Happy Monday! Today I am excited to share with you my favorite books of 2016. It was my goal to read 40 books, and I am very happy to announce I surpassed that and read 67 books this past year. My average star rating was 3.65, so it’s safe to say I read some wonderful books and some books that I wouldn’t recommend, too. My top ten list features my favorite reads of the year whether or not they were 2016 releases. I will also be sure to link to my full reviews if you would like more information on any of these books.
I read the first three books in The 100 series by Kass Morgan this year, and I really fell in love with it. This is a young adult science fiction series, and it follows four teenagers who grew up on a space station after Earth was savaged by chemical wars. Three of our protagonists are sent to Earth to see if it is livable again, while one is still on the space station. I love the survival aspect of this series, and I think Morgan’s writing is really well done. There are so many twists and turns that keep me on my toes, and I always have fun reading these books.
I picked up When We Collided by Emery lord on a whim from the library, and I am so glad I did! This is a young adult contemporary book that follows two main characters, Jonah and Vivi. They meet one summer in Jonah’s hometown, and the book follows their relationship. Vivi is also suffering from mental illness, and we get to learn about how this affects her life on a daily basis. If you are looking for an emotional read, this is a great one.
Another emotional book I loved this year is If I Stay by Gayle Forman. I was really surprised with how much I adored this book, as it is really short and quite simple to read. This young adult contemporary follows teenager Mia as she decides whether to live or die after getting into a car crash. What I found so impactful about this novel is how we get to meet all of the people in Mia’s life both in the current day and in flashback scenes. It reminded me a bit of The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom in that respect.
Next up is a book that I started reading back in 2013, but gave up on until this year. That is A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin! I’ve never watched the television show, and I’ve managed to avoid most spoilers, so it was a huge accomplishment for me to finally finish this book. There are some things I don’t like about this book, mainly the treatment of women and graphic violence, but the characters are so intriguing and the world so rich that I have to continue in the series.
If you are looking for a beautifully written young adult book, I highly recommend The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter. This story follows teenager Cassie as she checks herself out of a mental hospital. Cassie claims her mother put her in the hospital for no reason other than hatred, and that there is nothing wrong with her. I was captivated by this story, and quite impressed with the stunning writing. I can’t wait to see what other books Kletter writes in the future!
Another book that kept me on the edge of my seat this year is The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron. This is a young adult book that takes place in a world where everyone forgets his or her memories every twelve years. The main character is a teenager named Nadia, and she is the only person who has never forgotten any of her memories. With the next forgetting around the corner, Nadia is working to ensure her family will be safe and together when all else is forgotten. Along the way she begins a new friendship with a boy named Gray, and she is afraid he will forget her. I found this story extremely addicting, and raced through this book to find out what would happen!
Another young adult contemporary I loved is More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. I was a bit confused for the first half of this book because I felt like there was no point to the story, but once we hit a big reveal I fell completely in love with this book. We follow teenager Aaron Soto, who lives in the Bronx in a near future where there is a procedure called Leteo that removes memories. Aaron is completely against this procedure, but begins to wonder if he should get it. This is an #OwnVoices LGBTQIA+ book, and one that includes a very powerful message. I can’t wait to read more from Silvera, and already pre-ordered his next book!
If you enjoy edgy and controversial stories, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood is the book for you! This adult fiction book follows a young girl named Wavy and her much older companion Kellen. Readers follow this couple from the beginnings of their innocent friendship through what becomes something more. This is a book that forces you to think about some of the universal truths about life. I absolutely loved the character of Wavy, and it was heartbreaking yet inspirational to read her story.
I still can’t believe that 2016 was the year we got another installment in the Harry Potter series. I’ve been a huge fan of this world for nearly 20 years of my life now, and although the original series did not end the way I would have liked, it was still nice to be in this world once again. Of course, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a script and not a novel, but it was so much fun to preorder a Harry Potter book again and take part in the excitement of a new Rowling release. Many Harry Potter fans despise this book, but I absolutely loved it. If you take it as it is – the script of a stage play – I think it’s quite enjoyable.
My absolute favorite book of the year is one I read in January, and that is All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. This is a young adult contemporary about Violet and Finch, two teens who meet on the roof of their school as they are pondering jumping. As you may be able to guess, this is an emotional book that deals with mental illness. While my heart was torn to shreds, I learned so much from this book. It is one I recommend to anyone and everyone, and a book I plan on rereading very soon.
That wraps up my top ten books of 2016! I read some really amazing books this year, and I’m happy that I got to share them with you. If you would like to keep up with my reading, feel free to add me on Goodreads HERE and follow my Bookstagram account HERE. Please share your favorite books of the year in the comments with me as well! I would love to know what reads you recommend.
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