2017 Midyear favourite Books

Time flies, we are finally in the middle of summer and the first part of 2017 is over, time to reflect what I read and what I liked a lot.

Till now I read 51 Books. Two of these books did get dnf’ed (Made you up: horrible; The long way to a small angry planet: may get picked up again). I mixed in some classics, books I meant to read in ages and series friends recommended me. I feel that it was a really balanced TBR. But looking at my 2017 books right now, makes me realize that I really did not step out of my comfort zone as I had whished to do in the beginning of the year.

I set up a 2017 reading challenges which consisted of:

  • 5 rereads
  • 5 classics older than 1970
  • and 3 non-fiction books

I completely fullfilled the rereads with: Krabat, The Bone Season, The Mime Order, ACOTAR and ACOMAF. I also finished Angelfall and I am planning on reading Pride and Prejudice and the whole Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. This was a too easy challenge, espacially since goodreads added the reread option. I will need to come up with something else next year.

(and yes, before you wonder, I did this because I felt I was not rereading enough since I was so ambitious about finishing my goodreads challenge. This was my way to change this until goodreads blew all our minds and added the reread option on their own)

I nearly finished the classics: The Picture of Dorian Grey, Alice in Wonderland, Fahrenheit 451, Through the Looking Glass.

I didn’t even open one non-fiction book. It’s not that I didn’t try, but I couldn’t find any book that interested me enough to go for it

I don’t know how other peope do this thing, but I decided that I will go through my favourite reads regardless of the release date.

My 5 favourite books

5. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

by Lewis Carroll

9781447279990Alice-s-Adventures-in-Wonderland

Published 1865

Find the book on goodreads or amazon

Summary: a girl falls through a rabbit hole and ends up in wonderland

Yes, I haven’t read it yet. I started several times and always failed. Here is the reason why: the german translation which I read before, sucks. Badly. It was boring and it was not readable. So this year I took the english original and and flew through the pages. It was so much fun to meet all these people finally. And now I finally can stand tall and be like, yes, I love Alice in Wonderland, I love all the characters, I know what the story is about and they became my best friends.

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,‘ Alice remarked. ‚Oh, you can’t help that,‘ said the Cat: ‚we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.‘ ‚How do you know I’m mad?‘ said Alice. ‚You must be,‘ said the Cat, ‚or you wouldn’t have come here.”

„If everybody minded their own business,‘ the Duchess said in a hoarse growl, ‚the world would go round a deal faster than it does.“

4. The Opportunist

by Tarryn Fisher

Published 2011

Find the book on goodreads or amazon

Summary: Olivia Kaspen has just discovered that her ex-boyfriend, Caleb Drake, has lost his memory. With an already lousy reputation for taking advantage of situations, Olivia must decide how far she is willing to go to get Caleb back. Wrestling to keep her true identity and their sordid past under wraps, Olivia’s greatest obstacle is Caleb’s wicked, new girlfriend; Leah Smith. It is a race to the finish as these two vipers engage in a vicious tug of war to possess a man who no longer remembers them. But, soon enough Olivia must face the consequences of her lies, and in the process discover that sometimes love falls short of redemption.

This was a surprise. I wanted to have a little feel good romance and got a gut-wrenching, tearful, heartbreaking, i-don’t-know-how-to-deal-with-my-life-anymore love story. At times it was over-dramatic but it didn’t make me roll my eyes. I just got sucked into the story and there it had to be overdramatic. This book teaches you, that even if people love each other, life can get inbetween and make it impossible. I loved the ending, I loved the humor and I hated the villain so much it made it impossible to read the second book.

“There is more to loving someone than just making yourself happy. You have to want him to be happier than you are.”

“I was a relationship retard. I kicked, shoved, and punched people out of my life, so they never had a chance to hurt me.”

“I had now officially secured my front row seat on the train to Hell. Choo choo”

3. The Rook

by Daniel O’Malley

Published 2012

Find the book on goodreads or amazon

Summary: „The body you are wearing used to be mine.“ So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.
She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.
In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.
Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, The Rook is a richly inventive, suspenseful, and often wry thriller that marks an ambitious debut from a promising young writer.

I got this book as a recommendation for underrated books from the book & writing amino. And it definitely belongs in that category. Sometimes you have these moments where you are fed up with all this YA Fantasy Romance, and you just want to have that down to earth book with funny jokes, a great story, quality writing and  fleshed out characters. This is the Rook in a Nutshell, a mixture of Neil Gamains imagination, Douglas Adams sarcasm and Alice in Wonderland quirkiness. I read it at the perfect moment and I didn’t regret one second of it. And just to repeat that NO ROMANCE!

“Yes, Minister, it turns out that there was a mysterious force that caused that plane to crash. We call it gravity.”

2. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavendar

by Lesly Walton

Published 2014

Find the book on goodreads or amazon

Summary: Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava — in all other ways a normal girl — is born with the wings of a bird. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naive to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the summer solstice celebration. That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo. First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

And because it gets mentioned nowhere else: Trigger warning this book contains scenes with sexual abuse and rape.

Led me warn you, the summary is misleading. I tried to find a better one, I even considered writing one on my own, but I believe it is impossible to summarize the story of the book to get all the aspects. In it Ava tries to tell you the story of her family, how love influenced the life of her mother and her grandmother, how they tried to deal with it and how it all influenced Ava in the end. It is one of the most beautiful books I have read in my life. It is slow, but deep. It hurt, and gave me hope. It leaves you with intense pictures in your head, that you will never get rid off. And maybe it is a warning for every women. No women needs a man, every woman can be self reliable. For a long time women were forbidden to live like that but times have changed. We are our own people. So never let that freedom get taken away from you.

„Children betrayed their parents by becoming their own people.“

„…some sacrifices aren’t worth the cost. Even, or perhaps most espacially, those made out of love.“

„He came to appreciate that there were worse ways to live than to live without love.“

„So, is it dangerous for us of for you?“ „What do you mean?“ „I mean, are you the threat, or are we?“ „You are! Well, they are.“ I motioned to the cluster of teenagers. Of course it was them. Rowe peered at me thoughtfully. „Funny. I suspect they might say otherwise.“ He stood. „And that might just be the root of the problem: we’re all afraid of each other, wings or no wings.“

„Mon coeur entier pendant ma vie entière. My whole heart for my entire life.“

“Just because love don’t look the way you think it should, don’t mean you don’t have it.”

oh yes, this is one of these books where you could basically quote every page

1. Our Dark Duet

by Vicotria Schwab

Published 2017

Find the book on goodreads or amazon

Summary: THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.
KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.
AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.
THE WAR HAS BEGUN.
THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.
Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims‘ inner demons.
Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

This is the 2nd book from V.E. Schwab’s Monster of Verity Series. And if you thought the first book was good, this one will blow your mind. I knew I would like the series, the moment I read the first synopsis and immediatly preordered This savage song. Though I never expected for the second Volume to rip me apart. The level of angst in this book is so real, I had to take several breaks to get it stomached. And even after the book, I get moments where I am overcome with an emotional outburst, remembering the things that happened in this book. This book will put you in emotional turmoil, you might get nightmares from it and wish for real life friends like August, Kate and the Wardens. Our Dark Duet will hit a  lot of best book lists in the end of 2017. So be sure to pick it up, so you know what everyone is talking about.

“I know it hurts,“ she said. „So make it worth the pain.”

“There were two kinds of monsters, the kind that hunted the streets and the kind that lived in your head. She could fight the first, but the second was more dangerous. It was always, always, always a step ahead.”

“Mourning was its own kind of music—the sound of so many hearts, of so many breaths, of so many standing together.”

“I didn’t stop fighting,“ he said, the words so low he worried Kate wouldn’t hear them, but she did. „I just got tired of losing. It’s easier this way.“
„Of course it’s easier,“ said Kate. „that doesn’t mean it’s right.”

“We do it, Jackson, because compassion must be louder than pride.”

 

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