As the year draws nearer to an end, I wish to reflect back on some of the marvellous reads that were on my list this year. I try to mostly read new books when they come out, so this list includes fairly new titles that did indeed publish in 2016, but it is important to note that I read a variety of novels published from all years.
The top 5 books on my reading list:
5) By Your Side by Kasie West
A standalone story about a girl with anxiety facing a weekend alone trapped in a library with the notorious bad boy, this contemporary novel is a wonderful read using the same formula that Kasie West dominates with in her stories! A little predictable but heartfelt through and through, I connected so well with the main character (which is more rare in contemporary fiction for me) and the delivery of the story was the perfect blend of seriousness, wit and humor. This is one book you should add onto your 2017 reading list when it comes out early in January 2017.
4) Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
A new fantasy world built around all types of witches and 4 reluctant heroes, this was a story I was initially reluctant to love as well. But with the carefully crafted backstory of each of these protagonists and the exciting new world Susan Dennard created, I fell more and more in love with everything happening in this novel. Book 1 to the start of a 4 part series, this was definitely a must-read on many people’s 2016 list. Look out for its sequel, Windwitch, hitting stores in January 2017.
3) This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
For a story about monsters and one without a romantic component, this seemed so far from the type of story that I would adore. But lo and behold, the monster with a bleeding heart for humans and the girl who wished she could be as cruel as a monster won over my heart. This is a story about darkness and light, about cruelty and love. It had such a great and deep message, that you make your own destiny and you can be more than who you were born to be. Its sequel, Our Dark Duet, comes out June 2017!
2) The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
A historical fantasy that balances each component very well, this is the kind of dark story I was morbidly curious about upon reading its synopsis. Filled with action and hints of romance, and a protagonist who can WHIP ass, this novel has been on my recommendation list throughout the year (and it’s well worth that!). Once you enter this Regency era world that Alison Goodman’s made and you’ll never want to step out of it! Find the next novel in this series, The Dark Days Pact, also comes out late January 2017.
1) Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Not known to be a huge lover of sci-fi, this combined genius piece of art between 3 authors has absolutely blown my mind (and many other bloggers’ minds too, mind you). So it’s not a huge surprise that Gemina tops my Best list of 2016. From crazy twists of the plot and beautiful designs of spaceships and journal entries, this book has something for everyone and you’d have to look very hard to find someone who doesn’t love this. Who said a sequel can’t be as loved as the original? Look out for its 3rd book in Fall 2017.
It was very hard to choose just a couple of books that amazed me this year. So take this into account that these books must’ve made a huge impression on me, even if I had read them months in advance.
Okay, so my last list deals with the books on my to-read list that I had hoped to get to this year (but sadly could not). Maybe they’re great, maybe they’re not, but here are the hopeful ones I may read in the new year.
The top 5 books I WISH I had read:
5) The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.
And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.
Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?
For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.
And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love…or be killed himself.
As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear—the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.
4) The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?
3) Remembrance by Meg Cabot
You can take the boy out of the darkness.
But you can’t take the darkness out of the boy.
All Susannah Simon wants is to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from college (and since becoming engaged to Dr. Jesse de Silva). But when she’s hired as a guidance counselor at her alma mater, she stumbles across a decade-old murder, and soon ancient history isn’t all that’s coming back to haunt her. Old ghosts as well as new ones are coming out of the woodwork, some to test her, some to vex her, and it isn’t only because she’s a mediator, gifted with second sight.
What happens when old ghosts come back to haunt you?
If you’re a mediator, you might have to kick a little ass.
From a sophomore haunted by the murderous specter of a child to ghosts of a very different kind—including Paul Slater, Suze’s ex, who shows up to make a bargain Suze is certain must have come from the Devil himself—Suze isn’t sure she’ll make it through the semester, let alone to her wedding night. Suze is used to striking first and asking questions later. But what happens when ghosts from her past—including one she found nearly impossible to resist—strike first?
2) The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder
In this ode to all the things we gain and lose and gain again, seventeen-year-old Penelope Marx curates her own mini-museum to deal with all the heartbreaks of love, friendship, and growing up.
Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.
Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.
Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.
But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken.
1) Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerhill
Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.
However, it’s not so simple.
The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.
I hope through the ups and downs of this year (and there were many downs in 2016) that the stories you lived through and your own personal ones combined to make some lovely memories that you can always look back to as you think of 2016.
Have a very happy New Year! Here’s to hoping that 2017 will only be better!