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16 TV Shows You Need to Be Watching (Like, Right Now)

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So, it’s no surprise to some of you, I’m sure, that I’m a huge fan of watching TV.

I love TV (even though I fail to watch it sometimes because I either have to choose between binging a show or reading a book. Hard choices), and I love talking about it, but most of the shows I love are either underrated, or they’re not really shows geared towards my audience (basically other sixteen year olds), so I can’t talk to anyone about them in real life. So, why not take a break from talking about books to talk about some of my favorite shows, and force you to watch them, too (I do love me some popular TV shows such as Breaking Bad, Orange Is the New Black, Daredevil, and a whole slew more, but everyone knows those already, so yeah).

Also, feel free to click the titles of the shows! It’ll lead you right to their IMDb page where you can see all the warnings and what the age range is. Most of these are TV-14 or TV-MA because that’s just how I roll.

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Spartacus

spartacus

Genre:

Action

The Lowdown:

Basically, the movie 300, except more violence, more slow-mo, and more sex. But, you know, if you remember the general revenge tale of Spartacus, then you’ll understand what it’s about.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Okay, so, my favorite time period to read about is the Roman era. “Mikaela, why are you a fan of such a bloodthirsty, horrible period of time?” Because it was a bloodthirsty, horrible period of time, duh. Which is why I love this show so much. It’s violent and over-dramatic and it uses way too much slow-mo, but who cares because it’s so much fun? Also, the actor who played Spartacus was gorgeous (even though, unfortunately, the actor died before season two because of cancer, so there’s a replacement, and NO, he’s not as good). I haven’t yet watched season two yet, but I will. I swear. Soon.

Queer as Folk

queer as folk kiss

Genre:

Drama

The Lowdown:

Five gay guys and two lesbians who are all friends are juggling romance, love, and other struggles in the midst of gaining basic human rights in the early 2000s.

Why You Need To Watch It:

This is literally one of my favorite shows of ever. You might be like, “Mikaela, this show is from the early 2000s, therefore it’s irrelevant,” and that is wrong! So wrong! It will make you cry, it will make you laugh, and it will honestly give you all the feels. Not to mention that it’s probably one of the most entertaining dramas I’ve ever watched that deals with a lot of issues in such a brilliant way. And the character development is so on point (especially Brian’s). Also, Brian and Justin are my total OTP, and I will flail about them to anyone if they are willing to listen.

Banshee

banshee

Genre: 

Action

The Lowdown: 

Lucas, the main character, finally gets out of prison, and only a day after coming out, gets caught in a gun fight in a bar where the new sheriff is murdered. He decides to adopt the sheriff’s identity, taking charge of the police force and trying to hide his previous life while hunting down his old partner in crime, Carrie.

(Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds.)

Why You Need to Watch It:

Probably the best action show ever. Like, seriously. It seems like no one knows about this series, which sucks, because I love it. Much like Spartacus, there’s a lot of senseless violence, but that’s the best part, you guys. Lucas is also another total hottie, and we have my girl Carrie, and Sugar, a bartender who gets involved, and Job, a badass drag queen. The entire squad is just total goals, you guys. It’s just such an intense and twisty series, and it also managed to make me almost cry in the end, which is shocking, because I was only here for the violence, not the emotions! Also, this is one of the few shows I’ve actually finished, so there’s that!

Black Mirror

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*you watching Black Mirror*

Genre:

Sci-fi/Dystopian

The Lowdown: 

Every episode presents the viewer with a different future dealing with different characters. The stories range all over the place, and manage to mess with your mind and expose things about our world that you’d never notice.

Why You Need To Watch It: 

I CANNOT GUSH ABOUT THIS SHOW ENOUGH. Charlie Brooker is a goddamn genius. Every single episode showcases a different sort of dystopian future that brings to light an issue in our world, and it’s all kinds of brilliant. Not to mention how this show creepily predicts some things that happen in real life to the point that it’s chilling (watch The Waldo Moment, and realize how scarily close it is to how the 2016 Presidential Election played out). It’s a show that really makes you think, and you must watch it. I honestly can’t recommend it enough. I highly recommend not binging the episodes, though, or your mind will melt and you’ll become extremely depressed.

Friday Night Lights

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Genre:

Drama

The Lowdown:

Football. Family. Drama. Basically, every football movie you’ve ever watched, except it’s actually good and not cheesy.

Why You Need to Watch It:

Okay, so, usually, I’m not a huge fan of “contemporary” sort of shows. I get bored of them easily. Plus, I hate football with my entire being. But, I ended up caving and checking this one out, and I literally almost cried watching the pilot. It’s just that powerful. I’m a huge fan of bromances, so that’s primarily the reason I love it so much, but I also love the relationships between the characters and the families, not to mention all the emotions it’ll give you. This is the only show that makes me care about football in any way, and that’s a feat.

Mr. Robot

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Genre:

Uh, sci-fi, I guess? Maybe drama? Who knows?

The Lowdown:

Um, so there’s hacking? And a snarky main character. Also, two-thirds of the time, you don’t even know what’s real or what’s not. And, there’s a secret society trying to overthrow a secret corporation. So, yeah.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Believe the hype with this show! Not only is Rami Malek an amazing actor (and attractive), but this show is so clever. It’s about hacking, but also about a secret group of people fighting against society, and I think my favorite thing about this show is the fact that you don’t know what’s real or what’s not. Not to mention that Elliot is probably one of my favorite narrators ever with his dry humor and such.

Gravity Falls

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Genre:

Paranormal

The Lowdown:

Twins Dipper and Mabel are sent to live with their Great Uncle Stan in Gravity Falls where they encounter strange creatures and even stranger people. It’s basically a kids version of Supernatural, if you want a short explanation.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

“Mikaela, why are you recommending me a cartoon?” This show is not simply a cartoon.  The humor is truly funny and clever and for all ages, Mabel and Dipper have such a wonderful relationship, and the show is just so fun and positive, not to mention how twisty the plot is. Just because it’s a kids’ show doesn’t mean it isn’t extremely clever and well-written and funny. And, no, I totally WAS NOT crying during the finale; what are you talking about?

(Ok, maybe I was.)

Hannibal

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Genre:

Thriller/Mystery

The Lowdown:

So, Hannibal is a psychiatrist to this guy who’s a total loner and considers himself a psychopath because he’s able to basically see into the mind of serial killers whenever he’s on the crime scene. And, yeah, Hannibal eats people.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Unfortunately, this show was cancelled (damn you, NBC and Bryan Singer), but this show is just so damn good. I’ve only watched season one, but it’s basically perfection. It’s incredibly well-shot and aesthetically pleasing, not to mention violent and weird and just all around wonderful. This show is intense, so I wouldn’t recommend it for sensitive people, but, damn, this show is dark, so I think most people who love thrillers would love this. Also, Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelson are hot, end of story.

In the Flesh

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Genre:

Dystopian/Drama

The Lowdown:

In a dystopian future after a zombie apocalypse, scientists have come up with a cure to save the zombies and help them to assimilate back into society and their families. We follow Kieren, a teenage boy who’s trying to get back into the dynamics of his family and see his best friend again.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

You have probably never heard of this show in your entire life, BUT YOU SHOULD HAVE. It’s British, and, again, this one was also cancelled and ends on a cliffhanger, unfortunately, so I’d enter this one with trepidation, BUT YOU SHOULD WATCH IT.  It’s such a good show, and it actually heavily parallels the whole Donald Trump/Muslim ban situation in season two, even though this premiered way before then. And Lucas is adorable and precious; I love him. Not to mention that Lucas is gay as hell, and he has an ADORABLE relationship with this guy named Simon and it’s aljflajfajlfa. PLEASE WATCH IT.

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Political Animals

political animals

Genre:

Drama

The Lowdown:

We follow Elaine, a former First Lady who’s now Secretary of State dealing with the chaos of her family.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Again, another cancelled show, except this one only lasted one season (boo). If you like more political-leaning shows, you’ll probably enjoy this one a lot.  It’s a really good drama, and it can even sometimes be funny at some points. Not to mention that I absolutely love how all the storylines come together, and how it can be really touching at times. Sebastian Stan is in this one, and he’s kissing boys, and if that doesn’t make you want to watch it, I don’t know what will.

Sense8

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Genre:

Sci-fi

The Lowdown:

Eight people of different backgrounds, origins, gender, and race end up being interconnected in some weird way regarding their minds, and they try as hard as they can to figure out why.

Why You Need to Watch It:

Probably one of the most underrated Netflix shows out there! Not only is everyone on this show super attractive, but this is a very diverse show since everyone comes from a different background, which is really cool. Also, the ships give me all the feels, and the characters are so wonderfully three-dimensional. The show is truly captivating. Also, the sci-fi aspects of this show are brilliant.

AND NO, I HAVEN’T WATCHED SEASON 2 YET; DON’T GIVE ME THAT LOOK.

UnReal

unreal

Genre:

Drama

The Lowdown:

We follow our main character, Rachel, who is probably one of the most corrupt and twisty women you’ll ever see on television, who comes back on to the Bachelor-like show, Everlasting, after a public mental breakdown.

Why You Should Watch It: 

If you hate reality TV, you’ll love this show. One of the people who works on the show used to work on The Bachelor, not to mention that the show is extremely interesting regarding how the producers on the fictional show twist everything to make the contestants hate each other or push conflict to happen. It’s also actually really political in some places, and quite diverse. And, personally, I think it’s feminist?? Does it count?? I count it. It’s just such a highly entertaining show to watch.

American Crime

american crime

Genre: 

Drama

The Lowdown:

A gay boy admits that he’s been raped by one of the basketball players at a party, and it spirals into a whole load of heavy events that get out of control.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

 There are three seasons of this show (it’s the one on ABC, not O.J. Simpson), but my favorite season is definitely the second one. It explores the taboo of male rape and internalized homophobia and racism and school shootings (it seems like a lot, but the show is really good at exploring multiple topics well). It’s an extremely powerful season, and, in my opinion, the best one out of the three. I will say, it’s quite an open-ended show, so if you don’t like endings like that, I probably wouldn’t recommend it, but it’s a fantastic show. Also, the two characters who I’d consider the main characters remind me so heavily of Ronan and Adam from The Raven Boys, like I would 100% cast them in the TV show adaptation. You’ll get it if you watch it.

The Fall

the fall

Genre:

Thriller/Mystery

The Lowdown:

A male serial killer going around murdering girls is constantly being chased by a female detective trying to solve the mystery of the murders.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

This is also a British show, and it’s absolutely brilliant.  Jamie Dornan, despite how awful he is in the 50 Shades franchise, is fantastic in this show, and so is the wonderful Gillian Anderson as the female detective, Stella. This show is also intense and dark, and, again, one I’d highly recommend to those who like thrillers. Not to mention that this show is fiercely feminist, and that’s always wonderful.

Eyewitness

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Genre:

Thriller/Mystery

The Lowdown:

Two gay teens making out in a cabin in the woods get tangled up in a mystery when a murderer intrudes and murders three people. One of the teens’ foster mom is a police officer trying to solve the case, but the other teen doesn’t want to tell her because he doesn’t want to come out. It’s complicated.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

You might have heard of this show when it was on last year, but I’m going to talk about it again. First off, the show is so wonderfully diverse. I absolutely love Philkas, and it’s so nice to see a gay couple normalized in something else that’s not really contemporary. Also, their moments are adorable. Not to mention it’s a brilliant thriller that takes in a small town (WHICH IS MY WEAKNESS), and you get to follow the serial killer from his point of view, which makes the show ten times more tense than it already is. Like, seriously; this is such a taut and well-plotted thriller that has fantastic character development. And the acting is absolutely brilliant. And the cast is wonderful. JUST WATCH IT PLEASE (especially to those who don’t like or were disappointed in Riverdale like I was).

eyewitness philkas

The Replacement

The Replacement

No suitable gifs for this show. Boo.

Genre: 

Thriller/Mystery

The Lowdown:

Life is going well for our main character until she becomes pregnant and has to go on leave. She decides to assist a replacement to be a stand-in for her until she comes back, but it seems like her replacement is trying to do more than take over her job…

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Basically, if you’re a huge fan of those thrillers with psychotic girls or that trope where the main character is the only person who sees what’s going on, you will binge this quickly. Because it’s a British mini-series (British shows are brilliant at thrillers, basically), there’s only three episodes that are an hour long, so you’ll go through it quick. Most people had issues with the very ending of the series, but it wasn’t SO terrible that it ruined the entire reading experience, so I still totally recommend to those who are curious.

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And that’s it for all my favorite TV shows.

Just kidding, this isn’t all of them. Once I find the time to binge some more, I’ll probably write up a second part to this post because this was so much fun.

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What are some of your favorite TV shows? Do we share any of the same ones? If we do, TALK TO ME.

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31

All-Time Favorite Stand-Alones

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Hello, all! It’s Superbowl Sunday, as known to me as, “Wait, that’s today?” Sunday, because I couldn’t care less about football (I know, I’m betraying my fellow Americans).

So, continuing on with the trend of talking about some of my favorite bookish things, I thought I’d talk about my favorite stand-alones (I realized I had a hell of a lot more favorites than I thought I’d have on this list, and not all of them are mentioned)!

Note that I don’t mention all of my favorite stand-alones, so books such as Gone Girl, Night Film, The Ice Twins, etc. didn’t make it onto the list because it was already so long, and I feel like I’ve talked about them to death, but I’m sure you guys know about the ones not listed on here, so it’s not too bad. If you want to see more of my favorites, feel free to check this super old post out here!

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Simon vs the Homo-Sapiens Agenda

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Um, of course I’m going to have this adorable book on this list. I actually read this book in one day (probably because I really needed to know who Blue was), and it’s so wonderfully fluffy and cute and funny. Also, it mentioned Drarry, so ten points to Gryffindor!

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Looking for Alaska

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I don’t care what anyone else says, I’m a huge fan of John Green, and this book is still my favorites of his. Besides having a total girl crush on Alaska, I also love how this book dealt with a theme I didn’t think would be explored. Not to mention the quirky cast of characters, and the fact that this is probably one of Green’s best-written novel to date.

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Vicious

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Of course, here’s the Obligatory V.E. Schwab mention! This is probably my favorite book of hers, and probably one of my favorite books dealing with anti-heroes and superpowers. And I’m definitely Team Victor.

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Every Day

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This was my first book by Levithan, and it definitely wasn’t the last. This was such a beautiful, complex love story, and, yes, I want a proper sequel.

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Before I Fall

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Even though Lauren Oliver is a hit or miss author for me, her debut novel is still one of my favorite books ever. The writing is stunning and the character development and original concept is what makes this book so great. And I teared up reading this book so many times.

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The Troop

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This wonderfully disgusting book is still one of my favorites, and you can see its discussion here! I fell in love with horror last year, and this is probably still my favorite one out there (I haven’t read a Stephen King book yet; I’m sorry!). It’s gross and it’s violent, but it also gave me so many feels because I loved these boys (most of them, at least). And the ending was spot-on as well.

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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

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THIS BOOK IS AN UNDERRATED MASTERPIECE. I highly recommend going into this blind (I was unfortunately spoiled before I read this, of course), and just letting it take you on the journey because it’s so raw and real and so very sad. It’s definitely a dark book, and, warning: it doesn’t have a happy ending, but it’s so brilliant.

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Eleanor & Park

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I actually read this book around the time it came out, and I absolutely loved it. It was such a beautiful look at first love between two awkward protagonists just trying to make I through another day. And that ending is still one of my favorites to this day.

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The Fault in Our Stars

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What’s a “Favorites” list without this one on it? Of course I loved TFiOS. And to those saying Augustus was too pretentious and unreal, that’s the point. /rant over/

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Big Little Lies

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Look at me; I finally read a popular book that came out years ago! I’m not too excited for the HBO show since it seems to have missed the entire point of the book, but I love how funny, but serious it is, especially since it deals with sexual abuse and domestic violence. Also, it’s highly addicting. I felt like I was a PTA mom myself reading this.

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All Is Not Forgotten

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So many people don’t like this book, but I loved it. I read it in a day last year, and its such a powerful book that deals with the rape of a fifteen-year-old girl. Some of my favorite quotes came from this book, and I love how effed-up the entire novel was since we get it only from the perspective of Dr. Erskine.

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Ten

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YA mysteries and thrillers sometimes tend to miss the mark, in my opinion, but this one really impressed me! It’s loosely based off of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None (which I haven’t read) and managed to not only be tense, but really surprise me with its murderer, had a great, smart heroine, and a romance that I actually shipped and wasn’t cheesy!

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I’m Thinking of Ending Things

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More of my thoughts on this weird book here!

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Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

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This was actually the first book I ever read in one whole day, and I’m glad it has that standing. It’s such a touching novel about the friendship (and eventual romance) between two boys and it’s so sad but beautiful and cute and just asdfghjkl!

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More Happy Than Not

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I’m sure you’re tired of hearing how awesome Adam Silvera is, but he’s freaking awesome, and his debut novel is fantastic. I just love how it talks about depression and the mash-up of a sci-fi and contemporary was so cool.

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Two Boys Kissing

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And another contemporary penned by David Levithan! I actually consider this my favorite of his at the moment, and there are just so many fantastic quotes in it and it’s so poignant and all the feels!

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The Night Circus

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Ah, yes, my first ever adult book! I actually bought this when I was twelve but read two pages of it and wrote it off as bad, but picked up again last year because my taste has changed since then, and fell in love. I know some people feel it’s too slow and boring and doesn’t live up to its premise, but to me, it was gorgeous.

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Draw the Line

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Again, we have another cute, fluffy book with a gay protagonist that made my heart sing. I swear to God, I was smiling like a dork through the entire book. It also deals with the homophobia that gay people face in the South sometimes and how gross it is that people aren’t held accountable for it. It’s such a beautiful, underrated book. Plus, the main couple is ADORABLE.

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How to Repair a Mechanical Heart, Dark Matter, & The Song of Achilles

All three of these books made it to my Best of 2016 list, and I’ll just leave it here if you want to check out more of my thoughts on these beauties!

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Wonder

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This is probably one of my favorite middle grade novels ever. I’m not really a huge fan of middle grade nowadays, but back when I read this, I was probably twelve or thirteen, and I devoured it in a day. It’s so heart-breaking to see how Auggie is treated, but I loved how his sister loved him and how he had fantastic friends that loved him. So good.

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And that’s (mostly) it for my favorite stand-alones of all time! Who knew that I was obsessed with so many stand-alones of all different genres and age ranges?

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What are some of your favorite stand-alones? Do we share any of the same ones? 

52

My All-Time Favorite Series

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So, it’s February, the month that holds Valentine’s Day, the holiday of love! So, I thought that it’d be fun this month to do all the things talking about book boyfriends and all of the bookish things I love, and what better way to start then talking about my favorite series! I’ll guess that most of these will be repetitive to you if you’ve been here since the beginning, but let’s begin anyway!

(Also, note, there are no links to descriptions because most of these series are pretty damn popular, so I don’t think you guys need to read the description for the 34498018410840 time.)

(And another note: if you think you’ve seen this earlier today, you did. I attempted to post this earlier, but for some reason, WordPress keeps posting some of my posts days back so it doesn’t show up in anyone’s newsfeeds and gets completely lost, so I decided to put this one back in Draft and Re-Publish it again. If anyone has gone through this problem/knows how to fix it, feel free to talk to me, because it’s driving me nuts.)

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The Raven Cycle

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Okay, so a lot of people are on The Raven Cycle hype train ever since it just got super popular out of nowhere and Maggie Stiefvater became one of the Coolest Authors Alive, BUT THIS SERIES. It makes me so happy to read about the Gangsey and all the beautiful Pynch moments and laugh at all the jokes and deadpan humor and be filled with wonder at the magical world Stiefvater has created. This is one of those book series where I would literally love to be transported in.

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The Throne of Glass Series

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Everyone should know that I’m one Sarah J. Maas’s biggest fangirls and that this series completely and totally changed my life. Never have I ever been so involved in a series, especially the romance (Rowaelin shipper for life, if you care that much). I just love how strong the ladies are, and the ships are all so wonderful because all the boys respect everyone and treat them like their equals! This is probably my most hated series on this list but #hatersgonnahate.

(Also, did you hear? TOG #6 is being delayed until next year, specifically May of 2018 because of some health issues Sarah’s having! Hopefully, she’s okay; that’s what really matters to me – plus I still haven’t read EOS yet.)

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Harry Potter

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I don’t think this needs an explanation, but Harry! The Golden Trio! Amazing quotes! All the feels! Nostalgia! The characters! The magic! Ravenclaw!

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians & The Heroes of Olympus

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And neither does this one. But Percy! Greek Mythology! Leo! Nico! Diversity! Annabeth! All the ships! Rick Riordan is a total BAMF!

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The Six of Crows Duology

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This is the book series that has made me obsessed with heists in fantasy novels. Damn you, Bardugo. But, seriously, I love the beautiful world of Ketterdam and the characters are just absolutely delightful. Literally, try to ask a fan who their favorite character is. They can’t give you one because they’re all so precious.

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The Young Elites

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I also love Lu’s Legend trilogy, but fantasy is my Achilles’ heel. I jus loved the idea of exploring anti-heroes, and, of course she aced the characters, and Magiano is absolutely precious. I demand more series written about anti-heroes in the future.

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Shades of Magic

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This was a book (and an author) that hadn’t been recommended to me for so long that I eventually caved last year, and I haven’t looked back. I loved ADSOM, but AGOS was even better, if that’s possible. The cast of characters is so small, but so vibrant, and Schwab’s writing just makes it all the better.

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The ACOTAR Trilogy

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Again, I’m an SJM fangirl. And after reading ACOMAF, this definitely solidified its place as one of my favorite series. I mean, who doesn’t want to be Feyre? Who doesn’t want to be a part of the Night Court? WHO?? Also, I love how wonderfully feminist this series is, and I think it’s highly important for girls to learn about abusive relationships and how to be brave enough to leave them and how you don’t have to suffer through depression alone and male sexual abuse and THESE BOOKS ARE SO IMPORTANT.

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The Unwind Dystology

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I think I’ve explained enough in about a million different posts about why I love this series so much, so I’ll just leave you with the simple sentiment to READ IT!

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The Original Mortal Instruments Trilogy

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Ok, I’m not the biggest fan of the last three books that were tacked on to the original TMI trilogy (if you didn’t know, way back in the day, the series was originally supposed to end at City of Glass, but she ended up writing three more books), but I loved this series the first time I read it back in seventh grade, and I re-read it last year and I still loved it. Malec was the original gay OTP, and nothing has changed from that (except the fact that I have even more gay OTPs).

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The Red Rising Trilogy

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This is such a good series. It’s a very sci-fi heavy read on a completely different planet with a system where people’s status is determined by their colors. It’s super intense and super violent (which might put off some people, but certainly not me) and Sevro is perfect, and the world-building is amazing, and Darrow is perfect and hot, and the speeches are fantastic, and the ladies are badass, and it’s literally everything. Plus, the author’s hot, so, there’s that.

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The Lunar Chronicles

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I’m pretty sure this is on everyone’s lists, but it’s just that good! I love the divers even cast of female characters, and the perfection of all the male characters (especially Thorne, who is MINE!) and the humor and the action. It’s just the perfect blend of everything and such a good series for those making the transition from Middle Grade to YA.

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The Captive Prince Trilogy

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I love nothing more than a good gay romance, and since Tumblr goes nuts recommending this series, I just had to. I finally bought them, and though they were super expensive for ebooks, they were totally worth it. Politics, war, slow-burn romance, sass, and the perfection of the Damen and Laurent ship. It’s pretty much everything I wanted from the Winner’s trilogy by Marie Rutkoski except more adult and much better.

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The Penryn and the End of Days Trilogy

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If you’ve been on Goodreads, you might have heard of how this series swept the website back when it was first self-published. I had to join in the hype, and I finally read it, and it was so brilliant! What’s better than a slow-burn hate to love romance between Penryn and Raffe? Literally nothing. I loved the sisterly bond and the angel lore was just so interesting. Just read this series. You won’t regret it.

The Hunger Games Trilogy

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And last, but certainly not least, the Hunger Games trilogy. No explanation needed.

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And that’s it for my all-time favorite series! Of course, I haven’t mentioned all my favorite series – there are still more that I just didn’t mention in this post – so there’ll probably be a Part 2 sometime in the future, but these are some of my favorites for now!

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What are some of your favorite series? Do we share any of the same ones (if we do, feel free to fangirl)?

6

Best of 2016

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If you knew me at all, you would know that I’m one of those people that waits until the New Year comes in until I compile my list of the Best and Worst of the year, mainly because I’m worried about these two situations:

A. “This book was the BEST book I’ve ever read in my entire life, but I didn’t wait until the New Year to compile my list, and it’s December 31st, ten minutes before midnight, and I’ve already compiled my list so no will hear my raves! NOOOOO!”

or

B. “This book was the absolute WORST book I’ve read this year, but I didn’t wait until the New Year to compile my list, and it’s December 31st, ten minutes before midnight, and I’ve already compiled my list so no one will hear my rants! NOOOOO!”

But, this year is a little different. I admit, I’ve been completely slacking this month on reading, mainly because I’ve been working on this blog and also, I over-reached my goal by around 80-90 books, so I’m treating myself. So, I decided it’d be harmless to go ahead and post my Top 10 Best and Worst of 2016 posts this week.

(Let’s hope and pray that a better or worst book doesn’t come along and overthrow my entire plan.)

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Dark Matter

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If that blurb doesn’t pull you in, I don’t know what will. But, seriously, this book was one of the biggest surprises of this year. I didn’t expect anything that happened nor did I think I’d get so absorbed in it as I did. I’m a sucker for speculative sci-fi – sort of like the brilliant TV show Black Mirror – and this one didn’t fail to please me. Not to mention that it had a little bit of a love story, and though I’m one to groan and roll my eyes if romances are included in genres they don’t belong in, I really enjoyed this one. And the ending was brilliant, though open-ended. I can’t speak any more praises.

*

Into the Darkest Corners

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This summer I discovered a new favorite genre: thrillers. And I’ve realized that one of my favorite types is “The Evil Boyfriend.” Nothing is more annoying than seeing a psychopath get away with his obsessive love, but it’s also a little entertaining (even though that sounds awful). Out of all the ones I’ve read, this one has definitely held up as the best of the bunch. Not only  was it completely addicting, but I loved the budding romance between Stuart and Cathy, and it was definitely interesting to get Before and After POVs. It was actually quite scary how similar Lee was to some of the so-called “heroes” of NA romance novels, and definitely shed light on domestic abuse.

(Also, that letter at the end? CHILLS!)

*

A Monster Calls

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CAN I SAY TEARS? While watching the Mrs. Peregrine’s movie, I saw a trailer for the movie adaptation of this book, and actually teared up. At that point, I hadn’t actually READ the book yet, but a couple weeks later, I did, and after finishing it, I was emotionally drained. Not only are the tales gorgeous, but the writing is truly beautiful,  with Conor’s emotions practically bleeding through the pages. Not to mention the great relationship shared between the monster and Conor. It’s such a fantastic book, and I highly recommend it. Not to mention that the movie looks perfect.

*

The Ice Twins

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Before reading this, I was in a sort of slump-y mood. I picked this one up on a whim, and the first two or three chapters were simply “meh.” I was ready to put it down, but then it started to get really good, and before I knew it, I was on this crazy addictive roller coaster. I mean, is there anything creepier than twins, especially ones claiming to be a dead one? A really good horror-thriller!

*

How to Repair a Mechanical Heart

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THIS WAS SO CUTE! This was one of those hidden gems that just popped up out of nowhere. I highly recommend for those who were huge fans of Fangirl and Carry On, and want something a little bit gayer. The romance between Brandon and Abel was so cute, and the little twist that gets thrown in a little bit into the book makes it even better. The book is genuinely funny – I haven’t laughed so hard reading a book in a long while – but also manages to balance the serious side, with Brandon constantly struggling being gay when he’s been basically brainwashed to think what he’s doing is wrong. It really is a beautiful book, and I highly recommend.

*

Gone Girl

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How could I start reading thrillers this year and not read one of the most famous thrillers in most recent years? This was actually the third Gillian Flynn book I read – Sharp Objects and Dark Places are both shorter, so I read them quicker – and, stereotypically, my favorite of hers. Even though I’m one to hate guys like Nick Dunne in domestic thrillers, he’s just so…likable? Annoying, but likeable. It also introduced me to Amy Dunne, probably one of my top female characters ever, and one of my favorite women in thrillers. And the famous “Cool Girl” quote is now my feminist anthem. The movie is probably one of my favorite book-to-movie adaptations I’ve ever watched, and will now be the standards adaptations have to reach (sorry!).

*

Night Film

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This was my first foray into the first thriller I fell in love with. Scott is the detective who feels like he’s lost it all, and I absolutely loved his character development throughout the novel. Hopper and Nora, the other two main characters who end up going along with the mystery of Ashley Cordova, and the little group they created was so beautiful. I was surprised to find myself welling up  with tears as they said their good-byes. The mystery surrounding Ashley Cordova was absolutely consuming, pulling you in and refusing to let you go. In the end, you don’t really get an answer to the mystery, which might bother others, but that was what was so great about it. The fact that though we as people like to make up stories, sometimes, what happened was painfully ordinary. And the unique format of the book with pictures and blog posts made it immersive as well.

*

The Song of Achilles

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This book was utterly painful to read. In a good way. If you know anything about the story of Achilles, you know that he dies at the end. So, basically, you get to read this gorgeous love story that ultimately leads to death, and you’re well aware of it. But you still read it anyway. The romance between Achilles and Patroclus was so beautiful and so sweet and so fluffy that I couldn’t stop smiling. Seeing the character development of Achilles is also sad to watch, as he distances himself from the only person that loves him, and the final 100 pages were just pure pain and tears, but the ending was beautiful, in its own way?

*

Dangerous Girls

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I have never been so emotionally invested in a book in my life. I’m one to throw my emotions into a book if it’s really good, which also means I’ll rant a lot in my head and talk to myself (I swear, not crazy). And boy, was I into this one. I was cheering so hard for Anna, who is blamed as the murderer of her best friend, especially since everyone was basically against her. But on the other hand, we have Tate, her boyfriend, who I like to refer to as “Satan’s Handsome Brother,” but whatever. It was really nice to see how the judicial system can work for and against someone, and how easily lying and cheating can come around. I also really loved the journalism aspect shown, and how media can play a huge part in how people’s opinion changes. I didn’t see the end of this one coming, and it definitely ruined the other YA thrillers I read this year.

*

The Troop

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This was the grossest book I’ve probably read ever. And I honestly don’t think I’ll read a grosser book in my lifetime. Nick Cutter has a way with words that make you cringe and gape at the pages (which I did both profusely as I read this). You get so easily attached to the boys (okay, two of them are pretty bad, but the other three are great), and cheer them on. And it’s really sickening how the scientists and army handle the situation as the boys suffer. And, again, with a chilling ending (I’m a sucker for those).

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And that’s it for my Top 10 Books of 2016! Of course, I read SO many fantastic books this year (and I’ll hopefully continue to read more since it’s not over yet), but these were just some of my very, very favorites!

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What were some of your favorite books this year?