Hey, and welcome to Day 1 of your daily Project 14 Lists from your ultra giddy fangirl – who is about to get ultra sappy. I haven’t been the best blogger this year, and there was so much that I wanted to say but didn’t push through in saying so. I also haven’t been the best reader, but I did prioritize the books that I was really genuinely excited for. There are a lot of things that I have overlooked. I’m still hung up with the missed opportunity to share the books that I loved in 2017. Okay, end scene. Let’s stop the sappiness and get on with the positivity.
To start things on a light note and now that we have the luxury, I think it’s about time I share my thoughts on these oh-so lovely books. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to individually curate a review for these, (Thanks uni! You’re so stressful!) but I really want to shout to the void that I truly and deeply love these books. Also despite joining a beat-the-backlist challenge for 2018, I ultimately failed it because I solely focused on reviewing new releases. (We’ll get to that. It’s a fangirl issue for another day.) With that in mind, these books in particular withstood the test of time. Remembering these books only reignited the certain feelings that I had whilst reading it, and my take on them definitely got better with time.
Here are some of the books that I absolutely adored, categorized by rating. (Curious about my rating system? Click here.)
Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
Well first of all, Darius is a big boy. When he felt conscious about eating in front of his dad, it just made me want to hug him tight because I found another teen who understands me. Second, the family dynamics in this story was emotional and raw, especially with Darius, his dad, and him knowing more about his Iranian roots. And third, it was a poignant story of self-discovery that really hits you. Yes, I can honestly say that this book managed to make me cry.
Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Another family-oriented gem with an amazing MC to boot, the title itself radiates what this book wants to convey. Zuri Benitez is full of pride, and she’s an admirable character because of it. The book explores opening oneself to new things, the beauty of a community, and a slow burn romance (which I am honestly a sucker for). All I can say now is: “I get it now. I GET IT. I get the hype around Pride and Prejudice already.”
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
This was my first read for 2018, and it was an amazing book to set the standard of my reading for the year. I am honestly living for this story of self-exploration and questioning. Plus have I mentioned family dynamics (yet again because I live for it)? I swear if a book delivers more than a cheesy romantic story and tackles pressing issues, it deserves to be listed.
P. S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
You probably: Bianca, are you okay? Honey you read a sequel! Who are you even?
Well technically, it’s because I want some McClaren action. But the reason why I included it in this list is because I often do have a problem with sequels, yet this one was managed to hook me in better than the first one. Granted it didn’t solidify me rooting for Kavinsky because John has my heart over any day, but I truly honestly admire Lara Jean’s character development in this novel. It was definitely the best book in the trilogy.
Every time Halloween passes and I still cannot pull off my review for these books, I die a little on the inside. Seriously, what better way to get chills than read a mystery thriller written by Kara Thomas? Little Monsters shook me with how things went down, and The Cheerleaders had a different kick to it, tackling deeper issues and delivered a morally gray ending. What more can you ask for with these? Probably why my bar is set so high for YA thrillers… But yes, it’s the reason why you should read it even if it’s not the season to get spooky. Kara’s writing is hands-down magnetic, and it’s basically like a glue that makes you want to keep reading. Just one more page? No, it’s more like you screaming, “I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT AGHHHHH!”
Check, Please by Ngozi Ukazu
Sports? Say no more because I’m immediately on board. It’s a no-brainer that this lovely graphic novel received a will-save-from-fire status from me. It was just so darn cute. Anything involving team dynamics, the thrill of winning a game, and maybe some shipping involved is just a whistle away from getting my fangirl seal of approval. So if you want to join me, read this lovely gem (It’s also available online, btw.)
Can you tell that the higher the rating goes, the more words and rambles come out? Lol
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
It’s a fantasy! Holy smokes who is this woman??? Give me a heist or give me nothing at all. I’ve been hesitant to read this one because I DNF’ed the Grisha trilogy. It was a ride, but the first book in this series had me on my toes the entire time. I swear, with the horror of a movie that is Suicide Squad, the song Heathens fits this crew better. I love it so much that it hurts me to read Crooked Kingdom. The characters are so dynamic, the world building is phenomenal, and the heist! just keeps me on my toes. I just didn’t want it to end. But trust me when I say, you need no convincing to pick this hefty book. It speaks for itself and reading it at your own pace is the best way to enjoy it.
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Please do note the following trigger warnings for this book: rape, sexual assault, alcohol abuse, animal violence, graphic contents
Honestly I still have no words for this book despite giving it a must-save-from-a-fire status. But I will keep reiterating that this book needs to be read because it explores heavy topics, and we need books that talk about those particular topics. It left me speechless, yet I couldn’t stop reading because the writing had me hooked in. It’s dark, unsettling at times especially if you are triggered by the following topics I mentioned above, but it is definitely that one book that makes you feel a lot all at once.
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Hands down, one of the best historical fiction novels out there. I’m a basic Tudor era history nerd trash, so I am an easy target for this book. Despite that immediate bias however, it was the way the authors rewrote history and added their own fantastical twist that genuinely had me laughing and made me go head over heels love this book wholeheartedly. Guess who falls in love with a freakin’ horse?
Me obvi. It’s unique, it’s different, and it easily became one of the best books I have read in 2017 because of the perfect blend of humor, history, and high society. And you thought I can’t shove enough books to your faces. I beg to differ, good friend. This is the historical fiction book that you need to conquer your fears of reading about history, especially if you’re craving for some sass and humor. It’s a darn fact.
Before I end this post, I would just like to give all the biggest virtual hugs to my dear friend Shealea for organizing this lovely event. Go show her some love, since she’s also celebrating her 3rd blogiversary.
And that’s about it for today’s list! Writing this list definitely made me want to read some faves all over again and finally give them the complete stellar review that they truly and utterly deserve. Join me again tomorrow as I share another list that will hopefully bring a smile on your faces.