17 favourite books of 2017

Helloooo Everyone!

As we are close now to the end of 2017 I thought I should gather my top 17 favourite books this year. I came back to reading in January after a year long reading slump and what a magical year this was readingwise! I started reading more contemporaries, more books in English, I fell in love with audiobooks. I read more than 60 books and my original reading goal was 25. I’m very proud of myself!

So here comes the list:

#17 – Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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#16 – The Wizards of Once by Cresside Cowel

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#15 – A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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#14 – Hunted by Meagan Spooner

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#13 – Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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#12 – The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

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#11 – Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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#10 – The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

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#9 – This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

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#8 – The Diviners by Libba Bray

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#7 – Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

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#6 – A Court of Mist and Fury by Sara J. Maas

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#5 – Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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#4 – Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

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#3 – Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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#2 – Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

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#1 – The Lightning-struck Heart by T. J. Klune

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Cheers,
Szandi

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody – Review

Hellooo everyone!

This year I haven’t placed much books to my ‘Favourite‘ shelf. I read many good books, but there weren’t a lot where I felt instant love which brought me through the story like a firestorm, and devoured it nearly one sitting because I enjoyed it so bloody much.

But then on the 1st of August I started to buddy read with Fran the amazing book that came in the July FairyLoot box – the Daughter of the Burning City. I fell in love in the first couple of pages wich lasted until the very end, I read it basically every time when I had a little free time.

So please let me introduce you to the Gomorrah Festival…

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Book Title: Daughter of the Burning City
Author: Amanda Foody
Genre: YA fantasy
Favourited: Yes
Rating: 5/5

Book Summary (From Goodreads)

A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

The Story

I went into the book with not many expectations – I learnt from Caraval that maybe I love the circus themed books. I thought that this book is going to be very similar to the Caraval, but how wrong I was!
In the first couple of pages I wasn’t sure how to react to the things I’m reading I just knew that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! The dark athmosphere of Gomorrah just went right under my skin and I was pulsing with it throughout the book. It is a vivid and whimsical imagination this book has with such great descriptions that you can smell and taste everything in Gomorrah. I became one of it’s citizen in the first chapter.
Then the story is starting and I just didn’t understood anything… how you possibly can kill an illusion? The first time I was just shocked, just like our characters. The investigation is starting and we start to learn things about Gomorrah we never though is the part of this forever moving city. We learn everything from piece by piece with Sorina, we are not sure, who our killer is and what the motivation behind the murder is, but as we go deeper and deeper we kinda feel that not everyone is that we first thought will be. I must say, that I was assuming from the half of the book who is behind the murders but I wasn’t sure. I think the mystery was very well built and it kept me interested.

The Characters

I loved the characters in this book! Sorina is maybe one of my favourite female protagonist, not the typical one which I really like. She is a girl who knows the boundaries of her powers, has a bad part of her which is afraid and feels she’s only a freak, but she had this badass side with this amazing ability of creating illusions, so powerful illusions that she was able to create a family for herself. I loved that we see her weaknesses and she knows her weaknesses as well.

The illusions were amazing. Every one of them has their own personality. Some of them are created better and we learn more deeply from them, but in the case of Unu, Du and Hawk we don’t learn much, but at the end of the day they were only children. Nicoleta on the other hand is very well developed, we learn how much she works on help the family stay alive and how very much this exhausting her. Venera break our heart when she talks to Sorina about the men she slept with and told her that they just want to know how does it feel, to sex with a girl who only is an imagination.

The writing style

The writing style of this book was amazing. The athmosphere was very well described and the descripitons were very on point.

I must say that this book was the biggest surprise of 2017 for me, I didn’t thought that I will enjoy it this much nor that it is going to have a place between my favourites. Very much worth a read!

Cheers,
Szandi