Top Ten Tuesday #89


Hey everyone! I hope you all had an amazing Christmas, mine was lovely, just a quiet day spent at home with my family, watching TV and eating too much food, as Christmas should be, now I’m looking forward to my annual post Christmas book shop, whenever that may be! I also saw the new Star Wars movie with my family yesterday, it was good, though I think my mum and sister liked it more than me and my dad did!

Anyway, as usual, I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of the lovely ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish and since today is the last TTT before 2017 (I can’t believe that! This year has gone by so fast!), we have been asked simply to share our Top Ten Books of 2016. Last year was a very bad year for me reading wise, so I couldn’t do a Top Ten of 2015, but this year has been so much better, so it’s actually going to be quite difficult to choose a Top Ten, from the 33 books I have to choose from. Still, for you guys, I will try, so here we go my Top Ten Books of 2016 (I may go over ten), in no particular order (that would be far too difficult!):

  1. Rebel of The Sands-Alwyn Hamilton

This was my first five star read of 2016, and definitely one of my favourites of the whole year. I knew I’d like it, I mean an Arabian meets Wild West fantasy with magic and guns and horses and a feisty heroine, that’s basically everything I love wrapped up in one book sized package, but I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with the world and the characters anywhere near as much as I did. I cannot wait for the sequel to come out in February!

2. The Raven King-Maggie Stiefvater

I was SO worried about this last book of The Raven Cycle because it’s one of my absolute favourite series and we had to wait so long for the last book to be released, but I shouldn’t have worried because Maggie Stiefvater worked her magic again with this wonderfully weird, magical, intense, beautiful finale to one of my favourite YA fantasy series.

3. A Darker Shade of Magic-VE Schwab

THIS BOOK! I have fallen in love with VE Schwab’s writing, hard this year, and I’ve only read two of her books so far (that’s how good they are!). I loved everything about this book, the setting, the magic, the characters (especially Lila), the story, it was one of my absolute favourite books of the year and has definitely made me interested in trying more Adult Fantasy (as well as YA of course, not instead of!).

4. Magnus Chase and The Sword of Summer-Rick Riordan

I was really worried that I wouldn’t like Rick Riordan’s new Norse series, as I’ve never read anything by him outside of Percy Jackson, but I shouldn’t have as Magnus Chase is just as funny, fast paced and memorable as the Percy Jackson books, with even more diverse characters (Rick Riordan has definitely upped his game in that department since the original Percy Jackson books). I loved the new cast and new settings and new stories in Magnus Chase, and devoured both of the first two books this year. I can’t wait for the finale next year!

5. A Gathering of Shadows-VE Schwab

Yes, I put two of her books on this list and no I don’t care. I was worried that this second book in the Shades of Magic trilogy would not live up to the first, but the world, characters and plot were just as engaging as in the first half, and the ending has left me dying for the final book! I basically can’t wait to see Lila doing more badass things and to see if my suspicions about my favourite cross dressing, magical female pirate are confirmed!

6. Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein

This book had me so close to the edge of tears, I’m not even kidding! If I was one for crying outwardly at books, I definitely would have! Still, I loved this story, Julie and Maddie have one of the most beautiful friendships, I’ve ever read about and I loved that at it’s core, that was what this book was all about: friendship. This is definitely one of the best WWII novels I’ve ever read and I liked that Wein focused on a different aspect of WWII, much as I like novels about the Nazis and the war’s effect on Germany and the Jews, I liked this story’s smaller focus on individual people and how they affected the war, and the war affected them.

7. Timekeeper-Tara Sim

This debut was just adorable! I loved the steampunk Victorian setting, the whole mythology about the clocks and how having mechanized clocks changed Victorian society, the women who refused to bow down to society’s expectations of them, the protagonist and his suffering with PTSD, and of course, the adorable clock spirit Colton and his lovely romance with the main character (yes, there is gay romance in this book and it’s wonderful!).

8. Empire of Storms-Sarah J Maas

I know everyone has mixed feelings about the most recent addition to the Throne of Glass series, but personally I loved it. It was so much better than Queen Of Shadows, the plot was more fast paced, the characters felt like they had a purpose, Aelin felt more like herself again rather than weird personality change she did on us in QOS, it just generally felt better than the fourth book did. That ending was cruel though, nearly as bad as the one in Book 3! I cannot wait for the sixth book, to see how everything ties up!

9. Small Great Things-Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult’s latest novel was not an easy one for me to read, but I think it was an important one. As a young, white woman, I am aware that I am incredibly privileged, but it’s when reading novels like hers that I realize just how much, because as the privileged, we aren’t aware of the other side of things much as we’d like to think that we are enlightened and know all about racism, this book showed me that I really know nothing at all!

10. 13 Minutes-Sarah Pinborough

I love YA thrillers, I really should try to read more of them, because I always come away having enjoyed them when I do! This one was a particularly lovely surprise, I’d never read anything by this author before, and I just requested her new book off Netgalley on a whim and ended up really enjoying it. It was a well plotted, well executed thriller that kept me guessing all the way through, kind of like Mean Girls meets Dangerous Girls, though I have to say, you will come away from it feeling slightly terrified of teenage girls!

11. Ink and Bone-Rachel Caine

LIBRARIES! I loved that Rachel Caine’s book was entirely about libraries and the powers of words and knowledge and ideas, and it had wonderful, diverse characters and was just a generally enjoyable story in a really interesting world. Despite being incredibly excited for the sequel after reading this book, I still haven’t read it yet though! Hopefully next year!

12. The Hidden Oracle-Rick Riordan

I loved this latest spin off to the Percy Jackson world, some may say he’s milking it now, but honestly, I’ll take any Percy I can get! It was great having a book that was set entirely at Camp Half-Blood and I loved Apollo as a protagonist and all the new characters as well, and it was just generally, as Rick Riordan books always are, hilarious!

13. Heartless-Marissa Meyer

I loved this whimsical, weird, Queen of Hearts origin story. I’ll admit, I can’t remember if I ever actually have read Alice In Wonderland, but I know enough about it that I could recognize and appreciate all the little nods to it throughout, I loved the characters and I thought the romance was really well done, so despite me not loving Cinder when I read it earlier in the year, Marissa Meyer and I have ended 2016 on a good note. Hopefully it will continue when I read Scarlet next year!

14. Magnus Chase and The Hammer of Thor-Rick Riordan

Whilst this second instalment of Magnus Chase’s adventures was not quite as good as the first, I’m including it because it was the first book after a string of quite depressing reads that actually made me laugh, I loved the introduction of Alex Fierro (Malex needs to be a thing guys!), the characters were still amazing and whilst the plot did get a bit jumpy, it was still outrageously fun to read and I just really enjoyed it!

I think I’d better stop there before I just start listing all 33 books that I read this year! Have you read any of the books on my list? Did you like them? What were the best books you read in 2016? And most importantly, did you all have a good Christmas? Let me know in the comments!

I will be back next week with the first Top Ten Tuesday topic of 2017 (how weird is that?), Top Ten Debuts of 2017 I’m Looking Forward to, so I’ll have to start looking to see who actually has books releasing next year! In the meantime, I have one last book review planned for 2016, of The Night Circus, which you guys should hopefully get before the New Year, so stay tuned for that!


38 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday #89

  1. charliegirl 28/12/2016 / 12:37 am

    I did cry at Code Name Verity. Actually, I think the correct word would be keen. I was keening, hiding out in the bathroom, hyperventilating. Such a phenomenal story.

    I’ve had Rebel Sands sitting on my shelf since I ordered it at the beginning of the year. Hopefully I can get to it soon!

    • iloveheartlandx 28/12/2016 / 12:43 am

      I’ve just never been one to cry at books, don’t know why, but I can totally understand the hyperventilating! It truly is a phenomenal story 🙂 Oh you definitely should, it’s awesome!

  2. alicerosesimmons 28/12/2016 / 12:44 am

    Great list! So many of these are currently on my TBR, so hopefully I can get round to them some time next year. I also just started The Raven Cycle this year, and so The Raven Boys was one of my favourites of the year – can’t wait to continue on with the series!
    My TTT

    • iloveheartlandx 28/12/2016 / 12:47 am

      Thanks! Ooh you have good taste. Yay! The Raven Cycle is so good, you’re going to have such a great time reading them (I’m almost envious, wish I could go back and read them all for the first time again!).

  3. Kourtni @ Kourtni Reads 28/12/2016 / 12:55 am

    So many great choices! I really enjoyed Heartless, ADSOM, and AGOS too although I didn’t include them on my list this week. A few of the others are on my TBR too.

    • iloveheartlandx 28/12/2016 / 1:34 am

      Thanks! I know, so many books, it’s hard to pick favourites! Hope you enjoy the ones you haven’t read 🙂

  4. thebooksupplier 28/12/2016 / 1:18 am

    I’ve seen Code Name Verity on a few lists. It’s one of my all time favorites so I’m glad to see it’s still getting love. I read Timekeeper last week and had such a hard time with how the Victorian values were portrayed. Maybe it’s because the Victorian era was the first thing I taught EVER as an English teacher. And Maggie turned it out. She is one of my favorites. Happy new reading year!

    • iloveheartlandx 28/12/2016 / 1:36 am

      That’s great! It’s such a great book, I can understand why it’s one of your all time favourites. I found it strange to start off with, but when I read the Author’s Note at the end, I understood why she changed the things she did and I thought it made sense in the world she’d created, after all. She really did! She’s one of my favourites too 🙂 Thanks, happy new reading year to you too.

  5. Clara @ Lost in My Library 28/12/2016 / 2:16 am

    Code Name Verity is pretty much my favorite book ever, so I’m so happy you liked it!! And I REALLY need to read A Darker Shade of Magic – it was already near the top of my 2017 priority list, but seeing so many people put it on these lists makes me even more excited about it!

    • iloveheartlandx 28/12/2016 / 2:42 am

      I’m glad too! I hope you enjoy it when you read it 🙂

  6. Greg Hill 28/12/2016 / 2:35 am

    The Riordan books have been on my list forever to read, and now that the first two Norse ones are out- I need to read those. Timekeeper sounds great!

  7. Amy Shaw 28/12/2016 / 3:09 am

    I liked Rogue One in theaters, but the interesting thing is how much it has stayed with me since I viewed it, more than I would have anticipated.

    I ended up loving Code Name Verity when I read it a couple of years ago! So glad you did as well!

    • iloveheartlandx 30/12/2016 / 12:51 am

      Yes, it does stick with you doesn’t it? I guess more now after everything that’s happened the last few days.
      I’m glad too! Everyone talked about how amazing it was, so I’m glad it lived up to the hype 🙂

  8. Jacquie (Rattle the Stars) 28/12/2016 / 3:14 am

    I read Code Name Verity a few years ago and was blown away by it. The companion novel, Rose Under Fire, is a must read as well. I also really enjoyed Timekeeper and Rebel of the Sands. Can’t wait for their sequels.

    • iloveheartlandx 30/12/2016 / 12:50 am

      I can’t wait to read Rose Under Fire! If it’s anything as good as Code Name Verity, it’ll be fantastic 🙂 Oh I can’t wait for their sequels either! Traitor To The Throne is one of my most anticipated releases next year 🙂

  9. anovelglimpse 28/12/2016 / 5:31 am

    I feel like such a slacker. I still need to read Raven King. But happy to see it made you lsit!

    • iloveheartlandx 30/12/2016 / 12:48 am

      Oh don’t! There’s so many books I haven’t read that I would have liked to in 2016. I hope you enjoy it when you read it 🙂

  10. Bonnie @ For the Love of Words 28/12/2016 / 5:45 am

    Oh man… Code Name Verity totally made me cry (and I don’t cry lol). Empire of Storms was fantastic as was Heartless! Many more still on my TBR that I hope to get to soon. 🙂

    • iloveheartlandx 30/12/2016 / 12:47 am

      I’m not going to lie, I was very close! It was totally heartbreaking, but in the most amazing way. Yes, they were! I hope you manage to get to more of these soon 🙂

  11. Sarah @ Reviews and Readathons 28/12/2016 / 7:30 am

    Great list! So many of these are on my TBR. I haven’t even started the Raven Boys series or Throne of Glass series yet. I also want to read Small Great Things and ink and Bone so badly!! 2017 goals!! It also always makes me happy when others love the Shades of Magic series!!

    • iloveheartlandx 30/12/2016 / 12:44 am

      Thanks! They’re two of my favourite series, so I hope you enjoy them! Both of those are great too, you’re going to have a cracking 2017 reading year! Me too (even though I only read it this year)!

  12. robbiesinspiration 28/12/2016 / 12:40 pm

    My son also loved all three of the Rick Riordan books you have mentioned. I guess I will get him some of the others on your list as he will probably like those ones too.

    • iloveheartlandx 30/12/2016 / 12:40 am

      I hope he does! Has he tried Derek Landy’s books? Because if he likes Rick Riordan then he’ll probably like Derek Landy’s books too.

  13. Jolien @ The Fictional Reader 28/12/2016 / 1:54 pm

    I really want to read Small Great Things. I think it’ll be important to read for me as well -I’m a young, white woman too. I just bought the first Magnus Chase book, and I’m honestly so excited to finally read it. I think I’ll refer back to your list next year, if I don’t know what to read. 😀

    • iloveheartlandx 30/12/2016 / 12:39 am

      Yes, it was really eye opening for me, so hopefully it will be the same for you 🙂 Oh, I hope you enjoy it. Thanks, I’m glad you like it 🙂

  14. owlsreads 28/12/2016 / 2:11 pm

    ADSOM is on my TBR and I’m dying to get to it! And it’s so good to know Timekeeper is great, as it’s on my immediate TBR pile for next year 😀

  15. thebookishlibra 28/12/2016 / 8:20 pm

    Great list! I adored many of these books as well and I think all of the ones I haven’t read yet are on my TBR for 2017.

  16. Veronika @ The Regal Critiques 29/12/2016 / 11:17 pm

    YASS, THE RAVEN KING WAS SPECTACULAR. Sure, waaaay different from what I was expecting/fearing/hoping I don’t even know, but that is precisely what made it gorgeous!
    Glad you had so many faves this year! 🙂

  17. justanothercreativewriter 30/12/2016 / 8:09 am

    All of these books that I’ve read (6 of them) were amazing! Good choices. Code Name Verity especially I feel is very under rated which is unfortunate because it is so great.

    • iloveheartlandx 30/12/2016 / 5:31 pm

      Glad you liked them as much as I did! Lots of people seem to love Code Name Verity, but you’re right, it doesn’t seem like it’s talked about enough.

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