#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

The frozen witch by Odette C. Bell (book review)

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Book cover

Lilly White opens a strange box which puts her into the path of the God of Revenge himself because the box is not an usual box…

I picked up this book firstly because it has a pretty-pretty cover, and secondly because it features witches. The frozen witch starts with a really good premise when Lilly gets herself in trouble by touching a box owned by the Gof of Revenge and it awakens powers inside of her. In order to pay for her sins now, Lily much work for Vali and bring in other sinners in order to become free again. The story is fast-paced, full of adventures, and although I loved it to bits and read it in one sitting, it feels like sometimes it lacked further development and became too rush in the quest to having things happening sooner rather than later and therefore the plot had to suffer in places. The descriptions were spot on which enabled the reader to immerse into the world. SONY DSC

In terms of characters, sometimes Lilly proved to be quite annoying, especially when she was – quite often – a quivering mess in the presence of brooding Vali. I gather that he is THE Alpha male, full of sex appeal, and manliness, and god-ness (sic!), but surely she could contain herself. The plot however, it was not in Lilly’s favour as she was mainly told to do things and expect to do or die without being explained why and how to do things! She was given a magic gun and wasn’t even told how to use it. Other characters that were supposed to support and guide her more often than not gave half the information she needed in order to achieve her goals. I was quite proud of her for managing to achieve things despite these issues.

Lilly’s relationship with Vali  is obviously strained throughout the story, partly due to her own faults, and partly to the fact that Vali seems to have two alternating personalities, however there is a flicker of romance between the two. Personally I would’ve liked to see more positive interaction between them two which would’ve made the story much better.

Overall I liked the read! I actually gulped it down, then moved to the next book, devoured that one too before finishing book thee as well. happy-jelloFlaws and all, this entire series kept me wanting more, and more.

Book four just got out in February so I am looking forward to see what happens next!

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