Hi guys ^^ So June is over and we're now moving to the second half of the year. Like, whaaat?? Seriously, I have no idea where the time went. To be fair though, the second half of the year is usually my favorite because there's Halloween, Christmas, awesome book releases, and... semester breaks for me XD.
And so, I thought I would do a post to look back on all the books I've read so far this year and tell you guys which of those books I enjoyed the most. Also, I thought I would also do a little update on my Goodreads Reading Challenge.
My Goodreads Reading Challenge so far
Although I managed to exceed my challenge of 120 books in 2015 by reading 175 books, for 2016 I've decided to challenge myself to only 100 books. This year I'm back at uni and just as I had imagined before starting my course, between all the work I'm juggling with, I barely have time for reading. So while I did read 87 books from January to June, the majority of that reading was done during the months before I started uni XD.
And now let's take a look at those books I enjoyed most...
My Favorite Books Of The Year So Far
Because it was a little hard to narrow down the books to a reasonable number for this list, in a few cases I'm just going to go with a book series rather a single book. That's kind of cheating but whatever XD. Also, these books are in no particular order.
The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
Okay, I do know that many people actually feel pretty meh about this series. Honestly, I kind of see why some people didn't enjoy it. However, perhaps because I had prepared myself so much to hating these books, I actually ended up really enjoying them! And while individually I wouldn't pick any of these books as my favorite of the year or anything, overall, this series was among the books I loved most in the first half of the year.
The first book introduces to the Russian-inspired world of Ravka, in a land torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a pocket of darkness home to vicious monsters. When a regiment of soldiers is sent on a mission to go into the Fold, one of them, Alina, is revealed to have a unique power that may just be the way to fight off the Fold and the creatures within. In a world where to have magic is to be a warrior, Alina's life soon starts to change forever.
I really enjoyed the Russian-inspired setting and folklore and surprisingly, I found myself really caring about Alina and the fate of all the characters. Also, to be honest, I did have a little bit of a book crush on The Darkling... *shameless blushing*. There, I said it and now it'll be out there in the online world for ever XD.
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
After I finished reading this book, I remember putting down my Kindle and wanting almost immediately to reread the book all over again and that never happens to me. This book is a Peter Pan retelling with Tiger Lily as the main character. She is a ruthless and often lone character, more a creature of wit and instinct than emotion. When her path one day crosses that of Peter Pan, known in her village as the most dangerous being in Neverland, what ensues is a poignant romance that will change both their lives forever. This is the story of Tiger Lily before Peter met Wendy and the book is an stunningly beautiful as it is poignant. Note to self: It's about time I get a physical copy of this book so that I have a valid reason to reread it...
After Alice by Gregory Maguire
Meant as a tribute to the original Alice in Wonderland, After Alice follows the adventures of Alice's friend, Ada, as she stumbles through the rabbit hole after Alice. What ensues is a dreamlike trip through the whimsical world of Wonderland, unlike anything Victorian England born Ada could ever imagine. The writing was both whimsical and beautiful and reading about the world of Wonderland as imagined by Maguire often felt like a dream. The setting was highly descriptive and very beautifully conceived and what stood out was mainly the feeling that along with Ada, you are yourself experiencing the dreamlike world of Wonderland. I actually did a full review of this book, which you can read here.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
I had no idea what to expect before picking this one up and that's exactly how I would recommend you read this book. The whole Raven Cycle is unlike any YA fantasy series I've ever read but my favorite has to be book 1 because that's the book that introduces us to all the awesomeness and delicious mysteries of this very well written and unique series. Four boys, all attending a prestigious academy that earn them and their peers the name 'Raven Boys' are on a quest to find a Welsh king rumored to still be alive somewhere, lost in a magical sleep. When their quest lead them to crossing paths with Blue Sargent, the only 'normal' person in a family of psychics, this encounter marks the beginning of a friendship as special as it is beautiful. That being said though simply telling you what the book is about wouldn't do it justice. You really need to experience it for yourself to really get what The Raven Boys is all about.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Man, this book! Carry On originates from Fangirl, another book by Rainbow Rowell, in which it is a fan-fiction of the Simon Snow series, which is basically the Harry Potter of that world. Instead of being a parody or rip-off of Harry Potter though, Carry On is instead the love child of every 'Chosen One' book ever written, subtly making fun at the tropes of these fantasy books and rising to go beyond those usual tropes to become a unique story of adventure, magic, heartbreak and yes, love. I feel like it's best if you don't know too much about the story before picking up this book because honestly, part of the magic of Carry On resides in letting the author surprise you at each turn of the pages. I highly, highly recommend!
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
This is a collection of short stories from the universe of the Meyer's Lunar Chronicles. In an advanced future full of space travels, cities on the moon, cyborgs and androids, these stories shed light on the past of some of the series' main characters, give us a glimpse into their future and finally conclude the series in the most beautiful way possible in a final story full of everything a fan of the series could have hoped for.
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Unfortunately, I can't tell you anything about this book without spoiling everything in the first 2 books of the Throne of Glass series. The first book introduces to the legendary assassin Celaena Sardothien, who is offered a shot at getting her life back when she is given a chance to participate in a competition who will pit the land's best assassins against each other until only one remains and rises to become the king's personal assassin. While that's the gist of the first book's premise, there are is so much more to the series guys, that I can't tell you about without getting close to spoiler territory. Heir of Fire takes both the characters and the reader in unseen before places and the plot just escalates to new levels of awesomeness. Also, the reason why I picked Heir of Fire rather than any other book in the series is because this is actually my favorite book in the series so far ^^
So that's it guys for my little reading update. How's your Goodreads challenge going? And what books have you most enjoyed so far this year? Let me know down in the comments below ^^