This year hasn’t been the best year for many things, as I’m sure everyone reading this knows, but with all of that aside it’s been a pretty good year for releases of new books. I’ve read a few books this year (Goodreads reminds me that it’s not as many as I’d like it to be) but of the ones I have read I’ve been blown away.
So, as we get ready to welcome in a New Year, I thought I’d round up some of my favourite books of 2016. These are from the books I’ve read, and whilst there’s some books from this year that I’m really excited to read, I haven’t read them yet and so they are not included. But anyway, here we go!
- Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall. This book was an immediate favourite for me from the second I read it. It tells the story of Norah, who is confined to her house by agoraphobia, until she encounters Luke, the boy next door, by chance. I loved this book mainly because of how well it portrays mental illness but also because of the characters and the plot and in some ways the hope that the book represents. It’s a fantastic book, and it comes out in America in a few days time, so if you haven’t read it and you’re on either side of the pond you now have no excuse!
- Unboxed by Non Pratt. This book is not Non’s first, but it is her first for Barrington Stoke, who published this new story specially designed for those who suffer with dyslexia. It tells the story of four friends who meet up to open the memory box containing five letters as their friend Millie has died. When they open the box, they find a new letter from Millie, giving them permission to read her letter if they read the letters to their older selves out loud, revealing all their secrets. I, like most of the YA community, was very excited to read this book and it didn’t disappoint. I loved it and again, I think you should read it, and all of Non’s other books (and this includes her new book coming out next year, Truth or Dare). It’s a brilliant book featuring characters with heart and a plot laced with ideas of friendship. It’s brilliant. (P.S if you’re interested in reading the interview I did with Non at YALC for The Guardian earlier this year…)
- The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon. A favourite for what I think are obvious reasons. Nicola is the author of one of my other favourite books Everything, Everything, and this new book from her is again stunning. It’s set around the lives of two main characters, Daniel and Natasha. Both different people. Natasha believes in science and not in fate or destiny. Daniel’s always been the good son and the son that lives up to his parent’s high expectations, and definitely not the poet or the dreamer. But the two meet on a crowded New York street, and Natasha falls in love. Which is a problem, considering her family is 12 hours away from being deported to Jamaica. This book is absolutely stunning for so many reasons. Nicola is able to tell a beautiful story and the two characters are characters you instinctively connect with, empathise with and at times hurt with. This was one of the standout releases of 2016, and I really think that if you haven’t read it yet, you need to.
- The Last Beginning by Lauren James. Gosh, how I completely obsessed over the first novel from Lauren and how I feel such excitement for the next one from her. This new novel from Lauren is as equally stunning as The Next Together, perhaps even more stunning. This time, we get to know Clove Sutcliffe, sixteen years after the revelation from Matthew and Katherine that rocked the world. She’s setting out to find her long lost relatives, but how do you find people that have been reincarnated throughout different centuries? This book again is a sensational follow up to The Next Together with great characters (I at least think characters are very important!) and the book overall takes a new look on relationships. If you couldn’t tell, I think it’s brilliant.
- Songs About A Girl by Chris Russell. This book again is really impressive. It’s one of those books that you read and already you’re desperate for the sequel. Which I am, needless to say.
I had a lot of fun writing this post and I’m sure there were many more outstanding releases this year that I’ve missed on this post, including ones sitting on the various shelves/piles around my room, that deserve a spot on my favourites and perhaps even yours. But these are my personal favourites from 2016.