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Favorite 2016 Reads & Bookish Resolutions for 2017

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! Cue fireworks displays, popping balloons and Fake Love by Drake blaring in the background. (I am in love with that song at the moment, by the way.) I was supposed to post this on New Year’s Day but I didn’t get the chance to, so here it is 4 days later.

So, another year has ended already. It feels like 2016 came by so quick yet took too long to end at the same time. 2016 definitely wasn’t my year, let’s just leave it at that. Anyway, in this post, I will be sharing with you my favorite books I’ve read in 2016 and my Bookish Resolutions for 2017 which you probably already deduced by reading the title.


Favorite Books in 2016

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the books I listed here are published during 2016 only. To be fair, none of these books are published during 2016.

I’ve originally set my Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge target to 50 books but as the year went on and as school proved to be more of a problem than I’ve expected, I changed my goal to 40 books. And thank heavens, I achieved it and read 3 extra books!

So among the 43 books I’ve read, here are my favorites:

I won’t waffle on about them anymore because this will get super long and most probably will end up repeating everything I’ve already said in my reviews. But if you do want to know more about these books and why I loved them so much, check out my reviews listed here in no particular order ( I did not write one for Me Before You but the link will direct you to my Goodreads update about it):

  1. The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken
  2. Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2) by Alexandra Bracken
  3. In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3) by Alexandra Bracken
  4. Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1) by Stephanie Perkins
  5. Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1) by Kasie West
  6. Me Before You (Me Before You #1) by Jojo Moyes

For my Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge, I’ve set it to 50 books. This time, I’m more determined to accomplish it!

2017 Reading Challenge

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Bookish Resolutions for 2017

I’m not really the best at resolutions. When it’s December already, I always find myself setting goals I want to achieve the following year but he problem is, I NEVER DO THEM. I somehow always forget along the way. But this year, despite of my rubbish memory and lack of self-discipline, I came up with a list of bookish resolutions and hope that I did not set myself up for yet another disappointment.

  • Buy more physical books

I’m really fond of buying eBooks for the reason that they’re a teeny bit cheaper and are sometimes more convenient compared to physical copies. I’m actually planning on writing a separate post on this so I won’t ramble on much. But basically, I’ve recently just realized that I already spend too much time staring at my phone’s screen and eBooks don’t help when I want to decrease my “screen time”.

  • Blog more

Some might notice my lack of presence recently in my blog. I’ve posted like, what, 4-5 posts the past few months and that’s HORRIBLE. I normally post that many in 2 weeks last summer. WTF is happening to me?

  • Have more creative blog posts

This kinda falls under the previous one. I feel like all I post are book reviews and that gets boring.

  • Read more classics

I have never read a single classic book in my entire life. Why? I’m not exactly sure either. Maybe I’m intimidated by them. But nevertheless, I’m gonna give them a try sometime this year. Hopefully.


And that’s it. I’m kind of thankful for 2016 although it wasn’t really a great year, I learned a lot. But anyway, I’m so excited to see what 2017 has in store for me. Here’s to more memories created and lessons learned!

What are your favorite 2016 reads? Are you as bad as I am when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions? Do you mind sharing a few of your resolutions for this year?

Have a great 2017, everybody! ❤

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Book Review: In The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

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Book Title: In The Afterlight
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #3
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Genres: Adventure, Apocalyptic, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi, YA
Age Range: 12-17 years old
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Ruby can’t look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America’s children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the “rehabilitation camps” housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.


In The Afterlight is the third and final book in the series so I suggest reading The Darkest Minds and Never Fade first before reading this review in case I spoil anything for you. You have been warned.

MY THOUGHTS

The series is over.

This feels like the last episode of FRIENDS all over again. This feels like parting ways with your high school best friend as you graduate and go to different colleges.

I’m exaggerating, right? Because I don’t know what to feel right now. No more Liam, no more Chubs, Vida, Jude, Zu… no more Ruby.

I have to return all three books to my friend now. But I will buy my own copies, I swear on my life.

The final installment in The Darkest Minds trilogy is just as amazing as the other two books were.

It was a little slow at times, I would’ve liked it if the main characters weren’t in their HQ all the time. But nevertheless, I gave it a 5-star rating because I loved it so much.

This one is more heart-wrenching compared to the other two. I probably cried a lot more in this one.

Now, the plot twists. Oh my goodness! It would be an understatement if I say that I was taken completely off guard.

The ending was perfect, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The series was wrapped up really, really well. Al the questions are answered and I found myself smiling throughout the last chapter.

It’s amazing how Alexandra Bracken developed such beautiful characters and built this world that I was so easily drawn into. I have been so emotionally invested with the characters that it feels really weird not reading about them. I will be on the lookout for the author’s other books.

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely! I highly recommend this series if you love reading apocalyptic and/or dystopian books.


Reading order: from left to right

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All book cover photos and summaries are taken from Goodreads.

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Book Review: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

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Book Title: Never Fade
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #2
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: October 15th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, YA
Age Range: 12-17 years old
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?


Never Fade is the second book in the series so I suggest reading The Darkest Minds first before reading this review in case I spoil anything for you. You have been warned.

MY THOUGHTS

Holy shit.

I’m sorry for my choice of words. But holy shit.

The series just keeps on getting better. If you read my review on The Darkest Minds, you would know how much I adored that book. There was a part of me that thought the sequel wouldn’t be just as good—if not better than the first. Heck, I was wrong!

The story was written so beautifully. It was action-packed but also well-paced and easy to follow. I was stuck in Ruby’s world once I started reading it. I couldn’t get out—I didn’t want to get out.

Ruby’s character was astounding. At the first part of the book, she seems like a cold-hearted person. I don’t see it as her changing, more like it was her own way of surviving the Children’s League. She built a tough and uncaring persona and merely tucked away her fragile side so nobody can see it. But we do see it as the book goes on. I might not be making any sense right now but you have to read it to get what I mean!

Also, I like how Ruby suffered consequences of her own decisions. It shows that she isn’t perfect which made me connect to her even more.

Although it took me a while to get accustomed to the new characters, Jude and Vida, I learned to love them all the same. And is it just me or does Cate seem a bit sketchy?

And that cliffhanger, damn! Note to self: when planning on re-reading Never Fade, keep In The Afterlight (the third and final book in the series) nearby.

Would I recommend this?

Totally! Read the first book first though (duh!)


Reading order: from left to right

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All book cover photos and summaries are taken from Goodreads.

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Teaser Tuesday: In The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Books and A Beat.

Teaser

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week’s book:

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Book Title: In The Afterlight
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #3
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: October 28th 2014
Genres: Adventure, Apocalyptic, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi, YA
Age Range: 12-17 years old

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Ruby can’t look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America’s children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the “rehabilitation camps” housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

Teaser:

But the way she cried, the way she wrapped her arms around me and buried her warm, wet face against my neck—that was a kid. That was a kid who’d already lived a hard life and was being asked to take on more.


I’m just a few pages shy in finishing this. This has been spectacular so far, I can’t wait share my thoughts on this (and possibly the whole trilogy).

What did you think? Do you have any teasers to share? Comment them down below, or send me a link to your own Teaser Tuesday post. Thanks for stopping by!

 

All book cover photos and summaries are taken from Goodreads.

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Book Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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Book Title: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Genres: Sci-Fi, Dystopia, Fantasy, Romance, YA
Age Range: 12-17 years old
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

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