Favourites Friday: 2016 Favourites

So we are well into April, which I can not believe! Like when the hell did that happen! But I have read a whopping 30 books this year, some were good and some just weren’t for me. Mainly they’ve been brilliant and I thought I would narrow it down to the top five of this part of the year.

So on with my 2016 favourites.

1. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban

Favourites Friday: 2016 FavouritesI Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb
five-stars
Genres: Nonfiction

I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I loved this book, I read it without really knowing a lot about the situation in Pakistan and the Taliban. I was as pleasantly surprised by this book as you can be with something that deals with such a harrowing subject.

This book is a memoir of Malala Yousafzai, it tells the story of her life and what it was like to be shot by the Taliban for standing up for a basic human right. I loved the fact that this book focused on the whole history of Pakistan rather than just this small moment.

And that’s what makes it one of my 2016 favourites, click here for my review.

2. Six of Crows

Favourites Friday: 2016 FavouritesSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published by Henry Holt and Company

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

One word about this book. Amazing. The characters. The plotlines. If you haven’t read this book you really have to. There was never a moment where I was bored or wanted to put it down. I cannot wait for the sequel. I may have to explode.

We follow a group of thieves and ragmuffins as they throw themselves into one of the biggest challenges of their youth. They plan to steal something from one of the most well-guarded kingdoms. Doesn’t that sound exciting? Don’t you just want to jump right in.

Read my full rantings about this book here.

3. A Darker Shade of Magic

Favourites Friday: 2016 FavouritesA Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
four-stars
Series: Shades of Magic #1
Also in this series: A Gathering of Shadows
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published by Tor Books

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive.

Another one which I just can’t even begin to explain my love for it. V. E. Schwab is one of my favourite authors, and I have the sequel sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. I love the characters, the concept and the awesome world that it’s set in.

Kell is one of the few magicians that can travel through the different Londons. Yes there is more than one, each of them with a varying amount of magic. When a destructive magic threatens the existence of the worlds Kell is the only one to save the world.

Go and read it now and have it join your 2016 favourites, and read my review here.

4. The Martian

Favourites Friday: 2016 FavouritesThe Martian by Andy Weir
four-stars
Genres: Sci-Fi
Published by Crown

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills — and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit — he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

This was another book that really surprised me. I definitely think that the audiobook was the reason why I felt in love with this book. I don’t think that I would have loved it as much without the audio. So if you’re on the fence and worried about the science stuff try the audiobook.

Mark Watney finds himself deserted on Mars after his team believes he dies. He is desperate to get home and goes through a helluva lot to try and attempt it.

If you love a good laugh then this will be the book for you. Read my full review here

5. The School for Good and Evil

Favourites Friday: 2016 FavouritesThe School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
five-stars
Genres: Middle Grade
Published by HarperCollins

The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?

The School for Good & Evil is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one.

This was a super fun read, I managed to read the whole trilogy in a couple of weeks. It’s not high literature by any stretch of the imagination, but I truly believe that they prevented me from dipping into a reading slump.

Agatha and Sophie are kidnapped one night and thrown into a world of good and evil. When there seems to have been a huge mistake the whole world flips and they are left with dire consequence.

Cheesy and dramatic. All my favourite things. Find my full review here.

Stay tuned for my posts next week.

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