It’s that time of year again-
And that means it’s time to wrap up everything I’ve read into a neat little list of my favourite books of 2016. In reverse order . . .
10. Dan and Phil Go Outside (DAPGO)
A personal collection of candid photos and insightful stories from Dan and Phil’s adventure ‘in the real world’
Dan Howell and Phil Lester, avoiders of human contact and direct sunlight, actually went outside. Travelling around the world on tour, they have collected hundreds of exclusive, intimate and funny photos, as well as revealing and captivating side notes, to show the behind-the-scenes story of their adventure-
Sure, sure, does this really count as a proper book? Yes, it’s a photo book, I know. But it’s funny, and super interesting to see the behind the scenes of such a huge stage show as TATINOF. Plus, I’m a fangirl and will buy anything Dan and Phil.
9. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K Rowling
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
It had to be on here somewhere, didn’t it? I might have only given it three stars in my original review, but regardless of weird plot holes or strange characterisation, Cursed Child was a new Harry Potter. It might not have been what I was looking for, but returning to that world and the nostalgia it brought was, well, magical.
8. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. As she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?– Goodreads summary
Glass Sword is the second installment in the Red Queen series. I can’t say I gave RQ glowing praise, but Glass Sword blew me away. It was fast paced, original, and the characters had depth and meaning. It took the world of Red Queen and expanded it and made it into something very special.
7. Summer Shadows by Joss Stirling
Summer lives under a terrible shadow. It drains her, manipulates her and threatens to steal her future.
A high-stakes mission offers a temporary escape. She must use her mind-shadowing abilities to hunt down her target and find the truth.
Hal Robinson is a soldier. He does not get distracted. He wins. But what Hal wants begins to shift once he meets Summer.
They must learn to trust each other if they are going to protect the Savant community. But will their secrets allow them to find a happy ending of their own?– Goodreads summary
This is the 6th book in the Benedicts series. They’re a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. YA paranormal (?) romances, where a bunch of angsty teens with varying psychic powers fall in love. Enemies to lovers trope in pretty much every book. Perfect for cheering me up and making me feel young and in love again. Fun, light hearted, and sweet.
6. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong? Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university.
But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.
Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…
– Goodreads summary
A fantastic, fantastic book. Real, emotional, and truthful, this book voices the concerns of a generation. Written by university student Alice Oseman, it speaks in language we understand. It’s also amazing for diversity and representation.
5. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.
Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.
Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies. The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student.
The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.- Goodreads summary
Nevernight was a surprise for me. I love Illuminae, which Jay Kristoff co-authored, but this was very different. Dark, evocative, sexy- this book was a delight. The writing style was right up my alley. Some might call it purple prose, perhaps, but I loved it. It added a brilliant sense of mystery and detachment whilst still drawing you further and further into this complex, spiraling world. Stab stab stab.
4. The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury
Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin’s life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.
Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice. –Goodreads summary.
The Sleeping Prince was a tricky one for me. I was obsessed with The Sin Eater’s Daughter. I absolutely loved it, but I found The Sleeping Prince lacking in some way. I think I struggled with the change in POV. A new character, a new setting, but a direct continuation of the same story. However, I loved Errin as a character and really enjoyed the way everything came together in the end. I’m just hoping to see more of Twylla in the next book, as well as Errin.
3. Night Study by Maria V. Snyder
Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana’s has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. Her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia are safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries threatens everything Yelena holds dear.
Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he’s quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he’s been keeping secrets from Valek that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. – Goodreads summary
Ah, Maria V. Snyder. I love you. I’ve followed Yelena’s story right from the very start and loved her so, so much. Her story is one of my favourite stories ever, and her relationship with Valek, whilst only a small part of the series, is one of the most well written ones I’ve read. Yelena has grown so much over the series, and it’s lovely to see her as a much older character now, and to see how she’s developed but the world and the magic hasn’t changed. A stunning series of books, and Night Study doesn’t disappoint.
2. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius.
As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.
Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?
Of course Empire of Storms is here. The Throne of Glass series is a hugely popular fantasy that I love dearly. Sure, it has it’s issues (particularly when it comes to representation), but it’s slowly improving. And the story itself is complex and epic and at times very harrowing and beautiful. Relationships are well represented, and nothing about either the good times or bad times of life is sugar coated. Aelin is bae, and we all need to pray for her.
1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future.- Goodreads summary
Wow, what a surprise. ACOMAF is first. How could it not be? It’s my all time favourite book. How Sarah deals with trauma and abuse and recovery in this book is absolutely outstanding. I can’t praise her enough for her realistic portrayal. Not to mention her engrossing plotline, well fleshed out, witty, interesting characters, and steamy romances. Seriously, I ship everyone in this book. (Well, not everyone. Get out of here Tamlin.) But this is honestly a sublime book that deserves all the praise and recognition that it gets. Brilliant.