Friday, March 9, 2018

2017 Book of the Year: Elite Eight

Trooping right along in the eliminations, today we're moving the field from the Sweet Sixteen to the Elite Eight. This is the part in the eliminations where competitions start to get difficult and books that I really enjoyed start getting turned away.

This is where this round starts...

Let's see who survives the head-to-head match-ups this time.

Left Side Bracket:


The Weight of Feathers is a YA fantasy novel that is something of a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. The Master Magician is a YA fantasy novel that is the culmination of The Paper Magician series. Both books were entertaining and stood on their own merits. This was a decent match.

However, the winner was pretty clear for me right from the beginning. While I did enjoy The Master Magician, it fell a little flat in some of the romantic style dialogue. This made pieces of the narrative feel a bit childish and underdeveloped. There was some eye rolling. Never a good sign.

While The Weight of Feathers is aimed at the same age group, it just felt more maturely written. Don't get me wrong, it still feels like a young adult novel, but it has a bit more solidity. I enjoyed the story. Retellings can sometimes be risky reads, but this one held its own just fine.

The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore moves on to the next round.


Historical fiction versus Young Adult fiction. This was another clear winner. Again, both decent reads, but one just came out ahead of the other. Orphan Train had pieces of beautiful writing, but struggled with a narrative split into two timelines. The Paper Magician was creative and highly imaginative, but did have some distracting similarities to the Harry Potter series. 

The ultimate winner won based on readability. quickly did I read through it because I was enjoying it. Both of these did read fairly smoothly, but The Paper Magician held my attention much more consistently. So...Charlie N. Holmberg takes this section of the bracket.


Another of those weird pairings where comparison is seriously just awkward. Horror versus comedy memoir. I was seriously impressed with Slade House, especially given the fact that I typically don't enjoy horror reads. I was underwhelmed by Dad is Fat, most likely because I expected more given how much I enjoy his standup routines. So...obviously, Slade House is going to take the win on this one.


These were both good reads. A Gentleman in Moscow was a bit slow to start and took a bit for me to get into, but it's got some amazingly smart writing and I really enjoyed the characters. For taking place primarily in one location, the narrative is incredibly rich and colorful. The Bookshop on the Corner was just a good, fun, and light read. It's a book to cuddle up with on a rainy day.

I actually had to consider this one for a while. Really, it could have gone either way depending on my mood. There's two very different feels here. But, I just had more enjoyment from The Bookshop on the Corner. It was what I needed at the time I read it, so it gave me more happiness. And so, I'm giving it the win.

Right Side Bracket:


Again, two good books. But...this one wasn't really a challenge. Turtles All the Way Down is one of John Green's finest novels. It's real and raw. I didn't really appreciate the character of Russell Pickett...he was the one thing that felt false in the narrative, but overall...I really enjoyed this book. It's not a super happy novel, but the realism just makes it right.

The Summer I Turned Pretty is the first in Han's Summer trilogy. It's a bit of a more immature YA read, but it's still decent. It reads quick and it's probably an ideal beach read for a teen. Obviously, I'm a bit older than that age range, but I still enjoyed a nice easy read.

Turtles All the Way Down was an easy winner in this match. It really was that simple. 


The Lauras continued Taylor's trend of beautiful writing. She really is a talented author. But the story felt overly full to me...not something that happens often. I'm honestly not sure whether that should be something that gives the book more praise or should detract from it. For me, it just resulted in leaving me wanting more. 

Library of Souls is the final book in the Miss Peregrine series. It is packed with action and had me nervously on the edge of my seat for the majority of its pages. I stayed up super late reading it and didn't want to put it down. That made this an easy decision. Library of Souls had to be the winner for this pair.


Gilbert's book surprised me. I honestly didn't expect to appreciate it as much as I did. I found it incredibly applicable and somewhat inspiring. I don't read much in this particular honestly usually just stimulates a large amount of eye rolling, but I found Big Magic to be well worth the reading time.

Ransom Riggs is up for the second of his three pairings in this round. Hollow City is the second Miss Peregrine novel and holds up wonderfully. It did not fall victim to the typical sophomore novel stigma, but instead continued to wow me. I very much enjoyed it.

This was a decent match, but I knew from the second I saw the pairing which one would come out ahead. Riggs takes his second bracket in a row and Hollow City moves into the Elite Eight.


This is a great match-up. A Man Called Ove was a beautiful book that made me have all the feels. Seriously. I laughed, I cried, and I wanted to get to know Ove. He's a fantastically written character and so full and rich that it makes the book seem as if it could easily be non-fiction. So good.

Miss Peregrine is the book that started it all for Ransom Riggs. It's a creepy little plot with an interesting premise and I found myself captivated pretty early on. It read smoothly and really didn't give me any reason to feel unsatisfied.

This was a tough decision. Both books were really good and I hated to have to say goodbye to either one. Like I said in the beginning of this post, this round is typically where things start to get ugly. And they did. I had to let one of these good reads fall by the wayside. Even after finishing the graphic for this round I continued to question which book should be the winner. This easily could have swung either direction. But the band-aid had to be pulled off. And is as it had to be... Ransom Riggs officially pulls off the hat trick and Miss Peregrine moves into the next round.

And there you have it. Our field of competitors is now down to eight. The challenges now start to get really tough as we move closer to the ultimate winner. All eight of these books are ones I would highly recommend. But...we can only have one on we go...


Post a Comment

Other Posts You Might LIke

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
01 09 10 11 12
Blogging tips