My favorite books of 2016

Hello everyone! I know I haven’t blogged in a long time, but I also have a German book blog and sometimes it’s hard to find the time to write posts and reviews for both blogs.

Anyway, since 2016 is over, I thought I’d share my favorite reads of 2016 with you.

2016 wasn’t a good reading year for me. Normally, I read over 100 books in a year, but this year I wasn’t really in the mood for reading and that’s why I only read over 70 books.

And somehow, I read a lot of ‘okay’ books, but not too many awesome books.

Only five books made it on my ‘favorite books of 2016’ list. Here they are:

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Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4) by Sarah J. Maas

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5) by Sarah J. Maas

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1) by Renée Ahdieh (I read the German edition)

I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2) by Sarah J. Maas

So three out of five of my favorite books of 2016 were written by Sarah J. Maas. Surprise, surprise. Not. It’s really no surprise since she’s one of my favorite authors and I really love her books!

So what are your favorite books of 2016? Let me know in the comments below.

Andie

 

With Malice by Eileen Cook

Disclaimer: I received this ebook for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. However, this fact does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

26153925A read about a teenage girl who wakes up in a hospital bed and cannot remember the last six weeks of her life, including the accident that killed her best friend–only what if the accident wasn’t an accident?

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last 6 weeks should be. She comes to discover she was involved in a fatal accident while on a school trip in Italy three days previous but was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident. Wondering not just what happened but what she did, Jill tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

Source: Goodreads

My thoughts:

I am a sucker for a good mystery story because I just love to guess what happened before the truth is revealed. Thus, I was really excited to read With Malice because it sounded like my kind of book.

Jill and Simone have been best friends forever, but when Jill wakes up in the hospital she can’t seem to remember the last six weeks of her life and she is shocked to learn that her best friend has died in a car accident – an accident that might not have been an accident at all.

The more we learn about Jill and Simone, the more we realize how different these girls are. Jill is interested in art and history, and she loves to read and to study, while Simone loved to party and to be the center of attention. Nevertheless, they got along well and were inseparable. But something happened between the two while they were in Italy and soon we learn that there was a boy involved. As Jill puts the pieces together we find out that their friendship wasn’t at all as perfect as it might have seemed.

I did sympathize with Jill, after all I felt sorry for her. She did not only lose her best friend, but she also couldn’t remember a single thing about Simone’s death. Still, there was something off about Jill, and that’s why I didn’t like her 100 %.

And although the mystery aspect was interesting and kept me reading and guessing, I still found this novel to be slow-paced. I just hoped With Malice would be suspenseful and full of twists and turns, but unfortunately, it was somehow predictable.

Maybe With Malice reminded me too much of another book I’ve read in the past, namely Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. I just think that while With Malice was certaintly an entertaining read, it wasn’t unique. And the ending was unsatisfactory as well, at least for me.

All in all, this novel was interesting and had a nice setting; however, it was too slow and predictable for my taste.

Rating:

3 out of 5 stars

Note: I would like to thank Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book!

Andie

Unplugged (The Wired, #1) by Donna Freitas

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Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. However, this fact does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The first book in a provocative new series from acclaimed author Donna Freitas—Feed for a new generation.

Humanity is split into the App World and the Real World—an extravagant virtual world for the wealthy and a dying physical world for the poor. Years ago, Skylar Cruz’s family sent her to the App World for a chance at a better life.

Now Skye is a nobody, a virtual sixteen-year-old girl without any glamorous effects or expensive downloads to make her stand out in the App World. Yet none of that matters to Skye. All she wants is a chance to unplug and see her mother and sister again.

But when the borders between worlds suddenly close, Skye loses that chance. Desperate to reach her family, Skye risks everything to get back to the physical world. Once she arrives, however, she discovers a much larger, darker reality than the one she remembers.

In the tradition of M. T. Anderson’s Feed and Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies, Unplugged kicks off a thrilling and timely sci-fi series for teens from an award-winning writer.

Source: Goodreads

My thoughts:

I requested this book from the publisher because I read and enjoyed the author’s other novel The Survival Kit . Unplugged is very different though since it’s not a contemporary, but a dystopian / sci-fi novel.

Skylar was a likable character and I really sympathized with her because she felt alone in the App World since she missed her real family. I liked that she was brave enough to leave the App World even though it was very risky and dangerous. And Skylar continues to be brave throughout the book and to do the right thing, and that’s why I admired her.

Skylar’s love interest was okay, but I felt that there were still a lot of things about him that we don’t know and I just hope that we’ll get to know him better in the sequel.

The world building is a little complex because of these two different worlds, but I really found the idea of the App World intriguing and I wanted to find out more about its emergence.

The plot was suspenseful and there were definitely some interesting twists and turns, as well as an ending that leaves you wanting more, but I still felt that the story wasn’t really unique. Nor was it addicting. Or maybe it’s just me, maybe I just read too many dystopian / sci-fi novels and suffer from dystopia  / sci-fi fatique, who knows? All I know is that Unplugged couldn’t fascinate me 100%.

Still, it was entertaining and suspenseful, and it really made me curious about the sequel.

So if you’re a die – hard dystopian / sci-fi fan I totally recommend this book to you because it deals with a very interesting topic and makes you think about certain matters.

Rating:

3 out of 5 stars

Note: I would like to thank Harper Collins for sending me this book for review!

Andie

 

 

Telll Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

V23 new typeface tagline.inddEverything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel filled with characters who will come to feel like friends.

Source: Goodreads

My thoughts:

I discovered this book on Instagram and I immediately wanted to read it since I’m a sucker for cute covers and mysterious stories.

And I’m so glad that Tell Me Three Things was not only beautiful on the outside, but also on the inside. I totally loved this novel and I am so glad I was not disappointed.

Jessie has lost her mother two years ago and she still grieves a lot because she still misses her mom. And the fact that her dad remarries and Jessie has to move to California all of a sudden makes it even harder for Jessie to come to terms with her loss.

Therefore, I could totally feel for Jessie, could understand her frustration, her anger and sorrow. The author did a great job creating a main protagonist that seemed real, and not one-dimensional. Jessie’s grief felt real, her emotions seemed genuine and that’s why she felt very authentic to me. Moreover, Jessie is really likable because she is humble, smart and hard-working. You can’t help but root for her and SN.

SN is someone who emails Jessie and offers her advice regarding her new prep school and fellow students. At first, Jessie doesn’t know if she can trust SN, but then she begins to chat more and more with SN and she soon realizes that she’s falling for him. There’s only one problem – Jessie is afraid that SN might be someone she doesn’t really like in real life.

I loved this whole mystery revolving SN. I just adore such ideas because I like to guess and see if I’m right. And most of the time, I am. I had my theory regarding SN and what can I say – I was right. And I am so glad I was because like Jessie, I would have been so disappointed if SN was somebody else.

There are several guys who could be SN, but still, there’s no love triangle (or should I say love square?) in this novel. And I loved Tell Me Three Things so much more because of this fact. The romance in this book is so sweet and swoon-worthy, and I just loved everything about it. Altogether, this novel is so cute, so emotional and heart-wrenching that you’ll want to hug it multiple times. At least that’s what I did.

Overall, Tell Me Three Things was such an adorable YA novel featuring a strong heroine who grows as the story evolves. It’s an intelligent book filled with depth, but it’s also funny and sweet at the same time. A perfect combination, I’d say.

So now that you know how amazing this contemporary is, I’ll tell you three things:

  1. You should totally read this book.
  2. The ‘Dear reader’ note at the end of the novel is very emotional.
  3. The waffles on the cover have several significances in the book.

Rating:

4.5 out of 5 stars

Andie

April Book Haul | 2016

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Hello, everyone!

I actually wasn’t planning on buying too many books this month, but somehow I managed to buy more than I intended to. Well, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, right? I mean, can anyone have too many books? Not really. Besides, I received some of these books for review and have not purchased all of these myself. And this fact makes me feel a little bit better.

Anyway, here’s what I acquired:

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I was in the mood for some contemporaries, thus I bought I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios and the sequel to The PerfectionstsThe Good Girls by Sara Shepard. I really enjoyed The Perfectionists and I am so looking forward to the conclusion because I really want to find out what really happened to Nolan.

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Ever since I read The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh I’ve been wanting to find similar books because I loved the setting of this novel. So when I discovered Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little I just had to buy it because it sounded so good. And since I enjoy stories that take place in palaces, I also got Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan (which I already read and liked) and The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead. The latter was one of my most anticipated books of 2016 so I am really looking forward to reading it, especially since I loved the Vampire Academy series so much.

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I already read The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks and The Art of Not Breakting by Sarah Alexander so if you want to find out if I liked them or not, feel free to check out my reviews here and here.

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I normally don’t read any Urban Fantasy novels, but this series has been recommended to me and that’s why I wanted to give it a try. And I am glad I did because I really enjoyed Written in Red by Anne Bishop and that’s why I had to buy the sequel Murder of Crows.

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I got these three books from Harper Collins for review and I can’t wait to read them! I’m especially looking forward to reading How It Feels to Fly by Kathryn Holmes because it revolves around a ballerina and I am kind of obsessed with everything ballet related. But Unplugged by Donna Freitas and Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann also sound very intriguing.

So these were all the books I got this month and I don’t think I will get more because I want to read them all before I get new ones.

Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments.

Andie

My favorite Bookstagrammers

I don’t know about you, but I love #bookstagram (the book community on Instagram). I love looking at beautiful book pictures, liking awesome photos and leaving comments. Through #bookstagram I’ve discovered some fantastic books, made some great friends and started to read a lot more. And since there are some amazing bookish accounts I follow on Instagram, I thought I’d share them with you (in no particular order):

Twirlingpages

I just recently discovered Alexandra’s #bookstagram account and what can I say? I’m in love with it. I love the filters she uses and the fact that she’s a ballet dancer because some of her pictures feature ballet related things. And I’m kind of obsessed with ballet (no, I’ve never danced, but I just love everything ballet related. Yes, I know, I’m weird).

Myriad

Jen’s account is also very beautiful because she takes such artistic photos of her books and I just love her feed!

Madame

Michelle’s account is really special because I’ve been following it for so long and I’ve watched it grow. Plus, she also lives in Germany and that’s awesome since I’m from Germany as well. And can we please take a moment and talk about the cute cat pictures? I mean, who doesn’t love cats? I absolutely love seeing them!

Teenbooksdaily

I’ve been following Jennifer’s account for a long time as well and I just adore her beautiful pictures. And look at that sweet dog! Isn’t he a total cutie?

Zeilenverliebt

And yet another German account that I absolutely love because Laura takes such beautiful pictures of her books and interacts wonderfully with her followers!

So these were some of my favorite #bookstagram accounts! If you don’t know them yet, please check them out because I’m sure you’ll also fall in love with them!

I will be probably having more posts like this in the future since I love discovering new #bookstagram accounts. Who are your favorite bookstagrammers? Please let me know in the comments below.

Andreea