I was going to hold off on sharing my top reads and do a full post on them at the end of the year. However, the Top 5 Wednesday group on Goodreads chose this topic to feature!
The Beast Is An Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale
Looking at my list, I'm thinking my favorite read for this year was actually The Beast is an Animal.
I know! I'm shocked too! I'm not normally a fan of thriller/creepy stuff, but this book was just so unusual and...fantastic. The tale opens with a folkloric telling of two twin girls who grow up in the woods. Fabled to be soul eaters, the townsfolk are terrified of the two. The reader is then introduced to a peculiar little girl who comes in contact with the twins, and doesn't lose her soul...
I must say that for this to be Peternelle van Arsdale's debut novel, it's a smashing hit. I am so looking forward to her future books.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
My second top pick will probably have to be A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. (I'm seeing a trend with these titles and themes...) I don't know if you've read this book, but you should. It has such a significant, yet simple meaning that it utterly blew me away. It's been a while since I've read such an artistically-infused discussion on the process of grieving.
Warning: You will most-likely (most-definitely) cry during this read. It is quick to get through, and so engaging that you just may finish it in one sitting.
Let's not forget the illustrations! They are on almost every page, and make it so undoubtedly atmospheric that you won't be able to resist.
The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli is a must on this top five list. I wasn't sure what to think going into this read because it was another YA fantasy with a dragon theme. I'm always leery with these because of my love for The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini.
You can imagine my surprise when I turned up loving this book! Not only are there dragons, the mythology, character building, and overall intentions are just so beautiful that I couldn't help but love it! This is the first installment in the Iskari trilogy. I seriously can't wait until the next book comes out! I'd highly recommend this read to any of you dragon/high-fantasy lovers out there.
The GIrl In The Tower by Katherine Arden
While my sentiments weren't so fond of The Bear and the Nightingale, I absolutely loved The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden. The second installment in the Winternight Trilogy, this book tales the lore of the Frost demon and Vasya to a whole new level. With a slow-burning romance, more folklore being pulled into the plot, and (of course) talking horses, this tale is just magical.
Not to mention the amazing Winter vibes you get from reading this book. It's perfect for this time of year!
Winter Queen by Amber Argyle
The last but certainly not least book on this is is Winter Queen by Amber Argyle. Part of a seven-book series, this beautiful, yet tragic tale is jammed full of fairy lore.
Argyle's writing is atmospheric, heart-wrenching, and original. I haven't heard much talk about this series, but would highly recommend it. Some of the books deal with pretty difficult subject matters, so it isn't necessarily for the weak at heart and mind. However difficult, these characters and their situations add meat to the bones of this plot and make it come to life--allowing readers to relate in all sorts of different ways.