Note: Bare with me, please. I am working on transferring my old posts from my former Wix site to this new WordPress site. I am so sorry if you get overwhelmed by my posts, things will get back to normal ASAP. This post was originally made on Friday, June 24, 2016.
I’ve never done a Top Ten Tuesday before and I knew I wasn’t going to get a chance to do one this week seeing as how my blog wasn’t up and all. One of the posts I kept seeing book bloggers post about on Twitter were their Top 10 Most Anticipated Reads for the second half of 2016. A lot of them are the same as mine because my “Most Anticipated Reads for the second half of 2016” are kind of, sort of all of them. Or at the very least, most of them. Basically, I am going to be an actual poor college student who is living paycheck to paycheck because she bought books. Thankfully at least my dining plan is part of my tuition and my meals are mostly free. And it definitely wouldn’t be the first time I’d picked books over food anyway.
I also kept seeing bloggers post about their Top Books of 2016 So Far. I figured I’d make this a two-part post. First up, my Top 5 Favorite Books I’ve Read This Year (2016) So Far. Not all of them are YA, partially because I was in a sort of reading slump and partially because I just kind of read books if they sound interesting. Hopefully, you still enjoy this post. Stay tuned for my Top 10 Most Anticipated YA Reads of the Second Half of 2016.
The Top 5 Books I’ve Read This Year are…
1. Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows – I devoured this book in about two days during my mid-semester breaker where I holed myself in my dorm room and didn’t eat anything that could not be gotten from a sneaky trip to the vending machine in the common room. Basically, this book was enjoyed with lots of candy bars and bottles of Coke. Do I regret my terrible diet choices that weekend? Of course not. It was definitely comforting to have the junk food nearby when the ending absolutely broke me. I loved this book and I trusted it and it went and hurt me emotionally and physically. Or maybe just emotionally. This book has everything that I could have possibly wanted: an intriguing heist story, a fascinating cast of characters that is diverse without seeming like the author was trying too hard, a true and relatable depiction of trauma, equal amounts suspense and romance and the most painful ending of all time. 10/10, would read again. I cannot wait for Crooked Kingdom.
2. Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die – Yes, I know this book didn’t come out this year, but I literally just started reading the series. My only regret is that I didn’t get to it sooner (I’m sort of a late bloomer with books, I don’t get to them until after everyone else already has). The Wizard of Oz was one of my favorite books as a child, but Dorothy Must Die is a completely welcome update. I am definitely a fan of the other girl from Kansas. I knew Dorothy’s sweetness was too good to be true and I definitely enjoyed seeing this alternate take on Dorothy and all of the Oz universe. Amy Gumm is a realistic, dynamic heroine who I relate to more than I probably should and the cast of characters is just as colorful as they’ve always been I plan on getting to the other books in the series as soon as I can (especially since there’s going to be a fourth and I haven’t even read the second one yet), as well as getting a full review of Dorothy Must Die up on this blog.
3. Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor’s Welcome to Night Vale (A Novel) -Maybe it’s because I’m a huge fan of the podcast or maybe it’s because I really like weird, almost spooky but not spooky enough to actually scare me type stories, but I really did enjoy this book. Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor’s writing in the podcast is fun, with its wit and humor and the way they created a sort of Twilight Zone town that has an odd sense of what is normal and what is not. I enjoyed it when I read it the first time without Cecil Baldwin’s voice guiding me through and I loved it the second time when I had it read to me with Cecil Baldwin’s beautiful voice on Audible. Basically, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was humorous and had all the charm of the podcast. It was a good read, especially on the plane ride home. Definitely one of my favorite this year, I definitely recommend the audiobook and the epilogue episode of the podcast.
4. Helen Oyeyemi’s What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours – What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours is a short story collection that really, really messed with my head. I love the idea that all of the stories are interconnected because it gives it a lot more unity than a standard collection of short stories and everything about her writing has this sort of dream-like, magical, fairy tale-esque quality to it. I couldn’t get enough. I was drawn in immediately and I had to stop everything to read it. This was another book I devoured. I still have some questions left about the stories and some feelings about keys and books and puppets. There are some stories that stood out more than others but this is such an amazing book. I feel like a lot of them (like the puppet school thread) could be their own standalone books. Everyone should read it. I definitely plan on reading it again because there are some things I feel like I may have missed. It’s not technically YA (although a few stories have to deal with growing up and teenage love), but if you like short story collections and literary fiction, I’d say read it. You won’t regret it.
5. Brian K. Vaughan (Writer), Cliff Chiang (Artist) – Paper Girls, Vol. 1 TP – If you read comics, you probably know who Brian K. Vaughan is. He consistently writes some of the most acclaimed comic series out there *cough* Runaways, Y – The Last Man, SAGA *cough*. Paper Girls is another home run for Mr. Vaughan. It’s about paper girls in the 80s. Also extraterrestrials. Just, you know, standard 1980s stuff. I love his characters so much. He’s better at character development, especially of his female characters, than a lot of people in the industry. He’s also good at including a diverse range of characters. I couldn’t put Paper Girl down. I’m behind a little because I really only read comics in trade paperback editions, but I recommend it for people who like sci-fi with cool female characters. There’s some violence and use of some homophobic language (which is immediately pointed out as being shitty by one of the other characters), but overall, it is a good book. I recommend it wholeheartedly.