BEST BOOKS OF 2015

Hey guys,

This is going to be a really quick post since I should be completing some very important chores. I’m dropping by to post of my best reads of 2015. Last year, i.e. 2014, I barely read eighteen books and that’s counting the stuff I had to read for my college literature exams and prep. This year, I set the books to be read goal at 50 but then increased it to 65 to have a healthy competition with Salonie who blogs at Whoa! (It’s only healthy now that I’ve won it).

So, in no particular order here are the best reads of 2015 (if I’ve reviewed them, I’ll add a link to the review so you can check them out).

  • Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

This book has changed my life. And I’m not even exaggerating. For some reason, after reading an ARC of this book I finally realized that I like YA more than I’ve ever like classic literature. Simon’s story was fresh and I really did love it.

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

WHAT A BOOK. This one simply blew my mind. Everyone should read this. EVERYONE.

  • Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

The amazing end to The Infernal Devices trilogy and my favourite Cassandra Clare book. I don’t even remember the events of The Mortal Instruments anymore.

  • These Broken Stars (& Their Fractured Light) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

My first foray into YA Science Fiction and I loved this trilogy. TBS will always be my favourite book, but TFL did a bloody good job too. But nobody beats Tarver.

  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Finished this a couple days ago and I’m still overwhelmed with all the Sean-Puck-Horses feels. And I’ve never even ridden a horse.

  • The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Favourite Romance New Adult of the year. I must’ve read this one several times over the years.

  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Listen, any Maggie Stiefvater book is simply perfection. Period.

  • Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

A wonderfully diverse read with a beautiful, lyrical prose and a set of characters I adored.

  • Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Another mental health awareness book I read and enjoyed this year. We need more of these.

  • Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler

JV is one of those books, that kinda stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page and you still can’t fathom how a book can make you feel such things.

Honorable mentions:

The Mistake (Elle Kennedy), The Duff (Kody Keplinger), Everything Everything (Nicola Yoon), Clockwork Prince (Cassandra Clare) and Made You Up (Francesca Zappia).

See you guys in 2016.

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

 

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THE GRISHA TRILOGY -Leigh Bardugo | 3.6 Stars

Series | The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Genre(s) | Fantasy / Young Adult / Romance

My Rating | 3.6 Stars (Average)

Covers:

Review:

Series– The Grisha Trilogy

Feels– ALL THE NIKOLAI FEELS

Tears – None

So, this series is probably one of the highest rated and loved series on the YA Book Blogging Community sphere. There are few, very few people who dislike this book. Unfortunately, I am one of them. I read this entire series with Rhea, from Rhea’s Neon Journal and if you search through #GrishaBuddyReads15 on Twitter, you can see our progress and our updates.

This series just wasn’t anything great for me. I mean, I read it and I did enjoy it to some extent. The world building was all cool and so was the setting, but there wasn’t so much fantasy and action as I’d been promised. I rooted for the person who ended up in peril while the one I didn’t like pretty much sailed through life.

Alina started off as very promising character, with a fierce personality but then she kinda fizzled. She needed A LOT of help from everyone around her and she was so very naïve and she depended so heavily on Mal that I was ready to hammer her head to the wall by the third book. Mal, oh my god, I haven’t seen such a Gary Stu character since Annabeth from PJO and HoO who was one of my first Mary Sue characters. He was really nice, too bloody nice when they were in the middle of a war. Self-righteous to boot, he even had a chance to redeem his playboy self in the novels and I did not like that one bit.

The Darkling wasn’t much of a villain, in fact I felt more rage towards the King, although that might have been for what he did to Genya. It’s was the quintessential Voldemort-Umbridge thing. Nikolai and his quips were the saving grace of the novels and I adored him. He brought humour and potential to the novels as did Baghra. I enjoyed the parts of the novel that involved them and actually looked forward to reading them.

Other than that, the novels were really flat. Not much in the course of action and I drew several comparisons to other novels as I read and of course, these weren’t favourable at all. Here’s my book by book mini-review:

Book | Shadow and Bone

Date of Publication| June 5th, 2012

My Rating | 4 STARS

Mini-Review:

Okay, I really did enjoy the book. It went through really quickly for some reason. Also, I think I was expecting a bit too much after hearing so many amazing things or maybe fantasy just isn’t my thing? I didn’t love it as much as I expected to.

But yeah, I did really like it. Alina is a spunky heroine and The Darkling makes for a sexy yet dangerous villain. Which is the best kind, of course. And Mal (I kept pronouncing his name is Maal, which in colloquial Hindi slang means someone very attractive or something very good). Mal as a nice character, but I kind of rooted for the Darkling until he turned full villain and then Mal had a chance to redeem his fuckboi ass.

All in all this was super fun to read and I’m hoping the next one makes me feel more stuff. Yeah. #GrishaBuddyReads15 with Rhea.

[This was literally what my thoughts were as soon as I’d finished the book and they’re still the same, except I’m considering lowering the rating. The book started out fine, the series actually had promise until the second book kinda destroyed it.]

Book | Siege and Storm

Date of Publication| June 4th, 2013

My Rating | 3.5 STARS

Mini-Review:

3.5 stars and a C. To be honest, I got very real House of Night and The Hunger Games vibes from this book. Also, not much happened. The entire middle section of the novel bored me. Sigh, I really did expect more.

I’m really losing respect for everyone except Nikolai who was probably my shining star in the entire novel. I’ll probably read the last book but I am so underwhelmed right now and it’s not cool.

Book | Ruin and Rising

Date of Publication| June 17th, 2014

My Rating | 3.5 STARS

Mini-Review:

3.5 stars and a C.

This book is just one large road trip of sorts. I kinda enjoyed it but the ending was so very convenient for me. So one could be killed and brought back but not the other? The ending remained me of The Shiva Trilogy’s Oath of the Vayuputras where literally everyone survives which is also similar to Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan.

The best characters were killed for no reason while the ones I despised survived. Ugh. Though I liked the plot twist, it did come very late. I’d have preferred more action to all this talking and planning business.

I will be picking up the Six of Crows duology but I don’t really have high expectations anymore. I did enjoy Alina’s story but I wouldn’t have minded if she had a bit more spine. What wouldn’t I do to have someone like Zoya or even Genya as the protagonists.

All in all, the novel and the entire series is fairly average and to be honest, I dunno what all the hype is about. I may not have completed the series if I weren’t buddy reading it with Rhea.

So yeah, in short this supposedly above-average series was really underwhelming and bland for my taste. I would’ve preferred a lot more action for a series that talks about a war-torn country and more spunk from a heroine who shouldn’t have to rely on everyone for her powers.

I expected a bit too much and this failed to deliver in all aspects, but what irked me the most was the happy ending. When you literally bring someone back to have a happy ending, when it should’ve been otherwise, that is where I draw the line. I just don’t buy the happy ending in a war torn country with so many sacrifices to boot trope. I just don’t.

Maybe you’ll enjoy the series if you have lower expectations or love fantasy regardless of the action.

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

BINGE READS #1 – THE GRISHA TRILOGY

Hey guys,

You know how sometimes, out of the blue, you realise that you haven’t read a certain book(s), and that your life can pretty much be described as a teensy bit of a failure because of that reason? You might to up Stairway To Heaven and be Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, but you’ll be sent straight down the Highway To Hell because you haven’t read a particular series of books.

Yeah. That.

And so my dear friend/ buddy person Rhea from Rhea’s Neon Journal and I decided that it was time we read The Grisha series, since everyone but us seems to have read, loved and flailed over it already. And of course, we’d like to read it before we start reading Six Of Crows! We’re going to attempt to close the year with these books, and a Mini Buddy Read seemed like the best way to go. I’ll have a series review up as soon as we’re done.

Also, I pretty much copied this from Rhea’s post and I promise to have more of my posts coming soon. Life kinda came in the way and I sincerely apologize for that. I promise, that in the New Year (and even before that) you’ll be see me writing and shizz much more frequently.

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

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