What a year of reading! I tried to make this the top 10 but I could not cut some of my favourites! These are my favourite reads of 2016. They aren’t necessarily books that have been released this year, just ones I have read and loved! Each comes with some reasons for why I loved it – as spoiler free as I can make it.
- A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J Maas
I will never be over this book. There is something magical about Sarah J Maas’ writing and the characters in this book are just amazing. I adore this book.
I have never read a book so empowering and feminist and I think that is what I like so much about it. Feyre learns what she is capable of and the people beside her help her reach a point of healing, letting her take each step and make her own decisions.
“To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.”
Rhys clinked his glass against mine. “To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”
“And I wondered if love was too weak a word for what he felt, what he’d done for me. For what I felt for him.”
“I am broken and healing, but every piece of my heart belong to you.”
“You might be my mate,” he said, “But you remain your own person. You decide your fate – your choices. Not me. You chose yesterday. You choose every day. Forever.”
2. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
There are absolutely no faults with this book whatsoever. This book is fast paced, funny, engaging and full of characters that will keep you interested far beyond the pages. Following six characters that undertake a huge heist, Kaz Brekker and his team attempt the impossible and do it with style and humour. A guaranteed read that will have you on the edge of your seat wondering what is next.
I highly recommend checking this out with the second book, Crooked Kingdom, being one of my next reads in January.
3. The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer
I flew through this book series this year, late to the party but still ready to enjoy it! I had avoided it because I thought the idea of Cinderella being a cyborg was dumb but boy do I regret not starting it sooner! If you are looking for a series with strong female characters, POC characters, space and an awesome future world, the Lunar Chronicles is for you! Based on fairytale stories, Meyer takes hold of the main ideas and gives them a twist that has you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out what will happen next.
Despite the fairytale idea, these characters go through a lot and are really explored in depth. There are four books and two companion novels – start with Cinder. Do yourself a favour and read it – I highly doubt you’ll forget it!
“Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.”
“She was a cyborg, and she would never go to a ball.”
“Steadying herself with both hands on the table, she managed an awkward bow….
‘Your Highness,’ she stammered, head lowered…
The prince flinched and cast a glance over his shoulder before hunching toward her. ‘Maybe, um…’ – he pulled his fingers across his lips – ‘on the Highness stuff?”
4. Shatter Me (Series) – Tahereh Mafi
I had heard about this series for a long time and bought it for my sister but it wasn’t until I read A Court of Mist and Fury that I thought I would give it a try. What happened? I fell in love with it. The way Tahereh writes this series is absolutely beautiful and I read it really quickly.
This series follow Juliette, a girl who has a superpower, one that she hates. When she touches people, they get hurt. She is locked up until she is taken to be used by the reestablishment where she meets Warner, a sexy misunderstood guy who is kind of an ass, and Adam, someone she met long ago but for some reason can touch her. While it sounds as though this is a general love triangle story with a ‘super special’ girl, this is a great series. Though predictable in some parts, it is really enjoyable and has great themes of ownership, friendship, fighting and you know, romance.
It’s a great series and ends kind of up in the air so you can come to your own conclusions of what happens next. I loved the characters and hate the fact it’s over but at least we can re-read!
“I’m oxygen and he’s dying to breathe.”
“I’ve been screaming for years and no one has ever heard me.”
“His lips soften into a smile that cracks apart my spine. He repeats my name like the word amuses him. Entertains him. Delights him.
In seventeen years no one has said my name like that.”
“But I’m shocked by the tenderness in his voice. The sincerity with which he wants to know. He’s like a feral dog, crazed and wild, thirsty for chaos, simultaneously aching for recognition and acceptance.
5. Empire of Storms – Sarah J Maas
While this book has gotten a lot of mixed reviews, I still really enjoyed it! I am addicted to the characters and world that Sarah J Maas has created. I loved seeing the progression of the characters and how the plot has progressed with the advancement of the war with Erawan and the conflict with Maeve. Aelin and the crew are so intense in this book in so many different ways and I loved every second of it.
This book will tear your heart out and not in a good way. So many tears, so much tension and just an absolute page turner. I cannot wait to see what the next book brings.
6. Illuminae – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I was hesitant to read this book to start but I really loved it! This book is written in a whole bunch of documents and transcripts and pictures but draws you in quickly with a fast paced plot and intriguing characters. I did not see a lot of the twists that came and was blown away by how much I loved the story.
It was so enjoyable and holds itself as a top read of 2016 for me despite being written in 2015.
7. Words in Deep Blue – Cath Crowley
This book was such a surprise but one that I adored. The writing style is absolutely beautiful and it tugs at the heart strings. Being based in a book shop, this story explores two best friends, or people that were best friends. I love the idea of the reading library and how prevalent writing is mentioned in this book.
Words in Deep Blue makes you want to go and read and write and I highly recommend it for anyone who loves literature.
8. First life – Gena Showalter
This book was incredibly unique! I’m looking forward to the next one. It looks at two different worlds that you become a part of when you die and their fight to win souls. (That’s the rough idea anyway.) It’s a really great book and I enjoyed the characters and resulting love triangle. The last line had me cheering!
“If at first you don’t succeed, kill your opponent.”
9. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre has swiftly become my favourite classic this year. Despite having read it before I picked it up again and devoured it, not once but twice! This book follows Jane, a plain girl who survives through a horrible family, a horrible schooling and who meets Mr Rochester, a fascinating man who she falls in love with, despite having secrets.
This is such a feminist story and the love between Rochester and Jane is fantastic. I could read it again in a heartbeat.
Sometimes books change you for the better and this book is definitely one that has changed me this year.
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
“I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.”
“I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, great and strong! He made me love him without looking at me.”
10. The Lake House – Kate Morton
“The Lake House” is a historical, mystery book and reads really well. I think I read it in two days because I just wanted to know what happened. It follows various time periods and weaves a story between all these different characters including a disgraced detective, a reclusive author, a young girl and a missing baby. It explores themes of PTSD, naivety, infidelity and lots more!
It definitely leaves you guessing until the end and definitely a great weekend read! Kate Morton weaves a fantastic story.
“Life was like that, doors of possibility constantly opening and closing as one blindly made one’s way through.”
“We are all victims of our human experience,” Alice continued, “apt to view the present through the lens of our own past.”
11. The Martian – Andy Weir
I read this book before I saw the movie and I loved it. This book follows Mark Watney, a botanist on a mission to Mars who gets left behind in a freak accident. It explores how he survives and how the world reacts to him being there too.
The main character Mark Watney is a national treasure (or international?) and his narration was just fantastic. The sarcasm, the swearing, the jokes – all of it makes for such a fantastic read. I’m not heaps into technical jargon but it’s written in a really great way. Honestly some of the one liners in it are amazing.
“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.”
“I guess you could call it a “failure”, but I prefer the term “learning experience”.”
“Actually, I was the very lowest ranked member of the crew. I would only be “in command” if I were the only remaining person.”
What do you know? I’m in command.”
“It’s true, you know. In space, no one can hear you scream like a little girl.”
12. An Echo in the Bone – Diana Gabaldon
This is the next instalment in the Outlander seres and I really loved it. The Outlander series is a time travelling historical romance based in the Scotland Highlands but it has come so much further. This series is known for being long winded because each book is +800 pages and this one was a whopping 1100 pages. Four stories intermingle in An Echo in the Bone – Claire and Jamie (and Ian), William, Lord John, and Roger and Brianna. Each of them had their own great moments and I was so ready to keep reading. The final 50 pages were an absolute whirlwind and I just need to know more!
“Catholics don’t believe in divorce. We do believe in murder. There’s always Confession, after all.”
“Then I grew older still, and discovered that after all, it was true. I am the son of a great man.”
The hook touched Jamie’s hand, hard and capable.
“I wish for nothing more.”
“Come to bed, a nighean. Nothing hurts when ye love me.” He was right; nothing did.”
There you have it! My top 12 reads of 2016. Here’s hoping for an even bigger year of 2017!