my favorite books of the year pt. 2 // the real 5 star winners

In case you missed it, pt. 1 of my favorite books of the year is up! Today, we’re talking about my favorite books that I actually gave 5 stars.

#7: The Lost Dreamer

I just recently read this book and I can’t believe it’s a debut. The story, folklore, mythology, world, and magic system are all so rich. I don’t even know how to describe this book except as a culmination of beautiful, strong women dismantling the patriarchy through incredible magic and kindness. That doesn’t even really make sense but gosh, that’s how I feel about this book.

#6: Yona of the Dawn

I read a few volumes this year, and this manga just keeps getting better. I can’t narrow it down to a specific favorite volume but this story is just so good with each subsequent installment. I really wish manga was more popular in the book community because this series is absolutely brilliant in terms of character, story, dialogue, and art. I can’t wait to continue it next year!

#5: These Deadly Games

This book! What a thriller! I couldn’t put it down because things were going down (I’m great at English thank you very much). It was like Squid Game but also not? And I had just watched Squid Game so this literally came at the perfect time. This follows a girl whose sister gets kidnapped, and in order for her sister to be freed, she needs to play seemingly harmless (or not) “games” that the kidnapper sets out. I can count on one hand the amount of YA mystery-thrillers that have impressed me this much.

#4: House of Hollow

House of Hollow is easily the most surprising read of the year for me. I wasn’t expecting this story to feel like the atmospheric, dark fairytale I’ve always dreamed of while also being a shockingly creepy horror novel. I hate the way a certain character was treated in the end, which is why it’s not higher. Also, the twist at the end? 1000% reminded me of one of my favorite horror movies. It was so good.

#3: A Far Wilder Magic

Oh my gosh, where do I even begin? Maggie and Wes’ slow burn, sweet romance is everything I’ve ever wanted. The slow, meandering plot amidst atmospheric woods, coupled with a magical foxhunt and great commentary on the oppression Jews often face makes A Far Wilder Magic an all-time favorite. Allison Saft is absolutely incredible at writing characters. Her stories remind me so much of Maggie Steifvater’s (except I prefer Saft’s). This story only reminds me how rich and diverse YA can be because it isn’t really full of action. The focus is on relationships and individuals and it is everything.

#2: XOXO

XOXO is another surprise. I mean, yes I love Kpop. And yeah, I do really enjoy reading about Korean culture. However, I’m not much of a contemporary sort of girl. But then along comes this XOXO and suddenly I’m reminded of just how good the right contemporary story can be. This is so fluffy and sweet and full of Korean culture. Every relationship is absolutely adorable but of course, Jenny and Jaewoo steal the show. Also, this might just be my favorite cover of the year. No joke.

#1: Once Upon A Broken Heart

Haha. Uh…Once Upon A Broken Heart is not only the only book I’ve reread this year, but I reread it a month apart from when I originally read it. I love fairytales, and this book is the very essence of one. It isn’t the most well-plotted, nor is it the deepest book. However, I love the magic and the world and Jacks. I love the whimsical writing, the beautiful descriptions of everyone and everything. There are few books that can capture the pure feeling of magic quite like the way Once Upon A Broken Heart can, and that’s why it’s number 1 on my list.

That’s it! What’s your favorite book of the year?

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12 thoughts on “my favorite books of the year pt. 2 // the real 5 star winners

  1. ahhh… all the praise to these books and I want to read all of them. Yep, you’ve convinced me I need all of them now!! I can’t wait to check them out. I really want to get into manga in the future so Yona of the Dawn is going on my list!! You’ve definitely intrigued me about House of Hollows, it sounds so interesting and I love the sound of the atmosphere.
    I feel 100% more excited for the rest of them. I wish I had magic reading powers, so I could read more. 😂 Great post Kaya, I hope you find lots of favourites in 2022! 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh yay!! I’m literally so excited I can’t wait for you to read them!! Yona of the Dawn is a PERFECT first manga, it’s absolutely brilliant. And yes to House of Hollow’s atmosphere! It’s so amazing. Haha I feel that, every time I see a best of the year list I desperately want to read or reread every book instantly! Thank you so much, I hope you do too💜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ahhh literally all of these are on my tbr (i added these deadly games after reading your amazing review!!) and i’ve heard nothing but good things about Allison Saft’s books so those are priority reads!! love the list kaya 💙

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yay I’ve read one these!! Loved it too – House Of Hollow. I’ll have to check the Authors contemporary offerings out sometime too. Can’t believe three of your favourites of the year weren’t even out yet. I really want to read The Lost Dreamer now!! And let’s just skip over the fact that my copy of your favourite is still unread. 🙈 I do so hope to get to it soon though!!
    My favourite of the year was All Of Us Villians. Really looking forward to reading it again sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. House of Hollow is SO good!! Honestly same here. And haha ikr, I was so surprised! LOL that’s okay, maybe the sequel will be out by the time you get to it and can binge both😊
      Ooh, that’s on my tbr, I’ve heard such incredible things about it. Hope you’re having amazing reading!💜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s true. Although I am hoping to get to it fairly soon. Hopefully next month I’ll get Caraval reread so I can finish the original series so I can finally pick the new one up 🤞
        I hope you love it when you get a chance to read it. And thank you ❤❤ I stopped again this week but until then it was going pretty well. Hopefully starting again tonight though. My last read was Gilded & I adored it so much 😍😍 hope your reading is going wonderfully too & that you’re well ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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