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?