So I was… bored. Can you really blame me? I had nothing to do BUT order copious amounts of book boxes that I had no business buying. You should have stopped me. I was not stopped. EITHER WAY. I decided to try out the Wizarding Vault Box, because I’ve seen it so many times on YT. I got five items. All were really nice, actually but here are my thoughts.
The crisp air was scented in cinnamon and roasted chestnuts. The light flurry of falling snow, dusted surfaces that had been cleaned a few hours ago, silver metal becoming cooler to the touch with each passing second. It was the season of ice once more. Solstice had come and Midwinter was upon us. Today was the night that the feasting would begin, the sacrifices would begin, the celebrations would fester.
I breathed out deeply, trying to contain my excitement. My breath slipped out into the air, hot, visible, thick. Rubbing my hands together I let myself simmer in the upcoming festivities. The air stirred above us beckoning us to its grasp. The clouds were dark and spinning, the moon lighting the sky and peaking through when the clouds so wished.
Sometimes, when I write these, I feel like I’m speaking into the void with no real expectation to hear back anything from anyone. And you all, in the void — should you actually exist, I’m not sure sometimes — simply nod your heads and sit there watching.
And I wonder, are they humans or are they bots?
Either way, lets get on in to what this update is about. WARNING THIS IS LONG.
I wanted to do this list for a long time and honestly this was a fight to the death for me to decide which book got number one. I will explain the best I can for each book. Let’s go!
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
This is probably recency bias, as it was the last book I read this year. However I loved it. The last third had me screaming as I raced through it. It was an epic read and an epic way to end the year.
Tyrant’s Throne by Sebastien De Castel
If I could pick the whole series, I would. However this book defines the series. It shows the cumulation of all the themes. It creates tears, joy, and a unfathomable need to be valorous. This book made the series for me.
Heartless by Melissa Meyer
I loved this retelling of Alice in Wonderland. I had to decide between this and Tyrant’s Throne, and this beat it out because it is a stand alone. If I compared this to The Greatcoats series, it would lose every time. This retelling stole my heart and made me cry for the transformation of the Queen of Hearts.
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Fact, I fully believed this was a retelling of another book. Also fact, it is not. This book was amazing. Obviously, but the humor in it really got me. Fully got me. I loved every moment of it.
The Wicked King by Holly Black
This is where we get into battle territory, as I had to decide which books were my absolute favorite reads of the year. I chose the second book of this series, because I saw the first and third coming, in a way, but the second took me on a joy ride. It’s my favorite of the series, and 100% why I adore this series so much.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
I went from confusion to adoration for this novel, all too quickly. I loved every moment of this book. The twists were great. The plot and setting were phenomenal. Everything about this book was amazing, but what separates this from the top four are themes, and their importance to me.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I had to decide where to put this book, as it is the only book that made me sob this year. I loved every moment that this book gave me, in solidarity, and in understanding. This book hit me hard and did not let go. It started my year off, and stays with me through it all, but it was not my favorite read.
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
When I first reread Wicked, I was fully prepared to hate it. Instead I fell into it, and fell into the themes and was spun in the magic. This book had me analyzing the themes of a book in full, for the first time in such a long time. This book has so many quotable lines and everything I could ever hope for in a book.
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Why two instead of one? That was a debate I still have. This book reinvigorated my love for reading, single handedly. I love this stand alone so frickin much that I have recommended it to nearly everyone I know has mildly enjoyed fantasy.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
When you give me a new character to love. You win. When you give me themes that strike home. You win. When you give me a new life motto to live by and a resonance in my mind that sticks with me every night. You win, everything. This book was hands down the best book I read this year. Not because it was the best written, or the most important, or the best themed, but because this book fundamentally changed my life.
And that’s what’s important.
I had a LOT of fantasy novels on this list. I didn’t do this list last year, and I kind of wish I did, so I could see the comparison.
Sebastien De Castell, I have read many of his books in the recent months and if there is one thing I can say for sure it is that I love his books.
I could go on for days on how I like how he writes and directs his stories. I like how they spin and the directions they take, because I don’t expect it. Does that mean there is no set up for how they will go? On the contrary, there is lots of support for why they turn the way they do, I’m just used to stories that go the way I expect.
His books don’t do that.
I could speak on the characters who I have fallen for in all the books. How they make me laugh and cry, how I love them.
But that is not what strikes me the most from his works.
Let’s talk about HBO’s new His Dark Materials adaptation. I wasn’t planning on watching this series, if we were being honest.
Well, no. I wanted to watch it, but I was afraid.
I love His Dark Materials as a series. I didn’t hate the movie when it came out, but it wasn’t right. So seeing this, seeing actors I love in it, I was tempted. But I also don’t want to be dragged into a series where I look at the page to screen and scream “WRONG.” I just don’t. Not for this series. Not again.
And then the reviews came out. Oh, the reviews came out. And people who have never read the books are apparently confused AF, and the book readers love it? A big criticism is that there aren’t enough dæmons? (Which I did hear was because of budget constraints and to try to keep people focused. I understand that.) There have been some reviews that say it still it isn’t good enough, but it is better and reviewers I trust are saying its good.
Thus, I will be rereading the books as soon as I finish A Dance with Dragons and I will be starting the TV show as soon as I can. I may be writing weekly reviews for the series as a book to screen adaptation review. IDK. Would you even want that? If you do, would you want me to give spoiler side by sides, or just reviews? Let me know.
November 5: Books That Give Off Autumn Vibes (Autumn scenes/colors on the cover, autumn atmosphere, etc.)
I kind of skipped the last few weeks for a few reasons. First off Extraordinary Book Titles (15th): I just didn’t have enough titles that I thought were amazing. Book Titles I would Change (22), I don’t ever think about changing titles. Freebie week I was left without a thought of how I would progress forward, so I just did not. So here we are with autumn vibes, and I suppose Autumn vibes are the only vibes we are going to get and that’s okay. We can go with that.
Hello, hello. Today I am flying across country and so this post comes to you automated. As always, if you leave a comment, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Today is another Top Ten Tuesday! (Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.)
Topic: ‘October 1: Book Titles with Numbers In Them (You could really challenge yourself and do numbers 1-10 or just any numbers at all. Submitted by Emma @ Words and Peace)’
Not going to lie. This is going to be fun. STIPULATIONS: I must own the book. Lets see if I can do this.
Part three! Best number and my favorite of the magical creatures: Dragons. Remember to read part 1 and part 2, if you have not already. If you have, or you don’t want to, buckle down and let’s talk about dragons.