It was extremely difficult for me to choose my favourite books of the year because I simply haven’t read very many books this year. I’ve only read about 55 books this year, which is a major step down from the 200+ that I used to read. I also did a lot of rereads this year, including a complete reread of all seven Harry Potter books on audio… twice. There were fewer standouts for me to choose from but here are five books that I absolutely loved this year and would highly recommend.
5. I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman
I have always loved Gayle Forman’s writing and her books are some of my all-time favourites. I Have Lost My Way is no exception. It was an extremely beautiful story about friendship and loss, and the coming together of people who are all slightly broken in their own way and the support that they can give each other. It’s a relatively short book and definitely possible to finish in one sitting. If you’re looking for a beautifully written and impactful contemporary read, this is my top recommendation of all the books I read this year.
4. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
I read and enjoyed the entire Crazy Rich Asians trilogy this year on audiobook a few months before the film came out, and I enjoyed every single book. I rated each of them at least 4 stars and China Rich Girlfriend was my favourite, with a 5 star rating. China Rich Girlfriend definitely does not suffer from second book syndrome. It was a wonderful continuation of Crazy Rich Asians and was just as wild and ostentatious (if not more) as its prequel. These books are so bingeable and fun to read, and I can highly recommend the audiobooks too!
3. Sadie by Courtney Summers
Sadie was an unexpected favourite for me. It wasn’t a book that was on my radar until it was released, and I picked it up after hearing other bloggers rave about the audiobook. And gosh does it work well as an audiobook! The book is a dark mystery about a missing girl called Sadie, and is told from two very interesting perspectives. The book alternates between a podcast narrated by a radio host, and Sadie’s own perspective on the events that went down in the story. The novel works particularly well as an audiobook because of the podcast format and the audiobook includes a full cast of narrators. The book is short but impactful (and chilling at times), and it touches on an incredibly important topic of missing girls and how their cases are handled by law enforcement.
2. Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Scythe was one of the clear standout books of the year for me and I’m kicking myself for not having read it sooner, especially considering I had preordered the book back in 2016. It has a fascinating sci-fi world and an interesting premise of pitting two individuals against each other for survival (a la The Night Circus). This is another novel that I read through audiobook and the narrator, Greg Tremblay, really brought the story to life and is now one of my favourite narrators. Scythe has incredible world building and an action-packed ending that will leave you wanting more.
1. Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
This feels a bit like cheating, but Scythe and Thunderhead were such standouts for me individually. They are definitely worthy of taking up two places on my Top 5 list. It was difficult for me to choose between Scythe and Thunderhead for top spot, but in the end I went with Thunderhead because of how intense the plot was and how full of unexpected twists it was. It had me on the edge of my seat for most of the novel and the last hour of the audiobook was jam packed with action and suspense. I fell in love with the characters even more in this sequel and I absolutely cannot wait to see what happens next in the last book of this trilogy!
And there you have it. It’s a short list, but a great list. Let me know your favourite books of the year because I’d love to pick them up next year and read a little bit more than I did this year. Happy holidays!