Jeann’s “Top 10” Books of 2016

December 31, 2016 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | Books, Features

Ahhh, that time of the year where we look back at all the amazing books that we read.  I didn’t quite finish my Goodreads goal but I got pretty darn close (111/120).  It probably doesn’t surprise you, but most of my favourites are either fantasy, sci-fi or magical realism (what would we do without Jenna’s love of contemporary here?). It was so tough to choose my favourites – I MEAN JUST 10 BOOKS? WHAT IS THIS. I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year and a great start to 2017! Happy New Year everyone <3

10. The Vanishing Throne – My Review

I absolutely loved this follow up to the dark fae fantasy The Falconer, with so much more world building, fae mythology, action and tension between the kickass Aileana who is a fae warrior, and the sexy brooding fae Kieran. As a mash up to historical, fantasy and steampunk settings, this installment adds even more with the post-apocalyptic Scotland.

9. When The Moon Was Ours – Aila’s Review | Jenna’s Review

With the love between a transgendered male and a girl with roses growing out of her hands, When The Moon Was Ours is a beautiful, poetic book about standing up for each other despite your differences. I loved the gorgeous diversity and the Pakistani and Latino mythology intertwined in this book.

8. Sleeping Giants – My Review

Told through a series of interviews and journal entries by an unnamed narrator, Sleeping Giants resembles my favourite Illuminae series. However, it’s set in today’s world where humans have stumbled upon a gigantic robot hand, and covers the political and scientific implications of such a discovery. I loved the plot filled with twists and turns and it will definitely get you thinking.

7. Summer Skin – My Review | Aila’s Review

As the only contemporary to make it on this fantasy devotee’s list, you know Summer Skin has to be good. This Aussie book is what every modern female should read, busting gender stereotypes, female sexuality and reinforcing feminism in a fierce and notable way.

6. The Star-Touched Queen – My Review | Aila’s Review | Jenna’s Review

With a beautiful, evocative Indian mythology setting, a Hades and Persephone retelling and a hilarious talking horse, there’s much to love about The Star-Touched Queen. I loved the concepts that it covered, including the threads of destiny, reincarnation and the underworld.

5. The Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet – My Review

This was my favourite diverse book of the year, as a quiet space opera featuring different alien cultures and species and how they interact with each other. I loved the Wayfarer crew which is made up of humans, aliens and AI who come to appreciate each other and the beauty of each and every race, no matter who they were.

4. Chaos Walking series – My Review | Jenna’s Review

I can’t believe it took me so long to finally read The Knife of Never Letting Go, but after reading and loving the first book in this dark and chaotic world run by a corrupted and dangerous leader, I binge read the whole series and loved it. The creative narrative of the book really showcases the chaotic nature of the series and really pulls at your heart strings.

3. Morning Star – My Review

Another sci-fi series that tops my list, Morning Star was a fantastic series ender filled with emotion, impossible odds, the strength of friendship built upon the foundation of hope. With Greek wartime tactics merged with a deep sci-fi world, I absolutely loved the fierce, independent Darrow and his lovable sidekicks, Sevro and Ragnor. This series seriously gets better and better with every book and it will freaking wreck your emotions from it’s epicness.

2. Gemina – My Review | Aila’s Review

When I look back at all the books I read this year, Gemina definitely tops it as my most raved about book all year. I was completely enthralled by the book and could think of nothing else, even re-reading the book straight after just so I could make sense of it. From the mind bending twists, to the layered characters and the awesome deep space plot featuring alien parasites, wormholes and space ships, Gemina feels like it was written for me.

1. Crooked Kingdom – My Review | Jenna’s Review

It’s not a surprise that our Happy Indulgence favourite book made it as my top favourite book of the year. I’ve never cried so hard in a book before which shows the level of emotional attachment I had with the characters. From the Russian inspired fantasy world, to a diversely awesome cast of characters, each who will capture your heart, I absolutely adored this duology. It’s one of my favourite series of all time and I wish there was more!

Honourable Mentions

Ha, you didn’t think I was only going to pick 10 books did you? Of course I had to cheat a little. Here’s some of my favourite reads that didn’t quite make it into my top 10, but definitely came close. (Sorry Aila and Jenna, I TRIED MY HARDEST).


Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little – Aila’s Review

I’m obsessed with the desert setting in books, so Forbidden covering the ancient Mesopotamian setting was definitely a winner in my books. It’s a sumptuous, sensual, feminist story of a girl surviving all odds to escape an arranged marriage and save her sister from temple worship.

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman – Aila’s Review

Another historical book based on the Western landscape, Vengeance Road features a charming belle with a heavy Southern accent and a thirst for revenge. It’s a cracking adventure fraught with danger, dangerous bandits with a thirst for gold, a young Apache girl, charming brothers and hidden family secrets.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – My Review | Jenna’s Review

I’m glad I finally read Miss Peregrine’s, featuring a strange and unique cast of children with different peculiarities on a creepy place in time. The narrative is set around peculiar black and white photos which tell a story on it’s own, and it was interesting discovering the sci-fi twist in the series.

Which of these books make your top 10?

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Tiktok@happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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39 responses to “Jeann’s “Top 10” Books of 2016

  1. I mostly read contemporary, so I have Summer Skin on my tbr-list. I didn’t have an opportunity to read it last year; I hope I’ll be able to do it in 2017. I still need to read Six of Crows and Illuminae, so I can pick up the next installments.

  2. Oooh LOVE your choices! Mostly because like, all of them are on my TBR and knowing that you loved them makes me happy 😉 I also agree with so many of them! Gemina and CK were fabulous, and the Chaos Walking series is one of my all time favorites! So is Forbidden! And I really liked Vengeance Road and The Star Touched Queen too! Summer Skin (thanks!), The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, Sleeping Giants, and When the Moon was Ours are all on my "must read ASAP" list, so I am glad you enjoyed them all so much!!

  3. lekeishathebooknerd

    Crooked Kingdom made my list as well. I liked Gemina too, but sadly it didn't make my favorites list. Nice picks!

  4. Cyn @ Bookmunchies

    Definitely waaay too hard to just pick just 10 books, haha. I loved loved Gemina and Crooked Kingdom! I really liked Vengeance Road, too! The cover is so pretty! And Sleeping Giants is on my TBR, super excited!
    Fantastic list, Jeann! Happy new year!

    • Hahaha yeah I can’t do it lol. But if I picked all of my favourites or 4-5 star reads this would be the longest post ever. Yessss how good were Gemina and CK!! Thank you lovely, I’ll have to check out your list as well.

  5. HAHAH OMG CAIT HOW DID YOU KNOW? So glad to hear you have CK on your list too. I can't wait to check out your favourites list. JUST READ GEMINA NOW AND JOIN ME. I need to read This Savage Song and actually all of those that you mentioned!

  6. Yessss how good is Aussie YA Viv? I'm lucky all of my editions match for Morning Star! Yeah, it puts me off as well though tbh. When the Moon was Ours was brilliant!

  7. Bec

    The only books I've read here is Vengeance Road! I've been so slack because Gemina and Red Rising are on my TBR (also Crooked Kingdom but I only JUST got that one). You've convinced me I need Sleeping Giants and The Star Touched Queen.

    I also have a mighty need for all The Falconer books. I read the first one as an ARC eons ago and LOVED it but haven't had the money to buy them all yet. It pains me!

    • OMG I'm pretty sure you rec'd Vengeance Road to me though. OMG you haven't read Red Rising and CK yet? BEC WE NEED TO HAVE WORDS. And yes, The Vanishing Throne is just as good if not better omg.

  8. Morning Star is definitely on my fave reads of 2016. That ending!! And it also made more excited for Iron Gold!!
    I have Sleeping Giants, Six of Crows, and Illuminae on my tbr 🙂

  9. AMAZING PICKSSSS. Not that I've read When the Moon Was Ours yet – but I can tell I'm going to love it (omg I better not eat my words). But Summer Skin and Gemina yessss. I definitely want to read Sleeping Giants now too!

    • Yesssss I hope you love When the Moon Was Ours Emily! I'm so glad everyone is keen on Sleeping Giants because I loved it! Happy New Year lovely <3

  10. I just finished When the Moon was Ours and I swear if I had read it in time, it'd be on my list too. Such beautiful writing!

    I think I'm the only one who hasn't read Gemina XD

    • Yippeee, I'm so glad you at least picked it up and loved it! Haha nah some people are shielding themselves from the Gemina feels 😀 BUT NOT FOR LONG if I have anything to do with it.

  11. Maraia

    Morning Star was on my list, too! (Which I actually made this year, woohoo!) The Knife of Never Letting Go was a top reread this year as well. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to read Gemina, but it's one of my priorities for 2017. 🙂

  12. Oh my god I loved Gemina so much. But seeing as I read Illuminae for the first time this year as well, both should be in my top 10-or-whatever. THEY ARE SO GOOD AND MIND-BLOWING and I'll definitely read them again soon!

    I also loved Cress and Winter! Cinder and Scarlet were less impressive but I really liked the ending of the series and 100% fell in love with Carswell Thorne. Also Heartless, so it was a good Marissa Meyer year!

    Also BIG MAGIC. ♥♥

    • YAY I'm so excited that you loved Illuminae and Gemina! Seriously so good omg. I actually loved Cinder the most, I love her leadership and kindness and personality. Omg Thorne, yes pelase. Happy New Year Inge <3

  13. Sleeping Giants is on Top Reads of 2016 list as well (not surprising). Most of these books, however, are on my list of books I wish I read this year. Bah.

    Thanks for sharing, Jeann.

    Happy New Year!

  14. Geraldine

    So many great books on your list, Jeann!
    And I am not surprised by Crooked Kingdom being on your list!
    I've not read one of these books here…must rectify that immediately, am I right?? 😛
    Happy new year! <3

  15. Bec

    Ooh I need to read The Knife of Never Letting Go! It's been sitting on my TBR and making me guilty… hopefully I get to it relatively soon!! Awesome post. And loved Gemina too!!

  16. I AM SO EXCITED TO READ CROOKED KINGDOM AND WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS! Although none of our favourites are similar, I am so excited to hear that the books on my TBR are Jeann-approved! 🙂

  17. theliteraryhuntress

    You had an amazing reading year Jeann! I've heard amazing things about Summer Skin, The Star Touched Queen and Sleeping Giants that I can't wait to read them next year!

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