Monday, June 6, 2016

What I read: Junior Year

     My junior year I read a total of 22 books... not a lot I know, but I have a list of excuses I'm prepared to give. Last school year I read 23, so the fact that I lost my goal by two books makes me really sad. However, I REALLY liked all the books I read this year so that makes up for it, and a few of them were pretty long.
     Some of the books are not in the picture because I read them on the kindle app on my phone, which I kind of regret not buying in person. I love having real copies of books and I want my collection to grow so I can have book shelves filled with books. Honestly I really want a huge library where the shelves have ladders attached to them like the library in the Series of Unfortunate Events movie. That's my house goals.
      Back to the real topic here, besides one of the books I had to read for my AP Language class, there aren't any books that I could say  hated. They were all pretty different and had different writing styles and I think it was a good mix.




     I'll start off with my favorites of all the books I've read. I limited myself to only five, although I probably could have put like 15 in this category.


My #1 favorite, obviously: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Year 6) by J.K. Rowling

     As a very serious and dedicated Harry Potter fan, I felt like it wouldn't be right to not put this as a favorite. I'm pretty sure everyone knows what Harry Potter is about, but this is the one with the potion book and Dumbledore and the creepy island and the horcruxes. My copy is pretty much destroyed (not my doing) and I think that's a good enough excuse to buy a whole new set, right? This book is by far the funniest of the series, but I think it's also the darkest, next to year 7. I would say it's my second favorite in the series behind the fourth book because let's be real here- everyone loves the fourth book. It's so clear in this book how much Harry, Ron, and Hermione have grown and their character progression is done so well. The writing is beautiful. The plot line is outstanding. I would bow down to J.K. Rowling if I ever got the chance to meet her.




#2, also obvious: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

    I don't think I have ever, anywhere heard that someone has not liked this book. Sarah J. Mass tells the ultimate story of an assassin who fights her opponents literally to the death in a competition to become the King's champion, but there are also some secrets in the castle that she uncovers during her stay and a love triangle that beats Twilight's by a long shot- and I'm a Twilight fan. Personally, I would choose Chaol; everything about him just seems perfect, but in the imperfect kind of way if that makes sense.
     Before reading this book, I never thought about being an assassin because killing people is a no no, but it sounds so cool and exciting. The story line is so unique and enticing and I NEED to get the third book. (BTW the second book is just as good.)





#3: FOUR by Veronica Roth

     Four may only be a collection of short stories from the love interest's point of view from Divergent, but oh my lord it is so good. Four was my favorite character in the Divergent series so getting to see his point of view in some of the most memorable situations was really interesting. It wasn't like re-reading Divergent as most switched POV books are; it was an entirely different perspective. I loved it. It was also a way to cushion the blow after the Allegiant ending because I was still dead on the inside after a year of mourning. Anyone who liked the Divergent series would enjoy this book- I know I did.







#4: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

     I was never really one for mystery novels, but I received this book as a Secret Santa present from my best friend who always tried to get me to read this and wow. I don't think any mystery book would be as good as this one. It's about a girl who was discovered by the FBI for her talent in person profiling. She is then sent to a program where there are kids with similar talents in crime scene investigation. She sees this program as a way to uncover her mother's killer as it has been a cold case for years and that's exactly what she was hired to do- solve cold cases. This book hold the biggest plot twist of all time. Not many books actually put me in shock, but this one kept me up until four in the morning because I had to finish half of the book in one night. I 100% recommend this book.





#5: The Selection by Kiera Cass

     When I first saw this book on book tube what honestly caught my attention was how pretty the cover was. That blue is my favorite color and it matches my room so well. Anyways, to put it shortly, it's kind of about a drawing/beauty pageant where a bunch of girls all fight for the prince. It sounds girly and weird and something I would have never liked, but let me tell you, it is really girly and weird. But, it's also so addicting and well executed. I feel like if it were written differently, would be like Matched by Allie Condie and I hated that book. But it wasn't written like Match, it was written beautifully. The prince isn't egotistical like he usually is in other stories, and it's just great twist on the typical prince and princess story.





     I'm not going to go in depth on the rest of them, but there are a lot of these books that I did really like also. They're listed in order of when I read them, not how much I liked them. Trust me, you'll know when I liked them.

Peter Pan and Wendy: We all know this story. The little boy flies in the window and takes the kids to a magical world and the pirates want to kill the little boy. When I went into this book, I expected it to be pretty boring as it's a classic and it was free on kindle, but I was wrong. Read it, it's actually really cute and entertaining.

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson: I did a book review about this so you can read about it here. If you don't want to read it, all I have to say is: sad.

Nil by Lynne Matson: It's about a girl who appears on an island after stepping into one of those hallucination things in the road where it looks like water. Teenagers appear on this island and when they do, they have one year to get off or else they die. I would say four out of five stars.

The Program by Suzanne Young: THIS BOOK. I wish I made it a favorite. I was obsessed with it during and after reading it. The description sounds crappy, but trust me it's good. It's about depression becoming an a disease in teenagers and the epidemic causes those teenagers to commit suicide unless they are sent to The Program. However, when they leave the program, they're stripped of their memories and any trace of their past life. Now when I first saw it, I was like "I don't want to read about suicide and depression, that's depressing," but it's written in a non-depressing way and it's so good just trust me on this one.

Icons by Margaret Stohl: Aliens. Actions. Adventure. It's good. The only thing I didn't like is that it's written in present tense and that kind of bothered me. Despite that, it was interesting read.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: When I said The Naturals had the biggest plot twist of all time, this was its competition. Holy crap. When you first read it and get to the plot twist, it's kind of confusing, but once you go back and read parts and think about it, it's Earth shattering.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl: This book was beautiful. It was weird, but I really enjoyed it. So it's about a girl who is the niece of this older man who the entire town hates, and that's... fun... for her. She's pretty weird though, not gonna lie, but her and the main character are really cute. Her and her family have a secret and it could mean life or death if the town were to find out.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas: Yeah, this is the second book in the Throne of Glass series. Yeah, I loved it. Yeah, I'm suffering severe book withdrawls because I need the third book. Please read it, please.

The Kill Order by James Dashner: This is a prequel to the Maze Runner series, and I love me some Maze Runner. Fun Fact: The first movie came out the day after my birthday and the second one came out the day of. This book is about the development of the Flare virus and the spreading of it. There's a group of new characters and it shows how they try yo survive the epidemic.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: I finally read City of Bones, and I have to admit, I was a little disappointed, but not really because I still loved it, but it just didn't live fully up to my expectations. I really want to read the Infernal Devices series, but decided I had to read the Mortal Instruments first.

The Prince by Kiera Cass: This is a short, short story branching off of the Selection. It's from the Prince's point of view and it was really good since I needed something to stop my hunger for the second book in the series.


    Now the slightly less interesting section, the books I had to read for my AP Language class in order of reading them.

Thank You for Arguing by Jay Heinrichs: It's just a book about establishing credibility and persuading people in essays, it wasn't all that interesting. The author was pretty funny so that made it a little less painless, and I do feel like it was really helpful in writing not only essays, but in general.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote: This is a book about two murderers and their travels across the U.S. after killing an entire family. It splits point of views with the detectives trying to find the murderers. I assumed, since it was nonfiction and I'm not all that into murder, that it would be boring, but once again, I was wrong. I actually really enjoyed it.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: This was my favorite book I read for any class. I read this my freshman year on my own so I already knew the story and that really helped in class. I'm sure everyone knows what this is about, so I'm not going to explain it.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: Fun Fact: 451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which books catch fire. This is about a distopian future as seen from the 1950's. In this future, they burn books to avoid people gaining knowledge the government doesn't want people to have. They burn books. Burn books. Books. No.

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines: Don't read it. It's depressing, and sad, and boring, and no. No. No. No. I don't even want to explain it because I don't want to think about it.

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton:  So, this book is kind of boring, kind of entertaining, and I don't really know how to explain it. It's about marriage in the early 1900s and gender roles and stuff like that. Yeah...

     So, those are all the books I read my junior year of high school. I'm officially a senior! Hope you enjoyed it and I'll have another blog post up soon, I promise!

                                                                                                                  -Taylor

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