Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Top 15 of 2016

You may recall that last year I published my “Top 15 of 2015,” and since increasing the number of books you can highlight indefinitely seems silly to me, I’m sticking to the same pattern as I did last year. I read 201 books during 2016, but I will promote my favorite fifteen. All my reactions are confined to 100 characters or less, not including spaces.

And, as before, these are in order by author’s last name.


The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton—an adorable book about adorable warriors that kind of reminds me of Tangled, now that I think about it.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black—contemporary fantasy is my jam, and all of the romance, and the twins are so enticing. Which is why I got it for Christmas.

On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duvyis—wow. This might be the most powerful book on my list, and I must reread it, because DISASTER and DIVERSITY blow my mind.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton—after six years to think about it, I still favor Darry, but I have more sympathy for the other boys now.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis—MURDER? And LUTHERANS? And FEMINISM? What more could I ask for from a contemporary?


The Host by Stephenie Meyer—this was a blast. I wasn’t sure what I’d think, but I was really impressed with the sci-fi romance vibe. And yaaas aliens.

Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer—this was actually amazing, especially because I started to see prejudices I didn’t even know I had. Also, SQUEE.

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson—ALL Y’ALL MADE ME THINK NOAH DIED WHEN HE WAS THIRTEEN OR SOMETHING. This was amazing, but c’mon, “tragedy” is so vague.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath—this is a terrifying and depressing book. But Plath just writes like a bedazzling machine, and I like the shinies.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler—okay: haikus, about boobs, read by Sir Patrick Stewart. There, I just made your 2017.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby—this is probably the most interesting Hades/Persephone retelling I’ve read in a long time. And the characters rock.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo—despite potentially problematic tropes, it was fast-paced and fluffy enough for this girl.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab—Schwab is hit-and-miss with me, so I was pleased to find this book FABULOUS. Monsters and music are so delicious.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley—having written an essay about how incest is key to all the main relationships in this book, I cannot leave it off.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker—I don’t know what to praise about this book that hasn’t been praised before. Still need to listen to the musical.


Interestingly enough, my top books are all by ladies this year. And that does not bother me, even a little bit! I look forward to reading similarly awesome books over this next year.

What about you? What were the best books you read in 2016?


24 comments :

  1. Aah wow, 201 books is amazing! I've read a couple of these -- I'll give You the Sun and This Savage Song are two of my favourites -- but there are so many books that sound great here. I feel like I'd really enjoy On the Edge of Gone!! *goes to add to TBR*

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    1. To be fair, a lot of them were picture books near the end. XD But yes, I'll Give You the Sun was a lot better than I expected, as was TSS! And yes, I think On The Edge of Gone is just amazing.

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  2. Eeeee, so many good books on this list! I was twelve or thirteen when I first read The Host and I proceeded to read it about four more times that year. It was the first sci-fi book I actually loved, which opened me up to other sci-fi stories, like The Lunar Chronicles (WHICH I ADORE). I'll Give You the Sun was just gorgeous and both inspired me and made me doubt my entire life as a writer because how could I ever be as good as Jandy Nelson??? I mostly loved If I Was Your Girl, too, if only for the amount of diversity in the book. :)

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    1. XDD Wow, that is a lot of times! I really enjoyed it, too, so I'll have to consider rereading it this year. :) And HECK YES who does not love the Lunar Chronicles? And yeah, I realized later how If I Was Your Girl had some drawbacks, but still. It had its good parts.

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  3. Yes! I agree with this list. :) I'm reading This Savage Song right now, and it's brilliant. I'm having a hard time choosing between this and Vicious as Schwab's best (would you recommend A Darker Shade of Magic or no?). Funnily enough, I also had to write an essay on Frankenstein this year, though not on incest. :') I was hesitant about If I Was Your Girl and The Host, but I'm willing to give it a go now, so thanks!

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    1. Yay! I hope you enjoy it all the way to the very end. :) I didn't really like ADSOM, but I've heard many other people think it's her best. I don't know. I wouldn't read it again, but you should try it out for yourself.

      XD Yeah, I don't think many people in my class thought to write about Frankenstein's incest, either. I hope you enjoy the other books!

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  4. So many amazing books here! I really need to read TSS, even though The Near Witch and Vicious disappointed me. The Host is totally fabulous. I kind of want to go and reread the twilight books now that I'm not twelve, and then read life and death. I also read Frankenstien for class this year, though my essay was more about how Vicious is a Frankenstien retelling (HE'S CALLED VICTOR and all the power stuff and yeah) I loved Salt to the Sea, The Engelsfor trilogy (witches! Sweden! very real friendships in the face of the apocalypse!), A world Without You, and The Wrong Side of Right last year.

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    1. TSS is more of a YA, unlike Vicious, if that might help. But hopefully you find something of Schwab's that clicks with you! And I always support reading The Twilight books when you are not twelve.

      Yes, Vicious is totally a Frankenstein story and that is just another reason why I love it, ahahhaha.

      Huh, I haven't read those. I'll have to look those up. :)

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  5. 201 books! I'm super impressed, because WOW THAT'S A LOT OF READING IN BETWEEN HAVING A LIFE.
    I was not a fan of The Bell Jar. It didn't really make sense and I guess it just didn't work for me. Also I really need to read this Savage Song, but it's not in the library yet :( Also I've never heard of Yes Please, but it sounds really good! I've really enjoyed Holly Black's curseworkers, because it's creepy in levels I can stand. Also The Female of the Species has had lots of good reviews, so I should read it.
    Some of my favourite books this year have been... I can't remember. I somehow scrounged up a few memories for a blog post yesterday but I can't remember anything I read that wasn't in december.

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    1. HAHA YOU MAKE THE MISTAKE OF THINKING I HAVE A LIFE BUT THANK YOU

      Aw, that is too bad. I hope you can get a hold of it soon! And yes, I've actually put the first of that series on hold today because I must read it. :D XD And that's okay if you don't remember. It was a long year!

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  6. Ooh, The Outsiders! Darry has always been my favorite characters, though I love everyone (Except possibly Cherry. I don't hate her, but she never seemed quite real to me). I kept making plans to reread this in 2016, but never got around to doing it.
    One of my favorite books from 2016 was one that I started in 2016 but actually finished in 2017--A Taste for Monsters by Mathew Kirby. It's a ghost story set in Victorian London around the time of the Jack the Ripper murders. Pretty spooky, but also incredibly emotional and heartwarming.

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    1. Yes, Darry is amazing. It's taken me a while to be sympathetic to the others, but I get it now. And yeah, the female characterization in the book is, how you say, lacking.

      Ooooh, that sounds awesome! A spooky heartwarming book is just the kind of thing I could sink my teeth into.

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  7. I came so close to reading On The Edge Of Gone, but never did. And the The Bell Jar is awesome. Also, 201 books?! That's amazing!!

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    1. Aw, that is too bad. I hope you can pick it up again! Thanks, Opal!

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  8. A book like Tangled? Give it to me. I'm gonna need to find that somewhere.

    I started On The Edge of Gone but couldn't finish before I had to take it back to the library. I plan to get it again though.

    201 books?! AWESOME! I think I only read like 100-something, so congratz!


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbosityreviews.com

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    1. Yes, it is a lovely picture book.

      Aw, that is too bad. It is long, though, but it's worth it to get all the way to the end. :D

      Thank you, thank you. And congrats on you getting to 100! That's still quite the accomplishment. :)

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  9. Yes, The Bell Jar was spectacular! And I also adored The Bone Gap, even though it took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to get the Hades/Persephone thing. It also made me slightly obsessed with bees and now I want to keep bees when I'm older. So fun little side story there. And thanks for the other recs, I'll have to check out On the Edge of Gone.

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    1. That's okay, it only randomly occurred to me some time after I'd read it. And yes, bees are such nice neighbors. :) YES EVERYONE READ ON THE EDGE OF GONE.

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  10. THIS MAKES ME SO EXCITED TO READ THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES. And yessss, so glad you liked I'll Give You the Sun! Actually I really want to read The Host, because I was amazed how much I loved the movie.

    Hope you're having a wonderful start to the year <3

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    1. YES READ IT LIKE IT DO IT. And I'll Give You the Sun was totally lovely, yes. :) And yeah, the movie was quite good. It missed a couple points I liked in the book more, but hey, that happens.

      You too!

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  11. Bone Gap is definitely on my TBR; the writing looks so gorgeous! A few of the best books I read in 2016 are Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, Merrick by Anne Rice, and The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands.

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

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    1. Nice! I haven't read Scott Westerfeld in a while, but I really enjoyed his Uglies quadrilogy when I was younger. :)

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  12. V.E Schwab is really high on my TBR pile - everyone gushes over her books so I think its time I discover her for myself. Otherwise I really want to read Dawn Study by Maria V snyder - and of course, Sarah J Maas A court of Wings and Ruin.

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    1. V.E. Schwab is a hit and miss author for me, but I hope you enjoy whatever books of hers you choose to read! I haven't heard of Dawn Study, so I'll have to look that one up. Thanks for visiting!

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