#EndOfTheYear: Most surprising books I’ve read in 2017 (Good & Bad)

Hello bookish fam! How are you today? 2017 is going away today and we’ll be welcoming 2018! How exciting is that?! This post was supposed to be uploaded last night, however I as not able to, so here it is on the last day of the year! I am going to upload tomorrow my list of favourite books of 2017, so that’s still coming, don’t worry. If you’ve missed my list of Most Disappointing Books I Read in 2017, click here!

As always, we’ll have a little disclaimer pointing out that these opinions are my own and they do not reflect in any way shape or form on you as a reader. Weather I hate it or love it, it does not invalidate your feelings towards the book!

So without further ado, let’s jump right into it!

24686535Bird Box by Josh Malerman. I bought this book a couple of years ago and didn’t pick it up until October and to be fair I didn’t have high expectations about it. I didn’t hear anything about it prior and bought it because I am a huge fan of post-apocalyptical books. It must’ve been the best book buying decision I have ever made, because the book was AMAZING!! I devoured it in two days and left me feeling like I discovered gold! I will definitely keep my eyes out for Malerman! I am hoping that I will do a full review on it soon. For me, this book was a solid 5 stars. 

 

Next on my list is Kings of the World by Peter Bailey which was sent to me for review. I 35589760definitely didn’t know what to expect, but the dystopian/apocalyptic vibe sold me, so I picked it up for reading not knowing how I’ll feel about it. I was a bit confused to begin with and wasn’t sure of what was going on and everything seemed a bit weird, but I LOVED this book. It’s the kind of book that made me think of philosophical issues, whilst also being extremely fun. I really enjoyed the two characters central to the story and following them around London. I have a ton of praise for this book. A review will follow soon. I gave this book 4.5 stars I think. 

24866317I always loved Neil Gaimain and his writing so I was super excited to pick up American Gods. I decided to go with the Audiobook because I spend a lot of time in my car with work, so it was perfect for me. I really liked the voices of the actors (unlike other audiobooks I’ve listened to) and I was really intrigued with the beginning and the whole idea of the Gods, learning more about them, etc.. The thing is, the deeper I was getting into the story, the slower and weirder it got. I was confused most of the time about what was going on. I clearly remember driving and biting on a sandwich, because I was starving, and this graphic sexual scene was narrating and almost chocked on my sandwich. Lesson learned: don’t drive and eat! Still, I persevered until I couldn’t take being in the head of this character who’s name I cannot even remembered, and DNF-ed it more than halfway through. I was so disappointed because I was really looking forward to it. I gave it 1.5 stars.

34153294I received an ARC of book 4, so I was so excited to get to it, that I ordered Princess Dracula by John Patrick Kennedy almost immediately so I would start with book 1. I was expecting a lot of fighting, and bloody scenes worthy of the name Dracula. Instead, we hunted rabbits. Lots and lots of rabbits. I just… *throws arms in the air*. Extremely disappointing. Will I continue with the next one? I don’t know, maybe. Maybe I will get what I wanted from this book and I think I would be meeting another bloody character (literally bloody), but not sure when or if I will pick it up (the cover is stunning and I’m a magpie, so maybe). I gave this book 1.5 stars.

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The Frozen Witch series by Odette C. Bell was surprisingly GOOD! I picked this series up on a whim as the e-book for the first book was free at the time on Amazon and gave it a shot, and oh boy! Loved it! It has action, romance, and fantasy! What more can a girl want? Yes, it has it’s flaws, but it was so enjoyable I flew through the first 3 books. I am yet to continue the series – hopefully next year. This was a 3.5 stars.

 

2580549I love my local library where, again, on a whim, I picked up Lost Girls (Sherry Moore #3) by George D. Shuman. this is the thirst instalment on the Sherry Moore series and this is the only one that I have read. You follow a blind psychic who is asked by her friend to g to Alaska and see the last 18 seconds of a dead climber’s memory. From here a lot of other things happen. I really enjoyed this book when I did not expect it. I didn’t picked it up expecting it to be bad, but I wasn’t expecting it to be that good! It had it’s issues, but overall I really enjoyed it.I gave this book 3.5 stars as well. 

Holy freaking God, I loved The Blood Keeper (The Blood Journals #2) by Tessa Gratton. I 13643207loved the writing style, the characters, the plot! It left me dreamy and full of conflicting emotions when the story ended. I would really love to read about Mab again. She was a fabulous character who was able to practice magic by using spells and potions, and one day a spell goes wrong and an old power is resurrected threatening everything. There is romance and lots and lots of character growth. I wasn’t expecting the feels I got from this book, so definitely recommend reading it. I gave it 4 stars, I loved how it made me feel.

 

13519397This is one of those books that do not even need introduction because everyone heard of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Before reading it on paperback, I picked the audio version to listen in the car  and… BIIIIG mistake! I hated the narrator voice! It was cringey and annoying and I eventually DNF-ed it at 80% I think. Then I thought I’d give it another shot as I bought the paperback for cheap (because cheap books are irresistible!) and gave it another go. My opinion did improve on it because I did not have that annoying voice yowling in my head, however the book was not amazing and Caelina was still quite annoying. Her constant bragging of how good and amazing she was left me quite cold. To me, she sounded more like spoilt brat rather than an assassin. I will continue with the series because I heard it gets better, so wish me luck! in the meantime, still disappointed! I gave this one 3 stars.

2800905And the last book that surprised me this year is: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong. What I really liked about this book is that it picks up a lot of these tropes: new girl, boarding school, brooding dude, mystery basement, “am I crazy or hearing voices?”, etc and smashes them on the head. It was refreshing to find these tropes, but either the main character or the other character to challenge shit and call out other character for their trope-iness(?). I also laughed so hard my cheeks hurt. I did not see that one coming! I gave this one 4 stars.

 

So what did you think of my list? Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What are the most surprising books you read this year, good or bad?

Lots of love,

Jane

#EndOfTheYear: The most disappointing 5 books I read this year – some unpopular opinions

This year has been really fun year and the beginning of my Bookstagram during mid-summer, so I got to find a lot of new books and want to read more. I found a lot of great books which I completely loved, but also read some books that were a massive let down.

DISCLAIMER: Just want to put it out there before we begin, that I may talk about books that you like or love. Just because I hated it, it doesn’t mean you can’t love it. This is no way shape or form an attack on anybody, I am just expressing my own opinions and feelings. 

So here’s the rank of the most…. un-loved books I read this year. 

dadwa5. Ocean of Secrets by Aimee Friedman. This book I rated with 2 stars because the writing was fine, I liked the main character and the relationship she had with her mum, but it never delivered on the fantastical element. It felt really flat and the romantic interest did not move me in any way shape or form. I kept on waiting for a climax (pun not necessarily intended) that never happened. *Sigh*

4. The Initiation & The Captive Part 1 (The Secret Circle #1) by L.J. Smith. Where do I even3099780 begin with this one? Main character and love interest meet and kind of have feelings for each other in 5 minutes. She literally sees a thread uniting them and feels that he is stirring something in her heart. We also get the idea that their romance isn’t a possible one because they are from different worlds. Then she moves (so we get the new girl trope as well) and is bullied by these girls and somehow she gets sucked into their Secret Circle and… I give up on life! I really tried to like this book. I kept on reading even when I didn’t want to continue reading, but the ending, when this dude appears is what made me want to throw the book at the wolves! I might want to read The Captive one day (maybe) just to see if it improves at all, but I highly doubt it. I might want to poke my eyes out with a fork first. Just saying. I know that I lot of people love this book, but it just didn’t do it for me. I have this one a 1.5 star rating  because I did like the concept.

173380593. The fearless by Emma Pass. The premise was amazing and I hands down love anything that is zombie/virus inspired. I am a sucker for these books. Even as a kid, Cass annoyed me to great lengths so it wasn’t quite the surprise that it continued to annoy me seven years later. This book was pitched like it was great for the fans of The Hunger GamesMatchedDivergent, and The Fifth Wave, but it had none of the qualities. I would’ve loved it if it would’ve had a plot that made more sense, characters that I could’ve cared about and less predictability. I DNF-ed it because I couldn’t cope with it. I did skip towards the ending and it was to no surprise that my predictions were right, gave myself a pat on the back for saving myself the time. I gave this book 1 star.

77473742. I am number 4 by Pitacus Lore. I did not care about this book or it’s characters. I honestly could not form any kind of attachment to any of them and I was really close to DNF-ing this one as well. I think I read it around the same time I was reading Fearless so it completely and utterly put me in a reading slump. But I continued to persevere and finished this book. The writing was juvenile, the plot had more wholes than Swiss cheese and the I wanted to smack the main character constantly. I’ve read books where the main character was a male and I could relate, I was able to care for his existence and did not make stupid mistakes. The only thing that made me happy at the end, was the girl. No, not the love interest, the other one, and if you’ve read the book you know who I’m talking about. This girl is the only reason why I will want to read I am number 9, but not any time soon. Gave this book 1.5 stars.

Before going to Number 1, I have two dis-honourable mentions:

  • Immortal Nights (Argeneau #24) by Lynsay Sands. I didn’t even know it was a series 28269994when I picked it up and I will surely not want to pick up the rest of the series. The plot was weak, action was non-existent and some bad guys who were far enough so that our main characters could have sex, but getting conveniently close so the tall, dark and handsome Tomasso would actually speak with Abigail. I think this book tried to by angsty, but failed big time. I think it wanted to be a lot of things, but did not manage.
  • Two cabins, one lake. This is the only romance that I have added on this list because when I fancy reading some steamy romance, I am not necessarily 25727873looking for plot depth or incredible writing style, I am looking for characters that I can root for. This book substituted any kind of plot with sexual desire and character development was non-existent. I wouldn’t even be able to tell you what the book was about because there was no plot, nothing but want and sex. Those brothers of hers were not funny, if that was me they would’ve slept outside if they’d tried to pull that kind of sh*t on me, in my house.

and finally, the anticipated Number 1, which I think some of you might  know which book it is:

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12576579Number 1: The Night School by C. J. Daughterty. I do apologize for the fans of this book, in no shape or form my opinions on this book reflect on you as a reader, but I HATE this book. There is no other word for it. I made a full review for it here  so check it out if you want to read more as to why I hate it. Want to know a few reasons as to why I hate it?

* spoilers ahead *

The lack of communication between characters made the whole plot possible. There’s  a lot of insta-love flying about and our girl is oblivious to everything. For a girl that was all trouble, she is now completely docile and a rule abiding student. The way sexual abuse was handled in this book was all wrong as well and the guy who was guilty received no punishment whatsoever. Worst of all, the main character, the girl who was almost raped, said to him at a later date when he apologised (he apologised! hahahaha!) that it was fine, she accepted his apology and was still unsure if she was into him. Say what? He gave her alcohol and took her into a dark corner with the intention of having sex with her and she said no, he shoved her so hard to the wall that she tasted blood!!! Then she’s still worried that Carter (the other dude) might think she is “a slapper”, and he lets her to believe that. The shit part it’s not that he’s an asshole, the shit part is that her internal beliefs are never challenged! So well done by adding some victim blaming in there too! And the ending, oh, the ending! I just don’t even want to talk about it as it fills me with rage all over again.

So what do you guys think? Have you read any of these books? Yes, I have strong feelings about certain books, but I would be more than happy to have a conversation and hear your comments on the comment section down below.

Until next time,

Love,

Jane

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