Saturday, January 7, 2017

Books of 2016 (Pt 2): That Made My Reader Heart Rejoice

In my last post, I went way off track in my discussion of The Importance of Walking Away from Bad Books. What can I say, last year was a special mix of highs and lows in both reading and life. I accomplished some really awesome things in real life, dealt with way too many dog surgeries and the family things. Which unfortunately meant that reading and blogging had to take a backseat, but this year I'm feeling refreshed and ready to journey through the ninth (yes, NINE) year of blogging here at The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia!

While I don't have solid plans of change (yet) for the blog,  I am hoping to take things in a new and exciting direction for the new year. There's just so much I want to do that finding a point to jump in is proving to be the aspect that is giving me them most trouble. Have no fear though, as I am nowhere close to saying goodbye or shutting down the blog. Just looking to revamp things somewhat.

Speaking of changes, if things begin to look, well, wonky around here, that is because I will be slowly implementing a change  of scenery. I've been meaning to "unveil" t he new design for months now; but finding the time to finalize everything has been difficult. So please be excited to see how the face of the blog will be changing over the next few weeks.

Because I don't want you to miss any of the fun, be sure to follow me on Instagram (HauntedOrchid) and Pinterest, as well, as Twitter as I share projects I'm working on and the books I'm reading...before they hit the blog. I may be reserved at times, but if you want/need someone to speak with I'm an excellent listener (so I've been told).

The question left to be answered what are the books That Made My Heart Rejoice last year. Never fear, there were some books that blew me away (that were not rereads); though today I only want to talk about the fiction, both young adult and middle grade, that made me excited to read.

Best of Fiction- 2016

Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson-
This book is everything I could have asked for (and more). It's beautifully written and the characters stories are incredible! I'm still at a loss for how to go more in-depth into my thoughts on it for a review...hence why it's not up just yet.

Fannie Never Flinched by Mary Cronk Farrell-

Fannie was an interesting person of interest to read about. While it may be a 'cheat' to include this one on my fiction best of 2016, I wanted to include it because of the age range that it is written for. I bet y'all will enjoy learning about how she fought for social justice and equal wages during the early 1900s.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer-

Marissa Meyer's retelling of how the Red Queen descended into madness was really well done. I really enjoyed getting to know the character prior to her madness; plus the world was so vivid that you really felt that you were there right alongside her as the story unfolded.

Starters by Lissa Price-

Somewhere between moves, Starters got mixed up into my read piles. Which is why I did not read it till last year! While it was different from what I had expected, it was also better than I thought i would be. I really enjoyed the angle that the author took with her book; and have an abundance of theories as to what happens next.

The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner-

There were quite a few reasons that this one makes the list. The chief of all being that I really enjoyed seeing the characters come to love themselves for who they were. I thought the author did a wonderful job capturing the aspect of bullying, neglect, and personal growth; all while adding hope into the mix.

Eden's Wish by M. Tara Crowl-

Probably one of the funniest books I read last year! It was just one of those books that pulls you right into the story as it has action and adventure mixed with a lovable character that just wants more.

Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carson-

Another really fun read with a fabulous main character! Her dream of sailing the seas and being a feared pirate was one of the reasons I deeply enjoyed reading this one; that and the incredible writing.

Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand-

There are really no words, other than the one's I squeaked out for my review, to express my heartfelt love of this book. The writing is breathtaking; just read it.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger-

One of the few books I bought last year. While it was purchased purely on a whim, I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it (my first of her books). Even though steampunk is not really my thing, it was an excellent read that had me blazing through the pages.

Something Wicked by Alan Gratz-

I'll be honest, I had been putting off reading this one because the first one, Something Rotten, was one of my favorite books. I just did not think a sequel could live up to it. Instead it left me craving for another mystery to solve with Horatio (you hear that Mr. Gratz).

Mary Jemison: Native American Captive by E.F. Abbott-

I found this be another really well done historical account. I thought the author did a great job capturing Mary's fear and how she came to love the tribe that adopted her into their family.

Alcatraz VS the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson-

My first Sanderson novel, I must say that I quite enjoyed it. Alcatraz, and his entire family, was rather odd and yet that was what made me like them all the more. The whole book was a little on the outlandish side, but I think that's what made it so entertaining to read.

Dragon Lantern by Alan Gratz-

A wonderful followup to The League of Seven! What I really liked about it, and why it was such a great sequel, was the character development. I thought the story/character arcs really progressed in this one; it never felt like a bridging book.

Guys, I am officially out of words for my Best Fiction Reads of 2016! Have you read any of these books? Did any of them pique your interest?

Up next(ish), all the non-fiction books that I adored from last year. 

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