That’s right I said eight readers. Why 8? Because to be honest while I read quite a few really good books this year some stood out more. When making this list those that stood out more only numbered to 8. These are books (or graphic novels) that I have crisp clear memories of. Stuff I keep telling everyone to read. Tell me did you read any?
Book: Every Heart a Doorway
Author: Seanan McGuire
Why? I grew up on portal fantasies. Not just Narnia or Wizard of Oz, or even something like Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, but stuff from Joyce Ballou Gregorian, Pamela Dean, Piers Anthony – stories about girls becoming queens or joining the Amazons or riding unicorns to fight evil (and science). Families running through hedgerows and learning the world they made up is actually quite a bit more real then ours…
But I was always left with a sense of “what happened when they came home”? The few sentences of the classics did little to assuage me. Sure Lewis wrapped up things for most of the Pensieve kids, but not Susan. Some chose to stay, but what about their families back home? Some chose to leave, but how do you reconcile your adventures to everyday life?
So for me EVERY HEART was an answer to those questions and more. So very much more.
Book: Pirate Nemesis
Author: Carysa Locke
Why? I was genuinely surprised by this book. Its on Kindle Unlimited and I was in the mood for a Scifi-Romance (I’m always in the mood for that, but its hard to find worthy titles some days) and I was drawn to the cover. Also the series title of “Telepathic Pirate” promised either absolute camp or something very intriguing.
And then we meet Mercy and we meet Reaper and it all just clicked for me. I liked that Mercy and Reaper were both very up front about their expectations vs. what they were feeling. Even though Reaper was sort of…shielded, he never played Mercy false. Mercy meanwhile didn’t let her doubts keep her from being the most competent person she could be.
Book: Nightingale, Sing
Author: Karsten Knight
Why? Madcap caper to save a dying sister and a bit of supernatural mystery along the way? On it like scientists and equations. There’s a lot of clever wordplay here, due to the riddles and some very beautiful chapter headers highlighting the best parts of Boston. Sabra was also not the kind of girl who let a bit of morality get in her way.
Real talk – if there was a chance to save my dying sister there are maybe only THREE lines I wouldn’t cross and I promise you none of them involve killing, injuring or otherwise hurting the bad guys attempting to come after ME.
Book: Princess Princess: Ever After
Author: Katie O’Neill
Why? There is needs to be more graphic novels out there that are for all ages, fun and show kids that everyone has something to contribute. Sometimes being yourself won’t make everyone happy, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy into their labels or negativity.
Also it has a unicorn that will knock down towers if you say “cookie”. I want a unicorn like that.
Book: North Sea Dawn
Author: Susan Amund
Why? Its hard to put my finger on why this book stuck with me, but if I had to guess its because the main leads (Julia and Eric) are so engaging when they’re not busy proving the other is wrong. Generally, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a Viking person, but Eric’s crew was peopled with guys I wouldn’t mind reading more about.
Book: Magic Binds
Author: Ilona Andrews
Why? This book…as the book wherein Kate has to face not one, but TWO big fears in her life I was over the moon. As in anything else Kate doesn’t take the easy street in either her wedding or her confrontation with Roland and I love her all the more for it.
Also if I had to choose any world to live in I think Post-Shift Atlanta would top the list…as long as I could have Curran choose my house for me.
Book: Dealing in Deception
Author: Samantha Joyce
Why? This was literally everything I wanted for Veronica (after reading “Flirting with Fame” earlier this year) and then so much more. Her and Bax practically sparkled off the page. I liked that they didn’t fall into instant love – attraction was there, but they both had to readjust their world view before they could REALLY love the other.
Plus the ending scene was so cute. And so them.
Book: The Lost Codex
Author: Heather Lyons
Why? I. Did. Not. Cry. I practically sobbed. At the end of book 3 (“The Forgotten Mountain”) I was raging so hard. Not at the author, its her job to make readers want to come back, but at the universe for making it so that Finn and Alice were once again separated.
Then this book continued that and I was ready to stab a jabberwocky. Luckily, or unluckily depending on which character you were, things evened out…AND THEN THE ENDING. Which, in hindsight fit so well, but it also made me so sad. Yes it was the story they deserved and I was happy for them, but it also meant so much else was lost.
There’s my top 8 list – what’s everyone else still thinking about/raving about?