My Fave and Not So Fave Reads of 2016

fave-not-so-fave-reads-of-2016

I haven’t read enough new releases for this list to be just books released in 2016 so these are just books that I read in 2016. Do I give books 5 star ratings too easily? Probably. Do I care? No. I tried so hard to cut my favourites down, but I just couldn’t so 💁🏻 This is a bit of a long post. Oh well. Grab a snack.

Covers = Goodreads
Titles = My review

faves

we-should-all-be-feminists-by-chimamanda-ngozi-adichie six-of-crows-by-leigh-bardugo homegoing-by-yaa-gyasi caraval-by-stephanie-garber

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Honestly, this book should be required reading. It’s so important that people understand what feminism really is. There’s so many misconceptions. Even if you’re really familiar with what feminism is it’s always important to be inclusive so I still recommend reading this.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – I may have only read this a few weeks ago, but it’s easily one of my favourites. I love the characters so, so, so much. I want to hug them forever. Inej is totally one of my new all time favourite characters.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – One of the most important books I read this year. If you haven’t read it you need to right now. It’s so beautiful, honest and eye opening. I learnt so much.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber – Such an enchanting and immersing read! I know it’s not released until next year, but I read it a few months ago so I had to include it!

 the-darkest-minds-series the-illuminae-files-series

Never Fade & In The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken  I finally finished The Darkest Minds series this year and these books didn’t let me down. Even though I didn’t want the series to end In The Afterlight had the most perfect ending and I feel like I’m going to be comparing a lot of series that I finish to how it ended. I know people are a bit over dystopian, but I promise this will be worth your time.

Illuminae and Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – Do I even need to say anything? Illuminae re-inspired my love for reading. It’s why this blog exists. These are two of my favourite books of all time. The multimedia format is so unique and still allows for character development and serious attachment to the characters. Plus there’s an incredibly complex AI. Read THEM.

the-yellow-wallpaper-by-charlotte-perkins-gilman you-by-caroline-kepnes the-first-third-by-will-kostakis the-sidekicks-by-will-kostakis

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – I’m really glad I decided to give classics a go this year because this book changed my life. It’s so important and it’s going to stay with me forever. Please go read it if you haven’t.

You by Caroline Kepnes – This was such a fast paced and addicting thriller. It was really messed up, but you find yourself agreeing and sympathizing with an actual psychopath which I think takes a special kind of talent. At times I was thinking this was a romantic contemporary. Caroline Kepnes is amazing.

The First Third & The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis – These books aren’t connected, but I’m including them together because imo they’re everything a contemporary should be. Focus on friendships with no absent parents/families. The First Third made me cry my eyes out and represents Greek culture and has a disabled side character. The Sidekicks has a brilliant portrayal of grief.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur a-fierce-and-subtle-poison-by-samantha-mabry every-heart-a-doorway-by-seanan-mcguire the-female-of-the-species-by-mindy-mcginnis

milk and honey by Rupi Kaur – A beautiful poetry book which talks about so many important themes and issues like feminism, women of colour and darker topics like abuse. I love this poetry collection so, so much.

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry – A beautiful magical realism that’s set in Puerto Rico. I fell in love with this because of the beautiful writing and vague ending. The setting felt so alive.

Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire – This book means so much to me because it’s the first time I’ve ever seen my orientation mentioned in a book. Whilst the MC identifies as asexual I am so thankful that the word “aromantic” was mentioned and that it was explained that they were different things. It also features such a unique concept and focuses on the “After” when people travel to Fantasy worlds. It was so magical, whimsical and had a really great mystery.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnins – I saw a tweet on Twitter that was like “why are people making fave lists with 10 days left of 2016” and I was like…. honestly what are the chances I’m actually going to read and love a book that much in that time? Well, turns out the chances were more likely than I thought because that’s what happened here. This is such an important book that deals with rape culture and internalised sexism.

hamilton-the-revolution-by-lin-manuel-miranda-jeremy-mccarter a-monster-calls-by-patrick-ness-jim-kay-illustrator-siobhan-dowd-conception the-hidden-oracle-by-rick-riordan last-seen-leaving-by-caleb-roehrig

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter – I fell in love with Hamilton this year and this book just made me appreciate it (and musicals) in a whole new light.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – This book was so, so beautiful and absolutely heartbreaking. I loved it.

The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan – I was so excited for this book. The world of Percy Jackson is everything to me so I had really high expectations. It exceeded every single one. This is easily one of my favourite books ever. I loved being back in the world and I loved the depiction of Apollo and how Rick included LGBTQIA+ elements and made Apollo bisexual.

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig – This isn’t going to be a book for everyone because it’s a YA thriller, but I loved it to pieces. It uses a lot of same elements as Gone Girl and I feel like this book got them so right. There were brilliant plot twists and the MC is gay and there’s a really cute romance too.

 night-film-by-marisha-pessl nimona-by-noelle-stevenson the-book-thief-by-markus-zusak

Night Film by Marisha Pessl – I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. It is so much more than just a thriller. There’s an amazing friendship group. The multimedia elements makes everything feel so much more realistic. I WANT EVERYONE TO READ THIS BOOK PLEASE. It’s super psychological and really genre bending. Honestly, you will be googling Stanlias Kordova to see if he’s a real person.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson – I love this graphic novel to pieces. It’s such a great take on the usual hero vs villain trope. I think about it all the time and it honestly gave me such a huge hangover. I need more.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I finally read this book this month and I think I cried for like 3 days. I can’t believe I put it off for so long. The writing was beautiful and I love that it was narrated by death. If you’re like me and have been putting this off go read it now!!

shades-of-magic-series

the-raven-cycle-series

A Darker Shade of Magic & A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab – I loved these soooo much. The characters, world and magic system are all so so amazing. I’m so excited but terrified for the final book.

The Dream Thieves, Blue Lily Lily Blue & The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater – What can I even say about this series? It’s so magical. I love the world and characters with my entire soul. I know a lot of people weren’t happy with how The Raven King played out, but I thought it suited the tone of the series perfectly. I miss this world so much and I can’t wait for the Ronan-centric trilogy that Maggie has planned.

not-so-faves

I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this but…. this is just my opinion. If you loved these books: AWESOME!!!!! Please don’t hate me.

three-dark-crowns-by-kendare-blake the-star-touched-queen-by-roshani-chokshi the-grownup-by-gillian-flynn a-court-of-thorns-and-roses-by-sarah-j-maas

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake – I love Kendare. Her Anna series is one of my all time favourites. However, Three Dark Crowns really let me down. It was extremely misleading. So much happened, but nothing happened? I am intrigued for the next book though.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi – Okay, I gave this 4 stars but I was disappointed in the sense that I thought this was going to be a lot more empowering than what it was. It really felt like Maya was doing everything for her instalove interest instead of herself. The writing and diverse mythology was beautiful though.

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn – I HATED Gone Girl, but I still want to read more Gillian Flynn so I tried this. Whilst it had an unforgettable opening line the rest of the story fell short. It was the same formula of Gone Girl with a “plot twist” that made everything else that happened pointless. I’m starting to think Gillian Flynn and I just aren’t meant to be. That said I still plan on attempting Sharp Objects and Dark Places.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Mass – I don’t do abuse dressed up as romance. It’s a trope that will always make me so angry. I wish more people called out the abuse and victim shaming in this book. Besides that, it was all over the place. I have ACOMAF, but honestly I don’t know if I’ll ever read it. I know everyone says it’s so much better, but I really, really trust Marines @ mynameismarines opinion with this series and she really didn’t like that one either so. Maybe one day. (My review is 3 stars, but I’ve since dropped my rating to 2 stars)

heartless-by-marissa-meyer stealing-snow-by-danielle-paige harry-potter-and-the-cursed-child

Heartless by Marissa Meyer – This was just way too romance heavy for me. I really enjoyed Cinder and was excited for this because it was an Alice retelling that focused on the Queen of Hearts, but it just felt so one dimensional.

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige – This book was a hot mess. I’m not entirely sure how it got published. THERE WAS A LOVE SQUARE. A. LOVE. SQUARE. One of the love interests wasn’t even pivotal to the story.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany & Jack Thorne – I knew this wasn’t going to be like a Harry Potter book and whilst it was a magical reading experience there were too many ridiculous moments, queer baiting and plot holes. The characters felt wrong and not in a “they’ve grown up” way. Scorpius Malfoy is everything though and deserves all the stars. (my review is 4 stars, but I’ve since dropped my rating to 3 stars)

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What was some of your favourite or not so favourite reads of 2016?

I’d love to hear any of your thoughts!

I hope you’re all having a fantastic day.

lauren xx.png
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43 thoughts on “My Fave and Not So Fave Reads of 2016

  1. Great wrap up you’ve got here, Lauren! I spy several books on your “not so faves” list that I agree with you on, and several others I’ve got in my library that I haven’t yet picked up! LOVE that you shared your reasons with us all, thank you so much for that! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hit send before I was ready….
    Books because there’s just too much problematic things and the worst thing is that she hasn’t said anything about it. So yep, even though it gives me anxiety, I decided not to continue her series. I hope 2017 is a great reading year for you my friend ❤️

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    1. Haha, right. I try to restrain myself, but I just fall in love with the characters so much and tend to forget more technical things that a lot of people would remove stars for.

      I’ve seen all the discussions about SJM and it’s such a shame that she chooses to ignore them. I get that she can’t change her previous books, but she could at least acknowledge what’s being said. That said, I’m still super curious about reading ToG because I feel like the only person in the world who hasn’t. I already own it, but I feel like I’m not really going to love it because it’s not really my thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That happens to me too! If I really enjoyed a story, it might get a higher rating even if it is not all technically well done. I rate emotionally and on how books made me feel while reading, but that’s why I have two sections in my reviews haha
        Honestly, I really enjoyed them. High Fantasy is my favorite genre and the books are really addicting, but she doesn’t do characters very well to be honest haha

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  3. Milk and Honey is on my TBR I’m dying to read it! Never thought I’d say this about a poetry book, haha! Six of Crows… I haven’t even bought it yet. I know, I’m so bad xD I’ll check We Should All Be Feminists because you’re so right, the word is used and misused!
    I totally agree about Three Dark Crowns. I guess I’m less mad because I know they’re a second book now, but it was a pain to finish. Still I want to know what happens next!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yay, so happy to see Night Film on your list – one of my all time favourite books. I desperately want to check out Every Heart a Doorway, it sounds amazing! The Raven Cycle too – I’ve had the first book on my shelf for ages, no idea why I haven’t read it yet!! I totally agree with you about Gillian Flynn/Gone Girl – I think it’s so overhyped. I DNF’d Sharp Objects too, it was awful and had quite graphic descriptions of self harm with no warning. Sounds like I shouldn’t bother with The Grownup!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahhh so many awesome books here, Lauren! I’m desperate to read The Female Of The Species and Six Of Crows – I’ve literally heard nothing bad about either of those books from anyone. All the bloggers I trust have given them awesone reviews, so they’re definitely at the top of my list for 2017. The only thing left to say about Stealing Snow is lol. What a waste of a tree, eh?! Great post dude – happy reading for 2017! x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great list! I saw a tweet very similiar about the early favourite posts and mine had gone up that day. I was thinking, what are the chances I read a books I love that much, much less actually finish a book. Well, welll, well, look whose making some quick edits on their favourites post later on today. Anyway, I loved The Book Thief too! I can’t believe so much of my life was spent without that book in my life

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You listed so many books I need to read; 2017’s shaping up to be the year I’m finally buried in great books.

    Yes yes yes, The Yellow Wallpaper. I read it in high school, and it changed my life too; it was unlike anything I’d read to that point. I reread it every so often, and it’s easily held up to my changing perspective and taste. So glad to hear you liked it!

    Hope 2017 brings you even more excellent books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really wasn’t a fan either. There were some elements I didn’t mind, but overall it just had too much going on but was soooooo slow. I didn’t really care for the characters either. The ending did get me a little interested for the 2nd book so I’ll probably read that, but I doubt I’ll continue the rest of the series if nothing happens. I was promised a fight to the death and I’m so mad we didn’t even come close to getting that haha.

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  8. Everyone seems to be RAVING about Homegoing and I feel like I need to pick it up right now! Only it has 16 reserves on my library so if everyone takes three weeks to read it… that’ll be forever, haha. I’ll see if I can get a better copy elsewhere. 😛

    But I agree with a lot of your choices here. A Monster Calls, ADSOM/AGOS, Nimona, The Raven Cycle… all are such great books and I really loved them. I’m also not a huge fan of TSTQ or Three Dark Crowns, which is sad given how excited I was for both of them. Oh well! Here’s to better books, I suppose. 😉

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    1. It’s SOOOO GOOD. It’s definitely worth the wait, but I also wouldn’t say no if you found a way to read it sooner, haha.

      Yay!!! They were all soo good. It’s a shame about TSTQ and TDC!! I wanted to love them, but they just fell short. I mean I did give TSTQ 4 stars so it sounds weird to say it disappointed me. It definitely wasn’t what I was expecting though and if I wasn’t so weak for the writing style I probably would have rated it a lot lower.

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      1. I’m thinking of buying it! My budget is out of whack right now bc of all the holidays and festivities, but I think I might be able to get it sooner than if I wait for a library copy…

        I actually gave TSTQ 3.5 stars too, so I hear you there. TDC earned 3 stars for me, haha. Both books weren’t HORRIBLE – like you said, just weren’t what I was expecting and I was overall not satisfied. 😛

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  9. Another Six of Crows favorite ❤ I LOVE That book.I am planning to read Crooked Kingdom in 2017 and yess Illuminae is one of my 2016 favorites too.I have been seeing so many good reviews for Caraval and I can't wait to read that too in the next year.Happy new year,Lauren 🙂

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  10. Ah, so many amazing books, I don’t know what to flail about first! Oh, and don’t worry, I give 5 star ratings quickly as well, but I guess it just means we know how to pick books we will love 😉 Yay for Six of Crows, Shades of Magic and the Raven Cycle ❤ We Should All Be Feminists is definitely a must read and I also loved the Darkest MInds series! A Monster Calls is on my shelf and I know it'll be so amazing but I keep procrastinating because I know I will be heartbroken… 2017 is definitely the year I'll finally read Illuminae 😉 And so happy you loved Caraval, it's one of my most anticipated reads of 2017! Happy New Year, Lauren!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ahhh I’m so glad you enjoyed Six of Crows!! Also, yay to Inej being one of your all time favorite characters now. She is definitely one of mine too. I think as far as reads in general go Six of Crows was the top of the top for me this year because it was so good. It blew all the other fantasy novels I thought would be top out of the water. And I’m glad you enjoyed Never Fade and In The Afterlight too. I adore that series and the ending was great, though very bittersweet. It broke my heart and made me happy haha. I really need to read the Shades of Magic books as well as several of the others on your favorites list. But the SOM books are on the top of my 2017 reading list. I’m waiting for the last book to release 😂.
    Also, I have a question. How do you put your covers side by side with links? I should probably know how to do that but I can’t for the life of me figure it out. 🙈
    Great picks, Lauren! I hope your reading year in 2017 is fantastic. 💕

    Like

    1. It was incredible. It took me a few chapters to get into it, but then I read the bit where they were talking about what their ghosts would do and I was like “yep, I officially love this book” haha. I’m so scared to read CK though. The Darkest Minds was a series that I had such a hard time letting go of!! I’m so happy it had a great ending though. Shades of Magic is amazing. I hope you enjoy it 😀 😀

      Haha, no that’s okay ♥ It’s a bit time consuming, but I just go to the media gallery and add the covers one at a time. So once you add the first cover click right next to it and then add the next. Then with the links I just select it and use the “link” button! I’m terrible at explaining things so I hoped that made a little bit of sense 😂

      Thank you!! You too, Melissa ♥♥

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! The part where they talked about their ghosts. I loved that part so much lol. Crooked Kingdom was an overall great read for me but just a bit slower. It’s definitely one worth sticking to until the end. 😊
        Same! Back when I read and finished the series I actually ended up in a slump because I couldn’t believe it was over. I hope so too.
        Thank you so much! That made complete sense to me. Now I won’t have to go through the extra time of using Photoshop and all of that. 😂
        You’re welcome! 💕

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  12. Great picks for this topic Lauren, and some of these are the same as my answers would be. I am a massive fan of Illuminae, Gemina, TRC series and the Shades of Magic series as well, they’re all ultimate favourites of mine! I still have Caraval on my to-read list, I’m actually hoping to start it tomorrow but seeing it on your favourites list has just made me more excited to get started on it.
    I’m sorry to see you didn’t enjoy The Star-Touched Queen as much as you were expecting Lauren, but I definitely agree with you on Stealing Snow, when you have a love interest that adds nothing to the story you know you’ve done something wrong. This may be a series that I won’t be continuing and that is a rarity! 🙂
    Also I can’t wait to see your review for The Book Thief, I’m glad you finally got around to it and definitely really glad you enjoyed it so much! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I really want to read Milk & Honey. I’ve seen it around so much & I’ve never read a poetry book. I feel like that one would be a good place to start. I actually haven’t read any of the books that you disliked except for ACOTAR. I think I gave it three stars when I read it, but I didn’t really enjoy it. I thought the plot was silly. Now that I look at it (after people brought up the abuse in it) I can totally see that. So, idk. I have read ACOMAF…which is a bit diff, but I still didn’t like that one either >.<

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I LOVED Illuminae! And I just picked up Gemina today and am obsessing over it already. They really are great reads!
    I also really enjoyed The cursed child, but that’s probably because I had a clear image of it in my mind because I saw the play…
    I haven’t read any other books from your list, but I hope to get to some of them in 2017.

    Here’s my 2016 Recap in Books and How 2016 treated me personally if you’re interested 🙂

    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. So happy to see Every Heart A Doorway on your list. I’m getting more and more excited to read it the more I see people talk about it. Even people who don’t like it make me want to read it more. haha
    I see that you had a hard time narrowing it down to a neat 10. :p I wanted to do like 16, but cut it down to 12 and that was hard enough.

    I have seen/read a lot of review for Three Dark Crowns and am not sure if I’m sold yet! I will definitely wait to see how the sequel turns out before I decided to read the series. Hopefully all the exposition is out of the way and book 2 will get to the good stuff. I will read The Star Touched Queen in the next few months, probably . I am discovering that I don’t mind instalovey stuff alll that much, lol, if it’s done well. I”m reading The Sun Is Also A Star Right now and it’s super cute. x)

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