What I learned while reading this year. Sometimes the hype is worth it. I had avoided reading more than a few of these titles because it seemed like everyone else had read and loved them. There is a serious amount of overlap between this list and my favorite new authors post. I am not at all sorry.
A Torch Against the Night
by Sabaa Tahir
“Failure doesn't define you. It's what you do after you fail that determines whether you are a leader or a waste of perfectly good air.”
I loved this book so very much. I mean An Ember in the Ashes was amazing but A Torch Against the night definitely ramped things up. It has caused me to have such high expectations for the third week that I am unsure that a mere human will be able to live up to them. So many twists. And also, Helene may be the most badass character ever (bonus: she isn't cold beyond all reason). This book is full or TERRIBLE things happening to people and yet I still have ships. Lots of them.
The Wrath and the Dawn
By Renee Ahdieh
Goodreads | Amazon
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Release date: May 12th 2015
Rating: My full review of The Wrath and the Dawn here
“It’s a fitting punishment for a monster. to want something so much—to hold it in your arms — and know beyond a doubt you will never deserve it.”
I don't think that it is unfair to say that this is the first One thousand and One Nights retelling that I have enjoyed. I loved every minute reading this book. Shazi + Khali= forevah
by Brie Spangler
“I have the same Google-fu as anyone else, and the majority of the stories are good. Trans professors, teachers, parents, lawyers, actors, actresses, models. You name it and all totally conquering the world. I am happy being me. My glass is half-fucking-full, I do not exist to be your tragedy,”
What I really liked about this book is that it was an enjoyable read rather than just an "issues" book. I think that we are finally getting to the point with transgender books where they are starting to get the writing quality they deserve. This book might not have been perfect but I like the future that it represents.
The Inside of Out
by Jenn Marie Thorne
I had read and enjoyed The Wrong Side of Right last year (or maybe the year before- it is hard to keep track now that I have been in the same place for more than two year) I was blown away with The Inside of Out. It is an LGBTQIA story but mostly is a story about alliship. The moral of the story?: To be a good ally you need to shut up. Can't argue with that.
Six of Crows
by Leigh Bardugo
“The water hears and understands. The ice does not forgive.”
Life ruining. There was so much awesome in this book. Authentically diverse cast? Check. Plot, character development, and quality writing? Check, check, check. All the ships? Aye, Aye Captain. I need more. Write faster.
All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
“What do we call visible light? We call it color. But the electromagnetic spectrum runs to zero in one direction and infinity in the other, so really, children, mathematically, all of light is invisible.”
I have a difficult time speaking about this book without pressing my hand to my heart and sighing like a Victorian maiden pining after a man above her station. It makes me swoony. And quietly sad. The writing is so beautiful and the story breaks my heart every time I think about it.
These Shallow Graves
by Jennifer Donnelly
“Sir, no amount of money, no matter how vast, could induce me to stroll, perambulate, promenade, or engage in any form of locomotion with you whatsoever. Good evening.”
Turn of the century feminism. More books should reference Nelly Bly. And, because it is Jennifer Donnelly, the writing is supurb.
What Can(t) Wait
By Ashley Hope Pérez
“Mrs. Garza made us read this poem in class that said “April is the cruelest month.” Everybody else thought that was stupid, how was a month going to be cruel? But to me it makes perfect sense. It’s cruel because the whole world turns pretty and green while everything in your life is going sour. And you can’t blame anybody but yourself.”
Marisa was one of the best protagonists that I have ever read about. She was so real. I feel like she is someone that I know. Someone that I taught. I wanted her to suceed so badly. I am still worried about what happened in her life after the book ends. I would say that I want a sequal but what I really want is to invite her to Thanksgiving dinner so that she can give me all the life updates. It isn't that I am overly attached or anything.
The Dream Thieves
by Maggie Stiefvater
“I am being perfectly fucking civil.”
This series is perfection and this book is probably my favorite in the series. I cannot count how many things about it that I love. The writing is lyrical. It is an impressive feat to make a warehouse seem as magic as an enchanted forest but Maggie Stiefvater manages here. Not to mention the character of Ronan Lynch taking center stage here. Why do I so love bad boys in novels who I am concerned will set something or someone on fire.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone
by Laini Taylor
“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there's no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic."
Karou is cooler than I am ever going to be. And that is okay. The writing is superb but the settings all over the world really set my travelers heart beating. I haven't gotten around to the other books in the series but I think I will remedy that this weekend.