My favourite books of 2019 and some end-of-year stats!

Hello lovely bookish people! Can you believe it’s the end of not only another year, but a decade?! I’m rounding of 2019 in the classic way by sharing my favourite books of the year and a few stats 😀

As usual, these are not ranked but merely listed in the order I read them. And there’s a mix of 2019 releases and backlist titles 🙂


Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

tell the wolves im home

What I loved about it

  • Lovely writing style
  • Excellent characterisation and character development
  • Raw beauty
  • Gentle and poignant

The Binding by Bridget Collins

the binding

What I loved about it

  • Beautiful prose
  • Immersive storytelling
  • Fully realised characters
  • Great romance

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

radio silence

What I loved about it

  • Wonderfully relatable characters
  • Made me feel SEEN
  • Realistic portrayal of teenage life in Britain
  • Fantastic platonic relationship
  • Great message

Let’s Call It A Doomsday by Katie Henry

let's call it a doomsday

What I loved about it

  • Incredible anxiety rep
  • Wonderful protagonist
  • Realistic dialogue
  • Nice, easy flow to the writing

The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James

quiet at the end of the world

What I loved about it

  • Vividly imagined ‘soft apocalypse’
  • Likeable characters
  • Casual diversity
  • Jaw-dropping twists

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

nevernight

What I loved about it

  • Intelligently written
  • Awesome world building
  • Fantastic story
  • Funny!

Foxfire, Wolfskin by Sharon Blackie

foxfire wolfskin

What I loved about it

  • Not a single weak story
  • Phenomenal writing
  • Stunning illustrations
  • Great folklore underlying each story

We Are Lost And Found by Helene Dunbar

we are lost and found

What I loved about it

  • Cinnamon roll characters
  • Wonderful friendship dynamics
  • Raw and heart-wrenching
  • An interesting historical period
  • Respectful storytelling

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

ten thousand doors of january

What I loved about it

  • Gorgeous, magical writing
  • Effortless word choice and sentence structure
  • Book-within-a-book
  • Plucky heroine
  • Wonderful imagery

I feel like I didn’t find as many new favourites this year as I did in 2018 but I’m still thankful for all the wonderful stories I had the privilege of reading and I can’t wait to see what the new year/decade brings!

And finally, some 2019 bookish stats for you because we all love them 😉

2019 Stats!

Total books read: 112

Total page count: 40,621

Average page count per day: 111.3

Shortest book: Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist (80 pages)

Longest book: Vanity Fair (912 pages)

Average book length: 360 pages

Average Goodreads rating: 4.0

Female authors: 81!

Male authors: 26

Multiple authors: 5

Audiobooks: 36

Books from my backlist: 28 (must do better!)

Rereads: 11


And that’s 2019 done! Here’s wishing you all a safe, healthy and happy new year ❤

2019 Smashing & Dashing Character Awards!

Last year, I posted my choices for the smashing and dashing character awards (created by Cait @ Paper Fury) so I couldn’t let 2019 end without doing it again with this year’s books!

(Images in this post link to my reviews if I wrote one!)


Most Relatable Character

you asked for perfect

Ariel, my poor soft bean. I related so much to this anxious boy pushing himself to his limit that I shed actual tears for us both. I found this book very triggering but it made me feel so seen and I’ll be forever grateful to Laura Silverman for that. Self-care is important, friends!


Most Pure Animal Companion

Solovey, Vasya’s faithful steed. I’ve never been much of a horse person but I love Solovey; he is just so pure. Every hero needs a companion like him ❤


Fiercest Fighter

nevernight

It has to be Mia Corvere from The Nevernight Chronicle. I finally binged this trilogy this year and fell headfirst into the Jay Kristoff fandom. This is one of the best revenge stories I’ve ever read.


Am Surprised That I Loved You??

the forgotten girl

The Forgotten Girl by Rio Youers. I took a chance on this book in a genre that is way out of my comfort zone and ended up rating it extremely highly and recommending it to numerous people! Youers is definitely an author I’ll be watching out for.


Best Sass-Master

in bloom

Definitely Rhiannon from In Bloom. This was a brilliant sequel to Sweet Pea and Rhiannon’s cutting sarcasm on every page gave me LIFE.


Best Antihero

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Literally any character from Stephanie Garber’s series could be considered an antihero! Even though I was slightly disappointed by this series conclusion, I still appreciate the abundance of Slytherin characters and their questionable moral choices throughout the trilogy.


The Best Friends Of All

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I loved the themes of friendship and sisterhood in The Deepest Roots and really appreciated its story of female empowerment and magic. Rome, Lux and Mercy were such a close-knit trio.


Best Villain To HATE

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This year, I re-read One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest for the first time in many years and no villain can beat Nurse Ratched. She is vile.


Award For Best vs Worst YA Parents

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Frances’ mum in Radio Silence is an absolute gem. I love her. As for the worst parent, this is the only time I’ll repeat an answer in this post and it’s We Are Lost And Found. Michael’s father had the most disgusting attitude towards his children and it was painful to read.


Ship Of All Ships In 2019

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I adore the romance in this book and I will not hear a bad word said against it.


Most Precious Must Be Protected

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Literally everybody in We Are Lost And Found but especially Michael, my soft cinnamon roll. This story is so full of heart and I defy anyone to read it and not be moved.


Honestly Surprised You’re Still Alive

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This book was so stressful! I mean, I enjoyed it for how gripping it was but jeez, these characters and their choices gave me anxiety. I never want to find myself in this kind of post-apocalyptic situation!


Award For Making The Worst Decisions

the twisted tree

Aside from the aforementioned characters in Dry, I feel like Martha made some rather questionable decisions in The Twisted Tree.


Most In Need Of A Nap

let's call it a doomsday

I read about a lot of anxious characters this year. Ellis was another one I related to strongly. My heart ached for her and I definitely think she deserves a nap after everything she went through in this book!


Want To Read More About You

dead voices

Dead Voices was a fantastic follow-up to last year’s Small Spaces. I can’t wait to read more of Ollie, Coco and Brian’s escapades in the next instalment and I’m looking forward to seeing what Katherine Arden does with the Spring setting!


Well, those are my picks for the 2019 character awards! Do you agree with any of my choices? Who were you shipping in 2019? Which characters did you relate to the most? Let me know in the comments! x

My favourite books of 2018!

Hello bookies! I have been so excited about posting this – I love seeing everyone’s favourites of the year 😀

A note before we start: not all of these books were published in 2018, I just read them for the first time this year. Also, I’m listing them purely in the order I read them from earliest in the year to most recently; there’s absolutely no way I could rank these!


The Dollmaker of Kraków by R. M. Romero

the dollmaker of krakow

What I loved about it

  • Some of the most powerful imagery I’ve ever read
  • Characters that were precious and pure
  • Shattered my heart into a million pieces
  • Perfect for all ages
  • Magical and beautiful

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

strange the dreamer

What I loved about it

  • Absolutely STUNNING writing
  • Incredible immersive world-building
  • Complex and fascinating characters
  • Realistic dialogue and SNARK
  • One of the most original stories I’ve ever read

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley

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What I loved about it

  • The start of my new favourite series!
  • Superb character development
  • Sumptuously evocative descriptions
  • Intricate and clever plot
  • Captivates you and doesn’t let go

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

city of brass

What I loved about it

  • Superb attention to detail, including religious and political history
  • Cinematic descriptions
  • Perfectly paced
  • Gorgeous writing that sweeps you off your feet
  • Morally grey characters

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

the winter sea

What I loved about it

  • Instantly likeable protagonist
  • Took me through the whole spectrum of emotions
  • Seamless blending of timelines
  • Scottish accents written perfectly
  • History, romance, even psychology – this book had everything!

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

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What I loved about it

  • Seriously brilliant cast of characters
  • Stunning writing with beautiful metaphors
  • SO many levels to the story
  • Reads like a fable
  • A genre-bending masterpiece

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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What I loved about it

  • GORGEOUS writing
  • Subverts every fairytale cliché
  • Dark and twisty
  • Speaks up for women and minority groups
  • The physical book is an actual work of art

The Mermaid by Christina Henry

the mermaid

What I loved about it

  • Brilliant activist protagonist
  • Multi-layered plot that defies categorisation
  • Fast pace
  • Beautiful writing
  • Gorgeous message of acceptance

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews

a thousand perfect notes

What I loved about it

  • Cinnamon boys and sassy girls
  • Great sibling relationship
  • Brutally shredded my heart
  • Retells the life of a classical musician!
  • Cait’s voice was delightfully clear

More Than This by Patrick Ness

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What I loved about it

  • So tender and sweet, it filled my whole heart
  • Brilliantly realistic characters
  • Romance, tragedy, drama – even a sci-fi element!
  • One of the best audiobooks I’ve ever listened to
  • Honestly, it spoke to my very soul

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

autoboyography

What I loved about it

  • Amazing realistic banter
  • The sweetest and most heartfelt romance
  • Hottest first kiss I’ve ever read
  • Handles a controversial subject with tact and respect
  • Positive and uplifting message

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

muse of nightmares

What I loved about it

  • Phenomenal character development
  • Exploration of mental illness in a fantasy novel!
  • Such a satisfying sequel/conclusion
  • Stunning STUNNING writing
  • Potential for an extended Laini Taylor universe?! YESSS

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

small spaces

What I loved about it

  • Such an intelligently crafted middle grade
  • Wonderful protagonist whom I connected with on a deep personal level
  • Fabulous exploration of childhood grief
  • Some genuinely creepy scenes!
  • The resolution is perfect

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

rebecca du maurier

What I loved about it

  • Creepy house setting
  • Symbolism EVERYWHERE
  • The characters are works of art
  • Unreliable narrator
  • A Gothic masterpiece!

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

the queens of innis lear

What I loved about it

  • Incredible world-building
  • Fantastic use of flashbacks and multiple POVs
  • Amazing levels of diversity
  • A setting that is almost a character in itself
  • A fantastic, faithful reimagining of King Lear

I genuinely found so many new all-time favourites this year and I urge you all to read any and all of the books on this list!

I was going to do some honourable mentions but it would honestly be like another 20 books so I’ll leave it hehe. But know that I am just so thankful for all the amazing stories I got to read this year and I can’t wait to see what 2019 holds!

Did any of these titles make it onto your favourites list this year? x

2018 Smashing & Dashing Character Awards!

I recently saw Cait posting this and just knew I had to do my own version! I promise I’ll try my best not to use Strange the Dreamer/Muse of Nightmares for every answer 😉


Most Relatable Character

small spaces

Ollie. Arden’s portrayal of a girl grieving the loss of her mother is one of the most relatable things I’ve ever read.


Most Pure Animal Companion

pax

Pax. Even though I only rated this book 3 stars overall, Pax himself was precious.


Fiercest Fighter

the empress.jpg

Even though I was disappointed by this sequel, I still hold that Nemesis is a badass.


Am Surprised That I Loved You??

the queens of innis lear

Ban. Just ask Melanie. What a treat.


Best Sass-Master

to kill a kingdom

Lira and Elian bring all the sass.


Best Antihero

catwoman soulstealer

Selina Kyle. Genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed her origins story.


The Best Friends Of All

the halloween tree

I loved this coming-of-age story about a group of boys experiencing Halloween.


Best Villain To HATE

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Scythe Goddard. ‘Nuff said.


Award For Best vs Worst YA Parents

autoboyography

Both examples in the one book. Tanner’s parents are amazing, Sebastian’s… not so much.


Ship Of All Ships In 2018

strange the dreamer

I had to feature them somewhere. Lazlo and Sarai, my babies.


Most Precious Must Be Protected

a thousand perfect notes

Beck, sweet cinnamon roll that he is.


Honestly Surprised You’re Still Alive

her hidden life

Magda. My heart was in my mouth for most of this book.


Award For Making The Worst Decisions

the other side of lost

Mari. I really enjoyed this book but boy, did she make some terrible (and extremely unbelievable) choices.


Most In Need Of A Nap

muse of nightmares

Minya! She’s just really tired, ok?


Want To Read More About You

sweet pea

Rhiannon was hilarious and I can’t wait to read more about her escapades in 2019.


Well, those are my picks for the 2018 character awards! Do you agree with any of my choices? And is anyone else frantically trying to cram all of their last posts before the end of the year?! x

2018 Resolutions Recap and 2019 Bookish Goals!

Hello everyone! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and are relaxing with some great books today 🙂

Last year, I combined my favourite reads of the year with my review of my 2018 bookish goals. However, the post ended up miiiles long so this year I’m separating them – you can expect my top reads of 2018 soon! But for now, let’s see if I stuck to my 2018 bookish resolutions!


2018 Goals

Allow myself to reread

I’m pleased to say that I have reread 15 books this year, including starting my first reread of the Harry Potter series in ten years! I’m planning to continue with this in 2019 as I really love returning to old favourites and remembering what is so wonderful about them. I’ve already got a big list of books I want to reread.

 

Read more of the Discworld series

Ok, I majorly dropped the ball on this one. I only read one Discworld book all year! It was genuinely a case of ‘so many books, so little time’. I’m probably not going to have this as an official resolution again next year but I will keep it in the back of my mind when choosing my reads because I really do want to make progress through Pratchett’s epic series.

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Read predominantly from my own bookshelf

I knew I’d failed this one but I didn’t realise quite how spectacularly. I’m actually ashamed at how few books I read from my own shelves. The majority of the books I’ve read this year were either review books sent to me by publishers or books I was enticed into buying. I didn’t think I was doing too badly but it turns out even if you’re buying backlist titles, they still count as new additions to your shelf. Who knew?

 

In 2018, I participated in the Pop Sugar challenge for the third year in a row. Towards the end of this year, I actually decided to give up on the challenge because I just wasn’t interested in reading books purely to tick off challenge prompts. The decision caused me a lot of angst, as I am such a perfectionist and hate to quit on anything, but I think I made the right call. I won’t be doing the challenge in 2019; instead, I’ll be focusing on getting through some of the backlog of books I’ve acquired in the last 3 years.


Goals for 2019

Read more books with mental health rep

I make no secret of the fact that I have my own mental health struggles, as well as working in the mental health sector, so I’d love to explore how more authors represent mental health in their books.

 

Conquer my fear of big books

I didn’t read very many long books (over 500 pages) this year but the ones I did read ended up being some of my favourite books of the year! I’ve got a few larger books sitting on my shelves that I’d really love to try in 2019; I’m definitely in the mood to immerse myself in a chunky tome.

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Read more from favourite authors

I have a strange habit of discovering an author I love and subsequently avoiding their books because I don’t want to run out! So I’m going to try and stop being ridiculous in 2019 and read more of the books I’ve collected by favourite authors. Some examples include Leigh Bardugo, Patrick Ness, Susanna Kearsley and Christina Henry.

 

Try some non-fiction books

I’ve always had a fear of non-fiction but I know there are some fantastic titles out there. I’m looking to ease myself in with a few memoirs and book-related titles first, before tackling some heavier subjects that I’m interested in.

 

rainbow bookshelves home library

Of course, my main goal in 2019 is to read some of my backlist titles. I may need the help of a challenge such as ‘Beat the Backlist’ or ‘The Unread Shelf Project’, but I’m determined to get my TBR under control!

This year, I set my Goodreads goal at 100 books and managed to beat it quite significantly. Next year, I’m planning to set it at a lower number in order to allow myself to read some of those tomes I talked about. And I want to get back to reading for fun, not just to beat a number!

 

What were some of your reading resolutions this year? Did you manage to stay on track? Let me know in the comments! x

Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag! 2018

I’ve seen people doing this one recently and I remembered being a bit late with it in 2017, so I’m making a point of doing it on time this year!! I always love analysing what I’ve been reading, choosing favourites and seeing other readers doing the same so make sure you leave me a comment with a link to your post if I’ve missed it!

 

BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ YET IN 2018

For how it’s stayed with me, I’d probably choose Strange the Dreamer (I know it came out last year but I was late to the party!) You can find out why I’ve picked this one by reading my gushing review. However, I’m reluctant to hand out this award because I’ve read some really gorgeous books and I’m hoping for many more before the year is finished. I want it to be excrutiatingly difficult to compile my top ten this year!!

 

BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2018

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This is the year that I have discovered The Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley so I’m choosing The Storm Sister for this one because it was every bit as fantastic as the first book in the series. Usually, I adore first books and then find things tend to slide a little; however, Riley kept me just as rapt with her second book, making me laugh, cry and flail like a madwoman. If you hadn’t already guessed, I adore this series.

 

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO

…I could go on.

 

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

Nearly every one of these posts I’ve seen has picked Muse of Nightmares for this category – and with good reason! I’m dying to see how Laini Taylor will finish off this duology. I also want to give an honorary mention to another duology which will be completing in October this year but that I don’t see people talk about very often. Wicked like a Wildfire was one of my favourite books of last year and I’m hoping the sequel will be just as stunning!

 

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

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In case you missed my review of this extremely problematic book, you can find it here.

 

BIGGEST SURPRISE

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I recently read If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino and I really didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did! It was so fun.

 

FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR

I’d probably choose either Lucinda Riley or Susanna Kearsley for this one. Both are authors I’ve read for the first time this year (though Kearsley was on my radar for a while before that). Clearly, I’ve been in the mood for historical fiction with a bit of romance!

 

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

I don’t really get crushes on book characters but, if I had to pick, I’d echo what many people have said and go with Lazlo Strange. He’s the perfect book boyfriend.

 

NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER

Any one of the characters from Bone Gap. This novel was a recent read and it has one of the most well-developed casts of characters I’ve come across in literature.

 

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

These are the four books that have made me shed tears in 2018 so far.

 

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

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This novella set in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone world details the first date of one of my favourite ever female characters, Zuzanna. It was such a freaking cute read with great illustrations!

 

FAVOURITE BOOK TO FILM ADAPTATION

I haven’t watched any new adaptations this year!

 

FAVOURITE POST YOU HAVE DONE THIS YEAR

I really liked my discussion post about the benefits of reading for our mental health.

 

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR

bone gap.jpg

A double award for Bone Gap! Not only does this book have a stunning cover, it is a truly beautiful story as well.

 

WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?

ALL OF THEM! In all honesty though, I would like to finish some series that I’ve had on the go for a while. I’ve also been keeping some books for Halloween/Christmas-time because I love a good seasonal read, so I’m looking forward to reading those!

 

Have you done the ‘mid-year freakout’ tag yet? If not, I tag you! 🙂

Year in Review 2017 and Bookish Goals for 2018!

Well guys. It’s that time of year when we reflect on the months gone by and see if we managed to stick to all those resolutions we made back in January when we were full of hope for the new year ahead. So I thought I’d do a bit of a recap post to wind up 2017! (Also, thanks for sticking around during my unplanned hiatus this last couple of weeks. It’s been a tough time. I love you for still being here.)

 

What were my 2017 goals and did I achieve/stick to them?

I made 3 bookish resolutions for 2017. They were:-

Review every book I read on Goodreads. I’m delighted to say I did this!

Read more from indie authors. Not only did I do this, I also interviewed some of those indie authors here on my blog! You can read such interviews here and here. I still have a few books from indie authors waiting on my shelf so I’m looking forward to continuing with this goal in the new year.

Read more poetry/short stories. I managed to read 8 books this year that fit into the category of poetry/short story collections. I had hoped to read one a month but it’s been an insanely busy year so I’m happy with what I did manage. And again, I have more on my shelves that I’m sure I will get to next year.

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My non-bookish goal was to practise a more positive mental attitude, which I achieved by keeping a nightly gratitude journal.

 

What did I accomplish in 2017?

I feel like I really stepped up my bookish game this year! I started this blog, as well as a bookish twitter account (@paperbackpiano if any of you are interested). I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time, having wanted to try it for the last few years but never being brave enough! I didn’t ‘win’ but I managed to write 20,000 words of a novel which is a great start. Perhaps most excitingly, I started receiving books for review directly from publishers – not many yet but it’s a start! I also conquered my anxiety to go to Nottingham and meet my bookstagram bestie!

In non-bookish terms, I worked the first six months of the year as a classroom assistant in my local primary school then got a new job where I am now a permanent member of an amazing team of people, supporting children with severe learning disabilities. I also started driving again for the first time in five years and now drive myself around confidently every day. 

Finally, in between everything else, I found the time to read 110 books, which far exceeded my original target of 72. The majority of the books I read I rated 4 stars and I gave fewer 3-star ratings than I did in 2016 and more 5-star ratings too!

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And now the part I know you’re all here for… my top ten reads of the year!

 

Top Ten Books of 2017!

I’ve listed these in the order I read them, from earliest in the year (January 2017) to the most recent. Ranking them would have been too difficult!

 

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

This book was completely magical right from the start. It was like an old fairytale, so atmospheric. The Bear and the Nightingale was a wonderfully immersive debut and I felt completely transported. I loved the characters in this novel, especially those that were morally grey. Even minor characters felt well developed and I felt a rollercoaster of emotions towards them all. Such a magical wintery book that ticked all the boxes for me!

The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies

I really didn’t expect to love this as much as I did! The author created a fantastic story, situated perfectly in a rich, exotic setting. Every time I picked up the book, I felt transported to the tea plantation in Ceylon. The characters were wonderfully realised and I was completely gripped by the plot. I definitely recommend this one to fans of historical fiction!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This was my first experience of Laini Taylor’s writing – and let me tell you, it certainly won’t be the last. She is a queen of words. This book had some of the best world-building I have ever encountered, as well as some of my favourite characters. I loved this whole trilogy but the first book was definitely the best.

Our Dark Duet by V. E. Schwab

This follow up to last year’s This Savage Song was just as awesome. Set six months later, it hit the ground running and never stopped. I binge-read the book in a single day, which is something I’m rarely able to do. I just adore the whole concept of this duology. It’s dark and destructive, and highlights the fantastic issue of morality. It’s action-packed, with great characters and a refreshing lack of romance. And Schwab’s writing is excellent. I hope to read her Shades of Magic series in 2018.

The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag

This is a surprise entry into my top ten; I really didn’t expect to love it as much as I did! I was feeling burned out and looking for something light and fluffy but this was so much better than I thought it would be. I don’t know if it was just a case of perfect timing? The characters, storyline and elements of magical realism were all exactly what I was needing when I read this. I have the rest of van Praag’s books on my wishlist as a result.

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

This is the third book I’ve read by Matt Haig and I will never let anyone tell me that his work is not important. His ability to capture humanity in all its glory is outstanding. There is a realness to Haig’s books that I just love and which always makes them very cathartic for me. This one was a great journey through history, filled with humour and nerdy references that made me very happy.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

This book is an absolute masterpiece. Eowyn Ivey manages to transform the harsh Alaskan wilderness into a stunning winter wonderland. This is truly a book to savour for its beautiful descriptions and heartfelt story. I don’t have a bad word to say about it. It’s completely magical.

Wicked like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic

The writing in this book is absolutely gorgeous, with stunning imagery and beautiful descriptions that I just wanted to curl up and live in. The whole book was literally a sensory ASSAULT but in the most amazing way. The dialogue was realistic and I was super happy not to see insta-love. Can’t wait for the second half of the duology!

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

The concept of this book is brilliantly original and the execution is just perfect. Like Hardinge’s previous book, The Lie Tree, it is quite slow-burning but the attention to detail is astonishing and it is clear that the author really researches her material extensively. I definitely want to read more of her work!

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

This was my first Stiefvater and I felt nervous because her Shiver series doesn’t really appeal to me. I needn’t have worried because I absolutely loved this! The mythology, the setting, the characters… I just loved everything about this and I know for a fact I’ll be rereading it in future.

 

So that’s my top ten! I just realised they are all by female authors… think the men need to step it up a bit next year! Did you notice any trends in your favourite books this year?

 

Goals for 2018

So all that’s left to do is reveal my bookish goals for 2018. Since I like threes, I have made another 3 bookish resolutions for the new year.

Read more of the Discworld series. I started reading Pratchett a couple of years ago but dropped the ball a bit during 2017. My excuse is that I’m collecting the beautiful hardback collector’s library editions and I couldn’t really afford to buy the next one I needed in the series! Amazon gift cards received for Christmas have allowed me to remedy the situation so I will be resuming my journey through the Discworld in the new year.

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Read predominantly from my own bookshelf. I have a huge backload of books that keep staring at me from my shelves and making me feel guilty (which bookworm doesn’t?) So I have decided to try and work my way through as many of them as I can. I’m not going to totally deprive myself of any new releases I’m desperate to read, but I’m making it a rule that any new books I get must be read within a month of acquiring them. Hopefully this will help to cut down the TBR shelves!

Allow myself to reread. I’m not a huge re-reader because it makes me feel guilty (see previous resolution!) However, there have been times throughout 2017 when I have really wanted to revisit a favourite book and I haven’t allowed myself to do so. I’m resolving to change this next year; those other books will all still be there afterwards. Sometimes you just need to comfort read an old favourite.

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And there we have it! If you’ve made it to the end of this mammoth post, I salute you. Go eat something yummy. It’s unlikely that I will get any more posts up this year so I’ll take this opportunity to wish you all good health and happiness in 2018, and thank you for your continued support. I hope you’ll continue on this bookish journey with me in the new year! x