Best Books of 2016

I mentioned in my epic comeback post that 2016 wasn’t the best year when it came to reading. I talk about it more in-depth in that post, but in short, I got very, very distracted and I landed myself in a massive reading slump that lasted half of the year. So this list is nowhere near as detailed or diverse as it could be, as I did most of my reading in January and February and then completely fell off the wagon. But without further ado, here are my favourite books of 2016.

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1. The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

The Girl From Everywhere was my first read of 2016, and it’s one of the few that stuck with me. Heilig has a wonderful writing style that captivated me from the beginning, and I loved journeying back to Hawaii with the characters and becoming immersed in the world. It also helped that there was an EPIC SHIP that I hope will continue to develop in the sequel, which I have yet to read. 

2. This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

While it took me a bit to get used to the multiple points of view in this novel, This is Where It Ends blew me away. It’s unsettling, harrowing, and totally unputdownable. Shut up, that’s a word. The ending reduced me to tears, and I’m actually considering doing a reread at some point this year, which is something I very rarely do.

3. When We Collided by Emery Lord

This was one of the more emotional reads of the year. One of the main characters in this book has bipolar disorder, which meant Lord’s enticing writing style mixed with a deeper topic. And she did it marvellously.

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4. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Okay, so Red Queen isn’t the best YA. It’s not the best written, it’s not got the best plot, but it was still ridiculously addictive. In this book you have action, superpowers, drama, a kind of ship, and an addictive writing style that’ll make it hard to put the book down. What more could you want?

5. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Sepetys is one of my favourite authors because she always, always delivers. Her first book, Between Shades of Gray, was one that snuck up on me, and ever since then I’ve been an avid follower of her work. Salt to the Sea is another one that’s set during WWII, and this time it puts the spotlight on the people who attempted to travel on the Wilhelm Gustloff. This event was the greatest maritime tragedy of all time, and hardly anyone has heard of it. So yeah, Sepetys is a queen.

6. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I was super hesitant to read this one after the shitfest that was Ruin & Rising (#neverforget), but Tatum told me to hurry the hell up and read it so I did. And I’m grateful. Six of Crows had a lot of elements that I absolutely love, like an ensemble cast and a heist. HEISTS. YES.

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7. The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

The Grownup is actually just a short story, but in true Flynn fashion it pulls you in and doesn’t let you go. As the book is so short, I read it in a single sitting, and then immediately went back to reread. I love stories with unreliable narrators (which is something Flynn does best) and I especially love stories where you don’t know who to trust. And the ending of this one makes you question everything you just read.

8. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

This is another one that shocked me by being entirely addictive. I met Alwyn at a Victoria Schwab event a couple of years ago, and ever since I had been looking forward to her book coming out. I wasn’t expecting it to be so engrossing, though. The world was stunning, the characters had great chemistry with each other (romantic and platonic, of course), and the plot is just non-stop action. I’m dying for the next book to come out so I can re-immerse myself in this world.

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9. A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

So I’m very upset with this book because there was a twist involving my favourite character and I was half expecting it, but I’d also half ruled it out, so when it happened I nearly fell off my chair. I will hold a grudge forever. But anyway, it was great going back to Kell and Rhy and… yeah. Just Kell and Rhy. Because they’re legit. Plus other things that I can’t talk about in case it spoils the three people who haven’t read this book yet.

10. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Someone from work recommended this book to me months ago, but I only got around to reading it towards the end of the year. Like This is Where It Ends did, it kickstarted a bit of a fascination with school shootings, and led to me reading tonnes and tonnes of articles about past shootings in the US and UK. But anyway, We Need to Talk About Kevin has received some criticism, and I have to admit, reading these critiques has been interesting, but all in all I think it’s a fantastic book. It’s eerie, gripping, and the ending was one that I wasn’t expecting at all. There was a bit of a slow start but once I made it past that I couldn’t put the book down.

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