Can you belive that it’s already December? I won’t stress you out with the countdown of days until all the things, but seriously. It’s all happening. And now everyone is writing up end of the year roundups on all of the things and I don’t want to be left out, so I thought I’d share my ten favorite reads from 2016. Thus far. Obviously I might read something amazing before the year is out, but it will have to earn its fanfare organically.
So without further adieu: The 10 Best Book I Read This Year
The Royal We by Heather Cocks is basically Prince William and Kate Middleton fanfiction but it was actually a really great read. It was kind of an undertaking, spanning the course of ten years in the courting, dating, breaking up and getting married of Prince Nicholas and Rebecca (i.e. William and Kate). I know it sounds ridiculously cheesy by the premise alone, but the writing is so compelling and the characters are so well written that I found myself cheering for them from the start and rooting all the way to the finish line.
Night Film by Marisha Pessl – It really wasn’t until the second half of the book that this story really picked up for me and consumed my very being. This is a hefty mystery with a lot of moving parts and it took awhile to ease into but I read the last 150 pages in basically one day. I found the overall story to be really fascinating and the pictures and clippings were a nice touch. I was kind of disappointed that the google play app at least doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Unless Cordova got to it.
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice so you shouldn’t be surprised that it gets mixed reviews. I’m personally a sucker for Pride and Prejudice adaptations and thoroughly enjoyed this one. Sittenfeld took some interesting departures from the original story but overall I think it was an excellent modernization. I would imagine some people might not enjoy a few of the liberties taken, especially P & P purists, but I thought it was a lot of fun.
Old World Murder by Kathleen Ernst is a cozy mystery that takes place at Old World Wisconsin. I live in Wisconsin so it was a lot of fun reading a murder mystery that takes place in my state. Lots of local references to enjoy. Additionally, it’s a good and compelling story that took awhile to build but kept my interest and then consumed my interest in the second half. It ends on a cliff hanger that led to me immediately downloading the next book.
Circling The Sun by Paula McLain was one of my favorite book club reads this year. I could relate to Beryl (the main character) in a lot of ways, especially with her early family life – and I found myself rooting for her from cover to cover. She led a fascinating life that was both difficult and admirable. McLain’s story is well written and absorbing and based on a true story.
Okay we’ve gotten the more adulty books out of the way (with a few exceptions, I know, shhhh). Now here were my five favorite YA novels that I read this year:
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows – This is a strange, strange book to describe. It’s about Lady Jane Grey, who was briefly the Queen of England, except the authors took some pretty major, fantastic, hytertical liberties with the story. I honestly loved everything about it. It’s part historical fiction, part fantasy, definitely some romance and very funny. You will root for basically every character, even the horses.
Winter by Marissa Meyer – The final book in the series. Each book seems to get bigger as the series goes and more characters are introduced. This book felt like the fireworks finale that it should be with #allthefeels all over the place. Every moment you were waiting for finally happens and Meyer only tries to break your heart eleventy billion times so it’s all good. New to the Lunar Chronicles? Start with Cinder.
The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson is a sequel so definitely read the first book before you read this one. I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed this book more than I loved the first one. Something in the writing felt fresher and tighter and it probably helps that I’d grown accustomed to the cast of characters. I also really loved Oliver – probably more than I’d liked Keith in book one.
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – I got sucked into this one quickly. The main character, Emily, is extremely shy and totally oblivious but you love and root for her anyway and Frank is just allllll the things. I loved this book. The list of items that Sloane left for Emily to do really made for a funny and interesting book and the characters are all very fleshed out. I liked that the book felt real and honest – characters felt authentic even when you sometimes wished they wouldn’t.
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella – This was a case of the hype totally matching the quality of the book. I waited for what felt like FOREVER to get my hands on a copy of this book and it was totally worth it. After just a few chapters in, I found myself carrying this book with me everywhere I went so I could sneak in a few more pages here and there until it was done. A sweet love story, an honest and up close peek at social anxiety at it’s worst and a surprisingly funny tale of family life and coming of age.
What are some of the best books you’ve read this year?