Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Teen Read Week Blog Tour: My Favorite Books I Read This Year

It's Teen Read Week! And once again the lovely Sarah F. from Inklined is hosting a blog tour. For my post, I'm going to list my favorite books that I've read in the past year, with the Goodreads description, and my (brief) thoughts on each.

The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

"A thousand years ago evil came to the land. A dark lord rules through the aristocratic families and ordinary folk labor as slaves in volcanic ash fields. A troublemaker arrives. A rumored revolt depends on an untrustworthy criminal and a young girl who must master Allomancy, metal magic."

This was by far my top favorite of the year.  Fabulous character development, and a twisty plot. It was written for adults, so it's a little dark, and there's a smidge of adult content, but nothing graphic. Such content usually is a turn off for me, but I liked this book so much I ignored it.

If you're a writer, be sure to check out Writing Excuses, a podcast series about writing hosted by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells (see his book Partials below), and Howard Tayler.

Entwined by Heather Dixon 
"Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.

The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.

But there is a cost.

The Keeper likes to keep things.

Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late."

I randomly picked this up at the library, and I loved it. This spin on The Twelve Dancing Princesses was delightful. Magic, mystery, and a hint of romance. Read my review here.

The Partials Sequence by Dan Wells
"The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there."

This, again, was a little dark, and since a good portion of the plot revolved around humanity losing the ability to reproduce (sort of), it was a topic of discussion. But again, aside from references, there was nothing horrid. This one had lots of action, good characters, and some good plot twists. I hadn't read a lot of dystopias before this, and this was the first one I really liked.  (I think the only one I'd read before was Lois Lowry's The Giver, which I...well, hated. But I was only thirteen or so, and it seriously creeped me out.)

The Blood of Kings Trilogy by Jill Williamson
 "Given the chance to train as a squire, kitchen servant Achan Cham hopes to pull himself out of his pitiful life and become a Kingsguard Knight. When Achan's owner learns of his training, he forces Achan to spar with the Crown Prince--more of a death sentence than an honor. Meanwhile, strange voices in Achan's head cause him to fear he's going mad. While escorting the prince to a council presentation, their convoy is attacked. Achan is wounded and arrested, but escapes from prison--only to discover a secret about himself he never believed possible."

I think I might have actually finished this at the end of last year, but I'm counting it anyway. This was a great fantasy with a fun plot, an interesting world, and enjoyable characters. Read my review here.

The Ankulen by Kendra E. Ardnek
"Fifteen-year-old Jen can't remember her imagination. She knows she had one once, though, and honestly, she'd like it back. It's been eight years. One day she finds a young boy who claims to be one of her imaginary friends and that her imaginary world is being eaten by a hydra-like monster called the Polystoikhedron. He helps her find the Ankulen, a special bracelet that had given the ability to bring her imagination to life and together they embark on a quest to find friendship, healing, and perhaps even some family."

 I had the pleasure of beta reading this earlier this summer, and it has since been published. This was a delightful, completely clean little book with that great concept.  Read my review here.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab
"Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall."

Again with an interesting concept and great characters. Also some good mystery. I always like mystery. And the pretty-sure-is-going-to-be-a-romantic-interest-in-the-next-book was hilarious, as I recall.  Read my review here.

Aurelia by Anne Osterlund
"Princess Aurelia is next in line to rule the kingdom of Tyralt, but she would rather be one of the common folk, free to learn and roam and . . . not marry the next tyrannical prince that comes courting. Naturally, the king wants Aurelia to marry for political power. Aurelia wants to marry for love. And someone in the kingdom wants her . . . dead. Assigned to investigate and protect Aurelia is Robert, the son of the king's former royal spy and one of Aurelia's oldest friends. As Aurelia and Robert slowly uncover clues as to who is threatening her, their friendship turns to romance. With everything possible on the line, her life, her kingdom, her heart, Aurelia is forced to take matters into her own hands, no matter the cost."

I really enjoyed this, and it's sequel Exile (though I liked Aurelia more). At the time, I really liked the character development. But then I read Mistborn right after this, which blew every book I read this year out of the water, so my memories of this one are slightly skewed. More good mystery, political intrigue, and like I said, character development.

There you have it! Be sure to check out the other posts in the blog tour at Inklined, Emily Rachelle Writes, and The Ramblings of a Young Author.

And a lovely day/night/afternoon/whatever to you.


  1. Wonderful post! I haven't read Mistborn, but Alcatraz Verses the Evil Librarian is by the same author, and I loved that!
    ~Sarah Faulkner


    1. I've heard of those! Mr. Sanderson has talked about them in Writing Excuses. I may have to check those out sometime :)

  2. I haven't actually read any of these... but I do love Jill Williamson's Replication and Captives! Also, I've heard great things about Aurelia. :)

    1. I haven't gotten to Replication and Captives yet, but I know a bunch of people on GTW love them.

  3. Hello! This is awkward... but I have nominated you for a Liebster blog award! Hurray! The rules and suchlike are here: http://charlieeatmybook.blogspot.co.uk/