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
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!
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 – 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 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 – 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 – 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!!
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.
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 – 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 – 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)