Top 5 Wednesdays: Books You Want to Read by the End of the Year

I’m definitely starting to feel the time crunch to finish all the books I want before the end of the year! This year, I’ve taken on the most reading challenges I’ve ever had at once for a total of 182 books, and I currently have read 145 of them. That leaves me with a total of 37 books that I want to finish before 2019. Even though I gave myself until the end of March to complete several of the challenges, I’d really prefer not to do that because it will completely confuse me when it comes to tracking next year’s challenges. There is a possibility that I’ll be able to finish everything, especially since I’ve incorporated a few more short books and graphic novels to fill in some of the prompts that I didn’t have anything definitively chosen for. It’s hard not to feel the pressure (even if it is completely self-imposed) to finish everything off, but at least I have a few exciting books left to keep me motivated!

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) Vicious by V.E. Schwab

13638125I first read Victoria Schwab’s This Savage Song last year, and it immediately made me want to read the rest of her books as well. I purposely put off this book until closer to the end of the year so I could read the sequel soon after, although I’m now regretting that decision because I don’t want to feel rushed when I’m reading it. Also, I’ve heard it can be a little slow-paced, which is not particularly motivating when I’m worried about the time crunch. Vicious is about two college roommates, Victor and Eli, who discover that people can develop extraordinary abilities and begin to experiment with that idea. A decade later, the two of them are now enemies who are on opposite sides of a fight over the existence of people with these special abilities. I’m very excited to read this book because it is supposed to be about two characters who are both morally grey, and that is generally the kind of character that I’m most interested in reading. I’ve heard so many great things about this duology, and I’m really looking forward to reading this one.

2) And I Darken by Kiersten White

27190613This is another series that I’ve heard so many great things about, and I’m excited to give it a chance. I also left it close to the end of the year with the intent of reading the next two early next year. I’ve heard this book described as a “female Vlad the Impaler” story, featuring the cruel princess Lada who is trying to take her homeland back from the Ottoman Empire, at least as far as I understand it. Part of the reason I put this book off so long is because I only had (and still have) an incredibly vague understanding of what the series is really about. I’m very interested because I’ve heard that it has very strong characters and I’m really intrigued by the Vlad the Impaler comparisons. I don’t often see fantasy books that are also more along the historical fiction lines, and I’ve seen some incredible reviews for this one from many of the reviewers I follow, so I think it’s about time I give it a chance. Like Vicious, I’m a little worried because I’ve heard this one is a bit slow too, so I’m hoping it won’t be hard for me to get through.

3) Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

28374007I’ve really missed out on some of the more popular fantasy series over the past few years, but in a way that’s a good thing because it means I can read the entire series close together. This series is about a set of triplet queens who must compete as heirs to the crown. Each of the sisters has a different kind of magic that they use to overthrow the other two and win the title of queen. I’ve only read one other book by Kendare Blake so far, and I really enjoyed it, so I’m hoping this one will be just as good. I’m actually currently struggling a bit with finding a place to add in the other books in the series to my reading challenges for next year, although I guess I should read this one first to make sure I’m interested in reading the rest. This is another series that I seem to have heard about non-stop for the past couple of years, and often with excellent reviews. It would be great to have a series that focuses a bit more (hopefully, anyway) on the family dynamics instead of a love triangle too.

4) Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

39752700I received this book as a birthday gift in 2017, and knew immediately that I wanted to add it in somewhere in my reading challenges this year. I absolutely loved The Girl on the Train, so I’m looking forward to reading Paula Hawkins’ next book. I intended to read this book over the summer, since it was part of a multi-week challenge prompt that involved reading a book for each of the 4 elements. My intent was to read all four in a row over the summer while my library was closed, but I ended up getting a ton of library books to hold me over for the summer, so I kept putting this one off. The book is told in multiple perspectives from a fairly large cast of characters, focusing on the deaths of several women who have drowned and the connections between their deaths. Like The Girl on the Train, I’ve seen very mixed reviews for this one, with most of them focusing on the fact that there is an overwhelming number of characters to keep track of, and that most or even all of them are unlikable. I don’t usually have too much trouble keeping track of characters if they are distinct enough, and I tend to find unlikable characters quite interesting, so I’m very intrigued by this one and I hope to get to it soon.

5) Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

34273236This was another book that I intended for the 4 elements prompts over the summer, that ended up getting pushed back by everything else I had to read and get back to the library. Celeste Ng’s debut was one of the best books I read last year, so I was excited to see that she had something new out. I got this one as a gift for my birthday last year as well, and it’s too bad that I’ve put it off for so long. I think I need to set myself a goal of managing my reading order a bit better in general next year. This book is another one that seems a bit hard to describe, but it is about a  woman named Mia and her daughter who rent a property from the Richardsons, whose four children soon are drawn into the lives of their tenants. When the Richardsons’ friends decide to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle sparks conflict between Mia and Mrs. Richardson, who takes it upon herself to uncover more about Mia’s past. It sounds like another great family story with some very interesting character dynamics, and I’m looking forward to reading it.


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