This was an undertaking, not one I’d thought I’d have, really, when I first started reading this. I thought it would be easier. I truly did. It was not. Unless I can get another book read in a few hours, this is the only review you get today.
Initially not intended for this month. Book club gals asked me to join for the YA book club too so I read it. Originally Inventing Elliot was supposed to be your third review for the week. You’ll get it next week.
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.
The following is the story of a Witch. A Witch of charm and knowledge, who experienced love and loss. A Witch who found herself enthralled and enchanted by the words that were spoken and written. The following is the story of a Witch, and what was said about her, to her, and by her.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – The Magician’s Nephew – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – The Horse and His Boy – Prince Caspian – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – The Silver Chair – The Last Battle
Redwall Novels by Brian Jacques – Loamhedge – Rakkety Tam – High Rhulain – Eulalia! – Doomwyte – The Sable Qean – The Rogue Crew
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone/ Philosopher’s Stone – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows
The Missing Series by Margaret Peterson Haddix – Found – Sent – Sabotaged – Torn – Caught – Sought – Risked – Rescued – Revealed – Redeemed
What I both hate, and love, about this challenge, is that it doesn’t include any of the manga, webtoons, webnovels, or otherwise that I read over the course of the year. Those numbers would bolster these ones by so much. I read through four whole webnovels. I keep up to date on so many manga and webtoons, and none of those technically count on this list. In some ways, it’s nice to see just what books I read, but it’s not all the reading that I have done. Next year I think I will make note of all the other forms of fiction that I read on a similar list.
Regardless, this challenge was fun and easy to do. I am doing it again next year, for certain!
And so here ends this challenge. We have more posts to come. See you soon.