Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Day 11: Books of 2016

Since it's the beginning of a new year, why not go through some of my favorite books from 2016?

      I love to read, and I have for a long time. Before the break, my English teacher suggested we all take a photo of our top five favorite books that we read during the last year (or last two years for those who don't read as much). Since I got a new camera for Christmas I was excited about this and started thinking about what books were my favorite. What could I put in this photo?
     I went through Overdrive to the Amazon Lending Library and went back to August of 2015 and started making a list of the books I read, whether I had enjoyed them or not. These were just the eBooks. I had no real way of tracking what physical books I read over the years because sadly the library system doesn't keep track of that for you. I think the original list had about 50 books or so that I actually remembered reading (and like I said, a lot of the books I read a few years ago were physical and there really wasn't a way to keep track of them or see when I had checked them out). Now I had some eliminating to do.
      In the end, I eliminated all but six books. I knew which books I absolutely had to include, but which one book could I leave out? I decided to eliminate one of the ones I owned (I tried buying some of these other favorites at Barnes and Noble but none of them were available or not in the way I wanted them). I now had five books that had been my favorites over the last couple years.

     The books that I chose were The Winner's Curse Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski, The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black, Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, and Reasons to be Happy by Katrina Kittle.

      The first book, or rather trilogy, that I really like is The Winner's Curse Trilogy (The Winner's Curse, The Winner's Crime, The Winner's Kiss) by Marie Rutkoski. Marie Rutkoski is one of my favorite authors right now. The first book is about Kestrel Trajan, daughter of the Valorian General Trajan. The Valorians went to war with the Herrani and now the Herrani are considered slaves to the Valorian Empire. The story starts there. Well worth a read in my opinion!
      Second is The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black about a girl and her brother who live in a town that has become a popular tourist spot because of a boy in a glass coffin, sleeping. The girl and her brother grew up playing games around this boy, pretending they were knights charged with the protection of this boy who was a prince. Then they grow up and the story is about the girl living in high school.
     Third is Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. If you like plot twists, this book's middle name is Plot Twist! The beginning was slow and I almost didn't make it through it but I am glad I did because it was worth it! A princess runs away on the day she is supposed to leave to meet her betrothed who is a prince of another land. That's all I am going to say about this book. Want to know more? Either read it yourself (which I recommend) or look it up.
      Fourth was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo and I have been waiting for the sequel to come out for a while. This book is about a crew that are hired to pull of the most daring and impossible heist. I love books like this, especially with characters like The Wraith (Inej) because they are the characters I wish I could be like (such as Celaena Sardothien in Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas). Those characters are stealthy and smart and incredibly talented.
      Reasons to be Happy by Katrina Kittle is the fifth book. It's about a girl who begins to struggle with bulimia as her life gets harder. She has a notebook full of reasons she could be happy and I like reading books and learning about people who have different disorders because then you can translate what you learn about the characters to people in real life.


As you may or may not have noticed, there are more than five books in this photo. That's because after I decided on my five favorites, I didn't want to leave out two other books I have read and that nearly made the top five. The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski was neck-and-neck with Reasons to be Happy and when taking this picture I decided it had to be included, especially since I own it now. It's about a girl named Darcy with dark hair and is fairly introverted. Then a new guy starts at school and there's something different about him. (Have I mentioned that Marie Rutkoski is one of my favorites?)
      The other book included in this photo that didn't make the list was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (The book pictured is actually a compilation of seven of her novels but the important part is that Pride and Prejudice is in it). I read this last school year after seeing posters all over my English classroom because my English teacher also taught AP English Literature and was doing a Pride and Prejudice unit. I saw the movie at my grandma's house and asked to borrow it. After falling in love with the movie, I fell in love with the book (which doesn't happen very often--finding a movie first and then reading the book and loving it).

So those are the books that I loved from 2016.