Books in Review


2016 was a big year for me. I didn’t meet my reading goal, but I did read a heck of a lot of books. Moreso than I have in years. Since maybe freshman year of college, where my friends and I binge read the Percy Jackson books in 3 weeks. 2016 brought on my reintroduction to the world of constant reading, an event I now refer to as the weekend of the “reading hangover” where I read 3 books over a 3-day weekend. The hangover occurred the first day back at work,¬†something I’d never experienced before. Even after Harry Potter binging.

In order, I read:

  • Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
  • Noggin by John Corey Whaley
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (the winner of the weekend for sure)
  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child not by JK Rowling
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland by Rebekah Crane

Evidently it was the year of young adult books. I’ve never really read true YA books before, and the genre grew on me instantly.

Books I Did Not Finish ūüôĀ

  • Black Rain — not a bad book, but a little vulgar, too many stock broker references that I did not and don’t care to understand, and halfway through the book it took a HUGE turn and seemed to become a sort of¬†Gladiator¬†rip off. And as much as I love that movie, it didn’t work for this book. Or I gave up as soon as it seemed to happen. I don’t know.
  • Waffle Street: The Confession and rehabilitation of a financier — I enjoyed it up until he joined the restaurant. Then I lost interest, mainly because it seemed like I had only read 1/5 of the book. What else was there to read about? He made his choice to leave banking, he chose the Waffle House, and it was a lot different than his last job. What else was there to learn about? Not a bad book at all, the writing was good, I just don’t like nonfiction, or finances.

Most Over-Hyped Book: The Giver. Just not my thing. It’s supposed to be a classic, but I felt like I read the first third of a book, and then it stopped. Curious to how this was made into a full length movie.

Most Badass Ending: Illuminae. Now Run. I could read that line over and over and over.

Most Unique¬†Read: Illuminae. Interesting format that I’ve never read before. I liked it a lot. Not a format I’d like to see regularly, but it worked. Like sifting through Wikipedia articles.

So what were my top books of the year?

  1. The Rest of Us Just Live Here — I loved this book. I never thought about what happened to the regular guys in the world of Harry Potter or other such books. It was a great YA novel on its own, and the mystical storyline made me laugh so hard. Here’s to not blowing up the school in 2017! 5 stars.
  2. Carry On — It wasn’t perfect, it had its boring parts (the Mage, anyone?) but it’s been a while since a book rekindled that Harry Potter magic, even moreso than the 8th HP book (which is a heretical text not written by the all-amazing JK Rowling).¬†Simon left a little to be desired, but Baz was an awesome badass that kept the story going. Couldn’t wait to finish, and wanted more when it was over. It gets second place. 4.5 stars.
  3. The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland or Noggin:  Both novels had their flaws, but both had good messages. And Grover Cleveland was hilarious, as was his lying friend Trebek. As for Noggin, although it ended abruptly, I thought the entire novel was a good metaphor for how we evolve and change as time goes on, and how resisting that change is easy to do, but gets us nowhere. Letting go is painful, but sometimes you have to to get on with your life.

And that, my friends, is my 2016 year in review. 7 books. Not one book a month as I hoped, but hey, it’s something. Here’s to a continued reading frenzy in 2017.