Aila’s Top 10 Books of 2016

December 26, 2016 by Aila J. | Books

Hello all! I’m here in the last week of December 2016 to celebrate my top 10 books of the year. Like always, I kept these choices to either stand-alones or firsts in series. I always feel awkward picking a book in the middle of the series. At heart, these posts show my faves but also are recommendations, and I have a tough time recommending series conclusions if I can’t even get someone to read the first book. I know it’s a general consensus that 2016 has been an awful year (because agreed), but good thing we have these incredible releases to make life a bit more pleasant!

10. Sword & Verse – My Review

Although this released earlier in the year, Sword & Verse captured my heart with its made-up language system and unique world. While some readers may think the plot/pacing is extremely slow, I thought it was perfect in terms of expressing character growth. It spans about a couple of years, but throughout it all we get to discover the history behind such an extensive world and how these characters can change the present using their discoveries of the past.

9. Stalking Jack the Ripper – My Review

Aka Sherlock and Holmes but with an extremely feminist Holmes and added forensics science. Maniscalco merges accurate depictions of the original Jack the Ripper into this story as we follow Audrey Rose in pursuing forensics, rather than dabbling in debutante balls and gowns. Her magnetic attraction with the extremely stoic yet intriguing Thomas and yet another colorful addition to this historical.

8. The Girl From Everywhere – My Review | Jeann’s Review

Time traveling ships, what else do I need to say? Maybe it’s also the fact that this book came out on my birthday, or Nix was a relatable protagonist who battled through many challenges throughout it all. The family dynamics between her and her father were also extremely heartening to see, as well as her diverse background. The fascinating mythology will suck you right in, and you’ll be reluctant to put the book down.

7. The Star-Touched Queen – My Review | Jeann’s Review | Jenna’s Review

What drew me was the combination of Indian mythology and a Hades/Persephone backgrounnd, but The Star-Touched Queen lived up to my expectations and more. Highly romantic and with characters that tug at your soul, it could also sometimes be confusing. I know I myself got a bit tired of the purple prose at times, but ultimately the delightful story was enough to keep me going up until the end.

6. Traitor Angels – My Review

Think of it as a Historial YA Da Vinci. We have patterns and codes that the main characters have to solve, a hidden mystery that engulfs the storyline, and a slow burn romance that adds just the right amount of added tension to heighten readers’ senses. I love how Blankman put everything together so perfectly, from the hidden clues to the way they reflect actual history.

5. The Forgetting – My Review

With a taciturn main character and at-first confusing world (is it dystopian? Fantasy? Maybe a mix of both), The Forgetting may seem easily forgettable. However, once you pick up the book and read within the pages, it isn’t a story likely to leave your head anytime soon. It has a meaningful message, cleverly expressed through the story of a town who forgets everything about their life every 12 years.

4. My Lady Jane – My Review | Jenna’s Review

Historical fiction at its finest! Full of wit and hilarious humor, My Lady Jane rewrites the tale of Lady Jane Grey into one packed with adventure, paranormal twists, and a heartfelt romance with characters you just can’t get enough of. I’ve laughed aloud so many times while reading this one, and can’t wait to see what the authors have in store for the next Jane books.

3. The Reader – My Review

One of the lesser celebrated YA of this year but also one that packs a powerful message, The Reader features a quiet main character as she deciphers what exactly a book is… all while her own history is being written in the form of a book. Call it bookception, but you’ll have a better time understanding if you picked it up yourself. The extremely slow-to-progress romance is sooo satisfying to read, and Sefia is an all-around awesome character.

2. Starflight – My Fanart | Jenna’s Review

Honestly one of my most reread books out of this list, this book and the ragtag crew in it are out of this world. Taking place in space, Starflight is full of fun with mysterious elements being discovered, missing twin brothers, space pirates, cute pets, and more. Even better are the main ship, Solara and Doran, who go from a hate to love relationship. Ahh, writing about this book makes me want to reread it yet again.

(Btw for all I love of this book, it’s kind of funny that I haven’t written a review for it. Maybe one day.)

1. Rebel of the Sands – My Review | Jeann’s Review

Also winner of the Best Debut for Goodreads Choice Awards, I devoured this fantasy blend of Western and Middle Eastern culture, and couldn’t wait enough to get my hands on the sequel. Amani was a gritty main character who learned as she went along, and the scorching romance had the perfect amount of heat in conjunction to the desert setting that the world takes place in. I can’t recommend this book enough, especially for lovers of action who are ready to see unique characters join together to fight against a dictator.

Do any of these books coincide with your favorites of this year?

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Aila is a young adult reader who loves to transport herself to new dimensions through reading. She's currently an undergraduate student at university in the US. Let's talk about our obsessions on Twitter @aila_1woaa!

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33 responses to “Aila’s Top 10 Books of 2016

  1. I haven’t read any of these books, but I have six of them on my tbr-list. I especially looking forward toward reading The Forgetting, My Lady Jane and Starflight. Wonderful list, Aila! Thanks for sharing!

  2. YESSS I have seen the hardback of The forgetting at the bookstore and it looks absolutely gorgeous! I'm so glad to hear that you rated the story as well! I totally agree with TSTQ which is also on my top 10. Although it surprises me that I've only read 3 of your favourite reads this year! That reminds me, I need to move My Lady Jane and Starflight up my TBR.

  3. bookishgirl61

    Literally all of these are on my TBR list for next year. The Forgetting sounds so awesome. I can't wait to read all of these. Fantastic list. I'm glad you enjoyed them!

  4. Somewhat Reserved

    I have read absolutely none of these books but in 2017 I shall have a reading comeback and tackle other genres!

  5. It's so interesting to see everyone's top ten list, and see how different they all are! It definitely says a lot about your reading tastes (and shows that mine are all over the place…even my reading is chaotic, let alone the rest of my life). Also, I LOVE the sound of Traitor Angels! You had me at YA Da Vinci.

  6. I've read and loved Stalking Jack the Ripper and The Girl from Everywhere. Starflight, My Lady Jane, and the Reader have all been sitting on my TBR.

    Seeing Rebel of the Sands makes me sad.

    • I'm glad you enjoyed those, and I hope you like the others!

      Recently I've been made aware of the misrepresentation in Rebel of the Sands (after this post was published) 🙁 so I'm pretty sad as well. In the future I'll be careful to take note of that.

  7. Cyn @ Bookmunchies

    Fantastic list, Aila! I really enjoyed Rebel of the Sands and My Lady Jane!
    I've got to pick up The Forgetting! It's been on a lot of top lists! And Stalking Jack the Ripper!

  8. Bec

    Yass Rebel of the Sands!! That book was so good. I haven't read any of the other books on this list, but I did recently buy Stalking Jack the Ripper! I want to get My Lady Jane and The Star Touched Queen at some point too. Oh and Starflight!

  9. lekeishathebooknerd

    I've read a few of these but sadly they aren't on my top reads list. You do have me wanting to grab Sword & Verse from my shelf right now.

    • I hope you pick up Sword and Verse! I feel like it's a bit underrated out of all the books here. But definitely worth the read, in my opinion!

  10. theliteraryhuntress

    I haven't read any of those books on your list, but I will definitely read The Star Touched Queen and My Lady Jane next year! I've heard nothing but amazing things but I can't find a copy of those books anywhere 🙁 Especially with Star Touched Queen, it sounds amazing because it's a hades persephone retellings with indian cultures in it?? It just sounds really amazing!

    • Ooh yes, the star touched queen was all the awesome! Can you order it from book depository or through Amazon kindle perhaps? Best of luck getting your hands on it!

  11. Fleur @ Frankly Books

    I always love your lists! Although, I'm ashamed to say that I haven't read a single book that appeared in this post. I'm really hoping that I'll be able to catch up on my reading next year (there little hope for that though, next year is going to be even busier than this one). Thanks for sharing!

    Fleur @ FranklyBooks just posted THE STORY BEHIND MY EMAIL & BOOK EXTRACT

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