2016 Wrap-Up: My Favorites of the Year

2016favorites

Hello everyone!

Happy New Year! I hope you all have had a lovely past few weeks. I decided to take a bit of a break from blogging during this holiday season but I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things after I finish my finals for the end of this school semester in a couple of weeks.

2016 has definitely been one of the strangest years of my life. I’m fairly sure that it wasn’t the best year for a lot of people, but I think that the one element of this year that comforted me was the escape that books provided. While I’ve always loved reading, I feel like my love for novels expanded even more this year and I didn’t even know that was possible. I set my Goodreads goal as 100 books and, although it was a bit of a struggle at times, I actually reached it. The first book that I read in 2016 was Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi and little did I know how much that series would mean to me today (that is literally my favorite series of all time now). Therefore, I decided that I would re-read Shatter Me and it was my 100th read of 2016 and it pretty much renewed my love for that series so much.

I honestly have no idea what 2017 has in store for any of us but I’m trying as best as I can to keep my hopes high and, after learning so much this year, I’m going to try to utilize every lesson that I’ve learned and become an even better person this year. I am determined to read more diverse books than I’ve ever read before and I’m currently in the search of some amazing #OwnVoices novels (so, hey, if you have any recommendations, please let me know). I’m hoping that I get a bit braver when it comes to directly communicating with others in the bookish community because I still remain fairly shy when it comes to interactions but I think that I’m growing more comfortable with that as time passes. I have set my Goodreads reading challenge for this year to 50 books because I wanted to try to set a low goal that I could work with a lot easier and if I want to raise it eventually throughout the year then I will but I’m not putting too much pressure on myself. I know a lot of people don’t understand the huge hype about completing the challenge but, for me personally, I look at it as a way to make myself expand my bookshelves and the genres that I read. Did I ever think that I would fall in love with young adult fantasy novels in 2016? Did I think that I would marathon an entire series of books within a few weeks (I’m looking at you, Cassandra Clare books)? Did I think that I could actually accomplish my 100 book goal? Absolutely not. But I think challenging myself to read more books caused me to want to try out new types of novels and I’m really, really proud of myself for doing that because I’ve read so many amazing books that I don’t think I would’ve ever thought about reading in the past year.

So, now that I’ve babbled on for probably much too long, I’m going to get into the part of this post where I talk about some of my favorite reads of 2016. Now, this year was full of what I like to describe as catching up with book series because I read so many series that have either been out for a while or the last book was released this year and I quickly read the entire series to catch up with it. This list will probably include multiple books that were released way before 2016, a few books that were released in 2016, and basically just a mixture of everything. So, with that being said, I’m going to be separating this by author because I’ve read so many amazing books by the same authors and I think that this is the only fitting way to declare my love for these books and to give them each the proper spotlight that they deserve. Without further ado, here are my favorite reads of 2016!


Tahereh Mafi

Book(s) Read by Author:
Shatter Me
Unravel Me
Unite Me
Ignite Me
Furthermore

This year I discovered my favorite author and I’m so happy that I did. Shatter Me was my first read of the year and I quickly flew through it, I ordered Unravel Me and Ignite Me immediately, and then I stayed up until 6am in order to finish reading both of those books back-to-back. I’ve come to the conclusion that I basically love every single thing about this series. It’s by no means the most perfect series on earth, but I think that I fell in love with it because of its perfections and its flaws. I love the writing style. I love the plot. I love the characters. I love the world. I love Warnette, AKA my favorite bookish couple of all time. I also read Tahereh’s latest release, Furthermore, and I loved it so much. It was so unique and magical and fantastical and, ugh, I just really, really love Tahereh Mafi and her amazing books.


Leigh Bardugo

Book(s) Read by Author:
Shadow and Bone
Siege and Storm
Ruin and Rising
Six of Crows
Crooked Kingdom

I’m so glad I discovered Leigh Bardugo’s amazing books this year. The Shadow and Bone trilogy is so, so good and Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom are even better and I fell in love with the Grisha world so quickly, I NEED MORE BOOKS BY LEIGH BARDUGO ASAP.


Nicola Yoon

Book(s) Read by Author:
Everything, Everything
The Sun Is Also a Star

When it comes to young adult contemporary reads, Nicola Yoon definitely topped my favorites list this year. I really enjoyed Everything, Everything, but I was completely blown away by The Sun Is Also a Star. It was so amazing and completely different from what I expected it to be and I cannot express how much I adored that book!


Michelle Hodkin

Book(s) Read by Author:
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
The Evolution of Mara Dyer
The Retribution of Mara Dyer

Okay, discovering the character of Noah Shaw is definitely one of the highlights of 2016 for me. I absolutely loved this trilogy and I even made my mom (who doesn’t enjoy reading much at all) read these books and she loved them as well. I loved the romance within these books and I enjoyed how the plot developed throughout the series. I cannot wait for Michelle Hodkin’s next series!


Cassandra Clare

Book(s) Read by Author:
City of Bones
City of Ashes
City of Glass
City of Fallen Angels
City of Lost Souls
City of Heavenly Fire
Clockwork Angel
Clockwork Prince
Clockwork Princess
Lady Midnight

2016 was definitely a year full of Cassandra Clare. One of my best friends (who I now refer to as my parabatai), Lilian, recommended Cassandra’s books to me over and over again so (finally) I gave in and read City of Bones and I was hooked. I absolutely love the Shadowhunter world and I’m basically Cassandra Clare trash at this point.


Marie Lu

Book(s) Read by Author:
Legend
Prodigy
Champion

This is another trilogy that Lilian recommended to me! I told her to read Shatter Me, she told me to read Legend, and the rest is history. I really enjoyed this trilogy and I think that the ending was one of the most well written endings to a trilogy that I’ve read in a long time.


Sarah J. Maas

Book(s) Read by Author:
The Assassin’s Blade
Throne of Glass
Crown of Midnight
Heir of Fire
Queen of Shadows
Empire of Storms
A Court of Thorns and Roses
A Court of Mist and Fury

I discovered Sarah J. Maas books this year and I’m basically addicted to them and I can’t help myself no matter how hard I try (once again, I’m complete trash for an author’s books). I think that Sarah is a brilliant storyteller and she knows how to create these huge fantasy worlds and she can tie it all together throughout an entire arc of books. However, with all of that being said, I would now like to take responsibility for not acknowledging the huge lack of diversity within her books in my reviews. I’ve grown so much throughout the past year (in fact, the past few months) and I have a completely different mindset when I read novels now, so I’ve definitely matured and I find myself being able to see a lot of problematic elements within books that I probably would not have noticed due to my own privilege. I deeply, deeply regret being so imperceptive to these issues before (especially within my reviews of these novels), but I honestly think that bookish-Twitter has educated me so freaking much in regards to this subject matter and I’m forever grateful for that. I have so many things that I could say about this topic and I most likely will in the future, but I think that this video by Jenna and this video by Maf capture my thoughts completely and I definitely recommend that you watch them both. I think that we need to remain critical of problematic or little to no representation within books and we need to recognize fully that these types of elements are problematic (even when our favorite authors are involved).


Becky Albertalli

Book(s) Read by Author:
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Oh my God, this book. This is one of the wittiest, funniest, and most amazing contemporary novels that I’ve ever read. It’s diverse and it has such an amazing plot and I cannot recommend Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda enough. I can’t wait for Becky Albertalli’s next book because, if it’s anything like Simon vs., then I know that it will be amazing.


Renée Ahdieh

Book(s) Read by Author:
The Wrath & the Dawn
The Rose & the Dagger

I’m usually not a fan of duologies, but this pair of books definitely stole my heart. I love Renée Ahdieh’s writing style and the way that she constructs her characters so much. These two books are definitely some of my favorite reads this year!


Maggie Stiefvater

Book(s) Read by Author:
The Raven Boys
The Dream Thieves
Blue Lily, Lily Blue
The Raven King

Yep, yet again, here I am, complete trash for another author. Let me just note that I flew through this series so quickly and I kind of regret that because I didn’t allow myself to soak up each book one at a time, but then again I kind of lost all self control and I read these books at an extremely rapid pace. I love each and every character in these books and I just really, really need more of these characters.


Victoria Aveyard

Book(s) Read by Author:
Red Queen
Glass Sword

I decided to read Red Queen earlier this year because I’ve had a copy of it sitting on my shelf since April 2015 and I’m honestly so mad at myself for not reading it earlier. This was one of the first intensely high fantasy young adult novels that I’ve ever read and I loved these books. The anticipation that I have for King’s Cage is outrageous and I’m so ready to get my hands on that novel.


Sabaa Tahir

Book(s) Read by Author:
An Ember in the Ashes

This book is kind of a recent read for me and I really loved it! It was an exhilarating read and I got the sequel to it, A Torch Against the Night, as a Christmas gift this year and I plan on reading it as soon as I can. Sabaa is an amazing writer and I fell in love with the world that she created so quickly.


Patrick Ness

Book(s) Read by Author:
A Monster Calls

Again, this is a recent read of mine and it broke my heart. Let me set the scene for you; it was almost midnight and I was reading this in my living room. My family was asleep. And there I was, reading the last few chapters of this novel and I was bawling. Like, this wasn’t just a few tears shed. No, no, this was me full on crying my eyes out. A Monster Calls was such a beautiful novel and I really can’t wait to see the movie adaptation when it’s released in theaters later this month.


So, those are some books that I really, really enjoyed this year. It’s hard for me to pick favorites, but I have to admit that Tahereh Mafi’s books completely stole my heart and I’ll continue to love her books adamantly. You can look at the entire list of books that I read in 2016 with ratings here and you can look at my Goodreads 2016 Year in Books here.

In regards to non-bookish favorites of 2016, I’ve basically been obsessed with the Hamilton soundtrack and I listen to it non-stop (do you see what I did there?), the Joanne album by Lady Gaga, Stranger ThingsHow to Get Away With Murder, Teen Wolf, documentaries about anything and everything, Joe Biden memes, and oh, you know those Buzzfeed Unsolved videos? Yeah, I basically live off of those.


I hope you had a great year and I hope you have an even better 2017. What are some amazing books that you read in 2016? Comment below and let me know so I can add them to my TBR!

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3 thoughts on “2016 Wrap-Up: My Favorites of the Year

  1. Amazing post! I’m glad you’ve included Michelle Hodkin on your list, Mara Ayer’s trilogy is one of my all time favorites !, and I’m so excited about Michelle’s new work, I can’t wait :). I hope you’re having a great beggening of the year!

    Liked by 1 person

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