I am proud to say that I read 72 book in 2016, a new personal best with only 2 of them being re-reads. So picking only ten as my top reads for the year was a pretty hard job – there were just so many good ones! – but I finally managed it. Although I read widely and enjoy books in a variety of different genres and targeted at different demographics, the majority of books that I read are regarded as ‘young adult’, so the list is skewed slightly in that direction.
Here we go!
#1 Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
As I mentioned in my previous post about this book, this was definitely my favourite book I read last year! It had everything I look for in a good fantasy novel; great characters, great world building, and as an added bonus a twist that I did not see coming!
#2 The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid
I devoured this book in two days! I love a good sci-fi YA novel, and this stand-alone book ticks all the boxes. It has a fantastic storyline, lots of well-written characters, and many emotional ups and downs. This novel also poses an important and topical question: should we treat someone as lesser than us just because they are different?
#3 Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
This was my favourite contemporary YA book of last year. Again, it ticks the boxes of brilliant characters, clever dialogue and fantastic, heartfelt storyline. The author has made excellent use of humour throughout the novel, which was the cherry on an already delectable cake. The thing I loved most was that it was surprisingly original in a genre that can be very same-same-but-different.
#4 Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Gemina is the much-anticipated sequel to my favourite book of 2015, Illuminae, and it packs just as much of a punch as the first one! It continues the space saga that began in Illuminae, but this time from the point of view of two teens on jump station Heimdall. There are lots of shocks, twists and turns, some of which may cause emotional wreck and ruin to readers so be warned!
#5 The Good People by Hannah Kent
I loved Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites and this book is just as magnificent. Kent’s brilliant ability to weave the landscape into her stories makes for extremely atmospheric reading. In fact, the landscapes and terrain are so central to her stories, they almost become one of the characters. Typically bleak, dark and rugged, this story sucked me right in.
#6 People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Although originally published in 2008, I only read this book for the first time last year. As someone who has studied and has a keen interest in the subject of history, this novel had me hooked from the start. Told through multiple timelines, it follows the story and history of the Sarajevo Haggadah, an important Jewish text. A fantastic and well-researched piece of historical fiction!
#7 Frankie by Shivaun Plozza
One of my favourite Australian young adult fiction novel of last year! Set in Collingwood, Melbourne, this book is a brilliant read. I especially loved the character of Frankie and her sassy, Shakespeare-tome throwing ways. With a bit of a whodunit element, the story is a real page-turner and shows that making bad decisions does not make you a bad person.
#8 Broken Sky by L.A. Weatherly
This book is probably one of the most underrated young adult books of last year. The first in a new trilogy, what I really loved about this book was the fact that the world that this story was set in was a kind of distorted, dytopian-esque 1940s America. With an amazingly inspirational female main character, this is definitely a book to try if you love a good cliffhanger!
#9 When We Collided by Emery Lord
What a gorgeous story. This book shines a spotlight on mental illness and how it affects those with the illness, as well as those around them. It deals with lots of important and serious issues, but it doesn’t get too bogged down in the darkness of them. The characters are vivid and it shows how colliding with the right person at the right time can change you forever.
#10 Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
My top ten would not be complete without the new novel from Liane Moriarty. I am a massive fan of all of her work, and this one is no exception. With that same feeling and tone of knowing something has happened, but not exactly what that that she had in ‘Big Little Lies’, Moriarty brings together another thrilling page-turner with realistic characters and pockets of relevant humour. Another stand out novel from this author!
Well, that’s my Top Ten from 2016. I’d love to know what everyone else’s favourites were. Comment below and let me know! 🙂