End of the Year Spotlight 2016

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This year I had an easier time picking out my top 10 favorite books of the year. While I’ve read many amazing books, this year the most amazing stood out head and shoulders above the others. So without further ado here are my personal favorites (in no particular order) that I read this year!

1. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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This book was a ride from start to finish! It had been such a long time since I’d read a fantasy book with so much action and swept me away so thoroughly. While this book did come out last year (and I still have the sequel on my nightstand) I’m so glad I didn’t wait to long to discover it!

2. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

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This book was one that enough people talked about on social media so that I had to see for myself. The prose is absolutely beautiful and there are so many amazing passages where Sáenz just nails certain emotions and is able to give words to those often indescribable feelings. It is definitely a book for people who love words.

3. Shades of Magic series by V. E. Schwab

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From the very first line I was hooked! I devoured A Darker Shade of Magic and it’s sequel, A Gathering of Shadows (which is not pictured because I gave it to my mom to read). I was blown away by the world building and fell in love with the interesting and unique characters. The concept delights me and the cliffhanger at the end of A Gathering of Shadows has me clamoring for the third and final book!

4. Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

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Of all the Star Wars books I’ve read this year, Lost Stars was far and away the best one! It perfectly blended all the elements you expect from a story set in this universe while also being able to stand on its own. The characters were fresh, the way it blended with the original trilogy was great, and I love that while you knew what was going to happen, you didn’t know how it was going to happen. It had that perfect blend of action and romance and the fight scenes were amazing! I could just see the battles happening right in front of me! I’m excited to read her other Star Wars book and hope I’m not disappointed.

5. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

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I am a big fan of retellings and this retelling of the 1,001 Nights is one of my favorites! I love that it isn’t just a straight retelling and Ahdieh weaves what we know with elements of her own invention. She takes a story that so many know from all the various retellings of the specific stories and of the actual completed tale and gives us fleshed out characters with varying motives and ever changing hearts. While I still need to read the sequel, I’m sure it’ll sweep me along just as surely as this one did!

6. The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

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Of Riordan’s newest mythology books, this one is my favorite! I love how Riordan takes the opportunities within the myths to be more inclusive because there are myths to explain everything, including gender and sexuality. I also will continue to love that Magnus is not a warrior like Riordan’s other heroes, but a healer and he’s such a big softie (though he tries to hide it). The characters as always are funny and shine through the words. I wish that this was the five book series and not a trilogy, but I have a feeling that Riordan isn’t done with Magnus just yet!

7. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

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I’ve slowly been working through Stiefvater’s work after discovering The Raven Cycle last summer and I can see why this book is most people’s favorite. The world building is exquisite and obviously crafted with love. I also am a big fan of horses and this book is chock full of horses! It is also heavily Irish in both the storytelling and the setting which was fun to read!

8. Jackaby series by William Ritter

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When I saw this series described as “fantasy Sherlock Holmes” I knew I had to read it and was not disappointed! The book is lively and while it is intended for younger audiences, it is fun for all ages! The characters are funny and there are so many wonderful quotes throughout. The third book came out this year and I’m excited to read that as soon as I’m able.

9. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

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Unfortunately I don’t own a copy of this beautiful book…yet, but believe me when I say that the contents are just as beautiful as the cover. There aren’t enough words to describe how beautiful this book is or how much I love the characters of Maya and Amar. It was fun being exposed to a different kind of fantasy and new mythical creatures and I can’t wait to read more from this wonderful author!

10. When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

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I fell in love with this author last year with her debut novel and her follow-up is even better! I’ve never read a ton of magical realism, but I am a big fan of the way she writes it. I also love that everyone wasn’t entirely as they seemed and in the end everyone got what they desired, even the antagonists. The love story is sweet and beautiful and the family relationships shown throughout are wonderful. I can’t wait to read what she writes next!

What are some of your favorite reads of the year? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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One thought on “End of the Year Spotlight 2016

  1. I have wanted to read A Darker Shade of Magic for a while and I really hope I get to it in 2017. Thanks for sharing this list! I’ve added a couple more books to my TBR list because of it. The never ending list…

    Liked by 1 person

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