Jesus to come back just yet—not before he has his first kiss, sees his first movie, or stars in the school play.
Whether he’s sneaking out, making out, or playing hymns with a hangover, Aaron learns a few lessons that can’t be found in the Bible. He discovers that the girl of your dreams can just as easily be the boy of your dreams, and the tricky part about believing is that no one can do it for you.
In this funny and heartfelt coming-of-age memoir, debut author Aaron Hartzler recalls his teenage journey from devoted to doubtful, and the search to find his own truth without losing the fundamentalist family who loves him.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.
Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.
Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.
Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas
I can’t help but smile at the words in her letter. She misses me.
In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.
It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever…
And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us.
Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there’s one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She’s the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am.
We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?
Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name’s Ryen, loves Gallo’s pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances?
F*ck it. I need to meet her.
I just don’t expect to hate what I find.
He hasn’t written in three months. Something’s wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch.
Without him around, I’m going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It’s my own fault. I should’ve gotten his number or picture or something.
He could be gone forever.
Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.
What books are you hoping for this holiday season?
Definitely all is lost.
“When pleased, I beat like a drum. When sad, I break like glass. Once stolen, I can never be taken back. What am I?”
Heartless is, like all of Meyer’s work, a retelling. This time, she’s retelling Alice in Wonderland from the perspective of the Queen of Hearts. But during the majority of this book, Catherine is just a normal teenage girl. A normal teenage girl who only wants to be a baker. Who only wants to be left alone to live her life. Who certainly does not want to deal with the affections of the idiotic King of Hearts. Who has less than zero desire to be the next Queen of Hearts. All Catherine wants to do is open a bakery with her best friend, Mary Ann.
Her family has other aspirations for her. Her mother thinks that she’d be crazy not to marry the King. A royal life– who wouldn’t want that? So the King’s kind of stupid… whatever. A proposal from him would change Catherine’s life. And so her mother pushes… and pushes… and pushes. Absolutely disregarding Catherine’s discomfort with the whole idea. Not even taking into consideration that Catherine’s affections might lie elsewhere.
Because Catherine is quite taken with the new court joker, Jest. Jest is mysterious, charismatic, and gorgeous. Jest can show her places and things she’s never seen– never even dreamed of. Catherine falls hard and fast for Jest. But are his feelings real? Can their secret romance survive the pressure from her parents and from the King?
Am I still crying? I think it’s definitely within the realm of possibility that I am still crying. I went into this book knowing what would happen. Knowing that Catherine turns into the cruel Queen of Hearts. Knowing that there’s no possible way that everything works out in her favor. But still hoping. Hoping that somehow, some way, Marissa Meyer would work her magic and just let everybody be happy.
Yep, still crying. Definitely still crying.
But I recommend this book so much.
You don’t have to be a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland to enjoy it. The characters from the original are all there, but they’re different than you might remember. It was a simpler, happier time. Much less violence and decapitation. And really, your heart doesn’t get ripped out until the very end. Meyer almost had me fooled.
I wish that I could have lived in this book for a little longer. Part of me wishes that there were a sequel coming, but I also know that this story is finished. Still, I can’t wait to see what Meyer comes up with next.
For my 2016 reading challenge, I’m crossing off #32: the first book you see in a bookstore. (Which was actually the first book I saw on the Overdrive homepage, but close enough.)
It’s not every day that your favorite authors send you a Christmas card. Thank you, Krista & Becca!
Some Kind of Perfect was one of my top reads of 2016, and the Calloway sisters (and their partners) are some of my favorite characters of all time. If you haven’t checked out their books yet, please do! Krista and Becca have created some of the most complex characters, believable relationships, and best books I’ve ever read.