My Favourite Books of 2016!

It really doesn’t seem like a whole year has passed since my ‘Top Books of 2015‘ post, but here we are again with my favourite books of 2016!

Like last year, I didn’t manage to read as many books as I’d hoped, or beat my Goodreads Reading Challenge (I am DETERMINED to beat it next year. I refuse to be defeated.), but there have been so many good ones in the 21 books I did read. Here are my favourites!

The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

the-girl-of-ink-and-stars

The Girl of Ink and stars was pure magic and so, so beautiful, and I am so happy I got around to reading it this year.

*You can read my review here!

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

a-torch-against-the-night

The wait for book 2 after An Ember in the Ashes (which was in my Top Books of 2015) was torture, and I really was not disappointed when ATATN was released. I can’t wait for book 3!

*You can read my review here!

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

nevernight

I’m sure this book will be on many 2016 faves lists, and for good reason! It’s glorious.

*You can read my review here!

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

Paper Butterflies

This book completely shattered my heart and made me cry many, many times but it was so spectacular, so important and beautifully written.

*You can read my review here!

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands

I loved Rebel of the Sands and I am so excited for book two. Not long now! Eeek!

*You can read my review here!

The Island by Olivia Levez

The Island

The Island was raw and amazing and I can’t recommend it enough.

*You can read my review here!

And that’s it until next year! Wishing you all a very happy and bookish new year!

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favourite Bookish Shops

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they suggest a new theme with a list for bloggers to choose from. This week was a gift freebie, so I decided to tell you all about my favorite bookish themed shops!

Literary Emporium

Literary Emporium is a great place to find cool bookish things, from jewellery to bookmarks. I have a necklace from there that I got for my birthday this year and I wear it almost every day, I love it so much!

Bookworm Boutique

I love the prints in this shop, and you can get them on mugs and phone cases, too!

Oh Panda Eyes

This shop has the cutest bookish jewellery. I want them all!

Frostbeard 

I am obsessed with bookish candles, and I received one from this shop in an Owlcrate box a while ago and it smells divine. Is it acceptable to spend all my money on book scented candles?

My Bookmark

These bookmarks are so great

Not On The Highstreet

I never thought to look on this website for bookish things until a few days ago, but there is so much on there! They have everything!

Appraising Pages

The T-shirts in this shop look so cool, I kinda want to buy them all.

Waiting on Wednesday: Carve the Mark

waiting-on-wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine which spotlights exciting up and coming releases.

My pick for this week:

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

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Release date:17th January 2017

Synopsis:

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not — their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuve, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive — no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive — or to destroy one another.

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Why am I excited?

I absolutely loved Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy. It’s one of my favourites! Carve the Mark sounds like another awesome read and I can. Not. Wait!

What releases are you waiting on?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Recently Added to My Ever Growing TBR

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they suggest a new theme with a list for bloggers to choose from. This week was books I’ve recently added to my tbr.

So, here are some of the books I’ve bought/ received and added to the towering pile of books that is my tbr recently!

The Night Circus my Erin Morgenstern

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The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

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Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Gemina

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

heartless

What Light by Jay Asher

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And some of the books I’ve recently discovered and can’t wait to read!

A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke

(no cover yet!)

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

carve-the-mark

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

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History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

history-is-all-you-left-me

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

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All of these books sound so amazing. I can’t wait to read them all!

 

 

Review: The Girl of Ink and Stars

the-girl-of-ink-and-starsTitle: The Girl of Ink and Stars
Author: Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Pages: 288
Published by: Chicken House
Release date: 5th May 2016
Synopsis:

Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella Riosse dreams of the faraway lands her father once mapped.

When her closest friend disappears into the island’s Forgotten Territories, she volunteers to guide the search. As a cartographer’s daughter, she’s equipped with elaborate ink maps and knowledge of the stars, and is eager to navigate the island’s forgotten heart.

But the world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland – and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a legendary fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon, following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.

Purchase from: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

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Review:

The Girl of Ink and Stars was so much more than I expected. The story was so immersive and despite it being quite short, I felt like I’d read a book that was so much longer, there was so much story in it, and it was so well written and developed.

The book follows Isabella, the daughter of a cartographer who is determined to use her skills to find her best friend Lupe. I loved reading her journey of discovery as she uncovered the island’s secrets and mysteries, the heartbreaks and worries along the way to finding her best friend, and the sheer adventure of mapping the forgotten parts of the island. This book is a roller coaster of emotions and is truly an adventure worth reading!

Characterisation in this book was great, and there was so much character development in both the main character, Isabella, and her best friend Lupe, which is really quite a feat since Lupe isn’t even in that much of the book. Both characters were so great, and they grew so much stronger and greater throughout the book.

I absolutely loved the writing in The Girl of Ink and Stars. It was so beautiful and effortless, and the world building was spectacular, the landscapes, places, myths and maps were all so vivid. I stayed up so late to keep reading just because I literally could not stop. The end of every chapter had me wanting to keep reading.

And just look at that cover! (AND, there are drawings on the inside pages, too, which is so cool!) The Girl of Ink and Stars just might be the most beautiful book on my bookshelf!

Rating: ★★★★★

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Name Something After

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they suggest a new theme with a list for bloggers to choose from. This week was characters I’d name a child/dog/cat etc after, and I have included my favourite bookish pets/sidekick/companion/animals.

Characters I’d name a child/dog/cat etc. after:

Celaena

Just like I love the character, I really liked the name Celaena when I first read Throne of Glass. It’s so different.

Feyre

Another name from a Sarah J. Maas book, I absolutely love the name Feyre. It’s so unique and beautiful.

Aza

A big part in why I love this name is the character Aza in Magonia. She’s amazing – witty, strong – and her story is wonderful.

Lucille

 I just think Lucille is such a lovely name! I think I first heard it in Beautiful Creatures – there was a cat called Lucille and I thought it was adorable. And then again in This Raging Light  – the main character was called Lucille, ad I loved her.

Katniss

The temptation to name a pet cat Catniss is real.

Pets/ companions:

Camden – Three Dark Crowns

Camden technically isn’t a pet, but more of a sidekick, but she’s awesome.

Mr Kindly – Nevernight

Again not a pet, Mr Kindly is a shadow cat – he talks  and he is hilarious.

Chairman Meow and Church – The Mortal Instruments

These guys are the best. I can’t decide which cat I love more!

Bambi – The Dark Elements

Bambi is a snake, and a sort of tattoo that comes off and can fight and slither around and has the best personalitly that you can imagine a snake having. I loved her.

Fleetfoot – Throne of Glass

Okay, so Feetfoot is apparently the only pet in this list. She’s Celaena’s puppy in Throne of Glass and she is the most adorable thing.

ARC Review: Holding Up the Universe

holding-up-the-universeTitle: Holding Up the Universe
Author: Jennifer Niven
Pages: 368
Publisher: Penguin
Release date: 6th October 2016
Synopsis:
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 see who she really is. Since her mum’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. 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 art of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a 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 own 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, Libby and Jack are both angry, 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.

Purchase from: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

goodreads

Firstly, thank you so much to Clare from Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of Holding Up the Universe!

Review:

I loved Jennifer Niven’s debut YA book, All the Bright Places, when I read it last year. It was an intensely emotional read and it completely shattered  my heart. And I was so excited when I found out that there was going to be a new Jennifer Niven book. I couldn’t wait to see what she’d write next. And I was not disappointed. Holding Up the Universe left my heart feeling so fuzzy and warm – I just loved it.

This book flips between two characters, Jack and Libby, and I loved reading from both perspectives. They are two amazing and truly inspirational characters. Their voices were so unique and strong. I loved seeing them overcome their insecurities and struggles and learn to accept themselves as they are. Jack, trying to understand and cope with not being able to recognize anyone. And Libby, trying to fit into high school life after years of being trapped inside after the death of her mother and experiencing terrible bullying. I loved how Libby went out into the world determined to live her life to the fullest and isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and be happy with herself. I loved how they both came together and helped each other, and how the grew so much as characters throughout the book – I think I’ve definitely found two more characters to add to my favourites!

I really liked the rest of the characters, too, and how they’re all so different. Libby’s friends, and dad, Jack’s brothers and even his friends — they’re all so interesting.

A big theme in this book is bullying, and I loved how Jennifer Niven tackled it. She managed to sensitively, yet honestly portray what it’s like to be bullied, and the effects of that on a person. But she also explored the reasons why people bully, and it was so thought provoking.

I love Niven’s writing. It’s easy to read and keeps you hooked and I just flew through this book. Holding Up the Universe is such a heartwarming read that is sure to pull you into the pages and keep you until you turn the very last one.

Rating: ★★★★☆