Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ranking ALL the Books I Read in 2016

It's that time of year again-- the time when I rank every single book that I read in 2016. I'll try not to ramble too much at the top since this is already going to be a pretty long post, but here's what you need to know:

-- Every book that I read in 2016 is ranked separately. Series are split up into individual books rather than being ranked together in a single spot.
-- Pretty much anything that can be linked is linked. If I wrote more than a sentence or two about it on Goodreads, my written review is linked. If I talked about it in a video, the video is linked. If I did a full book/series review, it's definitely linked. All of the things are linked.
-- Finally, I also have a video where I ranked the top 12 books of 2016. In that video, series are ranked in a single slot, and stuff is shifted around accordingly. 

Now that that's out of the way, let's jump into the list.

58) The Selection
(The Selection #1)
by Kiera Cass

Rating: 4/10

I feel like there isn't very much left to say about this book that I haven't already said in text or in video form. I re-read my blog post on the book and it made me laugh all over again, so I'd definitely suggest to check out that post and the video as well. But very quickly, I thought that the writing and world build were very weak. The characters are annoying. The society is set in some very arbitrary gender norms and sexism that drove me crazy. That being said, it was really fun to read and make fun of, which saved it from being absolutely awful.


57) Ghosted, Volume 1: Haunted Heist
by Joshua Williamson

Rating: 5/10

I was just really underwhelmed by this. It's about a group of people trying to steal a ghost from a haunted house, which sounds like a really cool premise. But this was honestly just a bit... blah. Nothing stood out as very interesting or unique, and I didn't connect to anything in this story at all. Overall, this first volume didn't impress me and I won't be continuing on with this series.


56) Where Futures End
by Parker Peevyhouse

Rating: 5.5/10

I had high hopes for this book. It's a dystopian story told through five novellas that take place throughout time. It's meant to be a bit of a puzzle for the reader to put together-- a mystery for the reader to solve-- but it just wasn't impressive. I thought that it was rather straightforward, and the ultimate reveal left me very underwhelmed. 


55) In Real Life
by Cory Doctorow

Rating: 6/10

In Real Life suffered from being a quick read. It tried to deal with some deeper subject matter, but because of the fact that it was a quick read, everything ended up being very surface level and therefore felt very cliche. There was an attempt to make something very moving, but it was very underwhelming.


54) The Elite
(The Selection #2)
by Kiera Cass

Rating: 6/10

I already said quite a bit about The Selection, and nearly all of that criticism translates over to The Elite. The one thing that makes this one better than book one is that the inherent gender norms & sexism are much less prominent. Everything else about it was still pretty sloppy, but it became a more entertaining read to laugh at/make fun of without the sexism. 


53) Quiet
by Susan Cain

Rating: 6.5/10

This is one of the few non-fiction books that I read this year, and I guess it doesn't have much of a fair chance, because I had to read this for the research assistant position that I held. It was a perfectly fine read, and in terms of non-fiction, books, it certainly wasn't boring. However, it's a novel about the power of introverts in a talkative world, and I felt that (as an introvert) it didn't necessarily give me any insights that I wasn't already aware of. 


52) Reflections of the Mole
by The Mole, Season 2

Rating: 6.5/10

This one needs a brief explanation. The Mole is one of my favorite TV shows ever. EVER. Like... top 2 status. Possibly #1. Anyway, it's a reality show and the premise is that there is a group of contestants who compete in challenges to win money for the group pot, which one of them will eventually win. However, among this group of contestants, one is "The Mole," a person placed there by production who is there to sabotage the games. The contestants' goal is to discover who among them is The Mole. That's the quick synopsis, but it's an absolutely brilliant show and it's available on YouTube, so I highly recommend checking it out.

OK, so now on to the book. The book was written by the person who was The Mole in season 2. The book cover has the author's name and image on it. Since I'm such a big fan, I really don't want to spoil the identity of the mole for anyone, so I'm leaving out the cover. The book talks about the mole's experiences on the show. And I thought it was pretty good. For Mole fans, I think it's a must-read. It gives really awesome insight into some behind the scenes stuff. However, there are some sections dealing with "The Mole's" past that were just boring and unnecessary. On top of that, the book reeeeeally needed editing, as I literally began keeping track of how often the word "inasmuch" was used because it was waywayway overused. Because of that, I couldn't really give it a high rating.


51) Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 2: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Rating: 6.5/10

Overall, I thought the Scott Pilgrim series was pretty good, but this was my least favorite volume. There were sections that were pretty nonsensical (which is impressive, given how nonsensical this series is overall). The plot seemed a bit messy in this one, and there were sections that were a bit hard to follow. It was still enjoyable and fun, but definitely lower quality-wise than the rest of the volumes.


50) Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 5: Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe
by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Rating: 6.5/10

This was another shakier volume in the series. It was alright, and it was easier to follow than volume 2, but this one felt a bit forgettable to me. I didn't enjoy it as much as other volumes. And, although the volume was about the same length as the other volumes, it seemed like not quite as much happened in this one. Overall, it was alright, but not as strong as other volumes. 


49) Monster, Vol. 5: After the Carnival
by Naoki Urasawa

Rating: 7/10

So far, this has been my least favorite volume in the Monster series. The series has hovered a bit above this rating, so it's not much below the others, but I felt like not a lot happened in this volume. I still enjoyed it, just not as much as the ones before it. 


48) The Body in the Library
(Miss Marple #3)
by Agatha Christie

Rating: 7/10

Agatha Christie's novels usually fall somewhere in this area, but this one is on the lower end. This was my first Miss Marple mystery, and I found her to be a less compelling sleuth than Hercule Poirot. In fact, I didn't think she was incredibly present in the story. As always with Christie's books, there were interesting twists and turns along the way, but it wasn't as compelling as other books I've read by her.


47) Monster, Vol. 4: Ayse's Friend
by Naoki Urasawa

Rating: 7/10

My one complaint about this volume is that it felt like a diversion from the main plot. The previous volume was my favorite in the series so far, and this one didn't live up to the setup provided by volume 3. 


46) Clockwork Angel (Manga)
(Infernal Devices #1)
by Cassandra Clare

Rating: 7/10

I love The Infernal Devices. I believe that I gave the original novel either 8/10 or 8.5/10, so clearly this one was not as good as the novel. I think that overall, this series is a good adaptation of the original novels, but it's obviously difficult to portray all of the intricacies of a novel in a manga form. And occasionally, the art made it a bit difficult to tell the characters apart.  

TL;DR: The manga adaptation is good, but if you're wanting to check out The Infernal Devices, read the original series because you'll get a lot more out of it.


45) Lumberjanes, Vol 2: Friendship to the Max
by Noelle Stevenson

Rating: 7/10

I've enjoyed the first couple volumes of this series. The first was still better, but the characters are enjoyable, and it's definitely a fun and light-hearted series. Definitely not my favorite series ever, but enjoyable. 


44) Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 4: Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together
by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Rating: 7/10

Not gonna lie, it's been a long time since I read this series, and I read volumes 3-6 in one fell swoop so they all run together a bit. All I can say is that it was enjoyable and that it was a solid installment in the series. Not amazing, but enjoyable. 


43) Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes
by Neil Gaiman

Rating: 7.5/10

I have more conflicted opinions about this book than I do about almost any other book ever. I think that this just really, really, really, wasn't my thing. There was nothing wrong with it, and I certainly didn't think that it was bad in any way. I just felt absolutely nothing toward this. Quality-wise, it was perfectly solid. Therefore, I gave it just under 4/5 because it was very clearly a good book, so I couldn't bash it or anything, but I just didn't personally like it or connect with it. 


42) Chew, Vol. 1: Taster's Choice
by John Layman

Rating: 7.5/10

I enjoyed this first volume in the Chew series. It introduced a very intriguing world and enjoyable characters. I enjoyed it, but I haven't continued the series despite the fact that I read this volume almost a year ago. It was good, but it didn't completely grab me and compel me to want to pick up more. I'm still undecided on whether or not to continue this series.


41) Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy
by Noelle Stevenson

Rating: 7.5/10

I feel like I already said everything that I wanted to say about this series when talking about volume 2. It's a fun, lighthearted series with interesting characters. I think at this point that I'm not going to continue the series because it wasn't exactly what I wanted it to be, but I think other people will really enjoy it. 


40) The Iron Trial
(Magisterium #1)
by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Rating: 7.5/10

I found this to be an enjoyable read, but I found it very hard to disconnect this from Harry Potter comparisons. I found that there were many similarities to Harry Potter, and I found that hard to shake. That being said, I did like this book, and it did introduce a world that was rather different than the Harry Potter world, and that was probably the most interesting aspect of the book. That being said, it didn't totally grab me and I'm still on the fence as to whether or not I'm going to continue the series. 


39) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
(Poirot #4)
by Agatha Christie

Rating: 7.5/10

I'd often heard that this was the best of Christie's Poirot novels, but I think this book really suffered from the fact that it's been 90 years since this book was published. I figured out what was going on rather quickly, for a few reasons: 1) I'm familiar with the way that Christie writes, so I noticed a deviation rather quickly. & 2) In the 90 years since this book was published, other books have borrowed from it. Because of this, despite the fact that this book inspired those other books, this felt less fresh because I'd already seen certain things done before. However, this was still a really great book and I really wish I hadn't figured out what was going on so quickly. 


38) The Haunting of Hill House
by Shirley Jackson

Rating: 8/10

I kinda picked this up out of the blue. It was nearing Halloween and I was in the mood for some creepy books, and this was one that caught my eye. Overall, I thought it was really intriguing and it kept me interested and trying to figure it out throughout the entirety of the book. It also subverted my expectations quite a bit, because I went in expecting a haunted house story and got quite a bit more than that. 


37) Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 3: Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness
by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Rating: 8/10

Like I said, these middle volumes run together a bit, but I do remember enjoying this specific book quite a bit. It added a bit of interest and intrigue to the story that wasn't present in the previous volume, and some of the more interesting moments in the series come into play in this volume.


36) Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 6: Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour
by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Rating: 8/10

Overall, I thought this was a really cool finale to the series. A lot of epic stuff goes down in this volume and it was just a fun conclusion to a fun series. I really want to go back at some point and re-read the series in the hopes that I enjoy it and appreciate it more, because I feel like I did a disservice to the series by reading it so quickly. I think that re-reading with the understanding that I currently have of the series, I'd understand some of the stuff a bit more and therefore hopefully enjoy it more. 


35) Saga, Vol. 5
by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

Rating: 8/10

So far, this has been my least favorite volume of Saga, but I did still definitely enjoy it. Overall, this series has been pretty solid, but no singular volume has really impressed me. I guess that "monotony" (not a good word for it, but the only one that really makes sense to me??) got a bit tiring with this one, and it made me enjoy it a bit less.


34) Saga, Vol. 4
by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

Rating: 8/10

Pretty much the same reasoning that I gave for volume 5. This series is enjoyable, but it's just been solid rather than impressive. I want it to finally wow me, and it continually doesn't. I enjoyed this volume slightly more, so it ended up slightly higher. 


33) Peril at End House
(Poirot #8)
by Agatha Christie

Rating: 8/10

I really enjoyed this Poirot novel. Often, it's very hard to keep track of what is going on in Poirot's brain because he's just so intelligent, but there were actually some moments where I was able to follow along with what was going on, and I really enjoyed that. I loved that I figured out one corner of the puzzle, and got the rest of it pieced together for me by Poirot. And it was also a really interesting mystery to try to figure out. It kept me guessing and on my toes. Overall, a really solid Poirot novel. 


32) Clockwork Prince (Manga)
(Infernal Devices Manga #2)
by Cassandra Clare

Rating: 8/10

Once again, I liked this manga adaptation a bit less than the original novel, which I believe I gave either 8.5/10 or 9/10. And it's pretty much for the same reasons as with the first volume. The characters get slightly confused with some of the illustrations, and some of the intricacies are missed out on when changed into a manga format.


31) Off to Be the Wizard
(Magic 2.0 #1)
by Scott Meyer

Rating: 8/10

This was a really fun, light-hearted novel. I loved the narrator's voice. He was funny, witty, sarcastic, and really relatable. The thing that kept me from loving this book was that the plot wasn't quite as compelling for me. There was always interesting stuff going on, but the plot was a bit choppy, which made it a bit less enjoyable. It was a fun read, and I did really enjoy it, but it hasn't gripped me so much that I feel the need to pick up book 2 ASAP.


30) Saga, Vol. 6
by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

Rating: 8/10

I'll mention the same exact criticism about the series not wowing me, but I did feel like this volume was a bit more intriguing and I'm hoping that the series is ramping up for something exciting.


29) Monster: Perfect Edition, Vol. 1
(Bindup of original vol. 1 & 2)
by Naoki Urasawa

Rating: 8/10

As mentioned above, this is a bindup of the first 2 volumes of this series. The first time I read this, I actually gave it 7.5/10 (3/5) but when I got further in the series, I bumped it up to 4/5. I thought this gave some really interesting and solid background for the series. It really establishes the main character's background and is just really solid setup for the volumes to follow.


28) Death Note: Black Edition, Vol. 4
(Bindup of original vol. 7 & 8)
by Tsugumi Ohba

Rating: 8/10

This is my least favorite volume in the Death Note series, but it's still a solid volume. The end of original volume 7 is fairly controversial for fans of the series, and is the majority of the reason that this volume is this low. I won't go into detail, but I wasn't a huge fan of it and it took me a while to come to terms with it and accept it. 


27) Death Note, Black Edition, Vol. 2
(Bindup of original vol. 3 & 4)
by Tsugumi Ohba

Rating: 8/10

I love this series, and have enjoyed every volume. That being said, I'm one of those people who's a bit averse to change. The first black edition sets up a really interesting series and this volume is when that setup begins to get twisted, changed, and shuffled around. It took a while for me to actually come to terms with that and appreciate it. I eventually did, but since this was the transition, this was lower on my list of favorites.


26) Wolf in White Van
by John Darnielle

Rating: 8.5/10

This book was rather outside of my comfort zone, but I ended up really enjoying it. It's very complex, jumping around and playing with the timeline in very interesting ways. It's one of those books that is a slow burn, getting you more and more interested as the book goes on. However, I felt like it burned and burned... just to fizzle out with an ending that was a bit unsatisfying. So that's where the points were docked.


25) Calamity
(Reckoners #3)
by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 8.5/10

This is a solid book, but it's actually my least favorite Brandon Sanderson book. A lot of interesting stuff happened in the finale to this trilogy. There was some really awesome fast-paced action, and even though it was the weakest book in the series, the series was pretty solid overall.


24) The Ocean at the End of the Lane
by Neil Gaiman

Rating: 8.5/10

This book is notoriously difficult to describe to people who haven't read it, but it's this very odd mix of a creepypasta/no sleep story and a children's story. That sounds weird, but that's because it is. I thought it was a very unique and endearing story.


23) Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life
by Brian Lee O'Malley

Rating: 8.5/10

I really loved this first volume in the Scott Pilgrim series. I immediately connected with Scott as a character and the general tone and humor of the series. This volume is seriously the reason that I want to go back and re-read the whole thing because I really appreciate this first volume and I want to appreciate the rest of it in the same way.


22) Monster, Vol. 3: 511 Kinderheim
by Naoki Urasawa

Rating: 8.5/10

So far, this is my favorite volume in the Monster series. It added some really interesting depth to both the plot and to the antagonist, and the plot was extremely interesting.


21) Dark Matter
by Blake Crouch

Rating: 8.5/10

The premise of this novel grabbed me really quickly, and the book didn't disappoint. It was a really intriguing thriller, and kept me constantly on the edge of my seat. It was really interesting to follow the main character as he tries to understand what exactly is going on and there are so many complexities that make it incredibly compelling. 


20) Orange: The Complete Collection, Vol. 2
(Bindup of original vol. 4 & 5)
by Ichigo Takano

Rating: 8.5/10

This was an incredibly heartwarming story, but I'll talk about that more when we get to volume 1. The reason this one is lower is mostly because some of the logistics underlying this series are finally explained in this volume... and it's an incredibly flimsy explanation. The story is still incredibly endearing and adorable and heartwarming, but it's a bit of a knock on what otherwise is a really great series. 


19) Death Note: Black Edition, Vol. 5
(Bindup of original vol. 9 & 10)
by Tsugumi Ohba

Rating: 8.5/10

So much interesting stuff goes down in this volume. The series regains its footing a bit after the incident in black edition vol 4 and begins to prepare for the epic finale in B.E. vol 6. 


18) Death Note: Black Edition, Vol. 3
(Bindup of original vol. 5 & 6)
by Tsugumi Ohba

Rating: 8.5/10

This volume is really where the series gains a lot of momentum. The back and forth between these extremely clever/genius characters is incredibly compelling and just really entertaining to watch. So much intriguing stuff in this volume. 


17) The Queen of the Tearling
(Tearling Trilogy #1)
by Erika Johansen

Rating: 8.5/10

2016 was the year that I finally got through The Queen of the Tearling. I'd tried reading it twice and set it down both times-- not because I didn't enjoy it, but because it's a slower read and took a while to get into it. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The main character, Kelsea, is really likable. The world is well-crafted and really interesting. The plot is a bit slow-paced, but introduces a lot of very compelling aspects. I haven't moved on to book 2, but this was definitely a really interesting introduction to the series. 


16) Clockwork Princess (Manga)
(Infernal Devices Manga #3)
by Cassandra Clare

Rating: 8.5/10

I don't want to be a broken record, but it's still not quite as good as the original. Gave me lots of feels, but the original was my favorite book of 2014 and a full 10/10 stars, but the manga series still has a few little problems. Still really enjoyed it, but the novels are definitely better. 


15) Obsidian
(Lux #1)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rating: 8.5/10

This was my last read of the year, and oh boy was it a doozy. It's like Jennifer L Armentrout took everything that you hate from Twilight and was like "I'm gonna make you love this." It was one of those books that you just can't put down, and I got so incredibly engrossed in it. It wasn't the best thing that I've ever read, but it was a super fun read. 


14) Death Note: Black Edition, Vol. 1
(Bindup of original vol. 1 & 2)
by Tsugumi Ohba

Rating: 9/10

This was such a great introduction to the Death Note series. Watching our main character, Light, begin to understand the Death Note is really compelling, and getting introduced to L as a character is really interesting as well. The setup for this series is just incredibly compelling and it immediately sucked me into this world and made me want to read more. 


13) Don't Look Back
by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rating: 9/10

This was my first Jennifer L. Armentrout book and it made me want to read every other book she publishes. This is one of the most addicting books I've ever read. I was immediately interested in what exactly was going on, and the suspense and intrigue surrounding the plot and the characters made the book impossible to put down. I was up until 5 AM reading this book, before finally forcing myself to put it down and go to sleep. It was so interesting and just so addicting. 


12) Steelheart
(Reckoners #1)
by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 9/10

This is a really good introduction to the Reckoners Trilogy. David, our main character, has a really great voice with his failed attempts at humor. The world is really interesting, and the plot is also very compelling. Brandon Sanderson does not disappoint.


11) Firefight
(Reckoners #2)
by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 9/10

And... here he is again. This is definitely my favorite book in the Reckoners Trilogy. I read the majority of it in one sitting because so much stuff was going down and I wanted to find out exactly what all of those things were. The plot is really compelling, the characters are really awesome, and some of the stuff that goes down in this book is just... whoa.


10) Coda
(Coda #1)
by Emma Trevayne

Rating: 9/10

The world of Coda is super cool, and I immediately fell in love with it. It's a dystopian novel centering around music, and if there's anything I love, it's dystopian novels and music. The society is incredibly interesting, and despite the overarching predictability of the novel, there were lots of things along the way that really surprised me, and I really loved it. 


9) Lair of Dreams
(The Diviners #2)
by Libba Bray

Rating: 9/10

This series is only two books in out of an eventual four, but it has completely made me fall in love with it. Both books have really impressed me. The 20s mood that is created in this series is outstanding. The way that Libba Bray weaves together different storylines between different characters is outstanding, and the characters are all so fleshed out and interesting. This one wasn't quite as good as book 1 but oooooh boy is it good. Eagerly waiting for book 3.


8) Death Note: Black Edition, Vol. 6
(Bindup of original vol. 11 & 12)
by Tsugumi Ohba

Rating: 9.5/10

This was such an amazing conclusion to what proved to be one of my all-time favorite series. The sheer genius of the characters and of the schemes that they come up with is just so entertaining and so amazing to watch. And it all comes to this amazingly impressive head in volume six that was so complex that even I had trouble keeping up sometimes. It was so epic and so awesome. Seriously, read this series. And then watch the anime.


7) Orange: The Complete Collection, Vol. 1
(Bindup of original vol. 1,2 & 3)
by Ichigo Takano

Rating: 9.5/10

Like I said with vol. 2, this series is adorable. It's just such an endearing story of friends and their love for each other throughout the years and the lengths that they will go to in order to help each other and bring each other happiness. It's just so heartwarming and so adorable and I fell completely in love with this story.


6) Carry On
by Rainbow Rowell

Rating: 9.5/10

I went into this rather skeptical and came out of it completely in love. At first, it seems to be a Harry Potter fanfic that somehow got published, but it quickly diverts from that into a really wonderful and unique story. It plays with typical tropes in really interesting ways, and at many moments it's just... so... cute. It did take me a little while to get into this, but once I did, I fell completely in love. 


5) The Way of Kings
(Stormlight Archive #1)
by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 9.5/10

This book is epic. Brandon Sanderson, as always, is incredibly impressive. This story is massive. This world is massive. There's so much stuff going on that I can't really even talk about one thing specifically. It did take me a little while to get engrossed in this, but it's a 1000 page book that's the first in a 10 book series. There's a lot of setup, but it's just so well crafted. 


4) The Forgetting
by Sharon Cameron

Rating: 10/10

Yet another book that I simply couldn't put down. The premise of this novel was so intriguing and the novel certainly didn't let me down. It did slightly rely on some familiar tropes, but personally that didn't take away from my reading experience in any way, shape, or form. The world-build was super interesting, I really loved the characters, the plot kept me intrigued, and there was a cute romance on top of that. This was the total package.


3) The Chimes
by Anna Smaill

Rating: 10/10

Speaking of the total package, allow me to introduce you to The Chimes. This. Book. Is. Beautiful. It's very heavy on the literary fiction, but it's also a dystopian novel with an incredibly interesting world. Smaill's prose, with all of the musical aspects woven into it, is stunning, and the story is really wonderful as well. The world-build is super solid, and despite the plot being a bit slower in the beginning, it's very intriguing as it continues on. This was longlisted for the ManBooker in 2015 and there's definitely a reason why. 


2) The Mime Order
(The Bone Season #2)
by Samantha Shannon

Rating: 10/10

The Mime Order solidified this series as my favorite ongoing series. It's not quite as great as The Bone Season, but I still really loved it. The world in this series is fantastic. I love our main character, Paige, as well as the other key characters in the mix. The plot in this story is also really intriguing and allows us to explore a different section of the world that we didn't get to see too much in the first book. Basically, I'm just really excited about book 3's release in March.


1) Warbreaker
by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 10/10

BRANDON SANDERSON CAN DO NO WRONG.
This. Man. Sanderson. He's so good. I love this book so much. It was the ultimate package. The world? Fantastic. The magic system? Holy crap amazing. The characters? LOVED. THEM. The plot? Woven beautifully. Everything was outstanding. Everything. I have nothing bad to say about this book. It's so good. 


So, that's my ranking of the books that I read in 2016! Overall, I think it was a really great reading year and I'm very happy with the majority of the books that I read in 2016. Hopefully, my 2017 reading year will be just as great, if not better!

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