2016 Year in Review: Thank God Its Almost Over

2016 has been a mixed year in real life and book wise as well, come to think of it.  Obviously, not enough people in the US paid attention to Orwell’s Animal Farm and acted accordingly.  In my personal life, while I did  pass another bar exam and got a new job (yay!) I had some horrible things occur as well.  I lost two of my beloved dogs, Dolly and Skeeter, in addition to my grandmother passing away.   In all, I’m hoping 2017 will no be as drama filled or at the very least I hope things stabilize a bit.

Dolly and Skeeter.  BFFs, forever.  You to will always be loved and missed.

Dolly and Skeeter BFFs forever. You two will always be loved and missed.

As I usually do in December is write up a post of the more memorable books I’ve read-good and bad-for the year.    Here are the usual statistics.

Total Books Read:

When I started drafting this post (December 10th) I read 160 books.  That’s sixty books over my goal.  I had an extremely slow work summer which explains it.  I don’t think I’ll get as much reading done next year, which oddly I’m sort of glad about  in a weird way.  The funny thing is when I started this year, I was so far behind on my reading goal because of bar prep.  How things change.

Most Read Genre:

Probably historical romance.  I read pretty much of all of Lisa Kleypas back list this summer.  Like I said, my old job got extremely slow and I had lots and lots of time to read.

Reading Report:

Mixed.  Like the year, it’s been lots of ups and downs.  The good books have been really good.  The bad books not so good.   I would say though, that there hasn’t been one memorable kill it with fire book this year.  Which is good.  Oh, don’t get me wrong there were some bad ones but they weren’t like Halo bad.

Biggest Surprise:

I read so many Lisa Kleypas’s books this year its not even funny.  I think that’s why I put her stuff in the “biggest surprise” category.  I didn’t think this would be the year of Kleypas reading, but that’s how it ended up being.

Biggest Disappointment:

Oh, boy this one was a major suck zone for me.  It’s by Marissa Meyer.  Marissa Meyer who wrote the Lunar Chronicles.  This was her first non-Lunar chronicle book and it did not work for me at ALL.  The world building was haphazard at best and the story was so predictable I didn’t even bother finishing.  No, Ms. Meyer, this is not what I expected from you.

Best Contemporary:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.  But here’s the thing, no one does contemporaries like Meg Cabot.  There’s always something quintessentially charming about her books.

Worst Contemporary (YA):

Oh my.  I just can’t.  There was potential with this one, but there were a lot of things that were gouge worthy about this book.  The love interest and MC had zero romantic chemistry whatsoever.  It could’ve been an interesting ship though, but the way it was it wasn’t.  The MC is way too judging, and there seemed to be very little character development in the book.  It was a fail.

Worst Contemporary (Adult)

This one got a special spot on the list!  Mainly because it was so downright awful.  I bought it thinking it would be a cute little romance that dealt with a baking competition, not realizing it was quasi Christian lit-insert groan.  Look, nothing against people who love Christian romance but the books always seem a little self righteous to me and no one, no one in real life unless they are a Duggar or a member of some religious cult quotes that many Bible versus.  I’m just saying.  Anyway, this book is sexist and it had one of the most creepy heroes that I’ve read in awhile.  Avoid.  Avoid.  Avoid.  Yeah, it was sort of a kill with fire book.

Best Fantasy:

Yeah this one.  I can’t help it.  I know it’s going to be on a lot of people’s list and some people are going to find it cliche, but I really did enjoy it.

 

Worst Fantasy:

Eh.   This one was just so choppy.  I could’ve put in the retelling category, but I feel like at least it sort of tried to be true to its source material.  Still, that doesn’t mean it didn’t suck.  And as a fantasy the world building was pretty horrible.

 

Best Paranormal:

An easiest enough one to put on here, I feel like I’m almost cheating.  It’s The Mediator so it’s going to end up on here.

Worst Paranormal:

Ugh.  Such a promising premises.  Such a big fat let down.

Best Retelling:

This was a very loose Persephone retelling that I loved.  It was so, so, so, good.

Worst Retelling:

I was more meh about this book than hating it.  But the reason it made the “worst” retelling spot is because it is nothing, nothing like its suspected source material.

Best Historical:

The ship was just perfect in this one.  Yeah, it sort of has shades of Pride and Prejudice to it, but you can’t deny that that one is a classic.

Worst Historical:

Cream does not equal consent.  Obviously.  But then again, a large sum of this country things that talking about grabbing a woman’s vagina without her permission is perfectly presidential conversation so….yeah.

Best Diverse Book:

What gives this one props over the other diverse books I read is it really felt like it’s audience was driven towards a diverse audience than trying to teach white straight people about diverse populations. I think that’s my problem with several diverse books, they seem to be pigeon holed with making the book more about for example trans issues than having a book featuring a trans character that is just living her life and that’s what Hold Me is and that’s why I really liked it.

Series Beginner:

I was so happy to find out that this one is getting a couple of companion sequels.  It is hilarious and one of my favorites of the year.

 

Middle Book Slump Avoider:

Dear author, if you need a pro tip how to do a middle book in a series read The Long Game.  I think it’s even better than the first book in the series which is saying something.

Series Ender:

Talk about an explosive ending to a dulogy this book ends on the perfect note with a cliffie that’s so evil I just had to vent to someone after reading it.  Still though, the perfect ending to an interesting little duology.

Best Cover:

This wasn’t my favorite book, but I love the cover.  It even has a neat texture thing going with it.  So, so, pretty.

Worst Cover:

This really looked like a placement cover that I was a little surprised when I got my book and found out it was the final version.  It didn’ t help the book, needless to say.

Worst Overall Book:

Ah, yes, The Return of Brody McDouche where the hero knocks up two woman at the same time and all the blame is placed on the woman that’s not the heroine because it doesn’t take two to tango.  And oh yeah, heroine is forced to raise both brats while Brody McDouche is getting his shit together

Best Overall Book:

It was a reread, but this is one of my all time favorite books this is the first time in several years I’ve done a full reread.  There is just so many feels in this one.  If you haven’t picked up a copy of Paradise, what are you waiting for?  Go.

 

 

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