2016 was an interesting reading year for me; so many new books and authors surprised me, and so many beloved and trusted series and authors let me down.
Overall, I feel like I had a pretty good reading year. My average rating was 3.8 stars, so I really can’t complain. I also did some phenomenal buddy reads, met some amazing people, and got to share many books with my fantastic friends. I was also very blessed with some amazing ARCs that I’m eternally thankful to publishers for.
I, as always, am even more blessed with each and every friend and follower I have on here. My gratitude for your love and support is never wavering and never ending. With every bone, red blood cell, and molecule in my body: THANK YOU. You will never know how much each and every one of you means to me.
I know top seven seems a little strange, but I wanted the same number of books in each of my four categories. I felt like I could easily do a top ten in some categories, and then in others the extra three seemed to dilute the group. TL;DR – I’m OCD and you’re all getting a top seven.
My Favorite Books Published in 2016:
(In no particular order)
“But no man is all one thing; none of us are pure in our beliefs or our devotions. We are all bound by the frailties of our humanity, some of which feed our hatred, some of which, very occasionally, make us want to be something better.”
“You want to know what weakness is? Weakness is treating someone as though they belong to you. Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves.”
“Because ‘boys will be boys’ is a self-fulfilling prophecy,” said Lundy. “They’re too loud, on the whole, to be easily misplaced or overlooked; when they disappear from the home, parents send search parties to dredge them out of swamps and drag them away from frog ponds. It’s not innate. It’s learned. But it protects them from the doors, keeps them safe at home. Call it irony, if you like, but we spend so much time waiting for our boys to stray that they never have the opportunity. We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.”
“Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary.”
“He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn’t want it to be over.”
“And then—then I learned your name. Hearing you say it … it was like an answer to a question I’d been asking for five hundred years.”
“Sometimes your heart is the only thing worth listening to.”
Honorable 2016 Publication Mentions:
(Again, these are in no particular order)
• Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1) by Susan Dennard – Awesome female friendship representation!
• Breaking Her (Love is War, #2) by R.K. Lilley – R.K. Lilley is the queen of New-Adult and always will be.
• It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover – Starts important discussions on abuse.
• The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #14) by J.R. Ward – 14 books in and J.R. Ward is still impressing me with her characters, plots, and twists.
• Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire, #1) by Michael J. Sullivan – The start of something that’s going to be really amazing.
• One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3) by Ilona Andrews – The greatest Urban-Fantasy writing duo of all time.
• Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter – Because Hamilton.
Favorite 2016 Reads that were NOT Published in 2016:
(Again, these are in no particular order)
• Traitor’s Blade (Greatcoats, #1) by Sebastien de Castell – 2016 was the year of Sebastien de Castell for me. I truly can’t recommend this series enough.
• Shadowfell (Shadowfell, #1) by Juliet Marillier – I just want to read everything by Juliet Marillier now.
• We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Legitimately should be required reading in schools.
• Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1) by Leigh Bardugo – The Darkling is the most perfect character ever to have been written.
• Binti (Binti, #1) by Nnedi Okorafor – One of the most powerful short stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.
• Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan – Truly the greatest graphic-novel series ever to be created.
• The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (The Road to Nowhere, #1) by Meg Elison – The best book I read all year, hands down. This book is perfection. Please, go buy it.
My Least Favorite Books Published in 2016:
(Again, these are in no particular order. Also, this is my personal opinion. If your favorite book of 2016 is on here, I’m not meaning to offend you, nor am I telling you that your feelings are invalid, this is just my personal opinion.)
• A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #1) by Amanda Bouchet – Perpetuates rape culture.
• Feverborn (Fever, #8) by Karen Marie Moning – Why is this series still going on?
• The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, #1) by Richelle Mead – I have no words for the quality of Richelle Mead’s work nowadays. Everything has been bad.
• The Goal (Off-Campus, #4) by Elle Kennedy – Such a disappointing conclusion to an amazing series.
• Never Never: Part Three (Never Never, #3) by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher – This was actually pointless and a waste of my reading time.
• Unseen Messages by Pepper Winters – Impossible to salvage the believability.
• One with You (Crossfire, #5) by Sylvia Day – Authors, please stop dragging out your series.
I tried to complete two reading list challenges in 2016, and even though I failed at both, I still completed many of the challenges and figured I’d post the pictures of my progress regardless:
I have a few reading goals for 2017, but my biggest one is to DNF books more. I know, I know, that doesn’t sound positive, but I could have saved myself so much reading time in 2016 with books that actually would have brought me enjoyment. Most of the time, whenever I want to DNF a book that I’m not enjoying, I force myself to finish it anyways (mostly because it is probably an ARC) and I end up really disliking it still. I think at this point in my reading life, I need to trust myself more and know when to put a book down.
The next biggest, and far more important, 2017 reading goal I have is to read more diversely, with a bigger emphasis on reading own voices authors! I owe it to the people that read my reviews, and I owe it to myself and my growth as not only a reader, but as a human being. Look at my favorite books of 2016 list; they are mostly all written by white authors, who are mostly all straight (not to be presumptuous), and only one is an own voices novel. That’s pathetic, and I know I can do better. I will do better in 2017.
I hope all of my friends have an amazing New Year. I hope 2017 brings you nothing but joy, happiness, good health, love, and amazing books.