Tuesday, December 27

Biggest Pleasant Surprises of 2016


Hi loves! Today's Top Ten Tuesday (weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookishtopic is all about our 2016 faves. As I'm starting to feel really bad about cheating nearly every week with the number of picks, this week I'm totally sticking to 10. *nods*

As choosing 10 faves (even narrowed down to certain genres or categories) is basically impossible, given that I read 150+ & loved more than half of them, I'm going to list 10 of the biggest PLEASENT surprises of novels I read in 2016.


This list was made at the end of October, any book read after that date is NOT included!
Click on the covers for Goodreads page.

My picks are in no particular order.

   

Prior to picking My Lady Jane up I'd only read something by Cynthia Hand, and even that was a long time ago, so that was one reason I approached this one a bit cautiously. Secondly, so far most of the comical novels I've tried ended up totally disappointing me *cough Rebel Belle cough* BUT OMG I'VE NEVER IN MY LIFE - a bit of an exageration, but oh well - BEEN MORE PLEASANTLY SURPRISED BY A BOOK. My Lady Jane deserves all the stars!

HOW exactly was In the Shadow of Blackbirds a pleasant surprise, you may ask, knowing how much I adore anything and everything by Winters. Well, the first book I read by her - The Cure for Dreaming - wasn't as impressive as her other stuff, so it's understandable I went into ItSoB without expecting anything huge. And now I'm like, HOW COULD I HAVE EVER DOUBTED HER GENIUS? HOW?

Oh gosh, how many bad things had I heard about The Wicked Thing (TONS), and only a few (like 2) reviews I read recommended picking it up. Understandably, I wasn't too damn eager to read it and be devastated afterwards because of the lost potential. Thankfully, it turned out to be GREAT. Fantastic, actually. Sure, the plot is slow-moving, and the MC was a bit of a push-over, but she just got up after a long-ass sleep in a world where everything and everyone she's ever known is no longer there. GIVE HER A BREAK, OKAY?

I honestly didn't know what to expect from The Final Empire because I don't really read much from the epic-fantasy genre, especially the adult section of it, so even though my friend LOVED this one, I wasn't 1000% sure I will too. The whole trilogy is truly marvelous, BUT THIS ONE IS ACTUALLY ONE OF THE BESTEST BOOKS EVER. Can't wait to read more by Brandon Sanderson. 

  

I love the Psy-Changeling series SO MUCH, but I had my doubts about Heart of Obsidian, bc I didn't know what to think about the male lead in the previous novels. I HAD NOTHING TO FEAR, THOUGH. As always, Singh created an honest to god epic romance, and Heart of Obsidian became my favorite of the whole series.

Uprooted was a popular novel after the publication, but there were quite a few negative reviews about it that made me unsure of reading it. I ended up loving it, of course, because it was SO UNIQUE in many ways and had one of the best friendships I've ever seen in a novel.

The Captive Prince trilogy by C. S. Pacat didn't really seem like my cup of tea, BUT WAS IT EVER. Okay, so I know a lot of people have a lot of problems with these books, (none of which I agree with, btw) but I think they're actually fantastic, with the third novel taking the crown, without doubt.

  

I've been hearing about Mindy McGinnis for years, but I've never been interested in reading any of her books (now I want to read all of them, of course) until I picked up A Madness So Discreet on a whim. It was twisted, emotional and so so SO different from anything I've ever read before. PERFECTION, in one word.

Devoted is one of my mostest favoritest books ever, so it might sound strange that, I think, to this day, I've never been more afraid of picking a novel up. I'm not religious, though, of course, I don't have any problems with anyone who is - a novel about religion, from the POV of a religious MC, seemed like something I may not be able to relate to. I'VE NEVER BEEN MORE WRONG. Devoted is the most beautiful and emotional novel I've ever read, with some kickass characters who I WANT TO KNOW IRL.

V. E. Schwab seems to be one of the biggest faves in the community right now, so I was incredibly disappointed when didn't adore The Archived and The Unbound, only really enjoyed, and then ended up DNF-in This Savage Song (don't kill me, k?). I thought I'll forever be the odd one out who hides away when ppl bring up their love for V. E. Schwab. BUT THEN CAME VICIOUS. AND IT WAS TOO DAMN AMAZING. So maybe her adult-stuff is what I should be reading and just leave her YA novels alone? IDK. Trying A Darker Shade of Magic soon. 


Have you read any of these novels?
What were YOUR biggest pleasant surprises of 2016?

25 comments:

  1. I promised myself I would read My Lady Jane a long time ago and never got around to it... And I just learnt about Lady Jane in school too! Gotta get on that. My most pleasant surprise this year was definitely ACOTAR. I did not think I was gonna like that book at all and ended up loving it!

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    1. READ IT, EM!! It's one of the best books I've ever read - super-fun and action-packed. I should really read ACOTAR, everyone seems to be obsessed with it, esp with the 2nd book.

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  2. Really happy to see My Lady Jane on your list as I'm hoping to read it within the next few weeks! :-) Looks like you've had a great reading year! :-)

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    1. Eeek, I really hope you love My Lady Jane, Chrissi, because it's one of my all time faves now - hilarious, fast-paced and just overall fun to read. :)

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  3. You have so many books I want to read on this list! Uprooted is very high on my wishlist/TBR. I also really want to read A Madness So Discreet and The Final Empire. I've been seeing so many glowing things about the Mistborn series! Wonderful list!

    My Favorites of 2016

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    1. YASS, READ UPROOTED. One of my favorite books OF ALL TIME - so unique and well-written and AH, JUST SEE IT FOR YOURSELF. Same about A Madness and Mistborn! I binge-read the Mistborn trilogy AND IT WAS SO DAMN IMPRESSIVE OMG. Thank you! <3

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  4. I keep thinking I'm going to read Uprooted. It definitely looks like a book for me.

    Here's my Top Ten Books of 2016!

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    1. YOU SHOULD!! Hands down one of the best books ever! :)

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  5. It took me a long time to get into My Lady Jane but I ended up enjoying it.
    I'm looking forward to Vicious though. The Archived is on my list for 2017. I hope you enjoy ADSOM, it's a lot of fun!

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    1. Sad to here that - I was totally into it from the very first page. :( ANYHOW, hope you love Vicious!! It's such a wonderful novel, especially if you like character-driven stories.

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  6. Is it a true shame that I haven't read any of these books? To be honest, I didn't even read as much as you did this year. I only got around 40 books, but you know what school does to our lives. I'm still happy with everything I read this year, hahah.
    Out of the ones you mentioned, I should probably add Uprooted and Vicious to my TBR as soon as possible!
    I hope you have a great 2016! :)

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    1. SCHOOL IS THE WORST THING EVER. It sucks the life out of students, to be honest. And 40 books is AWESOME!! YESS, DO THAT. Both were such unique and action-packed novels. OH, AND THE FEELS. They were packed with the feels.
      Thank you! Hope you do, too! <3

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  7. Wow, many of the books you've listed sound really good. Happy reading to you in 2017!!

    Here's my TTT post for this week: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2016/12/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-best-books-of.html

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    1. Thank you, happy reading to you too! :)

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  8. I haven't read Vicious yet, but I love VE Schwab's Shades of Magic books!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/top-ten-tuesday-89/

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    1. I can't wait to read those books omg, so I'm super-glad you said that. :)

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  9. Cat Winters, V.E. Schwab, and Mindy McGinnis are some of my favorites! :)

    Check out my TTT and my current giveaway.

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    1. All three of them are just so kickass writers, aren't they?

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  10. A Madness So Discreet has piqued my interest, adding to TBR list.

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    1. You definitely should give it a chance, because it's so beautifully written and honest and argh just too pure to describe haha.

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  11. Uprooted was one of my favorite novels - I've heard so much rave about My Lady Jane, I'm going to try it out for myself soon! A Madness so Discreet was amazing too, great review! Keep in touch x Benish @ Beenazai

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    1. You simply HAVE TO read My Lady Jane - it's so hilarious and well-written. I never expected to love it quite this much!

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  12. I AM VERY EXCITED BY YOUR EXCITEDNESS FOR BRANDON SANDERSON. He is a master of his genre and his books are so so so good. A little slow in the beginning because there's so much world-building, but SO good.

    I'm reading Vicious soon! Can't wait :D

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    1. WHAT'S YOUR FAVE BY HIM?? TELL ME. I have no idea where to continue after the Mistborn t. Eek, really hope you'll love Vicious!!

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