Favorite Movies of the Year | 2016 in Review

Yes, I’ve got another 2016 in review post for you. Today, I’m talking about my favorite movies of 2016. Again, these were not all released in 2016, I just watched them this year. I’m also not including the movies I re-watched because then my list would always just be Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. These are also in no particular order.

The Martian (2015)
Song of the Sea (2014)

The Martian is a movie I actually wanted to watch in 2015, but only got around to in January. I adored the book, so I was hoping the movie would be great too. And it was. I laughed out loud several times, and I also enjoyed how much you got to see of what was happening on Earth while he was on Mars. Of course, some of the jokes got cut but overall I think this was not only a great movie, but a great adaptation as well. 

Song of the Sea, a movie I just randomly picked and started watching. It’s absolutely breathtaking! This is an animated movie, based on an Irish folktale -I believe. Just precious. I can’t understand why no one is talking about this movie, especially because animated movies are so popular. The illustrations in this one are gorgeous, so is the music, and the story just warms my heart.

The Big Short (2015)
Inglourious Bastards (2009)

The Big Short is a movie I never thought I’d watch, least of all enjoy. But it was a masterpiece. If you don’t know, this is a story about the 2008 financial and economic crisis, but it takes place in the months before the big collapse. It follows the few people who realized what would happen, and what they chose to do. This movie made me laugh because it’s hilarious, but it also made me so mad -which I think was the point. I feel like this movie was an excuse to say: What you did, is not okay. And you got away with it. But we haven’t forgotten. You’re all criminals.

Inglourious Bastards, a true classic (well, you know what I mean) that I had never watched. I didn’t think it would be my kind of movie, but I decided to give it a go anyway. I have never been so wrong. It was incredible. It made me laugh, it made me cringe, it made me applaud my ass off for these soldiers. Definitely worth all the hype.

Brooklyn (2015)
Deadpool (2016)

Brooklyn, the movie that cemented my love for Saoirse Ronan. This is a romantic movie, and all about discovering your place in the world. But it’s not over the top, or cheesy. It’s the kind of quietly beautiful that only makes you realize afterwards what an amazing story you just watched. I would recommend this movie to everyone. Even if you don’t like romance movies.

Deadpool, one of my most -if not the most- anticipated movies of 2016. And boy, did it deliver. I was kind of afraid it would be a letdown, but I shouldn’t have been. This movie is absolutely hilarious. I laughed my ass off. It’s crude, hilarious and genius and I cannot express my love for it enough -and for Ryan Reynolds.

The Way He Looks (2014)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

The Way He Looks is a Brazilian movie, I think, that I watched on Netflix in October. What a beautiful story it is. This is the story of Leo, a teenage boy who is blind, and Gabriel, another teenage boy who has just moved to the area. This is a story of coming of age, sexuality and friendship -and I couldn’t recommend it enough. Please, please, please go watch it. It’s absolutely gorgeous. 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is not a surprise to anyone, I think. Together with Deadpool, it was my most anticipated movie of the year. I was afraid to be disappointed but I actually ended up loving every second of it. Even my brother loved it, and he’s not a fan of Harry Potter. I did catch references that he didn’t of course, because he doesn’t know the HP books or movies well (or at all). All I can really say is that I thank the world for Eddie Redmayne, a Hufflepuff to be proud of. 


So those are my favorite movies of the year! Have you watched any of them? What did you think of them? Let me know what your favorite movies of the year were, and maybe even your favorite 2016 releases! I need to go to the movies more often, so I can watch new releases…

Weekly Wrap Up | December #5

I know this is technically going up on January 1st (HAPPY NEW YEAR!) but I’m talking about my reads during the last week of December so I’m calling it a December Wrap Up.

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The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel // ★★★★ // I finally finished this book. I know that sounded really negative, so I’ll clarify. It took me a month to read this, but not because it was boring. I just didn’t have any time. This is an incredible non-fiction read about the Allied soldiers who were tasked with saving the European cultural heritage during WWII. I learned so much from this book, and was confronted with many things I had never thought about before. How much heritage we could have lost if not for these men. How much we did lose. How everyone kind of forgot about the amazing work these men did. I’d highly recommend this!

Hunter (Hunter #1) by Mercedes Lackey // ★★★ // Don’t you even dare ask me how I feel about this book because I have no idea. I both adored it, and hated it. I gave it 3 stars because I JUST DON’T KNOW, OKAY? If you want to hear it more in detail, you can either watch the video above or wait for my review in the coming week(s)… 

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In real life, what happened?

Not that much, I’ll tell you. Last week, it was Christmas. Then I went to work and had a dentist appointment. I’m currently writing this on the 31st, so we’ll go over to my aunt’s house tonight to have some food and celebrate the new year. That’s really it. 


That was my week! How was yours? Did you read or watch anything fun? Did you have a nice celebration of the new year? Let me know! 

My Favorite Reads of the Year! | 2016 In Review

It’s time, everyone. It’s time for the most exciting post of the year: my favorite reads of 2016. I will already say that these are in no particular order, and they are not all 2016 releases. I just read them this year, and absolutely loved them. So let’s get into it! 

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

I don’t think this will be a surprise for anyone. I already enjoyed her Grisha trilogy, but this duology was just on a whole other level. Not only did I love the setting, which is I believe inspired by the Netherlands as I recognized quite some names of people and places, but I loved the characters and the diversity in race, religion, disability… I just adored it. And you all know heist stories are the way to my heart. 

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) by Brandon Sanderson
The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3) by Brandon Sanderson

I know, I chose two again. I just couldn’t pick a favorite! I finally finished the first Mistborn trilogy -after having read The Final Empire in 2013… I was blown away. They were even better than the first book. I adored the characters, the world, the religions -the character development- and just about everything. Although I have to admit I was both happy and devastated by the ending. Brandon Sanderson is a master of words. 

The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer #1) by Robin Hobb

The Secret History was definitely a surprise for me. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did, because I don’t often read general fiction. But I was blown away. This is the story of a group of college kids in New England who study Latin and Greek, and murdered one of their friends. I was so invested in the story adn the characters! Donna Tartt has a way of toying with your emotions when it comes to her characters.

Assassin’s Apprentice started my foray into Robin Hobb’s works. I’d heard nothing but great things for years, so I decided it was finally time to pick one up. I adored it. I have to say, don’t go into this expecting a fast-paced, action-packed assassin story. That’s not what this is. This is more a chronicle of Fitz’s life -and I adored it. I will definitely read the third book soon, and continue with her other works. 

Night Film by Marisha Pessl
The Warded Man (Demon Cycle #1) by Peter V. Brett

Night Film had been on my shelf for a while, until I decided to pick it up for the #spookathon. I adored this mystery book. It’s the story of Scott, a journalist trying to discover whether famous girl Ashley Cordova truly committed suicide, or whether she was murdered. It blew me away. It’s also mixed media because it has pictures, text messages, web pages, articles, etc. throughout the story. I felt like that only added to the mystique of this book and its story. 

The Warded Man is one of those fantasy books that’s really popular on Reddit, but I never really see on blogs or videos. It makes me so sad, because this was amazing. It’s about this world in which demons come out of the ground when the sun goes down. If you’re not in a circle of protective wards, you will be murdered by them. Does that not sounds EPIC? It is. I can’t wait to read the second book soon. 

Marked in Flesh (The Others #4) by Anne Bishop
Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers #1) by Rachel Aaron

Marked In Flesh  will come as no surprise if you’ve been reading my blog for a while. I absolutely adore this series, and have for years. Each year, I screech with excitement at the next book. Although I can’t believe that the next book, Etched in Bone, will be the last one. I am so not ready to say goodbye. This is an amazing series about a blood prophet, shapeshifters, ancient creatures and (awful) humans.

Nice Dragons Finish Last is the first book in the Heartstrikers series, a series I’d been wanting to read for a while. I have loved every Rachel Aaron (/Rachel Bach) book I’ve read so far -which I think are 9 books? This is an urban fantasy series about a dragon named Julius, who is nice. Being nice is not a welcome trait for a dragon, which means he’s the family outcast. IT IS SO MUCH FUN.

The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga #1) by Elise Kova
The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco

The Alchemists of Loom is a book I immediately requested on Netgalley when I saw it. It’s a 2017 release, but I urge you all to pick it up when it’s released. I liked her other book Air Awakens, but didn’t truly love it. This one I adored. It’s got dragons, chimaera, steampunk, scheming, guilds -EVERYTHING I LOVE. 

The Bone Witch is actually also a 2017 releaese! Another one worth the wait though. It’s an Asian-inspired fantasy book that stars the main character Tea who discovers she is a  witch (or an asha as it’s called in this book) when she accidentally raises her brother from the dead. It’s told in two timelines, one starting when she discovers her powers, and one where she is alone on an island raising monsters. HOW AWESOME IS THAT??

we-should-all-be-feminists

We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This is such a short one, because it’s basically her speech written out. It’s only 49 pages but I honestly couldn’t leave it off my list. I feel like this is a must-read for everyone, from those who know nothing about feminism to those who are really educated on the topic. It’s an eye-opener. 


Those are my favorite reads of 2016! Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? And what are your favorite reads of the year?

Weekly Wrap Up | December #4

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The Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings #1) by J.R.R. Tolkien // ★★★★★ // A while ago I mentioned I was feeling nostalgic for Middle Earth, so I watched The Lord of the rings movies and the first Hobbit movie again. I still felt nostalgic though. As it was December, very busy and I had already reached my reading goal of the year, I didn’t feel guilty at all about reading these again. I flew through it, and found it much easier to read this time around. I think this may be my favorite of the three though. 

The Two Towers (Lord of the Rings #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien // ★★★★★ // Like the first is my favorite, I think this is my least favorite. That’s mostly because this is where the true split narrative starts. Here, book 4 follows Pippin, Merry, Aragorn, etc. and book 5 follows Frodo and Sam. But because they actually happen during the same time, you go back in time when starting book 4. I didn’t quite love that. But it’s still amazing, so I have to give it a 5 stars. 

The Return of the King (Lord of the Rings #3) by J.R.R. Tolkien // ★★★★★ // I have always cried while watching this movie. I didn’t cry while reading. But I do love the additional last chapters that aren’t in the movie-story. They’re so much fun, because they feel newer to me -because I’ve watched the movies more often than I’ve read the books. I can’t believe my foray into Middle Earth has come to an end again. I may pick up a Harry Potter book now. 

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What happened in real life? 

I worked.
I celebrated Christmas with my family. 
I relaxed, read, and ate. It was glorious. I ate a lot. I got my first Kindle!


I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend, and that your holidays were full of joy, family, food and love. If not, I hope your days will soon be full of them. And if you need someone to talk to, you can always DM me on Twitter. 

What did you do this weekend? Did you celebrate something? Did you read, watch or do anything? If you received any gifts, which ones? Have a wonderful week, everyone!

2016 Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

I was tagged to create this post by Monique @ That Wild Soul. Thank you so much for tagging me Monique, this looks like a fun one! I’m not going to make a 20-sentence-long introduction, let’s just get into it. 

1. Best book read in 2016 so far? 

Oh no, this is such a difficult question! I’m obviously not going to count re-reads. I won’t count sequels either, because I can use the next question for that! That leaves me with: The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett, The Secret History by Donna Tartt and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. NO, I CAN’T CHOOSE ONE. I’m sorry.

2. Best sequel read in 2016 so far? 

The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan is definitely one of my favorite sequels I’ve read so far. So is One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron, and Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop.

3. New releases you haven’t read yet, but want to. 

No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished (Heartstrikers #3) by Rachel Aaron! It only just came out, but I’m excited to get a copy. I’m really loving this series. I’m also excited about The Beauty of Darkness (Remnant Chronicles #3) by Mary E. Pearson. Oh, and Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

4. Most anticipated releases for the second half of 2016? 

The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch! I honestly can’t wait for that book. And the second illustrated edition of Harry Potter.

5. Biggest disappointment? 

Probably The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. It wasn’t bad -unfortunately I’ve read worse books this year- but I expected a lot more from it. 

6. Biggest surprise? 

I think Hounded by Kevin Hearne fits this category well! I expected to like this urban fantasy series because it’s based on a Druid. But I actually ended up loving it! I’d highly recommend it, and can’t wait to read the next ones (although I’ll have to buy them first). 

7. Favorite new author? 

So many authors can fit this question. I loved Robin Hobb’s first two books in the Farseer trilogy. I’d heard so much about her, but never read any of her books. I also really enjoy Weina Dai Randel’s debut novel -a historical fiction book set in China. Again, highly recommend. 2016 is also the time in which I first read an N.K. Jemisin novel! Absolutely loved it. 

8. Newest fictional crush?

Probably Julius from the Heartstriker series by Rachel Aaron! He’s smart, funny and wonderfully kind.

9. Newest favorite character?

I read some amazing stories about my favorite characters this year, but they weren’t new-to-me characters. If I would have to choose a new one (and not Julius from the previous question either), I’d go for Kelsea from The Queen of the Tearling and Fitz from the Farseer trilogy.

10. Book that made you cry?

Have I shed any tears when reading this year? I honestly don’t think so. Last year, the answer to that question would’ve been easy. Now.. I guess Salt to the Sea was an emotional read. Oh, and Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare too!

11. Book that made you happy?

I read the illustration edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which made me so incredibly happy. 

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought (or received) so far this year?

I bought The Game of Love and Death this year, which has such a beautiful cover!

13. Books you need to read by the end of the year?

I definitely need to read Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan before the end of the year. And The Trials of Apollo #1 and Magnus Chase #1 by Rick Riordan too! I’m behind on them, and I can’t even believe it. 

14. Favorite book community member?

This is such a difficult question to answer! I’d have to go with several people. Definitely Inge @ Of Wonderland. And Kaja @ Of Dragons and Hearts too. And Kyra @ Blog of a BookaholicI don’t think I’ve answered many questions using only one answer. Oops. Sorry.


So those are my answers to the 2016 Mid-Year Freak Out tag! To everyone who wants to do this tag, I am hereby tagging you!

A Roundup of My 2016 Challenges

I thought it would be easy for you all to see, if I made a post with all the challenges I’ll be taking part in for 2016. I’ve made separate announcement posts on 2 of them, but I’ve added another to the pile since. So here they are! 

backlist books
Backlist Books Challenge

I made an announcement post on this challenge, hosted by Pretty Deadly ReviewsYou can read anything, as long as it was published at least a year before the date you’re reading it. That speaks to me, because I have quite a lot of books on my shelves that fit this bill perfectly. I don’t want to take a TBR challenge really, because I do feel pressured by those. But with this challenge, I can both use my TBR and older books on my e-reader. I really like the idea of this one. 

goodreads award challenge
Goodreads Award Challenge hosted by Books of Amber

This was the first challenge I signed up for, at Books of Amber. When she described the idea for this challenge, I was like: YES, I FEEL THE SAME. Every year, I look forward to the Goodreads Awards, yet when the time comes I’ve barely read any of the nominations, even though they all look amazing. So this year, I’m trying to read several of the 2015 award winners/nominations. I made an announcement post on this too, where you can see how many I’m aiming to read from several genres. You can find that post right here

flights of fantasy 2016
Flights of Fantasy

So, I also decided to take part in the Flights of Fantasy challenge which is hosted by Alexa Loves Books and Hello, Chelly. I mostly read fantasy anyway, so this will be a fun challenge. I’m interested in seeing exactly how many fantasy books I’ll read in 2016! 

Of course,  I’ll also be taking part in the Goodreads Reading Challenge, as always. I’ll aim for 90 books, as I did this year, even though I’ve read about 140 already. I don’t know how busy the next year will be, so I don’t want to pressure myself. 


 

Are you taking part in any challenges? What do you think of these?