My Top 10: Most Surprising Reads of 2017


We have finally come to the end of the “My Top 10” series of lists. The finale is a list of the Book/Manga/Series that surprised me most. Whether I ended up liking the book more than I thought possible, was expecting to hate the story and then didn’t, or the story went down a completely unexpected path. They are all listed below in no particular order. 



Golden Kamuy by Satoru Noda



Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat



Blade of the Immortal by Hiroaki Samura



Hunger by Roxane Gay



Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow



The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller



Arata: The Legend by Yuu Watase



The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson 



Half a King by Joe Abercrombie



The Hating Game by Sally Thorne



The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

*This Review is Spoiler-Free*


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In this novel we are introduced to main protagonist Salvador (Sal) Silva. He’s always been content and happy with his life as the son of a gay father and as a part of a loving Mexican-American family. Although Sal was adopted by his father Vincente, he was never made to feel excluded or unloved within his family, but lately Sal has begun to become angry, conflicted, and confused about who he truly is. Through Sal, his best-friend Sam, friend Fito, his father and his Mima the author takes us on an exploration of themes revolving around identity, loss, grief, and family.


My first Benjamin Alire Sáenz novel was Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and unfortunately I had not read any other novels by this author since then. So, I was excited as all heck when I discovered that he would have a new release in 2017 and read it immediately following the release. I promised myself that I would never review Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe because I am incapable of being even remotely critical of that novel. Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s novels (that I have read) are incredible and I am finally able to share that through this review of The Inexplicable Logic of My Life. It’s safe to say that I’m excited for this review….so, let’s get this show on the road.


One of the most impacting aspects of Saenz’s novels is family dynamic. He writes so beautifully and truthfully about family and the people we choose to consider family. Sal, Sam, Fito and Vincente end up being their own family unit which you don’t necessarily anticipate going into reading this novel. Sal’s grandmother, affectionately referred to as Mima, is a grandmother to all. She is able to quickly and wholeheartedly embrace someone into her family. She is the epitome of the nurturing, caring matriarchal head of family character and is notorious throughout the story for showing her love through cooking for and feeding her loved ones.


I told you that there were only two things you needed to learn in life.

You needed to learn how to forgive.

And you needed to learn how to be happy.


Sal being adopted in no way affects his place within his family. He is not ‘othered’, seen as any less significant and/or an integral part of their family unit. Sal’s father is just amazing! Saenz’s does a fantastic job of writing parents that are supportive and role-models for their children. Parents who accept their children for who they are and help to guide their children to develop themselves in positive ways. Unfortunately, all too often in YA fiction the parent(s) and/or parental figures are absent. It is even more devastating because POC parents are very often written as an Antagonist and/or a negative aspect of their child’s life. Maybe because this novel contains own-voice POC representation, the novel in does not fall victim to this trope.


Another major theme within this story is loss/grief. Although, death is not the only thing that causes characters in this story to grieve, it is the most prevalent and obvious source. With the exception of some deaths that occur throughout the duration of the novel, not much else happens in terms of plot. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life is a character driven story….a verrrrry character driven story. If you are looking for a story that is going to have a lot of major plot points, this is not the novel you are looking for.


That’s the way it was when you loved someone.

You took them everywhere you went—​whether they were alive or not.


I recommend The Inexplicable Logic of My Life to readers looking for a coming-of-age young adult contemporary novel that has a strong focus on family and that explores themes of identity, belonging and grief. If you are sensitive to story lines that include people passing away and having to read through multiple character’s grieving process then I would not recommend that you pick up this novel. I give The Inexplicable Logic of My Life  a rating of 7.5 Unicorns out of a possible 10.




My Top 10: Best Reads of 2017


Happy New year!!

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Now, normally people would start off this year with looking towards the future, but when have I ever been normal? So for the first day of 2018, I give you my list of Best Reads in 2017! 


1. Half Bad Trilogy by Sally Green

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2. Vagabond Manga Series by Takehiko Inoue

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3. Written in Red Series by Anne Bishop

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4. Juliet takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

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5. The Wallflower Manga Series by Tomoko Hayakawa

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6. The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

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7. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

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8. xxxHolic Manga Series by CLAMP

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9. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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10. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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Enjoy your 2018 reading/watching/playing!! 

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**As usual all gifs are from Gify and pictures were taken from Goodreads/Chapters except for: 1. Half Bad; 2. Vagabond6. The Wallflower; 8. xxxHolic; 9. Six of Crows**

My Top 10: Worst Reads of 2017

Here’s a list of the 10 worst books and series that I read during 2017. They are listed below in no particular order, they just all had the dishonor of being the most putrid things I had the displeasure of reading this year. A pretty sucky way to end the year lol, but I wanted to begin 2018 by highlighting the positive reading experiences that I’ve had this year. So, here goes the last Maniacal Book Unicorn book bashing fest for 2017! Yay! 


Without Merit by Colleen Hoover



Sweet Pool by Nitro+CHiRAL, Mayu Kurumazaki



Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins






Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell



The Record of a Fallen Vampire by Kyo Shirodaira



The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen 



The Edge of Never by J.A. Redemerski

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The Anita Blake Series by Laurell K. Hamilton




My Top 10: Most Disappointing Reads of 2017


Sometimes having high expectations for something is a good thing. This time? Not so much. Here’s my top ten books/series of 2017 that fell short of my expectations, or started out promising but fell short somewhere along the way.

A.K.A: Top Ten that made me a sad unicorn:

1. Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

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2. Cardcaptor Sakura by CLAMP
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I actually wasn’t sure whether to add this to Top Ten Worst Reads instead. It was one of my favourite shows as a kid, and I now enjoy CLAMP’s work. So I was excited for this, but a teacher X middle school student relationship? Nope.

3. Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher

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4. Dance of Cloaks by David 
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I was definitely overdoing it on my expectations for this one. Funny thing is I probably would have enjoyed it 10x more if I wasn’t expecting so much. Still thought it was good/okay though.

5. How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

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6. Talon by Julie Kagawa
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Overall it was okay, but I was just expecting something different than what I got. 

7. Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

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8. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
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My sadness for this one was real. Those hardcovers are so pretty 😢 

9. You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour

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10. Wayward: String Theory by Zub, Cummings, Rauch, Bonvillain, & Dillon

Really not a bad series, I just wasn’t nearly as taken with it as I wanted to be.


So what were your most disappointing reads? Did any of my top ten match yours?

P.S. This is just my own personal feelings about the book/series, and doesn’t necessarily mean I didn’t like anything about the story or enjoy reading it

Thanks for reading!

The TBR Tag (The TBR Book Tag)

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THANK YOU SO MUCH! I was tagged to do The TBR Tag  by James J. Cudney at the This Is My Truth Now Blog! If you haven’t gotten a chance to read their post for this tag, you can read it here.


How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

Welllll…..I don’t really have a traditional TBR, I think the method that I use most often would be Goodreads’ “Want To Read” shelf, but that honestly isn’t very accurate. Because I don’t reference that list of books very often. A lot of the things I want to read I just “remember” that I’d like to read them in the future. I have all those years of pre-Goodreads reading and TBRs to thank for that lol.


Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

My TBR is mostly print books as that is my preferred method of reading books.


How do you determine which book 
from your TBR to read next?

I’m very much a mood reader. So, I don’t have a system for picking which TBR book I’d like to read next. I don’t utilize a TBR in the typical sense….I just happen to have a bunch of books that I own or that I’ve heard of that I would like to read. But I don’t allow those books to dictate what I will read next or in the next few years. I leave my reading options very open. 


A book that’s been on your TBR the longest.

The first book I ever shelved as “Want to Read” on Goodreads is Divided (Darkest Powers #1.5). Divided is a novella from the Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong. 



A book that you recently added to your TBR.

The most recent addition to my TBR on Goodreads is Wake of Vultures (The Shadow #1) . I’m excited to get around to reading this series next year as the third and final (as far as I know) book was published this year.



A book on your TBR strictly 
because of its beautiful cover.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and the entire Fairyland series as a whole. Unfortunately, I’ve come to realize that I’ll probably never read these books and I recently unhauled them and a few days later put them back on my shelves because they’re too beautiful to part with. So, clearly these books are sticking around for merely their aesthetic merit.  



A book on your TBR that you 
NEVER plan on actually reading. 

Okay, so I have a love/hate relationship with Abbi Glines’ books and I pretty much hate read her Rosemary Beach series. Since, putting myself through that torturous experience I have gotten a lot better with my “need” to complete a series, regardless of whether I am enjoying it or not. So, the book that is currently shelved as “Want to Read” on Goodreads that I’ll NEVER read is Up in Flames (Rosemary Beach #13).


An unpublished book on your 
TBR that you’re excited for.
 Pet by C.S. Pacat
A book on your TBR that basically 
everyone has read except you.

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan



A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you. 

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss



A book on your TBR that you’re just dying to read. 

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff



The number of books on your Goodreads TBR shelf. 

Okay, this number is so ridiculous that I feel an obligation to preface the “big reveal” with an explanation. So, a few months back I got the brilliant idea to scan into Goodreads all the books I owned. I have been wanting to add all the books I own to Goodreads ever since I joined. I have always wanted to have somewhere where I could keep track of the books I own and very easily be able to reference the exact number. Well, little did I realize, until I was over three quarters of the way through scanning all the books with my phone, that Goodreads automatically shelves all the books you’ve scanned into your “Want To Read” Shelf…so yeah we ended up with this number: 1045, as of today.


Tag, you're it!!!

Dressed to Read

A Book. A Thought.

The Otaku Judge

Reviews by Savi

A Booknerd Travels

Also, anyone who would like to do this Tag, but hasn’t been officially tagged yet….go for it! 



Unique Blogger Award

Hey everyone! I’d first like to wish everyone a very belated Happy Holidays, and an early Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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I’d like to give a big thanks to Ryuji @ ryujisanimereview for nominating me for this award. Please take some time to head over to his blog and check it out!


Display the award logo.

Thank the blogger who nominated you and post the link to their blog.

Answer their questions.

Nominate 8-13 bloggers.

Ask them 3 questions.


The Questions & My Answers:

1) In a generic RPG world, what is your favourite class? (Knight, Assassin, Priest, Mage, Barbarian)

I don’t play many games, but when I do I’m always stuck between choosing assassin and mage (but assassin almost always wins out in the end).

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The World of Mystic Wiz

2) Do you prefer continuing the main story or check out most of the subplots in a RPG/Fantasy Visual Novel?

I always continue the main story the first time around, then go back and check out the subplots later. 

3) Have you ever played or watched a playthrough of anyone attempting to complete a RPG/Fantasy Visual Novel?

Yup. There was a level I just could NOT figure out. It was driving me insane so, despite being super determined not to ever do it, I looked it up. It sort of felt like cheating, but after FINALLY passing the level the overall victory won out over my guilt. Yay me!

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My Questions:
  1. Which book, movie, anime, or game did you most want to get to this year, but didn’t? 
  2. What book, anime, movie, or game are you most looking forward to next year?
  3. Which post did you most enjoy writing this year? (provide a link please!)


Tag Your It!



Jill’s Book Blog

Shrestha Logs


*I still have a ton of awards and tags to catch up on, and know many of you have already done most of these a few times over, so until I’ve caught up I’ll only be nominating around 5 bloggers per tag/award. If I’ve missed that you have done the award/tag already and aren’t up for doing it again, please just consider it an honourable mention*