Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 2016 Wrap-Up

Hello there. I'm already here with my first wrap-up for 2016. Can you believe it?

What I Read

2016 didn't start out very well for me reading-wise. I've been in somewhat of a reading slump and only finished three books this month. This means I'm already three books behind on my goodreads challenge but I'm not trying to let this stress me out. I mean there are still eleven months left to catch up, right? I'm not doomed, right? *breaks down crying*
  • Winter by Marissa Meyer, 4/5 ★
  • So this is the only book in the Lunar Chronicles series that I rated four instead of five stars. Why, you ask? It was just too long and I'm going to be honest, I kind of lost interest in the middle. I talked about this in my December Wrap-Up too. Winter just took me forever to finish and I'm sad I didn't like it as much as the other books in the series. Of course it was still very good, and a more or less satisfying ending to this brilliant series. I'm still really looking forward to reading the epilogue in Stars Above, though. 

  • Long Way Down by Krista and Becca Ritchie, 4/5 ★
  • I enjoyed this immensely for the most part. My only minor complaint is about all the lovey-dovey talk. I was honestly a little annoyed by Ryke at parts (I know, how is this possible?) because he just kept talking about how Daisy and he were destined to be together and how much he loved her and things like that. It was cute, but you know, also a little annoying. Sorry, Ryke! I still love you. 

  • The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, 2/5 ★
  • So this was a pretty big disappointment for me. I had been hoping for a thrilling start to a new fantasy series and with all the hype surrounding it, I was so sure I was going to fall in love. Unfortunately, that didn't happen for me at all. The only thing I liked about this book was Kaden, and even he was a little boring at times. If you want to know more about why I didn't enjoy The Kiss of Deception, go here for my review.
So those are all the books I read this month. To be honest, all three of them I was a little disappointed with. Of course there's The Kiss of Deception, but Winter and A Long Way Down didn't really meet my expectations either.

What I Bought

I only bought two books this month, which I definitely think is a success

On the Blog

I am very happy with the amount of blogging I managed to get done this month. Yay for a good start to the new year in that regard. Here are all the posts of the past month in case you missed one:


January mainly consisted of working and studying for me. I'm still on semester break from uni and I'm using my 'free time' to earn some money and to try to catch up with all the university work I neglected to do during the past semester. I also cleaned out my room and did some redecorating which I'm really excited about. I feel so much more comfortable in my room now. 

How about you? Any good books you read this month?
Tell me about all the fun things you have been up to in January!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

7 Reasons Why I Didn't Like The Kiss of Deception

by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication date: July 8, 2014
Published by: Henry Holt
Hardcover, 486 pages
My rating: 2/5 ★
A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day. She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection. She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father. She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.
I'm going to warn you. There is a whole lot of negativity ahead. I don't want to offend anyone, so please don't take any of this personal if The Kiss of Deception is your favorite book ever. It just wasn't the right book for me, and that makes me sad. It didn't keep my interest and unlike all the raving reviews I've seen so far, I'm going to talk about all the things that bothered me about this book.
  • THE MAIN CHARACTER. I did not like Lia. She was naïve, arrogant and selfish; add to that the most dumbest actions and thoughts ever, and you've got yourself a protagonist that I just couldn't stand. It was impossible to connect to her and most of all, I couldn't understand her relationships with any of the other characters. Everything just felt off.
  • THE LOVE TRIANGLE. Yes, no one likes love triangles, me included. But usually, I don't mind them that much if I can at least see the appeal of both love interests. Here? no. I felt like the author wanted the whole thing to be very subtle, which is fine, but for me it just ended up being weird, especially considering my next point. 
  • THE BORING LOVE INTEREST. Rafe was the most tedious person I have ever read about. Honestly, I could not see the appeal. Maybe that had to do with the fact that I didn't even get to know him, like, at all. All the conversations he supposedly had with Lia were only mentioned and hardly any were actually written out, which made it impossible for me to get an idea of what kind of person he is. Mostly, it was just described that he had (for some mysterious reason) been attracted to Lia from the very first moment he laid eyes on her (come on, love triangle and instalove??) and then next thing you know, they are madly in love and he is willing to risk everything for her. What? 
  • ALL THE INSTALOVE. Yes, you guessed it, the second guy also happened to be in love with Lia from day one. While I found Kaden more interesting and intriguing than Rafe, he was still pretty boring and stereotypical most of the time. I would like to learn more about his personality and past, though, which is more than I can say about anyone else in the story, so I guess he was my favorite. But back to the romance. The worst part about it isn't even that Rafe and Kaden both seemed to have fallen madly in love with Lia for no reason right from the start, but even at the end of the book I couldn't see why they were even interested in her. It all made no sense. 
  • NOT EVEN THE FRIENDSHIPS SEEMED GENUINE. Pauline is Lia's supposed best friend. While she seemed like a sweet girl, I'm not going to act like I know anything about her. Her friendship with Lia didn't feel at all genuine and - again - I couldn't really understand it. What angered me most is that Lia didn't tell her the most important news but rather lied to her. I absolutely hate when people lie to each other under the pretense of wanting to protect them. It just doesn't make sense. 
  • THE WRITING DIDN'T WORK FOR ME. Pearson's writing just wasn't for me, and I think it's the main reason for all the above mentioned dislike. It was all so very descriptive, but not in a way that worked for me. There was by far not enough dialogue, for example. Most of the parts where the characters got to know each other, and where I as a reader would've been able to learn more about them, were just briefly mentioned or summarized. No details, nothing. Instead, it all focused very much on Lia and her thinking, which of course didn't help because her reasoning annoyed me 99% of the time. 
  • NOTHING HAPPENED. Honestly, this is a 500 page book, and I could summarize the entire plot in about five sentences. I kept hoping for the story to finally pick up but it all went at a snail's pace. I wish the book would have focused more on developing the relationships and such. Just a little more on the other characters. Lia was so self-centered, there was almost no room for anyone else. There was also only very little room for world building. I mean, this whole magic aspect still doesn't make any sense and other than some excerpts from Vendan texts, and some rare mention of Morrighese stories, we don't know anything about the world's history. I realize there are two more books in the story, but I would've just needed a little more in the first book to spark my interest.
To end this rant, I want to say that it wasn't all bad, it really wasn't. I can totally see other people enjoying the book, but it just wasn't for me. I don't understand the hype and it definitely didn't live up to my expectations.

Monday, January 25, 2016

On the Topic of Changing my Blog Name

Hello there. I'm here to discuss something dear to my heart today: I have been toying with the idea of changing the name of my blog, and I need to talk about it.

When I first started this blog at the beginning of 2014, I was absolutely clueless as to what I wanted to do with it. I had previously written another blog in order to keep my friends and family updated when I spent three months in Vancouver in 2012. But after I returned back home, there wasn't really a reason to keep the blog going, so I stopped uploading. I still missed the writing aspect of it, which is why (although only a year later) this blog was born. I didn't really think very hard about the name (clearly), and so I just meshed my first and last name together to create schakarin

I don't absolutely hate the name; it's my username for pretty much all social media sites, so it seemed fitting at the time to name my blog the same. But now that I've turned (or rather: it turned itself, because when did that even happen?) this into a full-on book blog, I keep thinking that the title of my blog needs to represent that.

So I've pondered over what I would want to use as a new name for almost a year now, and besides the fact that I haven't yet come up with something I'm 100% happy with, I'm also still not entirely sure whether I really want to change the name at all.

One of the reasons for my indecisiveness is because I don't want to confuse people. To be honest, I don't think that there are that many people that even recognize my blog name, so I'm most likely unnecessarily worried. But somehow I'm still a little unsure. Do I have to change all my social media usernames afterwards? Are people going to unfollow me or something because they don't recognize this new name that I came up with? All these things are kind of keeping me back.

The other main reason why I'm hesitating is because of the whole issue with actually coming up with a new name. First of all, I don't have that many ideas. And now that I know and read quite a few book blogs, I'm scared that any name I come up with will be a rip off of some blog or another. That is the last thing that I want. Yet, there are so many book blogs that it's nearly impossible to find something I like that doesn't already exist, or isn't at least similar to something that already exists. This doesn't only concern the blogosphere. I would want to change my bookstagram account name as well so it's the same as my blog, but on Instagram the problem of finding something original that no one else already uses is even more difficult to solve. And don't get me started on twitter.

I also put a lot of pressure on myself to come up with something good. Well, not just good, but brilliant. I mean, I don't think schakarin is a very original and clever name for a blog, but then again I feel like I can get away with it because I literally had no clue what I was doing when I first started this blog. Choosing a stupid name was okay back then, but now that I've been doing this for two years - even though I'm definitely not a pro (yet – hah!) - I feel like people have expectations. You can't just go call yourself bookluvvahh_345 and expect people to applaud you. I mean, it has to at least be better than schakarin.

I also don't want to be limited to only bookish posts if I have a very clearly book-related blog name. I know that I can still post whatever I feel like even if the name suggests that this is a book-related blog but it has still crossed my mind that I might feel more restricted.

I could go on and on, but I guess what I really want to say is that I'm super scared and insecure about this, so I need your advice.

Do you think it's a bad idea to change blog names?
Have you maybe changed yours at some point?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #9: Top Ten Books I've Recently Added to my TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is books I've recently added to my TBR. I chose to focus on the books on my physical TBR because my goodreads to-read shelf is a mess and I just add whatever I feel like on there. But of course the one I end up buying are the books that I'm more 'serious' about, so these are the ones I'm going to talk about today.

  • SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertally: I am so excited for this book. I have only heard the very best things, so I'm very happy to finally own a copy of this book.

  • THE LIGHTNING THIEF by Rick Riordan: Another very exciting new addition to my TBR. Yes, I'm one of those few people that are not already in love with the Percy Jackson books and I'm hoping to change this soon. It's finally time to read this series and I'm ready.

  • UPROOTED by Naomi Novik: Definitely the prettiest recent addition to my TBR (I seriously can't stop looking at it). Another book I've heard nothing but great things about and I'm looking forward to learning what it's about.

  • THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE by Patrick Ness: Another gorgeous cover, another book I'm hoping to enjoy. I'm not really a fan of Patrick Ness but I'm willing to let this book change that.

  • THE MOTHER ROAD by Meghan Quinn: I received a digital copy of this book through NetGalley and I'm super excited to read it. I haven't really heard anything about it but it sounds like something I'll enjoy. Basically, it features a road trip, so I need it in my life.

  • EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon: This story just sounds super cute and refreshing. I think I need to read an uplifting contemporary book soon and I'm hoping this book will be everything I want it to be.

  • ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: Everything about this book sounds awesome and I'm glad I finally have it in my hands.

  • MADE YOU UP by Francesca Zappia: This TTT could just as well be 'gorgeous covers' because I love the cover of Made You Up. I'm also excited to see what the story has to offer as I have heard some fantastic things (but also a few negative ones).

  • UNINVITED by Sophie Jordan: This is one I can't see myself read in the immediate future. When I feel like a sci-fi/dystopian read, I'll definitely pick this one up. It sounds super interesting and I can definitely see myself enjoying it but I think it's one of those books that I need to be in the mood for.

So that's it for this week's Top Ten Tuesday. I realize I only mentioned nine book but that's because I didn't want to feature books I bought months and months ago. I did go on a book buying ban at the end of last year, so I didn't get too many books, as you can see.

What are some books you recently added to your TBR?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #8: 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn't

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Hello there. This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is top ten 2015 releases we meant to get to but didn't. I think this is the first time that I could actually think of more than ten books for a topic, so I had the pleasure of narrowing it down. Here they are in no particular order:

  • THE HEIR by Kiera Cass: I now realize that maybe the cover was the real reason why I had been so excited for this book. And it is gorgeous. But I heard some mixed things about the story which have kept me from picking it up so far.

  • ALL I KNOW NOW by Carrie Hope Fletcher: I adore Carrie and was super excited when she announced that she was writing a book. Unfortunately, said book is still sitting on my TBR shelf, waiting to be picked up. 

  • A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab: I honestly don't understand how I didn't read this book last year. Everyone loves it and after reading Vicious, I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it too. Victoria Schwab has definitely made a new fan after I read Vicious, and I really need to start reading more of her books. 

  • AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir: Another super hyped book that I'm pretty sure I'm going to love and yet it's just sitting on my TBR shelf waiting for me to pick it up. I don't know why.

  • EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon: I had been so excited for this one for so long but then when it was released, I kind of forgot about all that excitement. But I got the book for christmas and once I'm in the mood for YA contemporary, I'm definitely going to pick it up. 

  • THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND by Kasie West:  I hadn't really planned on reading this one right away. It just sounded cute and fun and like the perfect summer read. But it didn't happen in summer 2015, maybe it will happen this year.

  • SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli: I can't believe how often I almost bought this book but then didn't. So many people love this book and that makes me super excited to read it.

  • THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE by Patrick Ness: After reading the synopsis of this book, I decided it was time to give Patrick Ness another chance. So many people love his books and just because I really didn't enjoy The Knife of Never Letting Go doesn't mean I will automatically hate all his other books, right? Plus, I got this book for christmas as well, so nothing's stopping me now.

  • ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: Another christmas gift that I'm hoping to get to as soon as possible. Just flipping through the pages makes me excited because of the unique formatting.

  • ARMADA by Ernest Cline: This was one of my most anticipated releases of last year, and yet I have not read it. I had hoped for something as amazing as Ready Player One, but from what I've heard so far, that's unfortunately not the case.

Have you read any of these books?
Which one should I pick up first?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Two Year Blogoversary | GIVEAWAY

HELLO THERE. I am excited today because it is my second blogoversary. How crazy is that? I can't believe I've been doing this thing (more or less regularly) for two years. Where did all that time go? 

But anyway, last year in my Blogoversary post I talked about all the things I wanted to improve about my blogging. Since all of that is still true and it was already frustrating enough to reread that post, I don't want to talk about blogging resolutions etc. today. Rather, I want to do something FUN!

So I'm excited to announce that I'm hosting my very first giveaway! I've finally conquered my fear that no one is going to participate, and now I'm ready.

What You Can Win

As this is the anniversary of my book blog, you can obviously win a book. And since I myself prefer giveaways where the prize is a specific book rather than 'a book of your choice', I thought I would give away one of my favorite books of all time. Don't worry, you still get to choose.

Below is a list of my all time favorite books, and the winner will receive one book of their choice from that list.

  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Hardback
  • Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor, Hardback
  • Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira, Hardback
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Hardback
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, Paperback
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Hardback
  • I'll Give You the Sun, Hardback
  • The Hunger Games, Paperback
  • The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, Hardback
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, Hardback
  • Just One Day by Gayle Forman, Paperback
  • The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski, Paperback
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, Hardback
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, Hardback
  • The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, Paperback
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, Hardback
  • The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton, Hardback
  • Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, Paperback
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Paperback
  • Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern, Paperback

How To Enter

Simply fill out the below Rafflecopter Giveaway in order to enter. The giveaway is international, as long as The Book Depository ships to you. Please also note that you need the permission of your parents if you are under 18 because you will need to provide me with your shipping address.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That's it!

I hope you're as excited about the giveaway as I am about hosting it. 

I also want to thank all you lovely people that keep visiting my blog and especially those that take the time to comment and interact with me. Comments and the like always make my day and I couldn't be happier to be part of the wonderful book blogging community.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

December 2015 Wrap-Up

Hello there. Here I come with my very late December Wrap-Up. I completely forgot about this because of all the new year excitement, but of course I still want to let you guys know what books I read and received in December. So let's go.

What I Read

So I finished a disappointing four books in December, but I just want to say that I had also been reading the beast that is Winter all throughout the month. Or really, the second part of the month because the first two weeks were crazy because of uni and I had time for no reading at all. Also, all these books are New Adult because that's what I felt like reading when I needed a break from Winter.
  • Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, 3.5/5 ★
  • This is the only book that I read in the first half of December and I enjoyed it but also had some problems. For my full review go here.

  • Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker, 3/5 ★
  • This was just the usual NA read for me. I enjoyed it for the most part but it was also a little too dramatic and over the top. The instalove/-attraction was absolutely infuriating. What positively surprised me was how the aftermath of the 'big twist/reveal' was dealt with. This is usually where these kinds of books completely lose me, but I was actually really happy with the ending of this one.

  • The Deal by Elle Kennedy, 4/5 ★
  • So this one was overall a very positive surprise. While it still had the 'super popular sports champion meets unknown girl' trope (and the horrible cover), that was where the NA clichés ended. I loved both the main characters and their relationship was perfectly built. The only reason I didn't give this five stars is because I was so happy with how everything was going and then right at the end there is still a stupid misunderstanding, not-telling-each-other-things kind of problem that just annoyed me to no end. But still, this is a NA read that I would recommend to anyone as it really is different from most of the books in the genre.

  • The Mistake by Elle Kennedy, 3/5 ★
  • So after the success that was The Deal, I was eager to continue with this series. The second book (focusing on different characters) was still an enjoyable read for me but unfortunately, it couldn't live up to my expectations after the first book. I felt like it was a step back from the unique side of NA and featured a more cliché relationship (though still not as bad as other NA I've read). I'm definitely still looking forward to the third book, because Elle Kennedy's writing is very addicting and I love her characters.

What I Bought

I am very happy to say that I didn't buy any books in December! But thanks to Christmas, I still have some new additions to my TBR to show you. Also a special thank you to my boyfriend and my family for giving me these books!

On the Blog

I uploaded an incredible amount of two posts in December. But I guess this isn't new for me, so I'm not even going to complain. Just hoping that in 2016 I will have more time and inspiration for blogging. But anyway, I talked about all the books I read in November in my November Wrap-Up and even reviewed an ARC (Firsts).


So as I already mentioned, the first half of December I was super busy with university as I had an exam on the last day before my semester break. I studied a lot and luckily that paid off as I left the exam feeling like the king of the world. I honestly have never had such a good feeling after writing an exam. Here's to hoping that my grade won't be a disappointment now. Then the second half of December was basically filled with eating, sleeping and waiting for snow. While the I enjoyed the first two things immensely, I'm really unhappy with the fact that we still don't have any snow here. I mean, last year at this time, I was struggling to get out of the house because of all the snow and today it's raining.

What did you read in December?
Any new favorites?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 Authors A to Z Reading Challenge | WRAP UP

Hello there. So at the beginning of 2015, I decided it would be a good idea to participate in the 2015 Authors A to Z Reading Challenge because, you know, it sounded fun. Now, at the beginning of 2016, I have to admit that I might not be cut out for reading challenges. Because no, I didn't finish the challenge, not even close. I'm still missing 7 letters and while I knew from the start that I wouldn't get some of them (like X for example), others I thought wouldn't be a challenge at all. Well, I was wrong.

Anyway, I just wanted to make a quick wrap up post for the challenge. Admitting failure helps with getting over it, right?

Here are the books that I read for each letter (the links will take you to my review):

A: Aldin, Lisa - One of the Guys

B: Benway, Robin - Emmy & Oliver

C: Cooper, Grier - Wish

D: Demetrios, Heather - I'll Meet You There

E: Ee, Susan - Angelfall

F: Forman, Gayle - I Was Here

G: Glines, Abbi - You Were Mine

H: Hunting, Helena - Clipped Wings



K: Keplinger, Kody - The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend

L: Levithan, David / Cohn, Rachel - Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

M: McGuire, Jamie - Beautiful Redemption

N: Nelson, Jandy - I'll Give You the Sun


P: Palacio, R.J. - Wonder

Q: Quinn, Cari - Shadowboxer

R: Ritchie, Krista and Becca - Kiss The Sky

S: Sanderson, Brandon - The Final Empire (Mistborn)

T: Taylor, Laini - Daughter of Smoke & Bone


V: Vaughan, Brian K. / Staples, Fiona - Saga, Volume 1

W: Webber, Tammara - Easy




Are you participating in any cool challenges this year?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Favorite Books of 2015


I'm here today to reminisce about all the books I read in that year that I can't believe is already over. I read a total of 85 books in 2015, surpassing my goodreads challenge by 15 books. Even if I wasn't as successful as last year (I read 88 books in 2014), I am quite pleased with this result. I did better than expected as I thought that university would take a much larger toll on my reading. 

So after thinking long and hard about everything I read this year, I put together a list of ten books and series that I loved the most. I tried to really focus on the ones that I would want to read again right now and that I still rave about now, after having finished them for a while. Needless to say, I read a lot more than ten books that I enjoyed, but these are just going to be the top of the top. I tried to put them in some order, going from my least favorite (of my top favorites), to the top of the top of the top. As you can guess, that was incredibly hard and I'm still not 100% about the order I went with. I just really love all these books, okay!

The links will take you to the goodreads page, where you should add these books to your TBR if you haven't already!

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

The Winner's Curse had been sitting on my TBR shelf for quite some time before I finally picked it up this year. Not only is the cover and the whole design of this book gorgeous, the story that Marie Ruthkoski created is imaginative, unique and simply epic. It features a smart and headstrong female lead, a highly shippable but not too prominent romance, political intrigue, war strategizing and an overall very well developed storyline. With that ending of the first book, I recommend you have the second one ready, because you will want to keep reading!

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings

This is the first book in a duology, inspired by A Thousand and One Nights. Set in a fantasy world where the young Caliph takes a different wife every night and has them killed by morning, the story follows Shazi, a young girl who is determined to end these murders. Beautifully written, The Wrath and the Dawn will have you hooked from the very first page. While the fantasy elements weren't the best, the romance easily makes up for it. This ship is seriously everything. I feel like this book hasn't gotten nearly as much attention as it deserves, so if you enjoy romance in fantasy books, read this!

Calloway Sisters Series by Krista and Becca Ritchie
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary

Before you skip ahead simply because of the New Adult genre, please wait a second. This series is not your usual New Adult romance. No overprotective, emotionally abusive boyfriends and innocent, sweet virgins. Krista and Becca Ritchie create a unique set of characters, all with their own issues and flaws, none of them perfect. Three sisters who care for each other deeply, and even if you probably won't see many parallels to your own life given their social status as celebrities, you will feel for them. Before you know it, you're addicted to their story, trust me. This series is so different, well written and just really good, I want everyone to read it.

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

I went into this series without a clue what it was about, and somehow, that hasn't really changed yet. This might sound like a bad thing, but it really isn't. The Raven Cycle is a very unusual fantasy series, and I don't even want to explain why. I'm just telling you to read it, if you haven't already, so you can see for yourself. Beautiful writing, lovable and complex characters and a magical and somewhat dark feel are only a few of the reasons these books are special and absolutely worth reading. Especially the second book is definitely one of my top top favorites of the year.

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT

The story of Ari and Dante is without a doubt one of the most heartwarming and most touching books I have ever read. It is exceptionally well written and deals with many difficult and important topics. Not only does it address the hardships of growing up and coming to terms with who you are, it also portrays interesting and complicated family dynamics. But most of all, it is a beautiful story of friendship and falling in love.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Genres: New Adult (Young Adult), Fantasy, Retellings

I haven't tried to make a secret of the fact that I love the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. But this year, in my opinion, Maas outshone herself with this first book in a new series. While I like Queen of Shadows less and less the more I think about it, I have already read A Court of Thorns and Roses twice. It is everything I have always wanted, and more: well written, addicting and with a brilliant set of characters. I laughed out loud at some parts and couldn't stop swooning at others. Most of all, the ending of the book has me hoping for even better books in the future of this series. I can't wait to see where the story will go and most of all I can't wait to get to know some of the characters better. 

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

I'm sure this isn't the first time you're hearing about this series. I'm here to tell you that yes, it deserves all the hype. The Lunar Chronicle has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the year for me. After hearing countless fantastic things about the series, I finally decided it was time to read it myself, but I still wasn't entirely sure I was going to like it. But Cinder already turned out to be so much more than I expected, and the series just got better from there. I'm now in the middle of reading Winter, and I'm overall just in love with everything (though I am having a harder time than expected getting through the 800 page monster of a book). The characters are phenomenal, the story is action-packed and fast paced, the writing is amazing - I honestly have nothing to complain about. That's why this series absolutely deserves one of the top spots on my list.

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT

This book and I did not get off to the best start. For the first fifty pages or so, I was pretty disappointed with the story and had my issues with the writing. But then, everything changed very very quickly, and before I knew it, I couldn't stop reading. The story, the characters and the writing - I fell in love with everything. I'll Give You the Sun takes you on an incredible journey. It broke my heart only to put it back together. From family to friendship to love to grief, everything is portrayed in an exceptionally real way. The amount of character growth both Noah and Jude go through is wonderful to watch and it's what made the story so special. I honestly can't praise this book enough, and I'm begging you all to read it if you haven't already.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

I read this series at the very beginning of the year and I still feel overwhelmed by Laini Taylor's magical writing style. I wrote down some of my favorite quotes when reading the books and I still get goosebumps when I read them now. I seriously can't stress enough how incredibly beautifully written this trilogy is. Add to that the brilliant characters and creatures Laini Taylor brought to life within these pages and you definitely have all-time-favorite material. I remember not being completely on board with the romance in the story but the wonderful friendships portrayed completely made up for that.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
This book completely blew me away. Honestly, I was not expecting to feel so many feelings when reading this story. But Wonder made me cry happy tears and sad tears and it touched me more than any other book I've ever read. I loved reading from all the different perspectives the story was told from. All the characters were so complex, honest and real - it was impossible not to understand and feel for every single one of them. August was so strong and brave and I felt so proud of him for all the development he went through. By the end of the story, I was in awe of all that he had accomplished. 

Okay - that's it. 2015 is over and so is this list. I hope you've all had the perfect start into the new year. Let's hope that 2016 has great things in store for all of us!

What books made your favorites list this year?