As I’m writing this I’m feeling a tiny bit defeated. It may have been my best ever book-reading year with a total of 46 under my belt, but I had really wanted to manage a book a week! I never want to put too much pressure on myself to read because I love it and don’t want to ruin, but there are so many books out there that I’m desperate to devour. Time is precious.
I think I’ll finish at least one more book before the year is up, and I’m pretty sure I’ll manage 52 books next year because 2017 won’t require me to plan a wedding! But this year, right now, 46 is my number. It’s pretty tricky to narrow that down to 10, but I’ve tried my best to pick out my favourites. These are not books that were necessarily published in 2016, but were all read by me this year. And some don’t yet have reviews because I’m a teeny tiny (read: massively) behind on my reviews as usual. Here they are, in reverse order.
10. Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh
I loved Burning Midnight so much. It’s a brilliantly fun concept that I couldn’t get enough of and, despite reading it back in May, it’s really stuck in my mind. Think Pokémon meets magical powers and you’ve got Burning Midnight. Well worth reading and definitely one of my favourites this year.
9. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
This brilliant book is a fast-paced and addictive dystopian fantasy that starts what I expect will become one of my favourite trilogies. It’s definitely not for everyone because its prose is incredibly descriptive and poetic, but I really liked it!
8. The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
This was one of those rare, beautiful books that I read in one sitting on a Sunday morning in bed. It’s a contemporary exploration of the effects of losing a friend as a child. It’s stunning and really, really moving. I would recommend The Thing About Jellyfish to everyone, particularly parents and teachers.
7. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
I had heard so much about Miss Peregrine’s so I decided it was finally time to read it. I raced through it in a couple of days after getting completely lost in the gloriously imaginative story. It’s a gentle fantasy that’s easy to follow, making enjoying the characters and their adventures effortless. I can’t wait to read more. The creepy photos throughout the book are fascinating too – Ransom Riggs collected them over many years and used them to come up with the book’s characters. Fascinating!
6. Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher
This is the book I read most recently. I knew I’d love it – Annabel Pitcher’s Ketchup Clouds is one of my all-time favourites, is featured in my YA books for Adults and was part of my Top 10 for 2014. I find Annabel’s writing so delightfully flowing, and her characters are so well defined. Silence is Goldfish is an important story about family, and about complex human emotions.
5. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
I got completely lost in this one. I just love a dystopian, and this one mixes in a healthy dose of sci-fi too. I loved that it didn’t end in a cliffhanger despite being part of a series, too. It means I get to look forward to reading the next instalment without feeling like I desperately need to read it now.
4. Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Believe it or not, this was the first time I ever read Noughts & Crosses. I don’t know how or why I waited this long, but boy was it great. It’s a subject with huge importance to me, told through an incredible dystopian story that captivated me completely and then shattered my heart into tiny pieces. Bloody brilliant.
3. Underwater by Marisa Reichardt
Into the top three now folks, and this one is a gorgeous contemporary about crippling anxiety and the journey to recovery. I can’t say much without spoiling the story, because there’s a horrifying reason behind Morgan’s anxiety that slowly becomes clear throughout the novel. It’s just fantastic.
2. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
I picked up this beauty at YALC earlier this year and read it in November. It’s set in space so that’s an instant win, but more than that it is one of the most unusual and creative books I’ve ever read. It is presented in the format of a case file, which means you never know what you’re going to find on the next page. There are transcripts and emails and chat logs. With plenty of twists and turns, this had me hooked and easily sailed to the top of this list. I can’t wait for more.
1. The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling
Number one is without doubt this incredible debut by Kate Ling. I just can’t get enough of novels set in space, it seems. The Loneliness of Distant Beings is a book I wish I had written. Space, dystopia and forbidden romance mixed with a deep and meaningful message about mental health. I fell head-over-heels for this story.
Have you read any of the books in my top 10? What books were your favourite this year? Leave a link to your round-ups and reviews or simply let me know what you’d recommend in the comments section below.
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.