I can’t believe it’s already the end of 2016! It has been… quite a year. It was filled with books both good and bad, times up and down. But before the end of the year, I wanted to take the time to shine a spotlight on something positive: my favorite books of 2016. Only the books that truly have stayed with me (even months after reading them) have made it onto the list. These are the books I found to not only be good, but have that je ne sais quoi that really stuck with me.
[To be clear, these are not necessarily books published in 2016 (even though many of them, coincidentally, are), just books that I have read this year.]
To avoid prejudice (okay, really just to avoid having to agonize over the organization), I’ve organized my list by the date I read the book:
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Every time I think of this book, this wonderful feeling of comfort watches over me. Something about Alexandra Bracken’s writing clicked with me, and the atmosphere she created within this book felt just right. I am so, so excited to dive back into this world with Wayfarer; it’s unreal. You can read my review here!
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
This book was a work of art, and so absolutely unique. The writing was breathtaking, and I kid you not, I sobbed at the end of this one.
Salt to the Sea featured such a diverse cast of characters, each with a unique voice and story to share. I cared about each and every one of them. Even if you’re not a Historical Fiction reader, I highly recommend you give this a read. Review here!
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Believe it or not, this was assigned reading! Despite my usual distaste for anything I’m forced to read, I found such a beautiful story in this one. It was magical as well as relevent, innocent and juvenile as well as 100% serious.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
I read the entirety of Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys series in 2016, and suffice to say that I fell in love. Whimsical and magical and utterly confusing but wonderful, I’m so glad I decided to pick up this series. It’s definitely due for a reread in 2017.
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Morgan Matson writes the most perfect contemporaries of ever. She somehow managed to strike this absolutely perfect balance between fluffy and real, adorable and serious. If you want to hear my more in-depth thoughts, you can find my review here!
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
This was quiet possibly my favorite book of the year. There was just.. It was just… Well, now you see why I never wrote a review for this one; I loved it so infinitely that I couldn’t possibly form my thoughts into words.
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
I read this 400-page book in two days. (For me, that’s impressive.) It’s full of gray areas and so-so morals, characters that are neither good nor bad, and I couldn’t help but become completely captivated by the world within. Another story on my to-reread list.
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
This was a complete and utter surprise in how much it impacted me. It dealt with real physical abuse, and was so unflinchingly honest and true.
For my full thoughts, you should read my review – it’s full of tears and, well… tears.
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
While I didn’t think this novel was 100% perfect, Marissa Meyer has such a beautiful way with words. She really brought the story to life, with all of the magic and whimsy and romance that makes a true fairytale. Well… except for that ending. But that’s another story.
Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
This one was such a wonderful surprise – don’t you love it when a book does that? I wasn’t expecting a lot from this story – perhaps a cute, fluffy, quick contemporary – but this ended up being so much more. It was so utterly smart and just real. I highly recommend you pick this one up.
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
This book was so beautifully unique, the characters not defined by the usual magical prowess and battle strength of your typical fantasy hero, but by intellect. The two main characters sparred in a game of whits and strategy, and it was nothing short of wonderful.
Honorable Mentions go to:
- Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
- Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
- Hearts, Fingers, and Other Things to Cross by Katie Finn
- One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
And there you have it! The ten books that have earned themselves a spot in my favorites of the year. I hope you’ll consider giving any of these reads a go (and that you enjoy them as much as I did!). Happy 2017, and cheers to a new year filled with smiles and good books.