Christmas is upon us and it’s that time of the year again when we start categorising all the books that meant a lot to us! We had a lot of fun thinking up the categories for the book awards and picking our favourite books.
We hope everyone has a happy holidays and a wonderful Christmas ahead!
Book That Gave Me All The Feels
Jenna: I’m a chronic book crier and most books will give me the feels in some sort of way but a standout for this year is definitely Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. I love WWII historical fiction and this one was magnificent. It was poignant and emotional and everything that I needed from it.
Jeann: It’s no secret that The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourite series of all time, and Stars Above was an incredibly satisfying collection of short stories featuring characters from the series. The epilogue featuring a much anticipated wedding was pretty much the cutest thing ever and I had all of the feels. Can we have an epilogue of the epilogue now?
Aila: Well first of all, KHALIDDDD and second of all, KHALIDDDD. <3 This conclusion was all the amazing, and I adored it from beginning to end. Shazi’s character was thumbs-up all the way and everything was wrapped up so perfectly. Definitely one of the series of my hearts for this year. I know Jenna loved it as well, although Jeann wasn’t a big fan of the first book.
Book That I Couldn’t Shut Up About
Jenna: I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios is probably the book that I pushed the most this year (besides All the Light We Cannot See, which I’ll never ever stop pushing). Jeann will tell you that I pressured her to read the book for months. It’s so, so, soooo good and you should all pick it up!
Jeann: It’s not a surprise that Gemina is the book I couldn’t stop going on about for a whole month lol. I was so obsessed with it I think I posted about it everyday on Twitter. I even read it twice and started listening to the Illuminae audiobook. READ IT NOW GUYS.
Aila: Oh my life, I’m soooo in love with this book. SPACE BOOKS ARE INCREDIBLE and I’m happy to report that Jenna enjoyed it as well. Who would’t with a kickass heroine, a ragtag ship crew, and assorted adventures that await them? This is a space book that is out of this world.
Favourite Book That I Picked Up Because of My Co-Bloggers
Jenna: Aila recommended Starflight to us early in the year when she read it and I highly enjoyed it. I don’t know if it’s my favourite book that’s been recommended to me by Jeann or Aila (because, let’s be real, they recommend a lot), but I read Starflight just today so it kinda just sticks out in my mind! (Aila’s review)
Jeann: I was surprised by how much I loved The Forbidden Wish, which Aila gave 5 stars to. I had read a few reviews that mentioned the insta-love which is my biggest pet peeve, but it was such a beautifully written Aladdin retelling! My heart just soared by the end of the book and I loved the girl power. (Aila’s review).
Aila: Not only is this an OZYA book that both my co-bloggers enjoyed, but I also adored this one as a contemporary! Frankie was just such a gosh darn relatable character that I wanted to protect throughout it all. (Jenna’s review)
A Hidden Gem That I Proudly Discovered
Jenna: I don’t remember how I found Soppy by Philippa Rice. I must’ve just been browsing Book Depository and picked it up on a whim. But I highly enjoyed this graphic novel and I read it 3 times on the very first day that I received it!
Jeann: The author actually reached out to me for Freedom Swimmer, as a fellow Aussie who wanted to write about her father’s experience immigrating from China. This actually turned out to be one of my favourite books because of the bond between two boys trapped in the Mao state. It’s a story of friendship, hope, and the search for a better life. I loved the cultural diversity in this one!
Aila: I’m actually really surprised at how underrated this book is! Think of it like a historical, YA Da-Vinci code, full of twists and puzzles as the characters try to discover what message the main character’s father left for her. Action-packed with a swoony romance, you should definitely check it out!
Genre I Read the Most This Year
Jenna: It probably comes as a surprise to no-one that my most-read genre this year is contemporary. Most of the reviews that I do on here are for contemporary YA novels and it’s definitely what I enjoy reading the most.
Jeann: It was a close contest, but surprisingly I actually read more contemporary books this year than my favourite fantasy reads. This is mainly because a lot of diverse books are contemporary, which I tend to lean towards. Most of the books I read for #Ozyay, a monthly segment on ABC Radio was also contemporary.
Aila: Fantasy, always always always. I’m actually really surprised at how little science fiction I read this year (whoops) but fantasy will always be my #1. Though I do feel like I’ve been reading more contemporary this year than usual, which is saying something!
Favourite #LoveOzYA Read
Jenna: My favourite #LoveOzYA novel that I read this year is Corruption by Jessica Shirvington. It’s actually the sequel to Disruption, which I also loved. I just enjoyed this duology so much and Maggie and Quentin from these books is one of my OTPs.
Jeann: Summer Skin is definitely a book that I recommend to everyone, as an amazing feminist and empowering #LoveOzYA read that breaks down stereotypes. I love that it’s set in Brisbane which is where I live, and how it broke down harmful gender stereotypes about men and women.
Aila: This came out earlier in the year, but Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club was a surprisingly action-packed and enjoyable read that we all had fun picking up. Our discussion review is here, and I can’t wait to see more tentacle demons – err historical fiction blended with paranormal elements in the sequel coming soon!
Favourite Diverse Book
Jenna: I was completely unprepared for how much I would love The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten. I love mental illness books and this one had such a fantastic and accurate representation of OCD. I loved the characters and the plot and there’s nothing negative that I can say about it.
Jeann: A quiet sci-fi book set on a space ship that is less about the action and more about the discovery and dynamics of different alien races, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet was done so beautifully. It talks about respecting the different types of diversity in not just a human sense, but inter-species, crossing into AI, sexuality and taboo relationships. I loved discovering all of the alien races and the world-building was done magnificently.
Aila: I absolutely adored The Star-Touched Queen and its companion sequel, which I read recently. While the purple prose writing may not be for everyone (and I have to admit, confusing at times), the gorgeous story and interwoven Indian mythology was amazing to see!
Most Beautiful Book
Jenna: The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee is probably one of the most beautiful books that I own. The packaging is just A+++++. It has not only a stunning cover but also a beautiful spine and naked hardcover. The endpapers are also super pretty. I love the way that this book looks and feels. I also really enjoyed the book, even though I know Jeann didn’t.
Jeann: Not only is the paperback absolutely gorgeous with foiled lettering of Crooked Kingdom and a metallic gold cover, but the hardback is absolutely beautiful as well with red sprayed edges. I could not stop admiring the book while reading it which totally added to the experience of it all.
Aila: Purple and gold are my new fave combo, possibly because of the design of The Forgetting, which tells of a story where everyone loses their memory every twelve years. The quiet main character had so much personality, and the story is as incredible as the hardcover, which is really pretty. The naked hardcover had perfect elements that corresponded with the story and the subtle design complemented it so well.
Best book of 2016
Jenna: My favourite book of the year is without a doubt Crooked Kingdom. I don’t think I need to explain why.
Jeann: I agree with Jenna, Crooked Kingdom just stole my heart and I don’t think I’ve ever ugly cried so hard over a book before. My heart was in shatters but it was also full of feels. With a fantasy based Russian mythology setting, diversity done THE RIGHT WAY and the most beautiful characters that stole my heart, this duology is seriously my favourite.
Aila: I hate these questions because it’s like – I have so many book babies and you want me to choose?! Not only did Rebel of the Sands win best debut for Goodreads, but I enjoyed the heck out of it. From the vast and magical world to the diverse characters, you don’t want to miss out on this one. It seems like my fave books usually end up being series-starters, hehe. Jeann liked this one as well!
Best series of 2016
Jenna: Of all the series that I completed this year, my favourite is the Six of Crows duology. But the others that I also completed and loved were The Raven Cycle, Wolf by Wolf duology, The Winner’s Trilogy and the Disruption duology.
Jeann: I finally read the Chaos Walking series this year and it was so good I binge read the whole thing. With aliens, the cutest doggy character, a sinister villain and dark mindgames, I absolutely LOVED this dystopian series and I can see why many people do for a reason! Here’s my review on the whole series.
Aila: *ugly sobbing because I will NEVER get over this book and these characters will live on forever in my heart.* But yes, Crooked Kingdom marked the end of a magnificent series that has probably struck the hearts of fans around the word. I certainly know it did mine.
What do you think of our picks?
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What a great collection of books for 2016, girls! I spotted several reads I enjoyed a ton, for example The Rose & the Dagger, Gemina, Crooked Kingdom. And it seems you have a clear winner 😉
Yesss I'm glad you enjoyed my all time favourites too! 😀
Soo many of my favorites on here! I LOOOVED I'll Meet You There, Starflight, The Star Touched Queen too.. I haven't read Crooked Kingdom and the Thousandth Floor but they been on my TBR for the longest 😀 Thanks for sharing & awesome post Jeann!
Yesss there are so many amazing books to read Benish! I can't wait for you to read the SoC duology, it's my favourite of all time!
Thanks – you have given me lots of great ideas for book I ought to read! (Including Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, which I already have on my list!)
Jen @ YA Romantics
Yippeee, please read that series omg Jen it's the best! Happy New Year
CROOKED KINGDOMMMM. That's it, I'm rereading Six of Crows. I can't deal with this anymore. AND YES TO CONTEMPORARY JEANN, JOIN USSSS. It's obviously the best genre 😉
OMG I re-read it before reading CK and it was seriously the best ever. Like I think it gets better every time you re-read it because you know what's going to happen. Bahahah I only have 1 contemporary book in my top 10 though 😉
I LOOOOVE Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom and I'm so glad it makes appearances here a lot! I don't have Stars Above yet but the Lunar Chronicles is one of the series I'm really fond of, I should get it soon! And oooh new books I haven't heard of yet, the Salt to the Sea is especially interesting to me because I love historical fiction (and lol i am a crier too).
I've been hearing about Gemina non-stop from like everywhere, I really should get this book soon too!
Great post, loved reading it (and adding new books to my never-ending tbr ahahahh)
Yessss you can tell we all love the series hehe! Stars Above is definitely worth it, it's sooo emotional and perfect. So glad you enjoyed the post Chiqui!
Great collection of books, guys! I love how much Crooked Kingdom there is haha.
And yes, Jeann! Stars Above definitely brought the feels! I really enjoyed Rebel of the Sands and it looks like I really need to check out The Forgetting and the Patrick Ness series!
Hahaha yesss we all have such a different taste in books but that's the general consensus. I'm so glad I finally read Stars Above omg. So many great reads to pick up! Happy New Year, Cyn!
I was actually really surprised when I saw the results for the Goodreads Awards, because I hadn't ever heard of Salt to the Sea before that. And I haven't much since! I mean, how is that even possible? I'll Meet You There looks super good, as does Traitor Angels. Crooked Kingdom seems to be a recurring theme in this post! I've been meaning to read those two series; I've only read shadow and bone, but I need to get back to the rest of it!
I know, there are so many books that I hadn't heard of and added to my TBR (particularly the sci-fi books) from the Goodreads Awards. I hope you pick up the Six of Crows duology, it's seriously the best series OF ALL TIME. Happy New Year Amy!
Absolutely! It's so strange to think that a book was so popular that it WON (or at least got a couple thousand votes) and I've never even heard of it!
Hahaha, good to hear! Happy New Year to you as well! 😉
Soppy is definitely a hidden gem, I wish more people would read it! And I agree, Six of Crows duology is definitely the best series of 2016!
I haven't heard of it before but I definitely have to check it out now that Jenna listed it! Yessss I love that series so much omg
What an exciting and epic post!! So much book-love going around at this time of the year. It's wonderful.
Crooked Kingdom seems to be an overall winner in 2016. I will make sure to FINALLY read Six of Crows in early 2017. It's been sitting on my shelves for too long, fighting for my attention with the dozens of other books I own. ;(
Hope you all have an excellent reading year in 2017!
Hehe thank you so much Naz, we had a great time putting it together! OMG you must read both of them Naz, they are seriously my favourite series EVER. Plus there's great diversity as well! Have a happy new year <3
There are so many books on this list that I haven't had a chance to read just yet and I wish I had! Especially Crooked Kingdom! I just got it so hopefully I can get to it soon.
BEC YOU NEED TO READ SOC AND THEN CK SIDE BY SIDE SERIOUSLY WHAT IS THIS
Ah, I adore how you guys coordinated this post! A good many of the titles are on my TBR but I learned quite a few new books from this list. And omg, Jenna, I so agree with you on how beautiful A Thousandth Floor looks! And I am not at all surprised on how much Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows duology appeared in this post. I read both of them this year and they're so fab. :')
Happy holidays to you girls at Happy Indulgence! Hope you all have a wonderful, safe, and healthy 2017. <3
Hehe it was such a fun post to write up Summer! I hope you had a lovely Christmas and a great new year lovely! <3 Yesss we're all big fans hehe
You guys broke my TBR list… I thought I have already added #allthebooks but you guys made me add around 8 more books and now I have eighty books in my TBR?!
What is life…
I think the appropriate response is You're Welcome 😀
YAY I'm so happy that you found lots of these books to add to your TBR Kitty! I hope you enjoy them. Merry Christmas!
YESSSS you know we loved it so much hehe. CAIT HOW DID YOU KNOW? My gosh your powers are amazing.
I loved Gemina so much. I just finished it last week. I really want to check out The Thousandth Floor.
Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian
YESSSS definitely my favourite book there Krystianna! Merry Christmas!
It’s so hard for me to choose just one book in a category, but you did a great job here. And I added several titles to my tbr-list.
I know! It was really difficult but I had so much fun narrowing it down into different categories.
I LOVE YOUR PICKS HERE <3 I just loved The Rose and The Dagger so, so much, I fell in love with this series <3 Also, Gemina : I now get it. I just finished reading it and I can't wrap my mind around what happened. That book is CRAZY.
Hehe YESSS there were so many great reads this year it was really hard to pick! YESSS IM SO GLAD YOU FINALLY READ GEMINA. OMG I had to read it again just to wrap my head around it!
I really really want to read Salt to the Sea and Starflight. And I'm still waiting for my copies of Crooked Kingdom and Gemina, which I shall devour immediately when they arrive. I love I'll Meet You There, Rebel of the Sands and The Knife of Never Letting Go!
OMG I can't wait for you to read my favs Gemina and CK hehe. So many great books! Merry Christmas Bee!
Wonderful picks! I haven't yet read a lot of these though. I own Starflight and cannot wait to read it now since you guys raved about it.
Yesss I need to pick up Starflight myself especially since both Aila and Jenna loved it! Merry Christmas!
This was a fun post! I enjoyed seeing all of your favorites (: I also LOVED The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet! And, I've had Rebel of the Sands for about 8 months now and haven't read it. I'm glad to see Aila loved it so much – it's giving me fuel to read it already!
Hehe we had fun putting it together as well! Yesss please read Rebel of the sands, I really enjoyed it a lot and wasn't surprised to see it was her fav book this year.
Awesome post, I'll definitely check out some of these books and add some to my TBR pile.
Yay, I'm glad you found some books to add to your TBR!
Ruta Sepetys (Rūta Šepetys) is a second generation (?) immigrant from my country, so I'm always glad to see her books known and appreciated internationally 🙂 ironically, I haven't read them yet myself 😀
And I'm totally marking Freedom Swimmer as TBR 🙂
That is awesome to hear that! I've heard great things about Salt to the Sea definitely. Freedom Swimmer was definitely a favourite for me!
At some point, I need to sit down and write a similar post but I'm daunted by the choices I have to sift through this year. I read 166 books but I've read so many great books this year that picking the best of the best will be tough.
Anyway, Rebel of the Sands was a great debut.
Definitely need to read The Forgetting and Summer Skin.
Still have to read my copy of Crooked Kingdom.
Thanks for sharing, ladies!
Yeah, it took me ages just for my picks alone sifting through all the reads from this year, but I had fun doing it. PLEASE READ CK NOW JOY. Happy Holidays Joy!
Wow! Great post! I have some of these on my TBR mountain and need to get to them very soon!!
Yesss I hope you get to pick them up!
haha I take it that I should probably read the Six of Crows duology then? 🙂 I've never read anything by Leigh Bardugo, but I guess that will be an adventure for 2017! Glad you all had a great reading year and happy Christmas Eve Eve! 🙂
YES YOU MUST READ IT NOW AND LOVE IT. I hope you have an amazing Christmas and an even better New Year!
So many great picks!! I was so glad I finally read I'll Meet You There this year. Salt to the Sea definitely gave me all the feels. I am hoping to get to the Six of Crows duology next year.
Me too! I loved I'll Meet You There, after hearing so much about it it definitely met up with my expectations! I can't wait for you to read SoC, it's sooo good!
you guys just made me want to pick up Six of Crows (it's been sitting on my shelf for a couple of months now. I know.. shame on me. lol). I loved The Star-Touched Queen and I'm super excited for A Crown of Wishes 😀
YESSSS I hope you pick it up, you can tell how much we all loved it definitely! I can't wait for Crown of Wishes myself!