Thursday, 22 December 2016

My Top 16 Books of 2016

2016 may not have been the best of years but there is no denying that some fantastic books came out of it! Before I go on my annual blogging break over Christmas and New Year I wanted to share with you sixteen of the best books I read in 2016. Yesterday I completed my Goodreads challenge of reading 125 books so I certainly have plenty to choose from! I haven't chosen any 2017 proofs as I will have a separate post coming in the New Year all about the wonderful books I've had the pleasure of reading early. Before we get started, I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for all of your incredible support this year and I hope that you have the most wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year. Right, shall we begin!? I'll be working my way down from number sixteen to my number one book of the year.


The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware 
This gripping thriller had to make my top sixteen! It was one of the rare books where I didn't see the twist coming and everyone I have recommended it to this year has loved it just as much as I did. If you love atmospheric crime fiction that keeps you guessing this is the book to pick up!


Uprooted by Naomi Novik 
I know I'm very late to the party with this one but I am so glad that I finally picked it up this year! Uprooted is one of the most magical fantasy books that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It's completely enchanting and I felt like a little girl again reading my favourite fairytale. 


Our Song by Dani Atkins 
I read this one way back in February and it has still stuck with me as one of the best books that I've read this year. This is a real weepy about two couples whose lives intertwine when tragedy strikes one winter's night and is perfect for fans of Me Before You. 


Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo 
This is a book that I can see making so many people's best books lists for this year because it was just that good! Crooked Kingdom was a  brilliant ending to an explosive duology. Leigh is my Queen and I can't help but think that every other YA Fantasy book pales in comparison to this series.


13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough 
This is another book that I read way back at the start of the year and was one of the first books that I read in January yet it still stands out to me as one of the best. 13 Minutes is a masterfully crafted YA Thriller that is perfect for fans of Mean Girls and anyone who likes dark and twisted reads.


Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven 
This has been a bit of a marmite book this year but I absolutely adored it. It's a gorgeous story that made me cry for no particular reason other than Jennifer Niven's writing is so beautiful. It's such a heartfelt contemporary about finding the courage to be seen for who you really are. 


Who’s That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane 
This book for me is the best women's fiction novel of 2016. It's funny, slick, intelligent and features a heroine who I want so badly to be my best friend. If you haven't read Mhairi McFarlane yet you are seriously missing out. I love how real her heroines feel and how I can always relate to their stories.


What's a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne 
Obviously a Holly Bourne book had to feature somewhere on this list! This is the last book (sort of) in the Spinster Club trilogy and I loved everything about it. It has friendship, feminism, cheesy snacks and everything else you'd expect from this fab series. I am so sad to say goodbye to these characters *sobs* Holly, please write more! 


Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes 
I'm not a massive reader of non-fiction but this book literally changed my life after I read it back in March and helped me to achieve things I never thought I would this past year. Shonda Rhimes is a powerhouse of a woman and has some fantastic advice to give in this book about living creatively, being happy and finding the courage to say yes to life's opportunities.


Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield 
This is hands down the biggest YA weepy of the year! Paper Butterflies is another book that I can see making a lot of people's top books lists because I don't know a single person who has read this book and not loved it. It's one of those books that leaves you physically feeling like your heart has been broken but is so very important to read. 


Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur 
 If you'd have told me that a collection of poetry would make it into my top books of 2016 back at the start of the year I would have laughed in your face. Prior to reading Milk and Honey I hadn't read poetry since I was at school but something drew me to this book and I'm so very glad that it did. This is another one of those life changing books that spoke to my soul. I feel like every woman who picks up Milk and Honey will find at least one poem that will speak to her.  


Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall 
Under Rose-Tainted Skies is an incredibly special and important book to me and is the best book I've read all year about mental health. I related to Norah's struggles with agoraphobia and anxiety so much. This book is unflinching, honest and quietly hopeful and is an absolute must read for anyone living with mental illness. 


The Girls by Emma Cline 
I picked up The Girls on a bit of a whim and am so, so glad that I did! I read this book over one hot summers day and was completely astounded by it. The Girls is a painfully honest study on the way girls interact with one another and our desire to please both society and men before ourselves. If you enjoy books about complex women this book is not to be missed! 


Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard 
Coming in at number three is Beautiful Broken Things which will come as a surprise to absolutely nobody because I have been raving about this book all year. This is my favourite debut of 2016 and Sara has quickly become one of my favourite authors. Beautiful Broken Things delivered everything that I've been wanting to read in a YA book for the last few years and is a gorgeous story about the power of female friendships. 

The Deviants by C.J. Skuse 
C.J. Skuse is, in my opinion, one of the very best writers for teens out there. The voices of her characters are so authentic and she's been one of my must-read authors for many years now, yet despite knowing all of this, nothing could have prepared me for The Deviants. This book really shows what C.J is capable of with its clever twists, skilled plotting and heart-breaking finale. It's such an accomplished story that I know will stay with me for a long time to come. 


The Graces by Laure Eve 
The Graces is the most unique book that I read in 2016 and I loved how different it was to anything else I have read this year. This book blew my mind with its heady writing, intoxicating characters and dark undertones of power and obsession. Thrilling and atmospheric The Graces is so deserving of being my best book of 2016. 

So there you have it, my top 16 books of 2016! 
I'll be back in January ready for a brand new year of reading. 
Here's to another fabulous year of books!
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