2016 was a good reading year for me. I managed to read 75 books! Picking just 10 for this list of my favourites was a difficult task. There will be honourable and dishonourable mentions also. (though that doesn’t mean all the books that I liked are on this list; I had to draw the line somewhere!)
Here we go!
I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios.
This was a surprise find at the beginning of the year. A YA romance with a bit of a twist. It has stuck with me a lot more than I thought it would. The characterisation was on point, and I particularly loved the inclusion of Josh as a Marine, and his struggles with having been injured in combat and losing his friends. There was just something I really liked about the characters and their story.
“And maybe some people are like collages – no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered.”
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
Our October read for “The Book Corner” was a blast! A comedy about the anti-Christ and the end of the world. It was super funny, and witty, and creative. I enjoyed it so much, and it confirmed Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett as two of my favourite authors.
“DON’T THINK OF IT AS DYING, said Death. JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.”
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness.
This book turned ‘chosen one’ stereotypes on their head. It was such an original idea, and particularly clever in its approach and execution. I also loved how a number of the characters dealt with mental illness. They were portrayed and dealt with in a very realistic and thoughtful manner.
“Not everyone has to be the Chosen One. Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world. Most people just have to live their lives the best they can.”
The Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.
A heist movie in novel form. It’s set in an Industrial Revolution/Magic world, which was wonderfully portrayed. I loved the cast of characters: Kaz, Inej, Nina, Jesper, Matthias, and Wylan. They were each broken and hurting, but helped each other succeed and become better. I really can’t wait to continue their story in “Crooked Kingdom“.
“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”
I bought the ebook of “These Broken Stars” on sale ages ago, and after reading one of Kaufman’s other books, “Illuminae”, I figured I’d give it a look. I am sooo glad that I did! I loved it. I didn’t know that I was in to sci-fi/space stuff until I read this. It’s like the space Titanic. And it was so creative and wonderful, and I couldn’t tell where it was going. There were surprises around every bend. And the rest of the trilogy was just as good, with each book getting bigger and more complex.
“And there it is, against all hope, like the sun peeking out from behind the clouds. The smallest hint of a smile.”
Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell.
I watched the movie that this inspired last year, the one with Mark Wahlberg, and really enjoyed it. I’m a fan of reading books that inspire movies, and I’m pretty good at separating them in my mind. I’m really glad that I read this. It was an interesting look at the war in Afghanistan. And I was sobbing through the last fifty pages or so.
“I will never quit. My nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down I will get back up, every time.”
For “The Book Corner” we read the first book in the series, “Cinder“. It’s a steampunk/sci-fi retelling of Cinderella, and I really enjoyed it. With each successive book in the series the main character changes to another fairytale retelling. “Scarlet” is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, while “Cress” is Rapunzel, and “Winter” is Snow White. “Scarlet” was my fav. It’s done really well, and I loved all the action scenes. It’s a great series; not at all over-hyped.
“I knew they would kill me when they found out, but…I think I realised that I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you.”
I love Katie McGarry! This new series of hers is about a Motorcycle Club, and it was so immersive. I really liked the first book, “Nowhere But Here“, but the second book really pulled me in. I think it’s because I related more to the character of Breanna, who is bookish and a bit shy. Her budding relationship with Razor was well developed and believable. And her relationship with her parents and siblings even more so. I cried a bit towards the end.
“Yeah, I know. I’m supposed to be this twenty-first-century woman and obsessed with a man desiring me for my massive intellect. I am woman, hear me roar, and all that stuff, but for once, it would have been really freaking awesome to be the girl in the pretty dress left alone with the gorgeous bad boy who wants to kiss me.”
The Four Legendary Kingdoms by Matthew Reilly.
Oh. My. Giddy. Aunt.
The fourth book in the “Jack West Jr” series, this fast-paced action extravaganza was the thing that I’ve been waiting for for so long! Another amazing Jack West Jr adventure, which a cameo to squeal about! It appeared to be hinting at more books and I am sooo ready. If you haven’t read a Matthew Reilly book, you totes should.
“The dogs, it had to be said, were a bit of a shock to Jack’s falcon, Horus. The old bird tolerated them like a teenage girl tolerates a little brother.”
- Treat With Caution by Serenity Woods.
Read more like a bad romance fanfiction.
- The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.
This was WAY overrated. It didn’t make me feel anything.
- The Enchanted Island by Ellie O’Neill.
I was intrigued by the premise, but it didn’t really work.
- Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes.
The author tried WAY too hard to make the characters quirky and weird. I only read it because I liked the Disney movie adaptation.
- A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin.
This felt like it was a good outline of a story, but things weren’t explored enough.
- The Martian by Andy Weir.
This was incredible. I saw the movie with Matt Damon, and knew I had to read the book. It was hilarious, and the scientific explanations really added to the authenticity and believablity of the story.
- I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
Our December book for “The Book Corner” was such a pleasant and emotional surprise. A YA with a difference, I highly recommend this.
- First & Then by Emma Mills.
I actually bought this because the cover and hardback were so pretty. But I also really enjoyed the quick, light read. It was a sweet story.
Some more fairytale retellings, this time Snow White, Cinderella, and Little Red Riding Hood, with a paranormal/supernatural twist. They were fresh and interesting.
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Another reason to love Neil Gaiman. I read this because there’s a TV adaptation being made with an actor I love. It was incredible. Weird, wacky, and creative. It tells the story of a man who finds out that the old gods exist in America, and that they are heading to war with the new gods.
The top spot goes to…
I mean, Gemina was incredible also, but I think the first book just edges out in front. It’s made up of a collection of different files, which tell such an immersive story that it blew my mind. The characters and the story are all amazing. Again, I didn’t know I was into this sort of sci-fi story, or the format of storytelling, until I spent a morning absorbing this. Seriously, I read this 700 page book in half a day, and it was sooo worth it. I can’t wait to see where it goes in the third and final book.
“You have me. Until the last star in the galaxy dies. You have me.”
Books I’m Seriously Excited To Read in 2017:
- “Crooked Kingdom” by Leigh Bardugo
- “Nevernight” by Jay Kristoff
- “Long Way Home” by Katie McGarry (out at the end of January)
- “The Illuminae Files #3” by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (hopefully it comes out in October when it’s supposed to!)
- “Zeroes” by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Debarah Biancotti
- “Stars Above” and “Fairest” by Marissa Meyer
- “Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon
So what do you think of the books I’ve read? What were your favourite books in 2016? What are you planning on reading in 2017? Let me know in the comments below.