Best Books of 2016*
*Read by me 🙂
Hello readers! The year 2016 is almost over and before I look to establish my reading goals and TBR list, I like to look at my past reads this year. Who is with me?
I thought it would be hard to pick favorites but once I listed out all the books I read in 2016 these by far stuck out to me. In the end, it wasn’t all that difficult.
Here are my top 5 books that I’ve read and reviewed this year (with a link to my review and a link to amazon for purchase). In the comments, let me know if you’ve read any of these!
1. Sweet Evil by Wendy Wiggins
Classification: Young Adult
Published: May 1st 2012
Summary: Anna Whitt was born with the ability to see and feel the emotions of people around her. She also remembers everything since her birth. She remembers a male figure telling her to stay away from what she desires so strongly everyday…drugs & alcohol.
Despite Anna hiding her differences from everybody, including her foster mom, Patti, she can’t evade the inevitable . When her friend Jason brings her to a concert and she doesn’t see the drummer’s emotional aura, she finds out her real heritage…filled with angels, demons, and nyphs.
Why I Liked It: I actually read the whole series before writing the review…it was THAT good (the third and final book was published in 2014). I thought about the plot and characters for weeks afterward. And I am definitely not the only one because it has a huge fan base.
2. The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson
Published: March 3rd 2015
Summary: Kitty Miller enjoys her life as a single lady who owns a bookstore with her best friend Frieda. However, as her dreams of her alternative life become more and more real, Kitty wonders if she is really as satisfied as she thought she was.
Why I Liked It: While not technically a mystery, the author kept me on the edge of my seat the whole entire time, making me second guess what I thought was real. Some deep topics were explored and Kitty’s emotions reflected my own as a reader. This would be a great book for a book discussion.
3. Emerge by S. E. Hall
Classification: Fiction / Contemporary Romance
Published: May 15th 2013
Summary: Laney is your sports-loving southern girl, raised by her Dad. When she starts dating Evan, they have the classic boy/girl next door romance. The time for college rolls around, however, and Laney and Evan’s relationship is changed through the transition. Between classes and sports practice, Laney tries to keep ties with old relationships and creating new ones. That is when Laney gets to know Dane and has to decide if opening up to him will compromise her relationship with Evan.
Why I Liked It: Even though there are two guys who Laney is struggling between (ex-high school boyfriend, aka first love, and a new friendship from college), there is no love triangles or cheating. SE Hall’s writing style is amazing and the story was basically flawless. I connected with Laney with such ease all the way through the book.
4. Let It Be Me by Barbara Speak
Classification: Fiction / Contemporary Romance
Published: June 16th 2015
Summary: Arianna Dubray is nothing like the girl she left in Baltimore. Once a Prada shoe wearing, Michael Kors bag carrying, on top of the world seventeen-year-old girl, Arianna knew that her life would never be the same when she got out of the car in middle-of-nowhere Montana. The last thing Arianna needs is a reason to stay, but with every passing day the decision to leave becomes harder. Enter Canyon Michaels, the keeper of his own dark secrets. Plagued by his family name, he’s forced to prove the town wrong and make it on his own. Once their paths cross nothing can tear them apart, other than the secrets that start to surface and the nightmares that soon become their reality.
Why I Liked It: First of all, LOOK AT THE COVER. Second, the characters were perfect! Arianna is confident and Canyon can do no wrong. They both had big hearts and their relationship, which started out as a friendship, bloomed under their open communication and similar interests (aka it wasn’t a surface-only relationships).
5. The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Classification: Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy
Published: May 12th 2015
Summary: In this re-imagining of The Arabian Nights, Shahrzad plans to avenge the death of her dearest friend by volunteering to marry the murderous boy-king of Khorasan. But Shahrzad discovers everything is not as it seems within the palace.
Why I Liked It: I finished the last page, closed the book, and looked around for someone to gush to that second. The author has an undeniable skill with words (no, really, she has a huge vocabulary). She had my mouth open in astonishment and skin prickling with goosebumps multiple times throughout. A must read!
As an added bonus, the sequel was published in April 2016 so you don’t have to wait for the next book to come out. 🙂
These last three didn’t make the top cut, but still worth mentioning. I just had to… 🙂
The Siren by Kiera Cass
Classification: Young Adult Fiction
Published: Self-published July 1st 2009. Re-released on January 26th 2016.
Summary: “You must never do anything that might expose our secret. This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans. You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans. You are, essentially, a weapon. A very beautiful weapon. I won’t lie to you, it can be a lonely existence, but once you are done, you get to live. All you have to give, for now, is obedience and time…”
The same speech has been given hundreds of times to hundreds of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own. But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can’t bring herself to live by the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she’s been waiting for doesn’t seem nearly as important as the one she’s living now.
Why I Liked It: It is no secret that I am a big fan of Kiera Cass, author of the Selection series. In my opinion, she did it again with this story. Her writing is fun, refreshing, and more than just a young adult romance story (even though she does that part pretty good too!).
Hold Me In Contempt by Wendy Williams
Classification: Fiction Romance
Published: April 15th 2014
Summary: Kimberly Kind is trying to get beyond her roots. A successful, beautiful, and smart lawyer, she’s finally finding direction in her life and getting off the streets. But a terrible accident threatens to throw her carefully laid plans off course. Now Kim’s hiding a huge secret…one that could jeopardize everything.
Enter King. A perfect mix of Justin Timberlake and David Beckham, the man oozes sex and has more swagger than anyone Kim’s ever met. Their chemistry is off the charts. And after passion-filled nights, the intensity of their emotions takes both of them by surprise.
Love was not supposed to be an option. Now it’s the only thing holding them together. When their pasts come back with a vengeance, can love possibly be enough?
Why I Liked It: I found this gem while browsing the shelves at the library. I originally wrote about it in my list of Celebrity Books but I just had to write its own review! There is no shortage of steamy intimate moments but there is more depth to the characters. I understood Kimberly Kind and what she was going through. In all, I thought Wendy Williams did a wonderful job! Plus, that was some surprise twist at the end!!
The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter
Classification: Young Adult Fiction
Published: March 15th 2016
Summary: Cassie O’Malley has been trying to keep her head above water – literally and metaphorically – since birth. It’s been two and a half years since Cassie’s mother dumped her in a mental institution against her will, and now, at eighteen, Cassie is finally able to reclaim her life and enter the world on her own terms.
But freedom is a poor match against a lifetime of psychological damage….
Why I Liked It: Kerry Kletter wrote a beautiful story that switched wonderfully between Cassie’s past and present. It kept a perfect balance between me wanting to know more about why Cassie was placed in the mental institution and wanting to know how she will navigate college life now that she is out. Additionally, Cassie was a fighter – I liked that.
There you have it!
There is my top 5 favorite books that I have read in 2016! If you have read any of them (or any of my honorable mentions) let me know in the comments! Haven’t read them but want to – tell me that too!
Who is excited for 2017!?!?!