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twirling pages



with the year coming to an end, it’s time to break out the bookish awards again. these are the BEST OF THE BEST books i’ve read this year. i didn’t read as many books this year as i did last year, so i didn’t have a lot of books to choose from. i also didn’t include books that i’ve read but aren’t released yet (ex: PASSENGER). aaaand i tried not to choose repeats. without further ado, here are my favorites of this year:

the start of something new: favorite first in a series

i read a considerable amount of new series, but MISTBORN: THE FINAL EMPIRE, by brandon sanderson promptly blew me away (and left me in a puddle of tears). this book is filled with so much action and depth and character love. i’m so glad i picked it up – even though it took me like, three months to finish it.

queen of shadows, by sarah j maas

following through: favorite sequel or part of a series

i began the THRONE OF GLASS series, by sarah j. maas a few years ago and found it mediocre. a lot of people continued to rave about its perfection, so i decided to give it another shot. i started HEIR OF FIRE (the runner up for this award) and WOW this series did a 180 on me. i fell in love with everything. QUEEN OF SHADOWS was even better. all the claps go to this book.

finest finale: favorite conclusion

after following these characters for four long years, the LUNAR CHRONICLES is officially over. reading WINTER, by marissa meyer made me feel über sappy – sad and happy. the conclusion didn’t fall short and i was ecstatic about that, but the series is ending! thank goodness marissa meyer is writing a collection of short stories set in this world. hooray for more adventures with the gang.

single and proud: favorite standalone

i read a lot of amazing standalone novels this year, so choosing one was obviously difficult. i decided on SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE, by morgan matson! the romance was adorable; the friendship is A+; there’s a lot of fun adventures and fantastic character development. basically, it’s awesome.

new to the crew: favorite debut

my love for THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, by renee adieh was a surprise. i started off feeling “ehhhh” about it the book because the writing is difficult and different. but after a few more chapters, it became clear TWATD would be a gem and hold a spot in my favorites shelf.

THE WINNER'S CURSE, by marie rutkoski

cover porn: favorite cover

it’s ironic that i chose these awards before the recent events, but my favorite cover of this year THE WINNER’S CURSE, by marie rutkoski. *sighs* i love everything about this cover because it’s equally regal and powerful. kestrel’s dress is stunning and the way she’s grabbing the letter “R” looks like she’s holding a bow and arrow. i’m also a huge fan of the sideways type and i’m kinda sad they changed that in the future covers like THE WINNER’S CRIME. (and obviously superbly sad they changed it again uGH)

lionheart: favorite protagonist

these next few awards were SO DIFFICULT. how could one compare aelin to vin or to kaz or to anyone?! it was a little easier that i made the “no repeats” rule, but still, so difficult! anyway, i decided on gia from THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, by kasie west. i related to her on a spiritual level. i’m not popular like gia is, but the feeling of being paper-thin is one of my greatest fears. as is using social media for validation. i love this book and its characters.

dream team: favorite friendship

i’m going cheat and choose a vin & tensoon from THE WELL OF ASCENSION or HERO OF AGES, by brandon sanderson. (this is the second novel of the MISTBORN series.) they were an unlikely of friends, but love their dynamic. and in the HERO OF AGES (spoiler!!), when tension decides to break out of his prison to help vin… FEELZ.


ship ship ship: favorite romantic relationship

the most difficult question of the year is here. there are SO MANY of my favorite ships in the books i already mentioned (or am going to mention), but i’m going to choose lara jean song & peter kavinsky from TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE. like i said in my open letter to lara jean, my relationship with this series is strange. i’m not a fan of the writing or the characters or anything related to it objectively, but i’m strangely obsessed with the two of them and always come back to reread.


SIX OF CROWS, by leigh bardugo

standing ovation: favorite books of the year

finally, here are my fave fave FAVORITES of this year. (i chose two because i couldn’t help myself) SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA, by becky albertalli is definitely one of my favorite books of all-time. everything about it is cute and adorable; the writing is so true and relatable. I LOVE THIS ONE SO MUCH. *flees to eat oreos and cry* i would’ve also given this the favorite debut award, favorite standalone, and favorite ship. <333

i don’t know how many times i say this, but SIX OF CROWS, by leigh bardugo is so good. the cast and characters are my the best; the fantasy world is the best; the action is the best; THIS BOOK IS THE BEST. other awards this novel deserved: the start of something new, lionheart, dream team, and ship ship ship. (basically, all the ones it would’ve qualified for.)

what were some of YOUR favorite books of this year? let me know in the comments!!

Alexandra Ling

alexandra is a twenty-year-old content creator and avid reader. when she's not on the internet or hiding behind pages, you can find her training to be a professional ballet dancer. she finds writing about herself in third-person strange.