Life Update & Top 5 Reads of 2016

Hi all!

It’s finally 2017! I hope you all had a good time ringing in the new year, whether you stayed in and binge-watched TV or went out to party. I stayed in with my family and was able to celebrate with my mom, aunt, and grandma. It was pretty relaxing, and I’m excited to see what surprises (and new books!) this new year brings for me.

I’m currently still camped out at my aunt’s house, but by the time this post goes up I’ll be on my way home. I plan to spend the rest of my winter break researching graduate school, playing Legend of Zelda, crocheting, writing poetry, drinking lots of coffee, and reading as many books as I can before I’m too busy.

This year has been a hard one for me. I’m officially living on my own. I’m in my 3rd year of college, and the looming idea of grad school applications is hanging over me. Money has been tight, and I still have a rough relationship with my mom. I’m trying to learn to accept my mental illness(es), and learn to balance them with schoolwork, and my grandmother recently had a pretty rough diagnosis. But it hasn’t been all bad, despite personal difficulties, celebrity deaths, and presidential elections. If you want to read my top 5 best moments of 2016, check out this link or my previous post.

This year has brought me more good reads than I had realized. At first, I didn’t plan to make this post at all, because I didn’t think my list would be too long. After thinking about it a bit, though, I realized I had read more fantastic books than I realized. So, enough rambling from me. Here are my top reads of 2016!

milk-and-honey-cover

milk and honey – Rupi Kaur
This is not just my favorite poetry book I’ve read this year, but my favorite poetry book ever. I was so touched and motivated by it. There were so many, “Ah, yes, this author gets me,” moments in it, and I pick it up whenever I need a reminder that I’ll survive whatever I’m facing. It’s absolutely beautiful, and I recommend it to everyone I know who loves poetry.  (Review here)

ari-and-dante

Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Sáenz
If I wasn’t in the midst of finals when I read this, I would have read it in a day. I just adored it. Ari was sarcastic and Dante was sweet, and I was absorbed into their story. It was a fast, simple read, yet more emotional than I had expected. When I put it down, I immediately wanted to read it again. I can definitely see this being the kind of book that gets me out of future reading slumps.

six-of-crows    crooked-kingdom

Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #1 & #2) – Leigh Bardugo
I’ve read both books of this duology this year, and I’m putting them both in the list because I loved them so much. Six of Crows was the closest I’ve come to finding a book that gives me the same feeling as my favorite book series. Both books were generally fast-paced and exciting. The characters were so well-rounded and believable, and I especially loved Kaz. This series put Leigh Bardugo on my list of favorite authors, and I’m looking forward to what she produces in the future.

kaufman-kristoff_illuminae   gemina-cover

Illuminae/Gemina (The Illuminae Files #1 & #2) – Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
Another double. I’m not usually the kind of person who gets really excited about new releases unless their part of a series that I’m reading. Illuminae was an exception. I was excited about this as soon as I’d heard about it, and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve read it twice already, and the sequel as soon as I had the chance. I loved them both, and I cannot wait for book 3. (Review here and here)

the-raven-king-the-raven-cycle

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) – Maggie Stiefvater
My most anticipated book of 2016, and my favorite. I was so sad to say goodbye to my favorite series, but Maggie Stiefvater really delivered with The Raven Cycle. She introduced me to characters that I’ve grown so attached to, and such a unique and beautiful story. I’ve been trying to find something that lives up to it since I read The Raven Boys in 2014, and have yet to do so. It’s almost like Avatar: The Last Airbender. Once you live through it, you’ll never find anything better. Anyway, I just love Ronan Lynch.

I hope the beginning of 2017 has treated you well, and continues to do so.

As always, you can find me in my various corners of the internet: Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Goodreads.

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