Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I Read in 2016

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.

Burning Midnight review
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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!

Shatter Me review
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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.

The Thing About Jellyfish review
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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!

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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.

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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.

The 5th Wave review
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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.

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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.

Underwater review
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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.

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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.

The Loneliness of Distant Beings review
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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



  1. 27th December 2016 / 11:55 am

    Ooh you’ve read some amazing books Ashleigh! You should be pleased with your number! 🙂 I know the feeling though…so many good books out there! I hope you manage to read your book a week in 2017.

    • Ashleigh Allsopp
      27th December 2016 / 11:56 am

      Thanks Chrissi, I think I will 🙂 I’ve got a big beachy holiday to help next year, I can get through around 10 on that trip alone 😀

  2. 27th December 2016 / 12:02 pm

    You have so many good books on your list! I read and loved Shatter Me many many years ago, but for some reason I never picked up the next book. I have no idea why! I really need to reread it and then finish the series. Miss Peregrine made my favorites list the year I read it too! Great list and thanks for visiting my blog! I’m off to explore yours too. 🙂

  3. 27th December 2016 / 12:05 pm

    Hey 46 is a pretty awesome number! But I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to take the pleasure away from reading – nothing kills a story more than when your force yourself to turn the pages. But those are some great books – Shatter Me has me been on my TBR pile for ages, and so has Miss Peregrines school for peculiar children. Hopefully I will get to them next year!

  4. 27th December 2016 / 5:04 pm

    Great list, Ashleigh! I also read and loved Illuminae and Silence is Goldfish this year, I think they’d be in my top ten too! Adding The Loneliness of Distant Beings to my TBR, it sounds amazing.

  5. 28th December 2016 / 1:37 am

    I loved the 5th Wave. The sequel wasn’t as good, but this first book is so entertaining and I just love both Cassie and Evan. Great list!

    • Ashleigh Macro
      20th January 2017 / 9:09 am

      That’s a shame, I think I’ll still pick up the second but I often find that the first in a series is the best book, don’t you? xx

  6. 28th December 2016 / 3:38 am

    I haven’t read any of these yet. 46 is a good number of books for the year. Congrats on finding some great books to read in 2016.

  7. 28th December 2016 / 9:39 pm

    I just started listening to Illuminae and it’s intriguing. I am curious about what I’m losing in audio format, but I do tend to like books adapted for full cast audio. It’s like listening to a radio program. This is a great list. Happy new reading year!

    eli @ the (book) supplier
    My TTT

    • Ashleigh Macro
      20th January 2017 / 9:08 am

      I definitely think you’ll be losing something by listening to Illuminae, but it does depend how they’ve gone about it. It’s quite a visual book so if you every get the chance I’d recommend picking up the physical copy 🙂 Happy reading 😀

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