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!):
- 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!