Here are this month's questions:
I just finished reading Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, after reading so many good things about it from book bloggers, and it did not disappoint. The main character, Celaena Sardothien, formerly the most notorious assassin in the kingdom of Ardalan, has been granted a reprieve from imprisonment in a salt mine when handsome playboy prince Dorian Havilliard selects her as his entry in a competition his father, the king who has conquered and outlawed magic, is holding to select a Champion to do the kingdom's dirty work - in exchange for freedom. Coached by the Captain of the Guard, young and often judgmental Chaol Westfall, Celaena enters the competition, and the stakes become higher as her fellow competitors (all men, of course) begin to meet untimely and mysterious deaths. In beautiful gowns that hide the scars on her back, Celaena is introduced to the king's court as Dorian's friend Lady Lillien and becomes the envy of every woman at court - except a foreign princess who seems to know more than she lets on. Calaena leans that while magic may be illegal, it definitely hasn't been eliminated, and she has to stay one step ahead of whatever dark force is at work in order to protect herself and her new friends. Celaena Sardothien is fierce, stubborn, intelligent, and one of my new favorite YA heroines ever.
My absolute favorite was The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey - it was the one book that really moved me to tears this year, I was so connected to the main characters, Melanie and Miss Justineau. I'd wanted to read it ever since I saw it reviewed on io9. After reading, I thought M.R. Carey's use of third person point of view was skillful and perfect - at first it was a little bit unnerving, because I'd gotten so attached to Melanie, but being able to see the story's events from multiple characters' perspectives gave it more of a cinematic quality for me. The realization of what Melanie really was, and why she was being treated with such care and caution, was a punch to the gut, and the journey the characters must go on was tense, terrifying, and utterly believable. The two books that made me think the most were The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi - I couldn't have imagined how well they would complement each other before reading both, and I think both should be required reading for college students. I had the most fun reading Winter by Marissa Meyer - it was so fun and action packed, and I loved that each of the Rampion crew members (especially my faves, Cress and Thorne) got their happy ending.
3. What was your book-read total for 2015? Did you make your goal for the year?
I read 40 books, which was my goal for the year. I set a lower goal this year than I did in 2014 because I knew I'd be reading some longer books and I didn't want to feel the pressure to read random short books at the end of December just to meet a goal! I wish Goodreads would allow users to set a page number goal rather than a goal based on the number of books read.
4. How many books would you like to read in 2016?
I think I will stick with 40, and if I read more, that's great! I'd love to be able to read a book every week and set 52 as my goal, but I don't want reading to ever start to feel like a chore.
5. What is the number one book sitting on your Must Read list right now?
I got Mindy Kaling's Why Not Me? for Christmas, and I'm finally next in line for my library's e-book copy of Felicia Day's Everyone's Weird on the Internet, so I'll be starting 2016 with some funny ladies! I also want to read Diana Gabaldon's The Drums of Autumn, the next book in the Outlander series for me, and finish the Throne of Glass series and Graceling realm. There are also several new-ish books I haven't read yet by authors I love, like Ally Condie's Atlantia and Marie Lu's The Young Elites, that I want to get to in 2016.
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