If you haven't heard by now, Nori from Read Write Love 28 is AMAZING and has done SO MANY awesome things for the book blogging community. She puts together chats, events, cons, and more.
This year, she's hosting the second annual Book Blogger Creativity Project!
Since this is coming out mid-year, we couldn't do a 2016 yearbook because, well, 2016 isn't over yet! So instead, we focused on the average school year. In the South, a lot of schools begin in early August and end in May, while elsewhere, they often go from September to June. We're going with a Southern schedule because, well, it's August now, and some students are already back in school!!!
So the following lists my opinion based on the last academic year!
Follow along this week to see everyone else's choices!
Here's our schedule:
Monday, August 8th: Bonnie @ A Backwards Story
Tuesday, August 9th: Charleigh @ Charleigh's Book Nook
Wednesday, August 10th: Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover
Thursday, August 11th: Cheyenne @ Once Upon a Time a Review
Friday, August 12th: Nori @ Read Write Love 28
Saturday, August 13th: Karla @ Reads and Thoughts
She has changed and evolved so much already. She has gone from weak and powerless to strong and powerful. She knows what she wants, though she's also still confused from her past. She has changed SO MUCH, and so I choose her for All Grown Up because I've seen the most character growth in her this past year.
THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi
MECHANICA by Betsy Cornwell
VENGEANCE ROAD by Erin Bowman
I love these three covers so much, and in very different ways!
In person, THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN is just SO pretty.
MECHANICA is so artsy and whimsical.
VENGEANCE ROAD...that cover has SO MUCH going for it, and it practically feels alive, doesn't it!?
When We Collided by Emery Lord
I wish more families were featured in YA--especially in a positive light! I loved it!!!
WHEN WE COLLIDED definitely gets my vote for The Brady Bunch Award, even though other characters have definitely been more eclectic in the past year, just because I loved this family so much, and The Brady Bunch is ALSO about family!
IVORY AND BONE wasn't the breakaway hit other more lauded debuts were, but I enjoyed reading it more than I did those other high-profile titles and remember it much more vividly.
Plus, I've met the author and she is super, super nice. AND the book has wooly mammoths and sabertooth tigers. Can any other book say that? POW!
THE MIRROR KING by Jodi Meadows
I obviously can't tell you anymore because SPOILERS!!!
But if you haven't checked out this duology yet, it's wonderful, and here's my review of book one, THE ORPHAN QUEEN!
The Throne of Glass series just gets better and better and better, and these characters are changing and evolving so much. The first book was, honestly, JUST OKAY. I never expected to love this series as much as I do, but it's so fantastic, and if you get past the beginning and continue onward, the payout is well worth it.
I'm really excited that the penultimate book is coming out next month, but I also am a little scared, because then I have to wait another year for the finale....
(But I'm MORE scared that social media will spoil the book for me, so waiting a year to read it really isn't an option!)
A COURT OF MIST AND FURY by Sarah J. Maas
SO MANY PEOPLE on social media have been talking about this book.
SO MANY READERS have been buying this book.
I saw this book at my library in the 7-Day Lucky You Category for Hot New Releases.
The bookstores are always running out and restocking.
This book spent over a month #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List.
Readers who don't know the series or Sarah J. Maas are coming in because of Word of Mouth on this book.
This is the first book that I finished and immediately started to re-read since probably The Hunger Games when I binged the whole trilogy back-to-back when MOCKINGJAY first came out.
This is my favorite book so far of 2016.
THIS IS. THIS IS. THIS IS.
I can give The Hamilton to no other!
Hmm...I guess I'll just tell you that he can be found in A COURT OF MIST AND FURY by Sarah J. Maas?
I also really loved TRIX AND THE FAERIE QUEEN by Alethea Kontis. It made me fall in love with Alethea and her Tales of Arilland books all over again! I cannot WAIT to return to the world of the Woodcutter family!
RUINED by Amy Tintera
Thankfully, it's only a duology, so I'll be able to finish next year and not be dying all over again!
I loved RUINED so much that I went back and dug out my copy of REBOOT and read THAT, even though it's not really my genre. And...it was okay, but this type of fantasy is more my jam!!!
I definitely think that this is my favorite Kick-Off, or First in a Series, of this past academic year!
THE CROWN'S GAME by Evelyn SkyeI'm going to go with a debut on this one. I think that other books I've read have definitely made more money, but they were also from already-established authors. I wanted to choose someone brand-new, someone with a sparkling future ahead of them.
For that, I'm going with THE CROWN'S GAME by Evelyn Skye.
It's a debut with a LOT of hype. There have been many, many eyes on it. A lot of buzz. A beautiful cover. A great synopsis.
This was probably the best-selling debut novel of the past academic year (At least out of the ones I read!), and a lot of people are very anxious for the sequel, so I think this series will continue to do very, very well moving forward!
DUMPLIN' by Julie Murphy
I don't think any standalone novel got more attention and acclaim in the YA world than DUMPLIN' by Julie Murphy this past academic year.
It won a lot of awards, explored a lot of themes that need more attention in YA, and got a LOT of people talking.
Willowdean Dickson may be overweight, but she OWNS it. She's not trying to be anyone other than herself. She's not going on crazy diets and exercising herself to death. She doesn't have a disorder. She has friends. She has boys who are interested in her. She is herself, and that's so awesome!
THE LAST EVER AFTER by Soman Chainani
I loooove retellings. I read a LOT of them. I WANTED TO LIST SO MANY BOOKS HERE.
But one. I need to choose ONE.
Ultimately, I chose THE LAST EVER AFTER by Soman Chainani because The School for Good and Evil series is one of my all-time favorite middle-grade series. And ack, it's MG and this yearbook is YA, isn't it? OH WELL. Teens reads this series, too! And...maybe the final book isn't really a retelling. But none of them are. But they use fairy tale characters, and it's mixed so well with original story and just LOVE!!!!
I seriously wish this series existed when I was growing up. It would have been my favorite. I want to get it into the hands of as many kids, teens, and adults as I possibly can. This series is just so good!!!!
THE FAIREST POISON by Lauren Skidmore
I've decided to go with THE FAIREST POISON by Lauren Skidmore because I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS A SEQUEL. It was advertised as being a stand-alone. As I read, I thought, it would be so great if we could have a spin-off novel or novella with the Cinderella story. And....that story was already told! AND there was YET ANOTHER book bridging it to this one!
So I read these completely upside down and out of order. Ironically, THE FAIREST POISON is my favorite of the three books, but is that just because I read it first, or because I was enamored with the way the tale of Snow White was uniquely worked into the story!?
WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT by April Genevieve Tucholke
I don't think I've had any book I've wanted to chuck across the room for any of those reasons this past academic year.
But I have to choose SOMETHING, right? So I'm choosing WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT by April Genevieve Tucholke because I wanted it SO VERY MUCH. It's GORGEOUS and the story sounds AMAZING. But it wasn't quite what I wanted it to be. It definitely has a home, especially for fans of books such as WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart. I know a lot of people who loved it.
It really wasn't what I wanted in a book, though, and so it was probably one of my bigger disappointments this year, if only because it wasn't right for me and I wanted it to be SO VERY BADLY!
So I'm cheating and choosing a TV episode. But it was based off a book series, so...maybe it counts?
I started watching The 100 on Netflix this past spring and there is an episode very early on in the first season that is basically genocide for no reason, and that episode...when people are choosing what they choose...and they're trying to save their families....okay, that episode made me REALLY sad.
Sarah J. Maas
Both series are fiercely loved.
I'm lucky enough to count Sarah J. Maas as a local author and have been to several of her events. I've seen her twice in the last academic year at signings and will see her again next month. Her signings get more and more crowded as she gets more and more popular. I think her September signing will be a mess--and my store is even doing a Midnight Release Party for EMPIRE OF STORMS because she's so popular!!!
To me, there is no bigger YA author to be reckoned with right now than Sarah J. Maas, and I'm so happy that I've been following her since before ARCs of her very first book were even available and have watched her on this amazing publication journey as she has grown in leaps and bounds!
From attending a signing a few years ago when she had one book and six people in attendance to the ones now that are mobbed, it just really showcases her success story!
What are some of your August 2015 to June 2016 Favorites of the Year?
Who would you nominate in YOUR class yearbook!?