Saturday, December 31, 2016

Top Ten Favorite Books of 2016


2017 is nearly  upon us and that means that it's time to reveal my Top Ten Favorite Books read this year. 2016 was a rough year for books (in this readers opinion). While I met/ slightly exceeded my reading goal I feel a bit bad about not reading all the stories I originally set out to at the end of last year.  Although if I'm being entirely honest, I feel many Authors were in a rut as well. I can't tell you how many stories just felt like regurgitated plots of books past. I DNR'd more than a dozen because I just wasn't being engaged by the characters or plot and that's pretty terrible considering the amount of books I actually picked up this year. Thankfully 2017 looks to be a return of originality and I for one cannot wait to see what it brings.

Anywho back to the post at hand. As I mentioned earlier, I did meet and slightly exceed my reading goal this year and the stories I read were for the most part incredibly good. Unlike past Wrap Up years, 2016  had clear winners and losers and it didn't take me all that long to decide which stories should land on this list. So without further ado, here are my Top Ten Favorite Books of 2016!


10.) Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 Vol.1 by  Joss Whedon, Brian K. Vaughan, Georges Jeanty (Illustrator), Paul Lee (Illustrator), Cliff Richards (Illustrator)

After the destruction of the Hellmouth, the Slayers--newly legion--have gotten organized, but it's not long before new and old enemies begin popping up. Buffy, Xander, Willow, and a very different Dawn are introduced to the season's big bad, Twilight, and are only beginning to understand the incredible reach of this mysterious threat. Meanwhile, rebel Slayer Faith teams up with Giles to handle a menace on the other side of the Atlantic. It's a dirty job, and Faith is just the girl to do it! 

REVIEW
9.) Shiny Broken Pieces (Tiny Pretty Things #2) by Sona Charaipotra  &  Dhonielle Clayton 
June, Bette, and Gigi have given their all to dance at Manhattan’s most elite ballet school. Now they are competing one final time for a spot at the prestigious American Ballet Company. With the stakes higher than ever, these girls have everything to lose…and no one is playing nice.

June is starting to finally see herself as a prima ballerina. However, getting what she wants might cost her everything—including the only boy she’s ever loved. Legacy dancer Bette is determined to clear her name after she was suspended and accused of hurting her rival, Gigi. Even if she returns, though, will she ever regain the spotlight she craves? And Gigi is not going to let Bette—or the other dancers who bullied her—go unpunished. But as revenge consumes her, Gigi may be the one who pays the price.

After years of grueling auditions, torn ribbons, and broken hearts, it all comes down to this last dance. Who will make the cut? And who will lose her dream forever?

REVIEW
8.) Charnel House by Graham Masterson
Of course they thought he was crazy . . . . But Seymour Willis insisted his house was breathing and that he heard someone's - or something's - heartbeat pounding within the walls. So the disbelievers investigated, doubting the existence of ghosts or demons - until their reason was shattered by the shrieking unseen creature who threatened to claim their lives. By then it was too late to stop the fiendish force from wreaking vengeance upon those denying its very existence. One by one, they must die - in exchange for its eternally evil soul.


7.) SHTF Nola Zombie (0.5) by Gillian Zane

This isn't a romance...there aren't any happily-ever-afters, this is just Romeo's fight for survival and how he became a NOLA Survivor. 


6.) Monstrum by Ann Christopher

STAY OUT OF THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE

Few places on earth engender as much primal fear as the mysterious and forbidding Bermuda Triangle. With good reason.

A bizarre plane crash at sea leaves Bria Hunter and her high school classmates trapped in a chilling race for survival.

Will Bria and her friends escape from the evil presence before it’s too late?

REVIEW
5.) Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace
Breezy remembers leaving the party: the warm, wet grass under her feet, her cheek still stinging from a slap to her face. But when she wakes up, scared and pulling dirt from her mouth, a year has passed and she can’t explain how.

Nor can she explain the man lying at her grave, dead from her touch, or why her heartbeat comes and goes. She doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past.

Haunted by happy memories from her life, Breezy sets out to find answers in the gritty, threatening world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight, and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she discovers is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.

REVIEW
4.) Dark Energy by Robison Wells
WE ARE NOT ALONE

Five days ago, a massive UFO crashed in the Midwest, killing thousands of people. Since then, nothing–or no one–has come out.

THEY HAVE ARRIVED

If it were up to Alice, she’d be watching all of this on the news from Miami, Florida. Instead, she’s the newest student at a boarding school not far from the crash site–because her dad is the director of special projects for NASA, and if anything’s a special project, it’s this.

AND THERE’S NO GOING BACK

A shell-shocked country is waiting, glued to televisions and computer screens, for a sign of what the future holds. But when the aliens emerge, they’re nothing like what Alice expected. And only one thing is clear: Nothing will ever be the same again.

REVIEW
3.) Unplugged by Donna Frietas
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.


2.) Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan

"Y" is none other than unemployed escape artist Yorick Brown (his father was a Shakespeare buff), and he's seemingly the only male human left alive after a mysterious plague kills all Y-chromosome carriers on earth. But why are he and his faithful companion, the often testy male monkey Ampersand, still alive? He sets out to find the answer (and his girlfriend), while running from angry female Republicans (now running the government), Amazon wannabes that include his own sister (seemingly brainwashed), and other threats. 

Note: I truly wish I had reviewed this series as I read it. Y: The Last Man was hands down one of the best stories I have ever read not just in a graphic novel form but in general. I cannot recommend reading this enough and the only reason it isn't my #1 pick of 2016 is because the book in that spot was extremely hard to beat. 

REVIEW
1.) The Hatching by Ezekial Boone
Deep in the jungle of Peru, where so much remains unknown, a black, skittering mass devours an American tourist whole. Thousands of miles away, an FBI agent investigates a fatal plane crash in Minneapolis and makes a gruesome discovery. Unusual seismic patterns register in a Kanpur, India earthquake lab, confounding the scientists there. During the same week, the Chinese government “accidentally” drops a nuclear bomb in an isolated region of its own country. As these incidents begin to sweep the globe, a mysterious package from South America arrives at a Washington, D.C. laboratory. Something wants out.

The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake. 
 _________________________________________

Well there ya have it my Top Ten Favorite Books Of 2016! 
Did any of yours make the list? 
If so, Which ones? 
Leave me comment below telling me which made your list or if you have a link feel free to share it!

Want To Check Out My Other Top Ten List from 2016? Click The Link Below:

Top Ten Favorite Books I Regret Not Reading in 2016


Friday, December 30, 2016

Top Ten Books I Regret Not Reading In 2016


Every year I feel like I say the same thing, so many books, so little time. 2016 by far was better reading wise for me than 2015. I completed my Goodreads goal, I read a bunch of wicked new Graphic Novels and I even stepped out of my comfort zone and read some books not in my usual preference of genres. So why do I feel like a failure still?  Despite my best efforts to read more I still left many books on the shelf unread. The dutiful reader within is screaming with discontent but my heart knows that I tried and sometimes that has to be good enough. The great thing about literature is it is not fleeting. The books will be their waiting for me with open pages when I find time to get around to them.  

With that being said and in no particular order (sans my top pick), here are my Top Ten Books I Regret Not Reading In 2016:



The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.


At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England. 


Eleven years ago, six kindergarteners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to.


Until today. Today five of those kids return. They're sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn't really recognize the person she's supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they're entirely unable to recall where they've been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn't come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max's sister Avery, who needs to find her brother--dead or alive--and isn't buying this whole memory-loss story.



San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.


On April 18, a historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Though fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the army to bring help—she still has the “bossy” cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenage girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?



Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.


Yet not all promises can be kept.


Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.



January 29, 2035.

That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit—the big one. Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter near their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denise’s drug-addicted mother is going, they’ll never reach the shelter in time.

Then a last-minute encounter leads them to something better than a temporary shelter: a generation ship that’s scheduled to leave Earth behind and colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But each passenger must have a practical skill to contribute. Denise is autistic and fears that she’ll never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister?


When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?



5.) The Rains by Gregg Hurwitz
In one terrifying night, the peaceful community of Creek’s Cause turns into a war zone. No one under the age of eighteen is safe. Chance Rain and his older brother, Patrick, have already fended off multiple attacks from infected adults by the time they arrive at the school where other young survivors are hiding. Most of the kids they know have been dragged away by once-trusted adults who are now ferocious, inhuman beings. The parasite that transformed them takes hold after people turn eighteen—and Patrick’s birthday is only a few weeks away.

Determined to save Patrick’s life and the lives of the remaining kids, the brothers embark on a mission to uncover the truth about the parasites—and what they find is horrifying.

Battling an enemy not of this earth, Chance and Patrick become humanity’s only hope for salvation.


4.) Feedback (Newsflesh #4) by Mira Grant
FEEDBACK is a full-length Newsflesh novel which overlaps the events of New York Times bestseller Mira Grant's classic Feed and follows a group of reporters covering the Democratic side of the Presidential campaign. 
There are two sides to every story... 
Mira Grant creates a chilling portrait of an America paralyzed with fear. No street is safe and entire swaths of the country have been abandoned. And only the brave, the determined, or the very stupid, venture out into the wild.

Step inside a world a half-step from our own in this novel of geeks, zombies, politics and social media.



3.) Glitter by Aprilynne Pike
Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.
When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.
Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.

But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.


2.) Flashfall by Jenny Moyer
Orion is a Subpar, expected to mine the tunnels of Outpost Five, near the deadly flash curtain. For generations, her people have chased cirium—the only element that can shield humanity from the curtain’s radioactive particles. She and her caving partner, Dram work the most treacherous tunnel, fighting past flash bats and tunnel gulls, in hopes of mining enough cirium to earn their way into the protected city.


But when newcomers arrive at Outpost Five, Orion uncovers disturbing revelations that make her question everything she thought she knew about life on both sides of the cirium shield. As conditions at the outpost grow increasingly dangerous, it’s up to Orion to forge a way past the flashfall, beyond all boundaries, beyond the world as she knows it.


1.) I Am Hero by Kengo Hanazawa
 A mentally unhinged manga artist witnesses the beginning of a zombie outbreak in Tokyo, and he's certain of only two things: he's destined to be the city's hero, and he possesses something very rare in Japan--an actual firearm! Kengo Hanazawa's award-winning series comes to Dark Horse, and this realistically-drawn international bestseller takes us from initial small battles for survival to a huge, body-horror epidemic that threatens all of humanity! These special omnibus volumes will collect two of the original Japanese books into each Dark Horse edition and include all of the color pages.



I also want to give shout outs to a few books that didn't quite make the cut but were stories I definitely still need to make time to read. 

Catalyst - A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno
Rise of the Chosen by Anna Kopp
Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge


Well there ya go my Top Ten Books I Regret Not Reading In 2016.
 Have you read any of these? If so, Which ones? 
What Books do you regret not reading?
Have Recommendations for ones I should add?

 Leave your answer in the comments below, I love reading your responses.