Overall, a solid reading year with some outstanding books throughout.
I really like reflecting at the end of the year on all the books I read, and I like to sum up my favorites. I read some amazing books this year, so I thought I’d put them all together. I wholeheartedly recommend each and every one of them, and if you haven’t read them yet you definitely should!
Honorable mentions: Giant Days and Sweet Tooth.
These two series of comics have been some of my favorite reads of the year. Since they aren’t actual books, they’re honorable mentions, but I really love them. Comics usually don’t make a lasting impression on me, but these two definitely did. They are quite different, both in tone and plot. If you want something funny, smart and contemporary, go with Giant Days (more on it here). If you want something dystopian, smart and remarkable, go with Sweet Tooth.
10. Undying: A Love Story by Michel Faber
I am really not a poetry person. It takes a lot for me to actually like a poem. I like my poems gritty, dark and real, and this collection is all of that. It’s deeply moving and harrowing, but so so beautiful. Faber wrote this for his late wife, who died of cancer, and the poems are beyond sad, but also beyond beautiful and they left such an impression on me. The only reason this isn’t higher up on my list is because, like I said, I’m not really a poetry person.
9. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
I love everything Flynn has written, and this was no exception. This is my second favorite of her novels, right behind Gone Girl. Amazing atmosphere and a really clever story and plot. Also, Flynn’s characters are so amazing in their awfulness and their unreliableness, which always garantees that I’ll love a book.
8. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I tend to struggle with YA Fantasy. I find it to be so tropey and lack lustre, that I’m always left feeling annoyed. However, Six of Crows was amazing. It has an intriguing and gripping premise, but it’s main virtue is the characters. They are some of my favorite characters ever, and I adored the book solely because of them. It did lack in world building, but all of it was in the background because of the quality of the characters.
7. Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson
Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite writers. After not being blown away by The Alloy of Law, I was a bit apprehensive going into this one, but I loved it. If you’re looking for great Fantasy, you don’t need to go further than Sanderson.
6. The Girls by Emma Cline
This was one of the biggest releases of the year and everyone raved about it. Hype tends to ruin books for me, but this one lived up to the praise completely. Cline creates the perfect atmosphere and she completely nails what it’s like to be a teenage girl. And there’s the whole back story of the Manson murders.
5. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
One of the best books that Fantasy has to offer. Great characters, an intricate magic system and a writing style that engages you. You can read more about it here , but I highly recommend it.
4. Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
An unassuming, quiet novel about life and family. I found it to be very profound and moving, and I loved every single sentence of it. You can read more of my thoughts here.
3. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
My love for The Raven Cycle knows no boundaries. I love the characters and the story so deeply and I think Stiefvater created something really unique and different. I truly adore the series and I recommend it to everyone, everywhere. It’s weird. But it’s also awesome.
2. The Lies of Locke Lamora
Again, an amazing Fantasy novel. A unique, medieval-Venice-like setting with a fabulous cast of characters and an amazing storyline. Fantasy books tend to be slow, but this had such a brisk pace to it, which made the reading experience quite different, but also great.
1. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
This book still sits with me. I think about it constantly. The way Shriver wrote her main character Eva, is spectecular. And the way she managed to portray such a complicated relationship between Eva and her son is even more spectacular. You can read more of my thoughts here, but just pick this up. It will blow you away.
Those are my favorites for 2016! Be sure to leave yours in the comments below!