Friday, December 30, 2016

Top Ten of 2016

Despite only reading 55 books this year (I blame my transition to college and the overall stress and sadness that characterized 2016 news), I had the privilege of enjoying several superb stories. Here are my top ten favorites (AKA the top 18% of my reading list), in order of the date that I read them.
1. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
This book features an alternate historical landscape in which the Axis Powers won WWII and a shape-shifting character on an epic, cross-continent bike race to kill Hitler. And yes, it’s just as excellent as it sounds.

2. These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
A complex murder mystery, a beautifully-built Gilded Age setting, and multifaceted characters combine to make this novel an enthralling read.

3. Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
Set in a hyper-competitive New York dance academy, this book includes dark, electric drama that had me absolutely addicted. The gorgeous and suspenseful writing style complements the plot perfectly.

4. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
I love a historical novel that teaches me about a lesser-known event or time period, and that’s exactly what Salt to the Sea did. While reading this book, I learned about the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff for the first time, and I got to know four complex characters with magnificently interconnected stories.

5. The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
This book broke me. It’s set during the Inquisition and features vivid imagery of the violence of the time. The characters will make you fall in love with them, and the immersing storytelling style will leave you certain you just read a completely true story.
6. The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen by Katherine Howe
This part-contemporary, part-historical, part-ghost story is eerie, suspenseful, magical, and unique. I loved it almost as much as the author’s YA debut, Conversion, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for something literary and unusual.

7. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I’m pretty sure I’m the last person in the YA world to read this book, but if you’re somehow more behind than I am, please make 2017 the year you remedy that issue. Take if from someone who isn’t a huge fantasy reader: even if the genre isn’t your #1 favorite, you’ll love Six of Crows.

8. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, and J.K. Rowling
I debated whether I should include this title for a few reasons: I had a handful of problems with it (most of which are reflected here), and it’s technically a play rather than a novel. But at the end of the day, it’s new Harry Potter content, and there’s no way I wasn’t going to love it. I adored the new characters, I was addicted to the plot, and I was so happy to return to one of my favorite fantasy worlds. Not listing this book as a favorite would have been dishonest.

9. The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart
The Mysterious Benedict Society is one of my favorite middle grade books of all time, and the author’s 2016 release lived up to my astronomically high expectations. The Secret Keepers showcases endearingly clever characters, a sinister villain, a suspenseful mystery, and dangerously high stakes—elements that create my favorite kind of MG novel.

10. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
In case you missed the memo, Carry On is essentially Harry Potter (if Draco and Harry were roommates!). It’s based on the fanfiction Cath writes in Fangirl, and it’s excellent. The world building stands on its own, but it bears enough similarities to Hogwarts to be amusing—and the romance is painfully slow-burn and obsessively shippable. As I’ve said before, as far as I’m concerned, Carry On is canon and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is fanfiction.

Have you read any of my 2016 favorites? And what were your top books of the year? 


  1. Ooh, I really liked Wolf by Wolf too! The whole concept and world building was just unbelievable!
    Happy new year! Here's to a better 2017 with more books! <3

  2. I've seen a lot recently on Wolf by Wolf so I've added that one to my to-read list. I loved Salt to the Sea. I'me so glad you chose that one. Great book - great list!
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
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  3. Wonderful post and books. Gorgeous covers.

    Salt to Sea looks so good. I have been wanting to read it.

    The Passion of Dolssa looks really good too.

    ENJOY your reading in 2017....Happy New Year!!

    Silver's Reviews
    My Favorite Books of 2016

  4. Salt to the Sea is definitely one of my fave reads for 2016 for the same reasons. It also made me more eager to go through historical non-fiction!
    I have These Shallow Graves, The Passion of Dolssa, and Six of Crows on my tbr :)

    Happy 2017, Emily!

  5. Carry On was one of my favorite books from last year! It's just so magical and I love Rainbow Rowell's writing style. And seeing how much everyone has been loving Six Of Crows, I really need to read it, don't I? Happy New Year!

  6. I absolutely loved Six of Crows and Wolf by Wolf (as you probably know), so I am so glad to see them on your list. <3 Thanks for sharing, and happy 2017!


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