In 2016, I was a very busy bee. I did the second half of my final design project for University (which is the equivalent to a dissertation), I travelled a lot and I returned to College to pursue Graphic Design. Being this busy hasn’t allowed me to read as much as I wanted to. I actually lost count of the books I read, but I’m pretty sure its somewhere in the low 40’s. Two years ago, I managed to read almost 100 books, so I would love to try reach that amount again in the future. I’m not usually one to set Goodreads Goals, because I feel like that’s too much pressure. As in, everyone can see if you’ve failed your goal. Which tends to happen to me…a lot.
Despite all that, I had a really good reading year, I loved most of the books I read. I don’t think I rated anything below 3 stars! Which, in my opinion, is pretty damn awesome. I only really had one reading slump back in May, and I managed to branch into a few New Adult books, which I ended up absolutely loving.
So, without further ado, here is my top 10 books (in no particular order) from 2016!
‘A GATHERING OF SHADOWS’ by V.E. Schwab
This year we got the sequel to ‘A Darker Shade of Magic‘ and my pre-order arrived early! Thank you blessed book depository. I picked it up immediately and read it in three sittings. This book was an incredible sequel that brought us spiralling back into the world of Red London with Kell, Lila, Rhy and some new, intriguing characters (Alucard, sweetheart). I absolutely adore this story V.E. Schwab has written for us. The final instalment in the trilogy is called ‘A Conjuring of Light‘ and it’s due to be released in February 2017. As you can imagine, it is one of my most highly anticipated books of 2017. You can find the synopsis to the first book in the series here.
‘THE RAVEN BOYS’ by Maggie Stiefvater
This is a series I have been eager to start for a while. It is absolutely everywhere I look on Bookstagram, and after getting the opportunity to meet Maggie Stiefvater in July at YALC, I decided that I really need to jump on this Raven Boys bandwagon and see what all this fuss is about. I have heard two things about the first book; you love it or you hate it, and it’s slow in the beginning, but gets really good in the second half.
Guys, I was hooked from page one and I could not put this book down. I didn’t find it slow in the beginning, although I can see why others would think that, and I absolutely devoured every single page. I LOVED this book. Apparently, the books just keep getting better? So my mind is going to be blown by the last book.
Maggie has created a group of loveable characters, that you really connect with and root for. I loved getting to know the community they live in, the interests the characters have and how those interests get them into mischief. There is something so whimsical about Maggie’s writing that I can’t put my finger on either, it just hooks you. I’m very excited to continue reading this series throughout 2017. You can find the synopsis here.
‘THE DEAL’ by Elle Kennedy
In 2016, I began branching into the new adult (NA) contemporary genre a little. Fantasy is by far my favourite genre, but sometimes I need a little break from it, and find something a lot easier to read. I had just finished an epic fantasy and felt myself quickly entering a reading slump. I decided to download a contemporary book from iBooks and I’d been seeing this one floating around Bookstagram for a while, so it’s the one I got. And, surprisingly, I absolutely loved it.
Elle Kennedy has created a group of characters that you are absolutely guaranteed to fall in love with. They are hilarious, they have their flaws, they are just brilliant. And this book will leave you wanting more, which Kennedy happily delivers with three other companion novels to this book. All four books are part of the ‘Off-Campus‘ series, and each book follows a different boy from Briar University’s Hockey team. ‘The Deal‘ is the first book in this series and it follows Garrett Graham, the college bad boy, and Hannah Wells who is a talented drama major. This book is my favourite of the four, not only because Garrett Graham is absolutely wonderful, but because the development of relationships is realistic and entertaining at the same time. It’s fast paced, but easy to read. It’s a damn good book. You can find the synopsis here.
Please be aware that this is a NA contemporary book and contains mature themes. I’d recommend this book to 18+ years.
‘THE SCORE’ by Elle Kennedy
Honestly, if I could I would add all four books from the ‘Off-Campus‘ series to my top 10 books, but I have other books to talk about and I really wanted to try and stick to 10 books. So, I chose my second favourite book from the series. ‘The Score‘ is the third companion novel in the series and it follows Dean DiLaurentis, and Allie Hayes – a talented actress in Briar University’s drama program – who has recently entered crisis mode after breaking up with her long term boyfriend.
I chose this book to be in my top 10 books as it deals with some darker plot lines compared to the other books, which personally made me enjoy it more because it felt so raw and real. These characters definitely have their faults, and in this book Kennedy shows us them dealing with those faults. I loved this book, I read it in two sittings and was just as engrossed as I was with the previous two. But, as much as I adore Dean, Garrett is still my favourite. If you’re interested in reading this, you’d be best checking out ‘The Deal‘ and ‘The Mistake‘ first.
Please be aware that this is a NA contemporary book and contains mature themes. I’d recommend this book to 18+ years.
‘FROZEN TIDES’ By Morgan Rhodes
This book is the fourth instalment to the ‘Falling Kingdoms’ series. I can’t say much, I don’t want to spoil you guys. However, I can say that this book was phenomenal. Rhodes’ story just gets better with every single book. Each new instalment ends up being my new favourite in the series and this one was no exception. Something I love about these books is that they are so unpredictable. Rhodes has such a cut throat attitude towards all of her characters, leaving not even one of them safe. The world building is as incredible as ever and the romance really tugs at your heart strings. If you love Fantasy then you need to get onto this series, you have no idea what you’re missing out on. You can find the synopsis to the first book here.
‘THE DARKEST MAGIC’ by Morgan Rhodes
This is the second instalment to ‘A Book of Spirits and Thieves‘ series, which is actually a spin off/prequel series to ‘Falling Kingdoms‘ (See above). The first book in this series was great, it didn’t blow me away like the ‘Falling Kingdoms‘ series has. I gave it four stars and I was really excited for this instalment, however, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it just as much as ‘Falling Kingdoms‘. Which I almost did, because this book was amazing. It was just an all round great read. It had great plot twists, the characters are built fantastically well, and this book is so freaking funny. There is one aspect of this book that had me crying with laughter, there were actual tears coming from my eyes. This book links beautifully with the ‘Falling Kingdoms‘ series too which gives the world and plot a lot more depth. I get asked a lot if this spin off series is worth reading? Yes. Yes, it completely is worth reading, especially if you love ‘Falling Kingdoms’. This is book two in the spin off series, so you can find the synopsis to the first book here.
‘LADY MIDNIGHT’ by Cassandra Clare
‘Lady Midnight‘ is the first book in a new Shadowhunter series. It is set five years after ‘The Mortal Instruments‘ (Clare’s original Shadowhunter series) ends. The Shadowhunter chronicles is a collection of books/series that are well loved by many bookworms all over the world. This book was very highly anticipated for me, as I have been a fan of these books since the very first one was published back in 2007. I was thrilled to find out that Clare would be continuing to write Shadowhunter stories in a new series, because I honestly can’t get enough of her writing and the characters she creates. I absolutely adored this book, I totally agree with people when they say it’s better than ‘The Mortal Instruments‘. However, is it better than ‘The Infernal Devices‘? I’d have to say no, because that series was absolutely flawless. What I loved about this book, is that I never saw the twists coming, it linked with the other Shadowhunter series perfectly and there was appearances of characters from those other series which really helped strengthen the story that much more. If you have never read Cassandra Clare’s books, then I don’t know what the hell you’re waiting for. They give you feels, they have an amazing world built within them, they have truly incredible characters and they are seriously funny. I can not recommend these enough, and I’m very excited to see how Clare continues on with this new Shadowhunter series in the future. ‘Lady Midnight‘ was a fantastic read. You can find the synopsis here.
‘A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT’ by Sabaa Tahir
The second instalment to the ‘Ember in the Ashes‘ series was released last year and it was one of my highly anticipated books of 2016. ‘An Ember in the Ashes‘ blew me away when I read it in 2015, it wasn’t at all what I expected. I must say, I didn’t enjoy this sequel as much as the first book, but I honestly think it’ll be pretty hard to beat the first book. Still, this sequel has made it into my top 10 reads because it was just so darn good. I loved that we got to see more of the Empire that Sabaa created for us, and the constant action we got really kept me on my toes. I’m super excited for book three and towards the end of last year it was announced that Sabaa sold the last two books in the series to the publisher, which means this series will be four books long (Yay, guys I can math)! You can find the synopsis to the first book here.
‘A COURT OF MIST AND FURY’ by Sarah J Maas
This book was the biggest shock of 2016 for me, because I really, really disliked ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses‘ when it was released (Sorry guys, but that’s just my opinion). I couldn’t get into ACOTAR, I felt like the writing wasn’t as good and I just wasn’t immersed in the story Maas created. However, I decided to give ‘A Court of Mist and Fury‘ a chance. I’m so glad I did, because I completely and utterly loved this book. It made me realize that ACOTAR was a build up book, meaning that events which took place were all ground work for this book. ACOMAF was written beautifully, it has to be Maas’ best work yet. The world building was perfectly executed and I could imagine it so vividly, I felt like I was there. The character development, again, has to be Maas’ best work. This book is huge, so a lot of development takes place and it was done seamlessly. I completely fell for the charm of this book like many, many other bookworms around the world have and also like them, the third and final book in this series is one of my most highly anticipated of 2017. ‘A Court of Wings and Ruin‘ (ACOWAR) is due to be released in the summer of this year. You can find the synopsis to the first book here.
Please be aware that this is a NA fantasy book and contains mature themes.
‘UPROOTED’ by Naomi Novik
This book sat on my TBR pile for a good year and a half before I picked it up. Admittedly, this book was a little hard to read because of the unique writing style Novik uses to tell her story. But, thats part of the reason why I enjoyed it so much. The originality of it. It felt like I was reading a real fairytale, and a darker one at that, from the wording and descriptions used. At times I had to flip back a few pages and re-read scenes to understand what was going on, so this book did take me a little longer to read. But, when I got 80% through it, I zoomed through the rest. There was constant action that kept hold of me till the last page. The ending to this book was truly one of the best parts too, I really loved it and it completed the book perfectly. I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves the fantasy genre. You can find the synopsis here.
Please be aware that this is an adult fantasy book and contains mature themes.
I hope you guys enjoyed reading about my top reads of 2016. I read some wonderful books this year and I can’t wait read the books that 2017 has in store for us. Please remember that all opinions in this post are mine and please respect them. Everyone has their own opinions on different books. If you would like a full review on any of the books listed in this post, then please let me know!
What are your top reads of 2016? Tell me in the comments below!
Happy Reading, folks!