Since this is a new blog, I figured I would get it started by letting you know they types of books I love by going over my favourite books of last year! I had a fantastic reading year in 2016 and managed to finish 79 books. Here are my top 10 favourites of last year:
#10 – I AM THE MESSENGER by Markus Zusak
So the synopsis of this one was vague and I appreciated that so much when it came to this book. I was very confused at first what this story was even going to be about. I assumed that since he was getting playing cards in the mail with instructions that this was going to be about violence, killing, and a fight to save his life. In a way it WAS a fight to save his life (and the lives of others), but not in a way that I expected. The subject and his journey was surprising and taught me to look at life a little bit differently. It also taught me that what you see in someone is only the tip of the iceberg and you never know their true story. It was heartbreaking at times, tense, beautiful, and funny. The first chapter was probably the funniest first chapter of a book i’ve ever read!
#9 – A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS by Paul Tremblay
This book sat on my wish list for probably a year before I decided to buy it. The book sounded promising and unique but the subject matter could go either way – really good or really bad. Thankfully it was fantastic! A daughter of a normal family in England begins to show signs of schizophrenia and slowly they realize that all may not be as it seems. So they call in a priest to perform an exorcism and a reality show takes ahold of their journey to document it. I thought this would be cheesy and an elaborate scheme to gain money for their family, and it started out seeming that was the case. But I was pleasantly surprised how creepy this read was and how often it made my skin crawl. It’s told from the perspective of the youngest daughter so being able to see these events from the eyes of a young girl gave it an innocent and refreshing view. You think you know what to expect but I bet that you’ll be wrong like I was! If you enjoy a creepy read with twists and turns, this is a must!
#8 – THE WRATH AND THE DAWN DUOLOGY by Renee Ahdieh
This is another one that surprised me. I was apprehensive about picking it up because it sounded like insta-love. A prince marries a new woman every night and by morning she is dead. Shari’s friend is chosen to be his wife and ends up dead like the others, so she volunteers to be his next wife/victim so she can get her revenge. I assumed that she would meet the man and see his eyes and they would instantly be madly in love. Not the case. This book surprised me in the way that all the characters stayed true to their secrets and themselves. This duology was rich in characters, setting, and how all their decisions impacted the lives of so many. These books also had a bit of political/royal action along with a bit of magic and it was all done in a non cheesy way. I am so glad I overcame my fears of insta-love and picked this one up!
#7 – CITY OF THIEVES by David Beinoff
It’s WW2 in Leningrad and the population is dying of starvation when two men are given the task of finding a dozen eggs for a powerful Colonel’s daughters wedding cake to save their lives. First of all, you had me at world war 2. I love historical fiction!! Second of all, the task is so strange and outlandish I just had to know “why eggs?”, and did they do it? It sounded so strange and humorous in a time when nothing was close to funny. Yes at times it was funny and uplifting but it was their strength and determination to survive and the people and their relationships along the way that made the story so impactful.
#6 THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss
I will make it no secret that I love fantasy, especially high/epic fantasy. This series is large – I mean the books are so big and heavy that you could use them as a weapon. But even though the book was long it ended up being a really fast read because it sucks you so deep into the world. I love the magic used in this world and the writing was downright incredible. I felt at times that I was right there with him and could see, smell and experience everything like I was there. You know every detail of what he’s doing, where he’s going, and what he’s thinking. This book follows Kvothe from a young age before he got his name until later in life when he’s trying to run away from his past. I read this at the beginning of 2016 and it’s stayed with me ever since. This is probably the best character driven book I’ve ever read and can’t wait to continue with this series!
#5 THE ILLUMINAE FILES by Aimee Kaughman and Jay Kristoff
Wow!! These books were so great! A science fiction and political whirlwind is the only way to describe this one. Two people are fighting to escape with their lives as their planet is attacked and destroyed by an unknown corporation for unknown reasons. So many perish, but those who escaped are now trying to figure out why they were attacked. The format of these books was honestly the best part. It’s told as a case file full of messages, emails, video surveillance, diagrams and pictures. It lays out the story in a way that you see things step by step in a progression from every perspective which I loved. There’s science fiction, space travel, friendships, politics, cover ups, love and determination all rolled into one. I liked Illuminae but Gemina dives further into the story and reveals so much of the scope of this story. I need the next book – NOW!
#4 BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY by Ruta Sepetys
Lina, a 15 year old girl living in Lithuania is taken from her home and forced with her family onto a train destined for a work camp during world war 2. I’m sure I’ve never cried so many times reading a book in my whole life and this one will stick with me for years. This book shows great determination and love as well as heartbreak. So much heartbreak. I am a huge fan of historical fiction and this one is probably the most descriptive of the living situations and the relationships held while living in concentration and work camps.
#3 THRONE OF GLASS SERIES by Sarah J Maas
Sarah J Maas, you are a master at your craft! I read my first Sarah J Maas book this year which turned into reading ALL of her books! A female assassin was something I’ve never read before and this series did NOT disappoint! This series sucked me in and refused to spit me back out again. Just when you think you know whats going on something is revealed that ties every tiny detail you didn’t realize mattered together and you’re left with your jaw on the floor. I can’t really describe the series without spoiling somethings but if you haven’t jumped on this train – you need to!
#2 – DARK MATTER by Blake Crouch
This was probably my most surprising read of 2016. Jason Dessen is abducted and when he wakes up everything is different. His wife is no longer his wife, his son doesn’t exist, and he’s no longer a college professor but a celebrated genius in the science world. He struggles to make sense of it all and find his way back to the life he knew – if it wasn’t all just a dream. This book was AMAZING! I mean seriously amazing. Yes it was science based but was written so well that you can easily understand it and the thought of it was downright terrifying. I’ve never read a book where I got to the last chapter and still wondered “How the hell is this book going to end?!”
#1 THE COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES SERIES by Sarah J Maas
This series was so fantastic I literally haven’t stopped thinking about it. I loved it so much it took a good month or two to get my head out of these books and it actually made me enjoy the books I read immediately after it less than I should have. These books are a fantasy series but deal with so many issues like mental abuse, self confidence and more. I was so angry at times I almost stopped reading them. The things the characters did made me so mad and confused I would have strangled them if I could have. But the genius Sarah J Maas brings it all together and there was a reason for everything they did and every word they said. I love that Feyre’s journey was so flawed but she finds strength within herself to deal with these issues and she continues a stronger person because of it. The growth in these characters has to be my favourite part of the series. The magic, the friendships, the family, the politics, and the sexy times were so detailed and enthralling I could just live in this series forever!!
And there they are, my long top 10 list of 2016. I hope you enjoy this and get an idea of the types of books I read. Thanks for reading!