My 3 Favorite Reads of 2016

So this year, my goal was to read 31 books. At the moment I have read 35* books (according to Goodreads 113% of my goal), is something I’m immensely proud of. Also, I just wanna add, thirty-four of these books I read via audio book. If you do the math that’s roughly four hundred and sixteen hours. 416. Okay, now that I had my #humblebrag, let’s talk about my three favorite books. (I’m not ranking any Harry Potter books in this. I want to make a separate post about rereading the series).

I started off the year by reading YA fiction, as usual, then slowly, made my way into adult fiction. If you want to be particular I think most of what I read is refered too by some as “chick lit” which is basically your average RomCom, romantic story stuffed into a book. This was a Big Deal for the girl who has spent more than a decade chillin’ in the Young Adult section. And while I don’t feel like I’ll every completely leave that YA life behind me, it was nice reading about people closer to my age. (Reading about 15 year olds falling in love feels extremely weird for this very single 20-year-old). That being said my top three are kind of a mix of these two categories.

#3 – It’s Superman! – Tom De Haven (Narrated by Scott Brick)

 Coming of age in rural 1930s America with X-ray vision, the power to stop bullets, and the ability to fly isn’t exactly every boy’s story. So just how did Clark Kent, a shy farmer’s son, grow up to be the Man of Steel?

It’s Superman! is about Clark Kent, not Superman. It’s about Clark’s journey to becoming Superman. The book jumps POVs quite a bit, which usually I’m not into, but with Brick’s narration I really wasn’t bothered. Before reading this, I knew next to nothing about Superman. I knew he changed in telephone booths, that he loved Louis Lane, that kryptonite is his weakness, and that his real name was Clark Kent. I’m not a comic book person, and I haven’t gotten around to seeing any movies, and while I’m a TV fanatic, I’ve never seen an episode of Smallville. So I went into this book pretty blind.

I came out absolutely loving Clark. Almost as much as I love Louis Lane who was one badass chick .In this story there is an orignal character named Willy who, without spoiling much, is an integral part of the story. I really loved that though Clark is Good and he is facing Lex Luther who is obviously Evil, it’s not about Good vs Evil. People die because of Clark. Lex Luther isn’t all bad. All of these characters are multifaceted, and things aren’t just black and white.

At first this story might seem scattered, but in the end, the story lines weave together, making one hell of a story.

While sometimes the plot dragged, I really enjoy this version of Clark Kent’s story overall. Recommended to anyone who has a bit of nerd in them.

its-superman

#2 – Landline by Rainbow Rowell (Narrated by Rebecca Lowman)

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts…

So, I’m gonna be honest, I almost put this as #1. I was obsessed with this book. I finished it, and then immediately started it over. Georgie McCool (yes, that’s her name) is #relatable. At least to me. She’s the curvy blonde girl who is obsessed with TV. My dream job is writing for television. And it’s also my dream to have a grumpy but handsome husband waiting at home with my two daughters, food on the table. I want to BE Georgie McCool. Georgie McCool is just the cooler version of me.

So take a character I relate with on a gross level, add in a magic phone (yes magic phone), Christmas, dogs, and a crazy family this is a book like MADE for me.

This book is set later in Georgie’s life. She’s married with two kids, has a job that makes more than enough to pay the bills (but that she really hates), and  is worried about her relationship with her husband (no thanks to her mom’s comments). So while we are with present time Georgie, she also tells us in flashbacks about how she fell in love with her husband, Neal. (By the way, NEAL OH MY GOD!? I love College!Neal so much. So much.)

Oh…and there’s that magic phone I told you about.

READ THIS BOOK!!!! I’m begging you. Not enough people have read this. And if this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, read anything by Rainbow. She is my favorite author, and has this amazing talent of story telling that I can’t explain in words.

Also I HIGHLY recommend the audiobook. Rebecca Lowman is actually heaven-sent, and I will read any book she narrates (and is actually the sole reason I started reading adult fiction). Her voice is so perfect for audiobooks, and she narrates 2 of Rainbow’s other books.

landline

#1 – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Sanez (Narrated by Lin Manuel Miranda)

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

This book is going to break your heart and then sew it back together. You are going to laugh. You are going to cry. I am completely convinced that EVERYONE should read this book (my physical copy, which I bought minutes after finishing the audio book, is lent out in a desperate attempt to make one of my friends to read it.)

The way this book is written feels like poetry at points. The way the words alone are written makes my heart want to break, it’s so good. It sounds good. If you know me, you know I love Lin Manuel Miranda, but I bought this book completely unaware he was the narrator, and when I heard his voice I was a little skeptical. At the end however, I’m convinced no one else should have read this book.

This book is about the friendship of two Mexican-American boys, set in the late 80’s. It’s about culture, identity, friendship, and family. It’s about growing up, falling in love, and getting your first dog. It’s about the desert, poetry, and swimming. I don’t want to tell you too much because you need to read this book. Just know that this is not just by favorite book of 2016, but my favorite book ever. Read it! Read it! And then let’s talk about it.

ari-and-dante

There they are. My favorite reads of 2016. Do yourself a favor and try one of them out.

Until next time,

Carey Grace

I’m currently reading: 

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling

I’m currently listening to:

I’m currently watching:

  • Every romantic Christmas movie in Netflix’s library

*I counted the final HP book because I only have like an hour left.

P.S. Incase you were wondering, Harry Potter is my favorite series, Rainbow Rowell is my favorite author, and Aristotle and Dante is my favorite book. Glad we cleared that up.

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