Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hello everyone,
Happy New Year!

Usually, I am always excited at the start of a new year, but this time, with all the political turmoil and uncertainties, I am currently feeling subdued at best and apprehensive at worst. To be honest, I don't quite know how I feel about 2017.

Anyway, today I am going to list my top 3 favorite YA and top 3 favorite romance reads, as well as my least favorite reads in both genres. I read a total of 97 books in 2016, and these are the books that stood out as the best and the worst.

Top 3 Favorite YA of 2016
Heartless, Tell Me Three Things, and The Rose and the Dagger are the three books that stood out among the eight YA books I gave five stars to in 2016. 

I reviewed Heartless here so I won't get too much into it, but it's such an amazing origin story of the Queen of Hearts and it made me appreciate the original Alice in Wonderland story so much more. Tell Me Three Things was the best contemporary YA book I read in 2016. It's been so long since a contemporary YA really hit me in the feels as well as made me swoon, and this book did both that. As for The Rose and the Dagger, okay so it wasn't as good as The Wrath and the Dawn to be honest, but I was so worried that it was going to do that keep-the-lovers-apart-until-the-end shit that most YA sequels pull, and it did not. I got all the Shazi and Khalid swoony scenes that I wanted--basically it's everything I wanted the sequel to be.

Top 3 Favorite Romances of 2016
I also gave eight romance/new adult novels five stars in 2016. The three that stood out among the eight were Undecided, Steadfast, and Idol. I didn't expect to love Undecided as much as I did, but reading it brought back all the feels I had when I read The Deal--basically, it's a really damn GOOD college romance. Steadfast stood out because it didn't shy away from that rawness and vulnerability of the hero battling his addiction. I have a review up for Steadfast, so you can read more of my thoughts about it there. Idol is a rockstar romance and I typically stay away from rockstar romances because they're just not my cup of tea, but I loved Idol

Most Disappointing YA Reads of 2016
It wasn't that I completely hated these two books, but they just meh.  Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between was basically about this couple who are going to different colleges and they're trying to decide if they should break up or stay together. It was a really frustrating book because they basically kept having the same conversation over and over the whole entire time and I was at the point where I was like, just frickin' break up already and put me out of my misery. As for Reign of Shadows, I actually rated the book three stars in the end, but that was thanks to the last few chapters of the book. Before that, nothing was really happening to move the plot along and I was just passively reading it just to read it. Maybe I hyped this book up too much, but it essentially ended up disappointing me.

Most Disappointing Romance Reads of 2016
Bad Romeo was hands down my most hated romance read of 2016, but I kind of waffled whether Hitched Vol. 1 belongs next to Bad Romeo in terms of disappointment level because I did give it three stars, but, yeah, it does. Hitched wasn't my most hated book of 2016 like Bad Romeo was, but it certainly was a disappointing read.

I buddy read Bad Romeo with a couple of Twitter friends, and I went into it with such high hopes that I'll love it. It comes highly recommended from other romance-loving friends and its high rating on Goodreads cannot be denied. But, the two main characters frustrated me to no end! I wanted to reach into the pages and give them a good shake. Ethan and Cassie epitomized characters and actions I cannot stand in romance novels. Hitched Vol. 1 was just plain disappointing. It's premise was so promising, but the unrealistic situations, eye-rolling dialogue, uninspired main characters, and wonky pacing really brought the book down for me.

*****
Let me know if we share similar favorites, or similar disappointments. Or, if one of my disappointing reads is one of your favorites, I'd love to know. If you haven't read any of my six faves of 2016, of course I highly recommend them and urge you to add them to your to-read list.

Tomorrow I'll be posting about how I did with my 2016 reading challenges, as well as sharing my 2017 reading goals.

Happy reading,
Michelle

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