Well 2016 has come to a close, so I figure it’s about time I take a look through my favourite books of the year. I have chosen my top ten favourite books I read in 2016, excluding re-reads to ensure that Harry Potter doesn’t dominate the list every year! I am also excluding graphic novels, because while I’ve read some great ones this year, they’re so different than regular novels that I find it difficult to compare them. Let’s get started 🙂
This was such a beautiful book! It had a bit of a rocky start for me because I didn’t love the way the magical realism was handled, however, the farther into the book I progressed, the less of an issue it became. The prose was magical and I loved the way the story was told through generations so that we learned about the main character’s history. The story was crafted so intricately and flowed extremely well, and the flashbacks were integrated perfectly.
This sequel was everything that I wanted it to be. I re-read Unwind immediately before reading this one, and while it was still great, I didn’t love it as much as the first time around. Knowing this, I had lowered expectations going in, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised! This book was exciting and thrilling with more twists and turns, just like its predecessor. There were wonderful new characters with great interactions, and an action-packed finale that had be clamouring for the third book (I still haven’t read it yet, oops).
What I loved most about this book was how very real and authentic it came across to me. I know that many people found Charlie to be too naive, but I found it refreshing as there are teenagers Charlie’s age with a similar mentality and it was interesting to see such a character portrayed. There were also some wonderful quotes and insights provided in this book mixed within Charlie’s more simplistic writings. The twist at the end shocked me and left me heartbroken, and overall I found this to be a very poignant story.
My thoughts on this are similar to that of The Perks of Being a Wallflower in that the main selling point was the authenticity and brutal honesty of the narrative. I really loved how fearlessly this novel covered a range of complicated issues and dove into the core of human existence. I felt very connected to the characters and was thoroughly invested in their story, making the ending particularly painful (even though I suspected it). I also loved the uncertainty of the ending. John Green’s novels don’t always work for me, but this one really hit the mark.
5) Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
4) The Diviners by Libba Bray
AH YES I am so happy about this book! It contained everything I look for in a stand-out novel: vivid setting, interesting characters, and an intriguing plot. One of the best parts of the book was the stunning imagery that depicted 1920’s New York. Bray painted a captivating and haunting image of the city, complete with a chillingly described supernatural aspect. There is a whole host of characters, all of which I adored (particularly the main character, Evie) whose interactions are great. The plot is slow-moving, but I liked it that way, as it allowed me to drink in the amazing imagery. The mystery was dark and twisted and ahhh. So good!
Oh my goodness THIS BOOK! I’m not sure if I’ll ever have the words to articulate how much I loved it. The writing style is utter perfection. It’s so unique and fresh, and the prose is constructed in such a way that makes every word feel special. I seriously have no idea how he does that. There are so many fantastic quotes and dialogue in this novel. I loved the character of Ed, and watching him embark on his journey of doing extraordinary things as an ordinary person. The message was so powerful and made me think deeply about my own life and the choices I can make. I think everyone should read this book.
Yes, it’s another Zusak book. He has quickly became one of my favourite authors ever, with his effortless writing style that drills each word into my very soul. Thinking about this book makes me emotional but it’s fine I’ll get through it. I love World War Two books as I feel it was an awful but extremely important time in history and I enjoy seeing the various perspectives on the time period. I felt that this novel perfectly captured the essence of how it would feel like to be a little girl in Germany at this time. The plot is very slow, but I loved that as it really felt as if you were growing up with Liesel and experiencing her life. The narrative was incredibly unique as it was told from the perspective of Death. Some people found this to eliminate any suspense, but it just made me all the more anxious for the way the events would finally progress. The ending was painful, naturally, and I would have had a complete meltdown if it wasn’t for the fact I was at school. If you would like to be broken into a million pieces, I recommend reading this novel!
Did you really expect me to just pick one favourite read? I’ve already demonstrated that I don’t play by the rules when it comes to book lists, so it shouldn’t be a surprise. As I’ve mentioned, I love history, so naturally one of my top picks of the year was a WWII historical fiction. This book broke me down as nothing has ever broke me down before. Telling the tale of a young woman sent to Ravensbruck, it was horrifyingly chilling and disturbing. The horrors that these women faced are unreal, and I think this book is so incredibly important in that it allows the reader the smallest glimpse into the terrors they had to endure. I can’t even begin to imagine how awful it was for those in concentration camps. I loved the characters so very much, and felt an extremely deep connection to them. Seeing how awful humans can be was no fun experience, but it was an important one, and I think every single person needs to realize what happened in this horrible part of history.
If you haven’t read these books, I highly recommend checking them out. What were your favourite books you read in 2016? Let me know in the comments below!