I completed my Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge by 148%, reading 37 of 25 books this year. Go me! I read a mixture of books this year including some highly anticipated new releases by my favorite authors, debut authors, independent authors, diverse authors and stories, and so on. I also completed my first audiobook and my first graphic novel. This year I really wanted to explore books that were outside of my usual picks (especially trying to read more grounded and contemporary fiction), and for the most part, I ended up loving every second. Without further ado, here are my Top Ten Favorite Reads of 2016.
1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
I’m always excited for a Rainbow Rowell release. She writes the most amazing, relatable, realistic characters that you just fall in love with. I was a little nervous about Carry On because the Simon and Baz excerpts in Fangirl were not my favorite, but in context, these two are just my absolute #1 OTP. It’s everything that you love about a typical, contemporary Rainbow Rowell novel with the added elements of magic and fantasy, which is my favorite genre. It may be my absolute favorite read of 2016.
2. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Cycle was absolutely beautiful from start to finish. The characters are everything, the world building is everything. This series is everything.
3. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
I’ve been a huge fan of the Shadowhunter Chronicles for years and years now. I’ve been reading consistently since just after City of Glass was released. I love the stories and characters, mostly. Each book and series is consistently better as Cassie grows as a writer and storyteller herself. I’m so excited for all the adventures to come.
4. Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
I picked up Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda after hearing all the positive reviews. I was nervous because I’m not a huge fan of contemporary and romance novels, especially after being burned by a few other contemporary fan favorites, but this book was actually amazing. I love the characters and the story.
5. Hamilton the Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda
I love Hamilton. I love reading the inspiration for some of the lyrics and all of Lin-Manuel’s thoughts. It just brings even more meaning and cohesiveness to an already amazing musical.
6. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
After losing my father this year, and experiencing everything that Conor experienced with his mom, this book really struck an emotional chord. Even though it’s clearly a book for very young readers, I think any reader who has experienced losing a parent to cancer or who can empathize will understand how real and raw this book really is.
7. The Killing Jar by RS McCoy
The Killing Jar is not and probably never would have been on my radar if I was not a book blogger, so yay! Rachel, the author, contacted me to review this book. As a lover of science fiction, I was all over it. I’m so glad I did. This really did end up being one of my favorite reads this year. Great characters, great story. I still need to read the sequel, The Lethal Agent, which I’m excited for, as soon as life stops kicking me around.
8. Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine
I discovered this series on NetGalley this summer and read both books. I liked Ink and Bone as an introduction, but I think this one really elevated the story.
9. The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
This was another NetGalley discovery by a debut author. It’s the story of two teenage boys in different stages of their transgender transition. I loved the character’s voices and the way the story was told from both boys’ points of view.
10. The Adventures of Sabrina by Roberta-Aguirre
The Adventures of Sabrina Volume 1 was a graphic novel I tried on a whim. I picked it up at San Diego Comic Con because I was a huge fan of Sabrina the Teenage Witch and I knew that I wanted to start reading more comic books and graphic novels. I absolutely loved, loved, loved this collection, which is a dark, gritty, horror take on Sabrina.