2016 – 2017 Top Books

Hello, Everyone!

April is my 1 year anniversary since I created Peachy Keen Reviews!  Hooray!  In celebration, I have created a list of my 5 favorite novels that I have reviewed within the past year.  I highly recommend all of these, and I am so glad that I found them!

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The Crown of Stones: Magic Price by C.L. Schneider  is a gorgeous high fantasy novel.  I love the imagination that went into this trilogy, and I could read them all twice!

Ian Troy is one of the Shinree, a fallen people with an inherent addiction to magic. Scorned and reviled for the deadly side of their spells, the Shinree are bred as slaves. Their magic is suppressed by drugs and used only as it serves the purposes of the other races. Descended from a long line of soldiers, Ian is conscripted into the Rellan army and made to fight in their longstanding conflict against the ruthless Langorian invaders. The downfall of Rella imminent, Ian goes against orders and turns to the Crown of Stones, an ancient Shinree relic of untold power. Ignorant of its true purpose, Ian uses the crown to end the war, and pays a terrible price. A decade later, still tortured by the aftermath of that day, Ian lives as a bounty hunter in self-imposed exile. Having renounced his magical heritage, he curbs his obsession with a steady stream of wine and regret. He struggles to put it all behind him, until a fateful encounter with a pretty assassin brings Ian’s past crashing into the present. Targeted by a rogue Shinree, and a ruthless old enemy, Ian is forced to use magic again. His deadly addiction is rekindled and his life of isolation is brought to a swift end. With the land he gave up everything to protect once more in jeopardy, and his people’s future at stake, Ian becomes embroiled in a violent race for control of the Crown of Stones. To save the realms and those he cares for, Ian must embrace the thing he fears most: his own power. 

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My Lea by E. Mellyberry is a gorgeous, bittersweet romance.  E. Mellyberry is an artist with her words, and this romance novel has stayed with me ever since.  Move over Nicholas Sparks, another romance author has filled your shoes.

When Lea Amelia landed her feet in San Francisco for her overseas study, her idea of freedom was simple, like eating junk food ten times a day, sitting in front of the TV in her PJs, or going out late with her friends without the need to check in with her mother constantly. Then she met Andrew Jaya, her brothers’ best friend. A twenty-two-year-old guy whose physical appearance looked like he was crafted straight from God’s heavenly hands, but possessed a past as bleak as if it was drawn by Evil himself. A conflicted guy who wore sadness like nobody’s business beneath his mask, a perfect-looking mask she slowly peeled away. He was also the guy who hurt her. Suddenly, everything about her was no longer simple. Andrew Jaya had convinced himself that not feeling was good for him. He’d been doing it splendidly for almost his entire life. But that was before his best friend’s sister stepped into his life and ruined it. After weeks of knowing Lea, all of those warm and wonderful feelings he’d long ago denied to himself started to reappear. Problem was, the brighter the light, the bigger the shadows that came with it. His traumatic past refused to let him go. When the unthinkable happened, the easiest thing to do was to run. But life often proves that the easiest way is usually the hardest.

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The Calypsis Project by Brittany Willows is by far the best science fiction novel that I have ever read.  It is the novel that got me into science fiction literature in the first place.  If you are looking for a great introductory science fiction read, then this novel it is!

The year is 2438. Ten years ago, an ill-fated encounter on a human mining colony triggered a devastating war between the United Nations Planetary Defense and an alien organization known as the Drocain Royal Empire.

After a decade of fighting with no sign of a conclusion in sight, the men and women of the UNPD find themselves faced with the reality that mankind’s very existence could be at stake.

When Corporal Alana Carmen stumbles upon an encrypted communications device, she learns there is more to the conflict than a simple war-for-worlds.But to uncover the truth, she must make allies of those she once considered enemies.

And now, the fate of the entire galaxy may rest on the shoulders of a single alien warrior . . .

Following a public shaming at his own Coming of Age ceremony, Kenon Valinquint enrolls in the Drocain Royal Empire with the hope of one day redeeming himself. Unbeknownst to the young Drahkori, this decision has set in motion a staggering chain of events that could very well change the direction of the war, and the known history of the universe, forever.

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Pretty Girl – 13 by Liz Coley is a haunting YA novel about kidnap and multiple personality disorder.  It is one of the best novels I have read that focuses on mental illness, and it simply took my breath away.

Reminiscent of the Elizabeth Smart case, Pretty Girl-13 is a disturbing and powerful psychological thriller about a girl who must piece together the mystery of her kidnapping and abuse. Perfect for fans of books like Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why, Elizabeth Scott’s Living Dead Girl, and Caroline B. Cooney’s The Face on the Milk Carton series, Pretty Girl-13 is a haunting yet ultimately uplifting story about the healing power of courage, hope, and love.

Angie Chapman was thirteen years old when she ventured into the woods on a Girl Scout camping trip. Now she’s returned home . . . only to find that it’s three years later and she’s sixteen—or at least that’s what everyone tells her. What happened to the last three years of her life? With a tremendous amount of courage, Angie embarks on a journey to discover the fragments of her lost time. She eventually discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: what do you do when you remember things you wish you could forget?

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Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven is a YA novel that stands apart from the rest.  I loved how it confronted bullying and the stigma around overweight teenagers.  It really made me think deeply about our teenage years.  If you are looking for a YA novel that breaks away from the perfect pretty girls and hot guys, then this novel is for you.

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. 

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything in new and bad-ass ways, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. . . . Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are—and seeing them right back.

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Thank you for such a great year in reading, and I can’t wait to read more of these lovely novels!  I hope that you take the time to check out each of these novels, and I promise that they will change your life for the better.

Much love,

Ashley

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FOR BOX REVIEWS, EMAIL: peachykeenreviews@gmail.com

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