I’ve often gone off and looked at other bloggers, especially around the end of the year, to see what everyone else is doing to wrap up the year. I always get to this point and I never really know what to do or say. The beginning of the year feels like it’s been a thousand years ago, and there’s no chance I can remember anything that happened all the way back in January. So how am I supposed to review my year, when at best I can remember about a third of it?
Yay, Internet! That’s the good thing about the fact that I’ve been keeping track of my books on Goodreads for this year, and did the reading challenge PROPERLY.
Going back and really looking at the books, I read this year, there are a lot of titles that I only kind of liked. Sure, that’s going to be the case when you write reviews and pick up free books on Amazon and all that kind of stuff. But there are some standouts from 2016 I’d like to talk about. Because something good has to be happening this year.
(As a note: these aren’t all going to be just books, but occasionally series and whatnot. Just so you know.)
- The first real blow-me-away moment happened right near the start, apparently–because that’s when i was introduced to Stephanie Erickson’s writing. I’d love to choose a favorite, but I genuinely can’t. Both the Unseen trilogy and the Children of Wisdom trilogy were brilliant and lovely, and it’s just left me wanting more and more of her stuff. Lucky for me, I’ve already got a few titles loaded onto my Kindle. (I need to read faster.)
- Laura Lee Anderson’s SONG OF SUMMER has to get a mention. Not only was it an adorable romance with a deaf protagonist (yesssss) but ALSO it took place in the towns/area where I grew up, so all the setting was intensely familiar. I’ve been in most of the places described, and if they don’t specifically exist, I’ve been somewhere much like them. It was such a wonderful and familiar journey back to some good places in my memories. Anderson did an excellent job of capturing the essence of the place.
- HERO STATUS by Kristen Brand came to me out of the blue one day on Twitter; a friend of a friend who had been pointed in my direction since I wrote reviews. And out of all the books I’ve had sent to me for review, I have to say that I think this one is my favorite. (Or at least one of my favorites, for sure.) Another one where I’m not sure why I haven’t read the next book in the series yet–since it’s on my Kindle–other than “I’m lazy and bad at reading books, apparently.” Oops?
- Of course, this was the year I finally got to read some of Chuck Wendig’s stuff. I’ve been having a fine old time chatting with him off and on through Twitter, and after spending way too long tracking down the first two books of the trilogies I own book three for, I read the Heartland trilogy. Wendig’s an excellent writer and I’m really looking forward to digging into Miriam Black’s books once we hit 2017. (Maybe I’ll even pick up his Star Wars books, since I’ve heard good things about them as well.)
- Last but most certainly not least, we have Leah Raeder’s CAM GIRL. (Of course, this is the name Elliot Wake used to write under.) I haven’t been this truly blown away by a book in a very long time. Wake (unsurprisingly) captures the essence of the gender struggle for so many genderfluid, or trans*, or any conbination thereof people…and gives it this wonderful, sad, breathtaking story. I’ve never seen my existence so perfectly described, as the way Wake talks about it–both in his book, and in his author’s note. I can’t get enough of his work. I may go buy some today.
Some honorable mentions: Marieke Nijkamp’s THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS is a harrowing tale of a school shooting, and the effects it has on its four narrators, and resonated with me deeply. I got to M.C.A. Hogarth’s SOME THINGS TRANSCEND and AMULET RAMPANT both during this year, and I believe I have at least one more in the series waiting for me either on my Kindle or in the store. As usual, it was lovely to read Micah’s work. And of course, Scott Cawthon and Kira Breed-Wrisley’s FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S: THE SILVER EYES has to make the list. I still need to go back and read it about fourteen more times–particularly now that Sister Location has come out and we have all kinds of ideas about how this might tie back into the lore. I love lore. I love this series. I got a FNAF calendar for Christmas. Whee~
There were plenty of other books I liked, of course, but these are really the ones that jumped out to me off my Goodreads page. It’s hopeful, though. I read a lot of nifty books this year, and I’m hopeful that in the year to come I will read even more. I’ve certainly got more than a few on my TBR to get through.
So here’s to you, 2017. Let’s shoot for the stars.