Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

 

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“You can’t stop the future. You can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.”

The Story:

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

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Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


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The Story:

“Am I not merciful?”

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

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Build-Your-Own Dream Crate

If you haven’t checked out LootCrate.com, you should. It can satisfy anyone’s thirst for fandom merch and products.The cool thing is, though, that they send you these products in pretty lil packages or subscription boxes. And yes, they have A LOT. Loved being a Spartan on Halo?  They have a box. Want to be a wizard in the J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World? They have a box. Still upset about Firefly being canceled? They have a box. In fact, check out their subscription boxes here. It will blow your mind.

I’m currently geeking out like this because I’ve been given an opportunity to create my own “Dream Crate”! It’s all hypothetical, of course. But what would you put in a box if you were given a chance to create your own fandom crate without ANY limitations? Well, lately I seem obsessed with the future. No, not the literal future, but some of my favorite fandoms take place in the future or travel to the future. This will all make sense in a second.

Time and Travel

Without further adieu, here’s what I would include in my own “Dream Crate.” (I know I went a bit crazy, but I honestly couldn’t help it.)

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Fellow book lovers, I apologize for the spotty posting. You know the deal. Grad school. Two jobs. It leaves with very little free time, and what’s most unfortunate, is that I’ve been in a reading slump for about a month. Yes, it’s a book lover’s worst nightmare, but I can feel it quickly going anyway.

Yet, without further adieu, here’s a list of my top 10 books in 2016.

They are in no particular order, except for The Book Thief as my number 1. No exceptions.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This is one of those books that has truly affected me. I feel that this book is now the epitome of what literary fiction should look and read like. It was creative, insightful, emotional, and raw. I cannot remember the last time I truly cried for hours because of a book. This book changed me as a reader.

Read my review is order to see more details about my thoughts.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

This book surprised me. At first, I was intrigued because a book tuber that I trust recommended it, but then I read it. Let me say that I almost DNF’d this book at the beginning. It was inscrutable and slow, but when I forced myself to keep going, I fell quickly in love. The writing is poetic, dark, and mesmerizing. The story and characters are complex, but they reflect a realistic picture of life. The moral of the story is that sometimes, like life, books will surprise you.

Read my review in order to see more details about my thoughts.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

This book comes with a small backstory. I indirectly met the author at The National Book Festival, and I was intrigued because it was a panel for his new movie, A Monster Calls. I have never read a Patrick Ness book before, but this book was an amazing glance into Ness’ work. It broke my heart into tiny little pieces because it was so meaningful and raw. I feel like I am saying “raw” a lot in these recaps, but it couldn’t be any more true.

Read my review in order to see more details about my thoughts.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

Can I just say how great of a high fantasy series this is? I don’t have much experience reading dense novels like this one, but I now set my standards high because of this series. It’s both action-packed and character-driven? Usually, books are either or, but Sanderson is a true man who balances plot and characters effectively. I highly recommend this series to anyone and everyone. It looks intimidating, but you will just fly through it.

Read my review in order to see more details about my thoughts.

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Before my YA literature class, I have never heard of Yang. I am so glad that this was a required read, one of the few that I can now call a favorite. The book dealt with tough, but important topics about identity, culture, and acceptance. It’s a perfect representation of diversity, as well. Also, I met the author and gushed so much I’m pretty sure I scared him.

Read my review in order to see more details about my thoughts.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Very rarely have I ever read more than one book by the same author. I like to usually look more outwards than inwards, but Mr. Gaiman is an exception to this rule. This was the second, and I am currently reading a third, of Gaiman’s book that I have read. Thus far, this is my favorite of his. I might even argue that the book is better than the movie, which is a defeat because I LOVE the movie. It was plenty creepy, and I definitely got chills reading this. Perfect for a Halloween, or really any other time.

Sorry, no review for this book. Might be coming soon, though, before I forget.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Another book-surprise this year. I tried to keep an open, open, open-mind for this book. The reason? A friend recommended this to me, and I didn’t want to disappoint her if I hated it. Yet, this book blew me out of the water. It is a speculative, apocalyptic fiction, which will make you think about the life you live NOW. How would humanity survive without Internet or gasoline? That is only a small part of it, though. There is so so much more within these pages.

Read my review in order to see more details about my thoughts.

Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

Yes, I’m a dumb-dumb and I only NOW finished this series in 2016. Do I really need to give you a recap? I’m sure you know what this is about and how amazing it is.

Read my review in order to see more details about my thoughts.

The Raven Cycle Series by Maggie Stiefvater

I’m including the whole series in this 2016 top ten list, because I read half of it this year. That counts, right? After the Harry Potter series, this series is one of my favorites. It’s depth and complexity made me fall in love with it. The characters actually matter to me, as seen by my tears that I shed during the finale. It was so magical too. I felt completely entrenched and in awe. Thank Stiefvater for creating this masterpiece of a series.

Read my review in order to see more details about my thoughts.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Formally, I had another book on this list. I JUST finished this book, and I could not leave it behind. This book was a slow-burning flame that was totally worthwhile. I loved the magic system and its rules. It was completely creative, and her descriptions of the circus made me feel as if I were actually there. Why Morgenstern have you not written any more books? Clearly, you have a knack for it.

Review coming soon!

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

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The Story:

“Life isn’t fair, it’s just fairer than death, that’s all.”

As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchmen, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she’ll meet Vizzini – the criminal philosopher who’ll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik – the gentle giant; Inigo – the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen – the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.

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The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

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The Story:

“There is so much darkness in Ember, Lina. It’s not just outside, it’s inside us, too. Everyone has some darkness inside. It’s like a hungry creature. It wants and wants and wants with a terrible power. And the more you give it, the bigger and hungrier it gets.”

Many hundreds of years ago, the city of Ember was created by the Builders to contain everything needed for human survival. It worked…but now the storerooms are almost out of food, crops are blighted, corruption is spreading through the city and worst of all—the lights are failing. Soon Ember could be engulfed by darkness…

But when two children, Lina and Doon, discover fragments of an ancient parchment, they begin to wonder if there could be a way out of Ember. Can they decipher the words from long ago and find a new future for everyone? Will the people of Ember listen to them?

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