Episode 23: Reading Challenges
This is my second year doing this challenge and I am super fucking proud to say I outdid myself by a lot!
Like never have I read this many books in a year!
I honestly thought I wasnt going to be able to do it, but damn... Damn
So this year I set myself the challenge of reading 60 books
But I have gone WAY over that and have reached 103
Last year my challenge was of 52 and I reached 81
Like yeah THAT should've been an indicator that I was going to be able to reach my goal this year but I felt like I was really pushing myself and that to be honest I wasn't going to be able to push myself as much this year but lo and behold, I have outdone that by a lot!
So as I did last year, I am going to be doing my top 10 books of the year and my bottom 5!
Lets get to it shall we!
Goodreads Description for all the books will be below!
1. The Burning World- Isaac Marion (Review)
So this one will actually come out this February (pre-order HERE) but I was blessed enough to get my hands on the ARC of this book thanks to my friend going to a meet up that the author held in San Francisco (He did meet ups all along the west coast but I sadly missed the San Diego one). Anyways, this book was freaking AMAZING!
And reminded me how much I love Isaac Marion as an author and he totally does not get the recognition he deserves! Yall need to read his books, like seriously.
2. Throne of Glass- Sarah J Maas (Review)
So this series I feel like everyone and their mother have heard about it, specially with the announcement of it turning into a television show. I had avoided reading the series for as long as possible, I wanted all the books to be out before I read it and oh boy.
3. Heartless- Marissa Meyer (Review)
So it is no secret that I love Marissa Meyer, and so to hear that she would be releasing a stand alone for an Alice and Wonderland Queen of Hearts book I knew I needed it.
For this one, I was blessed enough to get my hands on a signed ARC (It is my baby) and after MONTHS of having read it, I have yet to get over that kiss ass transition!
It really was an awesome book.
4. Lady Midnight- Cassandra Clare
So this one was though. I was severely conflicted with hating it with all the pop culture references and also loving it for it. Because you know what, it really IS a whole different world in Southern California, even more where the book is based.
And of course, the love aspect to this one just fucking got to me! Making this one of my favorite reads of 2016.
5. Game of Thrones- George R. R. Martin (Review)
So I am a fan of the show and was just itching to read the books and oh boy was it a ride! Words can not explain how much I loved it...Seriously!
6. Clockwork Princess- Cassandra Clare
So this series was recommended to me by 2 different people and they told me that it was going to destroy my heart. And holy shit were they correct.
7. This is Where it Ends- Marieke Nijkamp (Review)
This book was seriously scary. The realism in this book was one of the scariest things I ever had to read. I didnt know that a book could make me so emotional and actually put some legit fear in me and it is all due to the fact that it has happened and it can continue to happen. I am not willing to say will continue to happen. I refuse.
8. Resurrecting Sunshine- Lisa A. Koosis (Review)
This book was really freaking interesting in the fact that it made me really think about the rightness or lack of if we were able to bring back out dead loved ones. Would I? They point out how the whole thing might actually feel, how it would actually work. And just the whole concept of accepting a death and moving on.
9. Twelve Angry Men- Reginald Rose
This book was brilliant. Just brilliant. Probably one of my favorite plays ever.
10. Bloodline- Claudia Gray (Review)
Need more Han and Leia via a kick ass writer? This is the way to go. I honestly love Claudia Gray, her style of writing is addictive. If you haven't read any of her books in the past, this is a true way to go.
1. Three Dark Crowns- Kendare Blake (Review)
I was massively disappointed in this book. I was promised kick ass heroines and a fight. This all focused on the love aspect of each of the girls and to be honest, I couldn't feel for any of them because we didn't have time to get to know the guys, we were just thrown at them and expected to love them.
2. The Siren- Kiera Cass
I loved her Selection series so of course I wanted to love this one too but gosh darn was it boring for me! And annoying! The main character, whos name I have forgotten was just annoying and whiny.
3. Nightlight- The Harvard Lampoon
I love twilight parodies or remakes. But no one does it better than Twilight Fan-fiction writers. This one was just so freaking awful. It has started out good but then just went down the freaking drain.
4. The Cruelty- Scott Bergstrom (Review)
This one was promising to me... And that is all it ever was because lord jesus christ, was it just soooo not what it needed to be. The tone of the book was just all wrong and the time aspects of it were just very WTF. Like trained spy in a matter or weeks and now has a totally different body? 1. who believes that?! 2. What are you trying to say here? There was so controversy with the author that I avoided until AFTER I read the review but I now see what everyone was screeching out.
5. Solitaire- Alice Oseman
UGHHHHHHH Tori, the main character was soooooo UGGHHH Like who are you trying to convince youre super fucking average and so friendless and a super loner? Because I could deal with it the first 100 pages but after that its just a huge fucking no. Like its like youre trying to convince yourself at this point and youre not believing yourself.
The Burning World- Isaac Marion
Being alive is hard. Being human is harder. But since his recent recovery from death, R is making progress. He's learning how to read, how to speak, maybe even how to love, and the city's undead population is showing signs of life. R can almost imagine a future with Julie, this girl who restarted his heart—building a new world from the ashes of the old one.
And then helicopters appear on the horizon. Someone is coming to restore order. To silence all this noise. To return things to the way they were, the good old days of stability and control and the strong eating the weak. The plague is ancient and ambitious, and the Dead were never its only weapon.
How do you fight an enemy that's in everyone? Can the world ever really change? With their home overrun by madmen, R, Julie, and their ragged group of refugees plunge into the otherworldly wastelands of America in search of answers. But there are some answers R doesn't want to find. A past life, an old shadow, crawling up from the basement.
Throne of Glass- Sarah J Mass
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her ... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead ... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
Heartless- Marissa Meyer
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.
Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
Lady Midnight- Cassandra Clare
In a kingdom by the sea…
In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.
A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.
Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.
Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?
The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.
Game of Thrones- George R. R. Martin
A NEW ORIGINAL SERIES, NOW ON HBO.
Here is the first volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.
A GAME OF THRONES
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.
Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
Clockwork Princess- Cassandra Clare
Danger and betrayal, love and loss, secrets and enchantment are woven together in the breathtaking finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices Trilogy, prequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series.
THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING
A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.
Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.
As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?
Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.
This is Where it Ends- Marieke Nijkamp
10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.
10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won't open.
10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.
Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.
Resurrecting Sunshine- Lisa A. Koosis
At seventeen, Adam Rhodes is famous, living on his own, and in a downward spiral since he lost the girl he loved. Marybeth stage name Sunshine was his best friend from the days they were foster kids; then she was his girlfriend and his band mate. But since her accidental death, he's been drinking to deal with the memories. Until one day, an unexpected visitor, Dr. Elloran, presents Adam with a proposition that just might save him from himself. Using breakthrough cloning and memory-implantation techniques, Dr. Elloran and the scientists at Project Orpheus want to resurrect Marybeth, and they need Adam to "donate" intimate memories of his life with her. The memory retrieval process forces Adam to relive his life with Marybeth and the devastating path that brought them both to fame. Along the way, he must confront not only the circumstances of her death but also his growing relationship with the mysterious Genevieve, daughter of Project Orpheus's founder. As the process sweeps Adam and Marybeth ever closer to reliving the tragedy that destroyed them, Adam must decide how far he'll go to save her."
Twelve Angry Men- Reginald Rose
A landmark American drama that inspired a classic film and a Broadway revival—featuring an introduction by David Mamet
A blistering character study and an examination of the American melting pot and the judicial system that keeps it in check, Twelve Angry Men holds at its core a deeply patriotic faith in the U.S. legal system. The play centers on Juror Eight, who is at first the sole holdout in an 11-1 guilty vote. Eight sets his sights not on proving the other jurors wrong but rather on getting them to look at the situation in a clear-eyed way not affected by their personal prejudices or biases. Reginald Rose deliberately and carefully peels away the layers of artifice from the men and allows a fuller picture to form of them—and of America, at its best and worst.
After the critically acclaimed teleplay aired in 1954, this landmark American drama went on to become a cinematic masterpiece in 1957 starring Henry Fonda, for which Rose wrote the adaptation. More recently, Twelve Angry Men had a successful, and award-winning, run on Broadway.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Bloodline- Claudia Gray
From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Lost Starscomes a thrilling prequel to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, set roughly six years before the events of the film.
Three Dark Crowns- Kandare Blake
Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.
If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.
The Siren- Kiera Cass
"You must never do anything that might expose our secret. This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans. You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans. You are, essentially, a weapon. A very beautiful weapon. I won't lie to you, it can be a lonely existence, but once you are done, you get to live. All you have to give, for now, is obedience and time..."
The same speech has been given hundreds of times to hundreds of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own. But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can't bring herself to live by the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she's been waiting for doesn't seem nearly as important as the one she's living now.
Nightlight- The Hardvard Lampoon
About three things I was absolutely certain.
First, Edwart was most likely my soul mate, maybe.
Second, there was a vampire part of him--which I assumed was wildly out of his control--that wanted me dead.
And third, I unconditionally, irrevocably, impenetrably, heterogeneously, gynecologically, and disreputably wished he had kissed me.
And thus Belle Goose falls in love with the mysterious and sparkly Edwart Mullen in the Harvard Lampoon’s hilarious send-up of Twilight.
Pale and klutzy, Belle arrives in Switchblade, Oregon looking for adventure, or at least an undead classmate. She soon discovers Edwart, a super-hot computer nerd with zero interest in girls. After witnessing a number of strange events–Edwart leaves his tater tots untouched at lunch! Edwart saves her from a flying snowball!–Belle has a dramatic revelation: Edwart is a vampire. But how can she convince Edwart to bite her and transform her into his eternal bride, especially when he seems to find girls so repulsive?
Complete with romance, danger, insufficient parental guardianship, creepy stalker-like behavior, and a vampire prom, Nightlight is the uproarious tale of a vampire-obsessed girl, looking for love in all the wrong places
The Cruelty- Scott Bergstrom
When her diplomat father is kidnapped and the U.S. Government is unable to help, 17 year-old Gwendolyn Bloom sets off across the sordid underbelly of Europe to rescue him. Following the only lead she has—the name of a Palestinian informer living in France—she plunges into a brutal world of arms smuggling and human trafficking. As she journeys from the slums of Paris, to the nightclubs of Berlin, to the heart of the most feared crime family in Prague, Gwendolyn discovers that to survive in this new world she must become every bit as cruel as the men she’s hunting
Solitaire- Alice Oseman
In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.
My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.
Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.
I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.
I really don’t.
This incredible debut novel by outstanding young author Alice Oseman is perfect for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and all unflinchingly honest writers.