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The Best and Worst of 2016

31 Dec

Best and Worst

2016 was definitely the year of the great reading slump. I had such a great pace going until WHAM…very dismal results in terms of books I finished at the end of this year. But I’m also going to give myself a pat on the back for the challenging books I did manage to read this year which undoubtedly did put me back a bit with the pacing of my Goodreads challenge. Interestingly enough I have a very vague memory of what I actually read this year (probably another symptom of the dreaded reading slump), but a glance on this blog or on my Goodreads page revealed that I read quite a few fantastic books this year. Among those were War and Peace, the book that inspired the film Spotlight, and Me Before You to name a few. But what matters most is….what was the best and worst book I read and reviewed in 2016?

Best

ACourtofMistandFury

Having read both A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury in 2016, how on earth does one choose between these two books to pick best book of 2016? However, I am still in awe and have yet to come across a book that was able to make me completely switch allegiance from one of my favorite characters to another and this book did just that. I can say without a doubt that I cannot wait to read the next installment in the series solely from what is in this book and I can feel my anticipation return even as I write this post. If you have missed checking out this series, don’t make that same mistake in 2017.

Read the original review here.

Worst

RoyalTreatment

I have loved this author’s other work and the premise and cover seemed extremely promising. What I got was an awfully silly, juvenile love story that couldn’t finish itself fast enough. I’m still in shock of how bad it was considering it had everything going for it: romance, royalty, a quirky storyline. Take my advice and try the author’s vampire or mermaid series but steer clear of this dud.

Read the original review here.

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The Best and Worst of 2015

31 Dec

Best and Worst

I’m very disappointed that I didn’t reach my personal goal of reading at least 50 books in 2015 like I did last year. Especially since I read an article that said reading 50-60 books a year is one of the things all the most successful people in the world have in common. In retrospect, the move to our first house and our wedding and honeymoon didn’t leave much time for reading. I can’t wait to have all that stress off my shoulders in 2016!

Looking back on what I read in 2015 there were only a handful of books that I felt were worthy of my favorite book of 2015. There were also quite a few books that I couldn’t stand. I don’t know what that says about my reading choices this year…but enough talk; here are my picks for the best and worst book I read and reviewed in 2015!

Best

Horns

This was almost a no brainer for my 2015 favorite read of the year except for the fact that it had two strong running mates. Ultimately though, this book rises to the top of the list because even now when I look at the cover, all the emotions I felt when reading the book are reignited. I was blown away by a book that so wonderfully combines elements of horror, fantasy, romance, and suspense into one story. It’s funny, creative, brutal, and magical all at once. I’d never read anything like it, and if all of Joe Hill’s books are like this, then I have a new favorite author. I hope to review more of his work in 2016 but as of now I can say without a doubt that this book is pure gold.

Read the original review here.

Worst

WhereGringosDontBelong

For such a small book, it was a definite struggle to get through it. The story was all over the place and the characters were the same way. The only interesting part of the book was one scene in the end. Not to mention that the book used Spanish so heavily I could barely understand it. This story needs more character and story development before it can stand up against everything else readers have to choose from out there.

Read the original review here.

The Best and Worst of 2014

1 Jan

Best and Worst Another year has come and gone! I had hoped to minimize the amount of books in my collection by now, but it seems to continue to grow despite my efforts to read like a madwoman. Nevertheless, I managed to average about a review a week, which meant many more chances for you to find a great read!

This year, as I look back, there weren’t any standout books that I could easily jump to when nominating my worst book of the year. And I had to sift through many novels that I really enjoyed when trying to crown a winner for the best book of 2014. Seemed like it was a good year in reading for me compared to years past! So, now, let me acquaint you with what I thought were the best and worst books that I read in 2014.

Best

The Demonologist

This book will be a hit or miss for people because it deals heavily in religion and your belief in the supernatural. I thought I could handle reading anything at night, but this book really challenged that belief. I seriously questioned my sanity while reading about the supernatural cases that the infamous Ed and Lorraine Warren record in this book. The stories are fascinating whether you believe them or not and the feelings that overcome you when tucked into bed in an empty house are unforgettably creepy. Loved the book, but let’s just say I quickly got rid of it after I had finished. The house felt a little less gloomy after it was banished from my shelves, and I know I wasn’t the only family member to be grateful the book was out of the house, even if I was the only one that read its contents. A great read for Halloween!

Read the original review here.

Worst

BergdorfBlondes

This book looked so innocently adorable. Yes, I knew it would be fluffy chic lit, but even I have standards when it comes to that genre. This was absolute garbage. There was no story and the main character is not only boring, but she’s a disgrace to the female population. There are much better books out there that deal with Park Avenue princesses, and I’d happily recommend any of them over this disaster.

Read the original review here.

The Best and Worst of 2013

1 Jan

Best and Worst 2013 has come to a close and it’s that time again to pick the best and worst book I read and reviewed here this year. Since graduating college, finding time to read has been a lot easier now that weekends and vacations are finally my own. Hallelujah! And that means that you, the readers, got a lot more book reviews than ever before this year. It also means my bookshelf has finally gotten some relief now that I have been able to get through more of my books.

Hopefully this can be you’re guide to what book you definitely need to make a part of your reading list for the new year and what you might want to shy away from. Without further adieu, here are my picks for the best and worst books I read and reviewed on Without a Book in 2013!

BEST

The Road

This book is a modern classic. Every word paints a mysterious and enticing story that I dare you to try not to get completely absorbed in. I’m certainly not the first to sing this books praises, but if this is a read that has still alluded you, then let this be your call to action. The Road is one of those books you need to read before you die. Few other books, especially in this day and age, will move you with its doom and gloom apocalyptic tale of a father and son journey like this one.

Read the original review here.

Worst

TheShortSecondLifeofBreeTanner

I was thankful to get this one off my shelf. There is really nothing to recommend it unless you’re a major Twilight fan. If you haven’t read the books, the story will be meaningless to you. Therefore, this won’t appeal to everyone. However, even as someone who has read and watched everything from the Twilight universe, this still did nothing for me. The books are fine without this and I’ve honestly forgotten what really happened in this book; that’s how memorable this is. Save your money and buy anything else.

Read the original review here.

The Best and Worst of 2012

1 Jan

Best and Worst As a welcome to 2013, I’d like to pick the best and worst books I read this past year in 2012. This is a special post for me this year because, unlike last year which only consisted of half a years worth of books due to the fact that I had started my blog in the middle of the year, this year I was able to blog about a full years worth of reading. I was also lucky enough to be able to work with various authors and publishing companies including Astor+Blue Editions, who allowed me to read some of their work. This gave you, the readers, a mixture of reviews from my personal library and from books that were randomly sent to me, which I might not have otherwise reviewed.

Looking back while trying to pick the best and worst books, I realized it has been quite a year. I read some incredible books that made picking a winner difficult, but there were also some very disappointing stand outs. So without further adieu, here are my picks for the best and worst books I read and reviewed on Without a Book in 2012!

BESTAmericanSniper

I hadn’t read a book in a long time that I was essentially giddy to read. The story is fascinating, and the author’s voice and personality are perfectly represented here. It isn’t for everyone because of the author’s very strong views, but these are the real stories of soldiers defending our American freedom. I usually read a lot of fiction books and being able to read a nonfiction book like this one really breaks up the monotony that I can feel looking at my bookshelf sometimes. This is an excellent read all around, and I would rave about it to anyone.

Read the original review here.

WorstAs Above ~ So Below

This book was the hardest one I had to get through for my blog. There were many times I wanted to put it down and just not finish. I think it even sat for a month on page ten without any progress. But it’s impossible for me not to finish a book because I have a strong need to know if it gets better. Unfortunately, it didn’t. There were so many flaws that go against what a standard book should be. I don’t know how this book got written because the writing process is difficult and you need to be really into your story. This book is literally a chronicle of simple daily activities. I respect the fact the writer created this piece of work and is trying to sell it, but sometimes your creations should just be for your own enjoyment and not for sale to the general public because it just doesn’t resonate well enough to merit publication. This book was one that should’ve been kept under wraps.

Read the original review here.

The Best and Worst of 2011

5 Feb

So my plan on January 1, 2012 was to start this new piece where I pick the best and worst book I read in the past year. However, I was struck down with a bad case of mono which meant entire days in bed, no celebratory drinking on New Years, and the worst sore throat of my life. It was very sad. But, I’m fully healed and still want to crown the best and worst book for 2011! Better late then never!

Since this blog was started during the second half of 2011, it only includes half the books I read this year so I will only be picking from the books I reviewed. So without further adieu, here are my picks for the best and worst book I read and reviewed on Without a Book in 2011!

BEST

With the premiere of the Game of Thrones HBO show, most of my 2011 was spent reading through the Song of Ice and Fire series. I was blown away by Martin’s epic saga so naturally one of his books would have to take the crown for best read of 2011 above anything else I had read. And although A Dance with Dragons was released in 2011, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, it did not make book of the year. Hands down, A Storm of Swords was not only the best book I read this year, but the best book in the series for me. Up until the very last line in this book, the reader is on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, ranging from fear, happiness, and extreme sorrow.

Read the original review here.

Worst

Unfortunately, the Song of Ice and Fire series also gave me the worst read of 2011. One book after the other was an impressive piece of storytelling….until this one that is. The fact that the story mainly focuses on secondary characters made the book feel like a waste of time. The disappointment I felt after finishing this book not having seen any of the main characters made this a memorable standout for worst book of the year.

Read the original review here.