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With 2016 coming to a close of figured it was time to choose my top five favorites that I read this year. I know 2016 was not the greatest, but I hope that 2017 will be one for the books! I read a lot of amazing books that I wish I could include in this post, and I had the hardest time just choosing five, I can't imagine having to fill 10 spots. So, without further-a-do here are my top five reads of 2016!
Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s
Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her
Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon
that the royal court tries to control.
The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she
makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare
uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to
find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against
But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming
exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.
Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the
cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?
The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series
escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated
world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in
Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around
her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the
empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the
other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and
forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.
Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins,
Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. But Sonya’s power is
untamed and reckless, and she can’t always decipher when other people’s
impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and
looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be
As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks
refuge in her tenuous alliances with the charming-yet-volatile Emperor Valko
and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats
of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which
brother to trust—and which to betray.
Sixteen-year-old Lyric Walker’s life is forever changed when
she witnesses the arrival of 30,000 Alpha, a five-nation race of ocean-dwelling
warriors, on her beach in Coney Island. The world’s initial wonder and awe over
the Alpha quickly turns ugly and paranoid and violent, and Lyric’s small town
transforms into a military zone with humans on one side and Alpha on the other.
When Lyric is recruited to help the crown prince, a boy named Fathom,
assimilate, she begins to fall for him. But their love is a dangerous one, and
there are forces on both sides working to keep them apart. Only, what if the
Alpha are not actually the enemy? What if they are in fact humanity’s only hope
of survival? Because the real enemy is coming. And it’s more terrifying than
anything the world has ever seen.
Action, suspense, and romance whirlpool dangerously in this
cinematic saga, a blend of District 9 and The Outsiders.
Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic
Senator's daughter, Sidonia. The girl who has grown up by her side and who is
as much as sister as a master. There's no one Nemesis wouldn't kill to keep her
safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a
hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.
She must become her.
Now one of the galaxy's most dangerous weapons is masquerading
in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk
everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer,
Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one
thing she's been told she doesn't have - humanity. And, amidst all the danger,
action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her,
Sidonia and the entire Empire...
It's been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe,
who's still reeling from her father's shockingly sudden death in a caving
accident and her neighbors' mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then
on a terrifying sub-zero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are
brutally attacked in a cabin in the woods--only to be rescued by a mysterious
bounty hunter they call X.
X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the
Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe's evil attacker and others like him.
Forbidden to reveal himself to anyone other than his victims, X casts aside the
Lowlands' rules for Zoe. As X and Zoe learn more about their different worlds,
they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future. But escaping the
Lowlands and the ties that bind X might mean the ultimate sacrifice for both of
Click here to see my review!
And there you have it, my top five reads of 2016! I loved so many more this year too...
And I can't wait for these reads in 2017...
And so many more!
Until next year when I have to do another one of these... drink some coffee, love a cat, watch out for them feels, and
remember to always read fearlessly!
Today Jennifer M. Eaton and Month9Books
are revealing the cover and first chapter for EMBERS IN THE SEA, the third book
in the FIRE IN THE WOODS series which releases January 31, 2017! Check out the
gorgeous cover and enter to be one of the first readers to receive a eGalley!!
A quick note from the author:
Fire in the Woods has been
an incredible journey for me. In book one, Jess and David raced through the
woods of New Jersey. In book two, they raced through space, and spent some time
on an alien planet. For book three, I needed a brand new frontier, and Earth’s
vast oceans seemed the perfect setting for a new alien adventure. I really hope
everyone enjoys Jess and David’s race through the sea, because the ocean has
secrets, and some secrets don’t want to be found.
Alien scientist David has dealt with
disappointment his entire life, but failing to breathe life into the planet Mars
is his greatest regret. Out of options and in need of a new home for their
people, the alien Caretakers rekindle their plan to inhabit Earth. First they
will have to eliminate the human race, including Jess, the only human David
Humanity has one final chance at
survival. David needs to emulate Earth’s precipitation on Mars. But the
catalyst to make it rain lies in the fathomless depths of Earth’s ocean.
The clock is ticking down to humanity’s
last hours as Jess and David face a world more alien than either of them can
imagine. The sea hides secrets, but some secrets don’t want to be found.
I tucked back the dark bang that flew in my face, shifted my seating, and balanced Philosophers of the Pre-modern World on my crossed legs.
Squinting in the morning sunshine, I forced my eyes to read the passage from Colton’s Lacon one more time:
“Time is the most undefinable yet paradoxical of things; the past is gone, the future is not come, and the present becomes the past, even while we attempt to define it.”
I closed the textbook and tossed it on the grass. “Why should I even care about what some old cleric guy said two hundred years ago?”
“Because he’s a famous old cleric guy.” Matt plucked the book from the lawn and dusted a few stray grass clippings from the cover.
“I came to college to study photography, not to be confused beyond reason by dead philosophers.”
Matt handed my book back as we stood. “Philosophy is supposed to broaden your mind.”
“Yeah, well, I’m broad enough.” I could sense a witty retort forming on his lips. “Don’t say it.”
He held up his hands. “I wouldn’t think of it.”
A group of people pointed at us from across the courtyard, and my fingers twined around my necklace, pressing the charm into my palm.
Here we go again.
When I first came to Columbia University, this was one of my favorite places to relax. The grass was like a hug from home, despite the New York skyline looming just over the trees. But each semester I had to dodge more and more Jess-watchers. Why they were still interested in me after all this time, I didn’t know.
It had been nearly two years since David left Earth to help his people populate Mars, and there’d been no impromptu spaceship sightings yet. But alien chasers still flocked to Columbia University thinking today might be the lucky day.
“How about we go this way.” Matt tugged me away from the wide-eyed group. Several of them raised camera phones, then looked at the sky.
It was always the same, as if just because Jessica Martinez walked outside, a spaceship would magically pop out of nowhere and whisk her away.
“You know, it wouldn’t hurt you to smile once in a while.” Matt waved at a guy holding a late model Nikon camera with a cheap lens attached to the front. “You always look ticked on the tabloid covers.”
I left the walkway and stomped across the grass. “These aren’t paparazzi. They’re just gawkers, and they’re driving me crazy. I wish they’d just let it go.”
Matt laughed. “Let it go? You’re Jess Martinez: the girl who saved the world from Armageddon. Twice. I think you need to cut people some slack.”
I stopped by the oak trees beside the library and watched a bird hop back and forth from the grass to the cement walkway. “I just want to be normal again. I want people to stop staring at me all the time.”
“Then you better stop wearing those tight jeans because, damn, girl, I’d snap a few pictures too if I thought I could get away with it.”
I smacked his shoulder, like I always did when he complimented me in his own, Matt-like way. It felt like we were back in New Jersey, back when I was “just Jess” and friendships weren’t so much a luxury.
“So, when is your cancer conference over?” I asked.
“It’s a symposium, and I’ll be here for a few more days.”
A few more days. It wasn’t enough. “Thanks for coming to see me. I missed you.”
Red stained his cheeks. “Yeah, I missed you too.” His gaze drifted to the tree. “Bobby says hi, by the way.”
I cringed and tried to hide my sneer. “I can’t believe you guys ended up friends after what he did to you in high school. He’s such a jerk.”
“Yeah, but he’s a connected jerk.”
“You don’t need him, Matt. You’re brilliant.”
He shrugged. “Brilliant only gets you so far. Bobby has the charm and means to get my work noticed.”
“And in return, you get him good grades?”
“I can’t take his exams for him, but yeah, I help with the other stuff.” We walked to the library steps, where he reclined against the marble. “He quit McGuire for you, you know?”
“That doesn’t change anything. He and I are never getting back together.”
“He’s trying to get back in your good graces … change the world so you see him differently.”
I eased down beside him. “Did he ask you to say that?”
Matt’s eyes opened like saucers. “Am I that transparent?”
“I can’t believe he’s pretending to care about cancer research just to impress me. When will he learn to take no for an answer?”
“So, you’re serious? You’re really not into him anymore?”
“Not. At. All. Not if he were the last guy on the planet.”
A smile spread across Matt’s face. “Good. You can do better. He’s a weasel.” He cleared his throat. “Just don’t tell him I said that. He’s still bigger than me.”
I mustered half a grin when three people jumped in front of the steps and tried to pretend they weren’t taking pictures of me.
“Wow,” Matt said. “They really don’t let up, do they?”
“Not too much, no.”
He stood and helped me to my feet. “How about we go inside somewhere? Is there anywhere around here we can catch an early lunch?”
I folded my arms. “Seriously? We’re in New York City. Name your poison.”
His grin made me forget about the roving photographers. “Anywhere quiet, where we can kinda be alone.”
I straightened. “Alone?”
He slipped his cold fingers around mine. “I meant it when I said I missed you.”
Whoa. I slid my hand away. “Weren’t you just rooting for team Bobby?”
“Yeah, well, I figure if the referee has banned Bobby from the game permanently, that kinda makes room for team Matt to swoop in and maybe win one for the eggheads of the world.”
A flash of seventeen-year-old Matt, bruised and bleeding on the sidewalk after Bobby beat him up for taking me to a movie flashed through my mind, before my vision refocused on the brilliant med student Matt had become. I’d saved the world from aliens, but Matt was going to save the world from cancer. He believed it. I believed it. Matt was one of those guys who could do anything.
As long as he could avoid getting beat up again.
And with me at his side, he would get beat up again. Going to college hadn’t changed Bobby that much, even if Bobby was riding on Matt’s gravy train.
Matt just put himself way out on a limb. But did I want to go out on that skinny little branch with him?
A smile burst across my face. Maybe I did. “How about something a little more casual, like ice cream.”
He held up his hands. “Whoa there. I don’t know. Ice cream sparks of commitment. We’ve only known each other for what, eight years? I think you’re moving a little fast for me. I thought I was pushing it with lunch.”
I punched him in the arm.
He punched me back. I loved that. No airs. No games. No attitude. Just Matt.
Maybe, just maybe, I could get my life back. Maybe I could be happy again.
A startled cry echoed through the courtyard.
“What is that?” a man yelled.
Matt grabbed my hand and we followed the throng away from the steps and onto the South Lawn. A huge hole had formed in the clouds, widening into a shimmering circle of crystal blue.
I plucked my camera out of my backpack and joined the amateurs clicking away with their cell phones. I hid my amusement behind the lens of Old Reliable.
These people had no idea what a picture could be, how to focus in just the right place, how to find tone in the simplest of images, and catch the perfect light to evoke the exact mood. I hit the shutter four times as the anomaly widened, expanding past several city blocks. Nature never ceased to astound me.
A few more photography students added their lenses to the crowd. There’d be no deficit of pictures for the papers to choose from, that was for sure.
I snapped seven more shots. The race was on. Click. Who would take the best shot? Click. Who would be the first to get their work into the papers?
Me. That’s who. Click. Click.
The shape shifted and elongated, swirling until it settled over the courtyard and froze as if someone pressed the pause button.
The crowd grew silent. I lowered my camera. WTF?
The air in the middle of the circle formed a nearly transparent, shimmering bubble. A rainbow formed across its surface; the stripes brilliant, clear, and defined. Dozens of breaths hitched as an iridescent flicker blasted across the apparition. The form pinched and molded into a colorful, swirling tube that slowly dropped from the sky.
Matt tightened his grip on my hand as the other spectators stepped away. Half their gazes staring up, the remainder staring at me.
“Friends of yours?” Matt asked.
I shivered. “No. That’s not Erescopian technology.” At least I didn’t think it was. Erescopian ships were liquid metal … shiny opal or silver. “That just looks like … ”
“Water,” Matt whispered.
Water hanging in the sky. Or more like a lake … a huge lake with a giant elevator tube dropping out of it. So. Not. Good.
The cylinder fell in short, billowing waves before settling on the middle of the South Lawn. It was there, but it also wasn’t—like it took a picture of what was on the other side and played it like a video, hiding the tube like a chameleon. Wicked cool—if I wasn’t standing so close to it.
Matt inched back, glanced at me, then returned to my side. If I wasn’t riveted to my little patch of grass, I wonder if he’d have run.
Camera shutters triggered like crazy. Everyone gawked at me, like I was supposed to know what to do.
Yeah, cause Jess Martinez knows all there is to know about spaceships.
A whoosh echoed through the open area, like the Jolly Green Giant had blown out a candle, but without the wind. The people on the other side of the cylinder lit up as if a hundred suns flooded them. They stepped back, shielding their eyes.
My fingers tightened on the strap of my camera. I’d seen that light before, on the tarmac two years ago, as hundreds of Erescopian soldiers left their liquescent spaceships and stepped on Earth for the first time.
A siren blaring from behind the buildings broke my frozen stance. I raised Old Reliable, clicking off shots that probably would amount to nothing, until a human form materialized within the cylinder’s hazy brilliance.
Eaton hails from the eastern shore of the North American Continent on planet
Earth. Yes, regrettably, she is human, but please don’t hold that against her.
While not traipsing through the galaxy looking for specimens for her space moth
collection, she lives with her wonderfully supportive husband and three
energetic offspring. (And a poodle who runs the spaceport when she’s not
infrequent excursions to her home planet of Earth, Jennifer enjoys long hikes
in the woods, bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and snuggling up by the fire
with a great book; but great adventures are always a short shuttle ride away.