I’ve been putting off writing this post because I’m in some serious DEFCON 1 denial. 2016 was the year of the reread for me. I read a total of 19 books for a second time. NINETEEN of the books I picked up this year, I’d already read once before! I never do that! A lot of those were because another book in a series was coming out and I wanted to review what’d previously happened. My long term memory is borderline useless, friends.
HOWEVER, I did happen to read some new books, too. Some of them were new in 2016 and some were just new to ME this year. This is a list of my favorite new books that I read this year! I gave all of them 5 star ratings!
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
This book is stunning. I”m always wary of books that are told from multiple points of view because sometimes it can feel disjointed, but Sepetys made me a believer. She’s teaching us history while also conveying a poignant story about people. The characters are so different and have very distinct voices when you read. I was hooked from the very beginning! It’s also worth mentioning that this book won the Goodreads Choice Award for YA Fiction!
The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
I love a good trilogy. There’s something about a story that’s told in 3 parts; there’s a clear beginning, middle, and end. Rutkoski took my idea of fantasy trilogies and shot it to the moon with this final installment. Everything I thought the previous 2 books were lacking (which really wasn’t that much) were brought to life in this story. She even deals a major blow to the main character and wraps it all up in a way that’s surprising and yet…makes sense.
America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
I read this book at the height of my Hamilton craze, which let’s be honest is 100% of the time always and forever. I tend to steer myself away from American history books because it’s just not necessarily my favorite, but the way the authors handle it in this book is beautifully done. They tell what feels to be a really true story without glazing over or sugarcoating the messy stuff. Plus, who doesn’t love reading from a woman’s POV in a historically man’s world?
Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
If you’re new to my blog, then you’re probably not aware of how much I’m invested in Clare’s Shadowhunter world. I’ve read it all, everything. This is the first book in a new trilogy that involves a new cast of characters, while also bringing in the occasional familiar face. I really enjoyed the direction that this story went, as well as the new voices. I was worried that it would be a same old Will-type character mixed with a girl like Clary and a third wheel best friend, but NO. Yes, but also majorly NO. So many twists and surprises, so much fun. Thrilling!
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
This is the kind of book that you want to hand out to strangers like they’re just flyers about the new pizza place downtown. I want to skip down the street and make it rain My Lady Jane. This story is so fresh and interesting. I was hooked right off the bat! I love historical fiction, but I also enjoyed the way history was rewritten for this narrative. It made it so that I really had no idea what would happen next and the humor!…so much fun.
Honorable Mention: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I first read this book in January…then I read it AGAIN in December! I wanted to reread it before I picked up the sequel Gemina (which I reviewed just 2 days ago). These books are so much fun! Fun and also really intense. Illuminae is even borderline creepy at times. These books are genre game changers. The formatting is so interesting and engaging; it’s all so relevant to our current world. I love the lingo and culture these writers have created and the way they communicate bit by bit to the reader.
What were your favorite books of 2016? Let me know in the comments below!
Happy reading! – Caitlyn