Top 10 Books of 2015

Welcome- and happy almost New Year! This year has been a crazy one for reading- I’ve read an insane 95 books (*say what?!?*) Amongst this windfall there have been too many terrible stinkers, a lot of YA romance for some reason (I’m thinking finishing my degree and wanting to unwind was a huge factor in that), a fair amount of fantasy, fewer classics than usual and some really incredible books! This list is dedicated to those incredible books that just lit me up from the inside out, made me laugh and had me weeping buckets.

I tried to put this in order, but let’s face it, when you’re choosing between two books you love it’s nigh on impossible to choose which one you love more. I mean- how do you measure that- by number of squeals or something? So in no particular order, I present to you, my top ten books of 2015:

1. peter pan

peter pan and wendy

Yup- I finally (re)read this- and yup, it was amazing.

1. liars

we were liars

It was the first book I read in 2015 and boy was it a great way to start the year. I haven’t mentioned it much on this blog yet, mostly because I feel like anything I say about it will be spoilery, but it was well worth reading. All I’ll say other than that is the prose was beautiful!

3. final empire.png

final-empire

I was going to say The Shadow of What Was Lost but according to my goodreads, I finished that on New Year’s Eve in 2014, so to fill that fantasy void, I’m gonna say The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. Which is a brilliant book anyway and probably would’ve made it onto the list regardless.

4. throne of glass

Throne_of_Glass_UK

And by that I mean the whole series. I know, I know, I’m kind of cheating, but to be honest I could put any of them on the list, so I don’t want to take up room, and I did read all of them in 2015. I always cheat in book lists anyway, so why should this be any different?

5. young elite

the young elites

I read this fairly recently, but it definitely makes it onto the list! It was a close call between this and the The Red Queen but this one *just* edged it out, because I loved it just a little bit more. Not that it was an easy decision to make- and I’m kind of thinking of changing my mind… See what I mean about choosing between two favourites! It’s just so hard! Ughh- they should both be on the list really. (Also, I’m counting this with The Rose Society cos, hello, I just said I’m a cheater)

6. darker shade

a darker shade of magic

What can I say other than that this was spectacular?

7. Vicious

vicious

Yes, I know V E Schwab was already on the list- but I can’t help it if she’s an incredible author. She just *deserves* two spaces on the list. I *love* the main character in this book and the plot is sensational and so clever! I go through phases with books, and right now this one has edged out A Darker Shade of Magic as my favourite book by V.E.Schwab- *so far*- cos let’s face it, I’m going to be reading loads more of her books in the future!

8. Memoirs of Geisha

memoirs of a geisha

This book came at exactly the right moment for me- I can’t really explain why. I’ve not read a more beautiful book in a really long time. It made a lasting impression and I’m certain I’m going to remember it for a really long time.

9. carry on

carry on

I loved this book so much and I’m glad I still had space on the list for it- heck, let’s face it, I made space for it! Check out my ten reasons to read it here

10. man's

man's search for meaning

This book was non-fiction, but it had to make it onto the list. Because it is undoubtedly one of the best books I’ve ever read. It articulated so many feelings I have about the world, to the point where I’ve gotten lazy when I answer questions about my philosophy on life, because I basically just say now: “go read Man’s  Search For Meaning- he puts it so much better than I ever could”. It’s deep, it’s meaningful and it feels like it soccer-punched my soul at some points. So go read it.

There you have it- those were my favourite reads of 2015. Did any of these make it onto your top ten? Let me know in the comment section below. 

Top 5 Most Anticipated Books of 2016

Okay, so I missed the Top Ten Tuesday train *and* I didn’t make it to ten. Although that’s just cos I wanted to share the ones I am most excited about, even though I’ve seen loads of other books on various blogs today that I’ve added to my tbr (oh my goodness- that thing is like a monster that’s growing out of control- soon it’ll overtake all the books I’ve ever read in my life). It’s also a little weird to me that I’m looking forward to 2016 before I’ve properly wrapped up 2015- I still finalise my choices for my top ten so I can post it!

Alright, enough digression, here’s my most anticipated releases of 2016:

anticipated reads.png

  1. Throne of Glass 5

I don’t need to explain this, do I?

  1. Heartless by Marissa Meyer

I loved her other fairy tale retellings- need I say more?

  1. A Gathering of Shadows

Ahh I’m in  love with this series- can’t wait to see where it goes

  1. Lady Midnight

Let’s face it, at this stage, if it has Shadowhunters, I’m sold.

  1. Winds of Winter

Okay, this one’s fairly optimistic- cos no one knows if the date will be pushed back again. But if it does come out you can bet I will be freaking out!!

Alright, that was a fairly quick update- I doubt I really needed to explain any of these- hope you enjoyed my two cents anyway 🙂

A Liberal Reading of Throne of Glass

Disclaimer: This is satire. If you are offended, then I recommend you watch Seinfeld, in the hope you pick up a sense of humour. All the ideas are my own, except for the ones that belong to Adina Holder, who I couldn’t have done this without 🙂

So without further ado, here is my liberal reading of “Throne of Glass”…

In Throne of Glass, Valg are depicted as evil, soul sucking, body stealing monsters. But are they really? Could it all just be a ploy by right-wing readers to keep us from seeing who the real victims are? Orangutan Librarian reports.

throneofglass series

While “Throne of Glass” is an enjoyable series, I can’t help but notice a glaring moral dilemma embedded in the narrative. For, every time a hero or heroine executes “justice”, is there not a possibility that they are actually perpetuating a terrible evil? An evil that, until now, has not been fully recognised. I propose that it is not the Valg who are the enemy- but those who refuse to see the other side of the debate. Because who, in all these books, is standing up for Valg rights? After all, the poor Valg don’t even have bodies to defend themselves! Clearly, the real issue here is the mistreatment of the Valg.

No one talks about the reasons the Valg want to migrate into a new world. Most probably, they are suffering back in their own lands. They should have refugee status. No, we should go further. Everyone should open up their body to share. It’s their human rights. And, yes, I say human because they can be human if they want to be. The Valg have always felt human, they have always acted human, they have always believed they were human. They’re just being who they really are. No one has the right to tell them they’re not. It’s disgraceful that the main characters in Throne of Glass deny them these basic rights. And racist. And homophobic. And probably misogynistic- because most things are misogynistic.

Of course, none of this gets any mention in the history books, because the world is human controlled. Obviously, this is down to the Jewish media and the evil Zionists. N.T.C Mite, of Conspiracy’s R Us, puts it most succinctly: “No doubt the Jews ate the Valg children and then covered it up with trite propaganda. But we know the truth! We are incredible for being the only ones to see the pattern and now we must teach the world.”

It certainly seems logical. The hidden signs of Zionism are everywhere: the stones the Terrasen’s lay at their graves, the references to their “homeland” and yada yada yada. And who’s to say the Terrasen holocaust ever happened? Not content with running this world, it seems the Jews have set their sights further, determined to control fantasy worlds too. Who knows where their reach will lead next? Perhaps Middle Earth or even (heaven forbid) Hogwarts.

I for one hope that Maas resolves this in the last two books- hopefully with the redemption of the Valg and all the main characters indicted for war crimes. Or I might be inclined to call her a racist.

Throne of Glass- Flash Review

Throne_of_Glass_UKWhat is not to love about a fantasy series about assassins, fae and witches? This is such an exciting, fast-paced, action packed book. I literally could not put it down. It was a great start to a series, with plenty of dynamic characters, intriguing concepts and a taste of the relationships to come. And, interestingly, not everything works out the way you would expect- making it true to life and thrilling in equal measure. I never knew quite what would happen next.

Some critics have complained about the main character’s vanity, arrogance and pettiness- but I did not have a problem with that. For starters, I don’t want a perfect heroine. Usually, characters designed to be faultless come across as unrealistic or irritating or irritatingly unrealistic. Besides, the faults balanced out her talents and were logical flaws for an especially gifted character to have. I found all the elements combined to give her complexity. And, for all her talents, it’s not like the main character has it easy- everything is still challenging for her, despite her skills.

The main flaw with this book was that the fantasy elements seemed a bit random as most of the world did not have magic. Explanations seemed vaguer than I would have liked. When I first read this book, I assumed that this was because the author was just finding her feet. It becomes apparent in later books, though, that this was intended as building blocks for future plots- so don’t be put off!

I whizzed through this series, so expect the next review in a couple of days!

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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