March 14, 2017

Top Ten Books of 2016

Another reading year has passed by, it seems. And as I am posting this, so has three months of the New Year too. 

While the entire year has been struck down by Brexit, the US election, and the world proving just how many find it satisfying to inflict pain and fearmongering - I have stuck my guns and pushed myself to keep myself together and keep reading. It was either that or lose myself in memes over on Tumblr.

What am I kidding? I've spent three months rewatching Doctor Who and realizing I will forever cherish those four years David Tennant provided in the expanses of my childhood. And remain, he does, with the sole purpose to procrastinate throughout my time at University. Oh, how nothing ever changes.

Okay, enough rambling:

Here I present my favourite books of the past year.

Even though, this is a bit too late and not really relevant anymore.

I have tried to keep them in order of chronological reading:

Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1)

Windwitch (The Witchlands #2)
Susan Dennard

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I have been tied to this book for a very long time now.

I was honored with the badge of Voidwitch, joining the Street Team- the Witchlanders- back in October 2015.  I have since reread the book three times and have a review due soon of Windwitch. But we all know how much motivation I have been lacking recently.

This came to me at a time when I was kind of giving up on any thoughts of making it to the end of my sixth form courses. Because of this, I had a reason to keep having fun and escape, making the end of my A-Levels all that more bearable.

This wonderful story, full of strong and kick-ass female friendships. It captured my heart from the first page, as my reading pace was slowing but, I was hooked and ready to discover the Witchlands. And I hope to support these novels until their completion and surpass that.

The Night Circus 
Erin Morgernstern

This was a book that I have had every intention of reading but, just never picked it up. It was one of those books I just knew I was going to fall head over heels in love with. Then one day, I got this real sudden urge to run and buy a copy.

And, in all honesty, I have no regrets. Except, the bit where I took two years to buy a copy.

The way this book read, was almost lyrical. Beautifully structured to fluctuate between tenses and person narration without feeling overly jarring and stagnant. It flowed as if magic was pouring out of the pages themselves. 

I definitely want to read some more magic realism pieces like this- both novelisation and short stories. So if anyone has any suggestions for me to put on my list, please let me know.

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)
Cassandra Clare

Cassie... Cassie.. Cassie. 

O' how you destroyed me.

This broke my heart and ripped it to pieces and then tried to put them together again, all mismatched and out of place.

This is one of those reads that I didn't give the full five stars to- however, the reason it made it on this list is because of how much Cassandra Clare has come to grow as a writer. 

Out of all her Shadowhunter novels, whatever you may think of them, I have to say this is my favourite opening to a trilogy/series she has come to publish. 

Granted there were times where I felt like Cassie was tooting her own horn (which is why I lowered my rating down to a four) but, overall she pieced together this mystery and planted the seeds needed to move this trilogy onto the next events of Emma's journey.

The Wrath & The Dawn (The Wrath & The Dawn #1)
Renee Ahdieh

I am not typically someone who goes into a book for romance-centric plots. Unless I am in the mood for it. 

And so I found myself from school one day- not skipping, promise- but, wanting to read something of the mentioned above. 

I was surprised by just how much I did love it. I think this was one of those rare occurrences last year that I read the entire book in a day. Not one sitting mind you. 

I've just never been able to do that.

It was just full of that beautiful prose that just swifts you away from any 
conscious thought. I kind of wish that I had tabbed it. Also, a book that was not influenced greatly by western fairy tales and folklore! 

More of that, please.

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
Sarah J. Maas

The book that surprised everyone.

To be fair, I did kind of work it out when I read ACOTAR. [I'm keeping shum, just in case you've been living under a rock for the last year.] And t
hese were for reasons, I would rather not discuss. 

A couple of books on this list I have found that I have been rather hesitant to put on here. 

A lot of controversy and nit-picking occurred over the past year and continues. I'd even gone on to see a small rift and division in the book community. For Sarah J. Maas, it has been about her lack of representation in her work and using her platforms to highlight this. Which I have come to completely understand and can agree with. I would like to see more diversity from Maas.

But, I just had to put this on here for the love of Rhys, of Feyre's character development, and for the side characters. 

Why is it always the side characters with Maas?

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1)
Jay Kristoff

Like I said before with A Court of Mist and Fury, this is a book that, quite recently, I have come to see discussions about its representation. As well as Kristoff allegedly blocking people over the criticism. 

Thought I would just state that I am aware of this.

However, Nevernight is on this list because I stand by what I said in my review. I loved this book. And still, do. I thought it was cleverly written, and I loved the witticisms of our voice narrator. I was left turning page after page. Until I got to the end. And then BAM! I got hit with a case of reading blues.

It's now been ten months and I'm still thinking about the plot twist. Hot-diggity-dang.  

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files 0_1)
Gemina (The Illuminae Files 0_2)
Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

I feel like these books have been on the hype train for a couple of years now. And I can officially say I am on board. -Toot Toot- The format just works for these books; I'm still able to still visualize and fall in love with these characters. Although, I think Illuminae remains the stronger book, so far.

Without these, I probably wouldn't have got back into the Sci-Fi genre. 

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1)
V.E. Schwab

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I have been aware of Victoria's books for a while. She was one of those of authors I held off from reading because I just knew I would fall in love with the words she would string together, and the characters she feeds with life.

And, I was not wrong. In either statement. I have since begun her Shades of Magic Trilogy and dying to just binge her books. If University would just allow for that- bring on the Summer!

This one made it on the list because I think this remains relevant to the current state of America, and of the world, as the last couple of years has progressed. With the increase of violence, both premeditated and unpremeditated acts. What if these began to cause monsters? 

Naomi Novik

I've noticed that there seem to be two sides to this book: the people that adored it and those who care nothing for it. 

Guess what side of the coin I'm on? Or, should I ask what side of the cover?

This is one that I just got swept up in, as I read. The prose, utterly beautiful, I loved the nature and unpredictability of the magic which I know many people aren't too fond of. 

Naomi managed to keep me guessing to the next plot point, all throughout the 400-or-so-pages and not one of them I could guess. 

Maybe just me?

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1)
Becky Chambers

Where do I even begin in trying, to sum up my emotions on this one?

I did manage to write a review, though, so maybe give that a try?

Gosh, definitely one of my favourite books of all time. It's up there. I really can't say anymore- just, read it if you haven't already.


What were some of your favourite books of 2016? Or maybe, what books you've read in the first few months of 2017?

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