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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.