24 Great Books in 2016: Day Twenty-Four

I made it! I have posted on this blog on all 24 days of Advent. I’m quite impressed with myself actually. 🙂 Today is a cheat post though, because I’m going to talk about more than one book. These are all books that would have featured on the list, but I already had a book by that author on it. They’re still brilliant though.

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (5/5)

This is the sequel to The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, although you don’t need to  read that one first as this is more or less a standalone. Pretty much my only disappointment with A Closed and Common Orbit was that it wasn’t about the crew of the Wayfarer, but Lovelace, Pepper and Blue were fantastic characters in their own right and I found Pepper and Blue’s backstory fascinating. Highly recommended.

Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan (5/5)

So after I read One, I realised I needed to read everything else Sarah Crossan had ever written, and Apple and Rain didn’t disappoint. Apple’s mother walked out 11 years earlier and Apple has been living with her Nan and hoping her mother comes back. One day her wish comes true, but sometimes it’s better if wishes aren’t granted. Apple’s story is heartbreaking and Crossan doesn’t sugarcoat the circumstances Apple finds herself in. It’s brilliant.

Seed by Lisa Heathfield (5/5)

Seed was Lisa Heathfield’s debut book, and as a debut, it was stunning. It’s the story of Pearl, a teenager who has been brought up in a cult based on nature, and what happens when the introduction of a new family from ‘Outside’ causes her to start questioning the beliefs she was brought up with. Some of the events are horrifying, but it’s so well written that you can’t help but be carried along. Also highly recommended.

Planetfall by Emma Newman (5/5)

Planetfall is the book that comes before After Atlas and tells the story of the people who followed their charismatic leader and abandoned Earth to explore the stars and find a new home. I loved that Ren, the main character, suffered from anxiety, which is not something you see explored in fiction very often. The story  itself is focused around the disruption brought by an unlikely visitor to the colony, and the secrets that some members are hiding, and then goes to a completely unexpected place. It’s a really interesting read, and well worth checking out.

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough (5/5)

13 Minutes is a YA book about Natasha, a teenage ‘queen bee’ who somehow ended up unconscious in a river and died for 13 minutes, and her journey to find out what happened to her to get her there. And then it gets very twisty and turny and you’re never quite sure what the truth is. I’m not going to say anymore than that because of spoilers, but it’s very much worth reading.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab (5/5)

A Darker Shade of Magic is the first in the series that A Gathering of Shadows is part of, and it sets up the premise, worlds and characters perfectly. I won’t lie, AGOS is better, but ADSOM is still brilliant. I loved Kell, Lila and Rhy from the moment of first meeting them, and I love the idea of alternative Londons (even if the other Londons are horrific!). I can’t recommend this series enough.

This Savage Song by V E Schwab (5/5)

And another by V E Schwab, completely different to the series above. This Savage Song is set in Verity, a city at war, in which evil deeds make monsters and the humans have to pay for protection. The lead characters, Kate and August, come from the opposite sides of the war, but find they have to work together. It’s such an interesting idea – there are three different monsters, born out of different levels of violence – and there are parts of the book that are just heart-stopping. Also, there’s no romance. You probably thought there would be as soon as I said Kate and August were on opposite sides, but there’s not. They don’t even like each other very much and yet somehow become friends. And they’re also great characters in their own right. I loved this book and you should definitely read it.

So that’s it for my advent list. A teeny bit more than 24 books, but hey, who’s counting? 🙂

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