' clairefy: Six of the Best Books I've Read in 2016

Six of the Best Books I've Read in 2016

7.09.2016


2016 continues to be a great year in reading. Although I have only read 22 books this year so far (a sad amount considering 100 novels was my ultimate goal for this year), I have enjoyed most of the books I've completed. Currently I'm approximately 29 books behind my reading goal, I fact which I of course attribute to school work [😂], but I still have hope that I can catch up before the end of the summer.

With that said, six books in particular rise above the others as the most memorable books I have read so far in 2016. Surprisingly, each book hails from a different genre. Nevertheless, each possessed key aspects that kept me eagerly turning pages.

1. Six of Crows / Leigh Bardugo
Six of Crows, coincidentally, was my first read of 2016. Even though I picked this book up a couple months after publication and online buzz, I still became engaged in the story. Bardugo's world-building and character development were exquisite; despite my initial unfamiliarity with the setting, I quickly assimilated to and loved the setting; despite the multiple perspectives, I could easily distinguish each character's point of view. If I'm completely honest, I liked Six of Crows much more than the Grisha series. Complete with romances and friendships I could root for, new enemies at every twist and turn, and clever plans imagined by a teen heist society, this book was the full package!

2. A Study in Charlotte / Brittany Cavallaro
This story provides a refreshing twist to the traditional tales of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. I loved that teen sleuths Charlotte and Jamie grow closer as the mystery intensifies to introduce hardships and new case developments. Their initial friendship had the potential to be rushed and predictable, but their clearly differing personalities and early school conflicts made the development of their relationship atypical and interesting. Even though I completed this book at the peak of a reading slump, I devoured this book in one sitting. I can't wait until the sequel, The Last of August, is out! I've been watching the release date. [*whispers* February 14]

3. The Glass Castle / Jeannette Walls
I have a love-hate relationship with required reading, but The Glass Castle almost makes me glad that students are forced exposed to different types of literature. At first, just the fact that the book was nonfiction intimidated me. Once I started reading, though, I was hooked to the story and the nonfiction aspect wowed me further-- I couldn't believe that the story I was reading was completely true. The novel follows the childhood of renowned journalist Jeannette Walls, which included homelessness, sexual assault, moving often, and coping with drunk and withdrawn parents. Even as I grew angrier with the Walls' children's living situation, I was awed by the author's avoidance of talking negatively about her parents or her experiences. I'd recommend this book to anyone seeking different perspectives and experiences.

4. The Hidden Oracle / Rick Riordan
I can happily say that I've enjoyed Rick Riordan books since the third grade. I must admit that the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series are especially close to my heart-- which is why I am amazed and appreciative of how creatively the concept of the Trials of Apollo series is connected to Percy Jackson's world. After several novels of demigods besting obstacles, I never would have thought of a story featuring a god's perspective in trying situations. Starring protagonists I had to cheer for, jokes that still make me laugh out loud, notable character development, and cameos from some special characters [😉], The Hidden Oracle was the end-of-school-year read I was looking for

5. The Unexpected Everything / Morgan Matson
I'm typically not a fan of contemporary books, but I unexpectedly enjoyed The Unexpected Everything! Despite the novel's physical length, it was a quick, light read that left a smile on my face. Unlike many YA books, the story provided realistic examples of teens texting [without all the unnecessary abbreviations]. The charming high school friendships in this story proved lifelike, too-- the characters looked out for each other in every way, but still faced natural obstacles that required the individuals to make their own decisions. The main characters, Andie and Clark, enjoyably bounced ideas off one another. As Kaitlin @ Next Page Please put it, this is a book I'd need in my beach bag. (I'm also in love with the cover!)

6. My Lady Jane / Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, + Jodi Meadows
This book may just be my most favorite of the year so far. I adored the voice in My Lady Jane that kept climactic and suspenseful moments lighthearted and even funny. The authors seamlessly integrated magic into the story, so despite its [somewhat] origination in history, fantastical elements seemed natural. The characters' perspectives were easy to distinguish and their differing personalities shown through the writing. I quite literally could not put this book down, even as I disregarded my summer homework plans and read through dinner. I borrowed this book from the library, but I am definitely looking to add My Lady Jane to my personal library as soon as possible.

What are your favorite books of the year so far?

32 comments :

  1. I just finished re-reading PJO series and all I want to do is to read Trials of Apolo asap! I've heard amazing things about it, and I kinda miss Apollo's cockiness xD My Lady Jane sounds awesome, but so many people said it's perfect for fans of The Princess Bride, so I think I want to read/watch it first so I could enjoy the book more :D

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

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    1. I hope you read The Hidden Oracle soon! I'm a huge fan of the PJO series and The Hidden Oracle was perfect to satisfy my PJO withdrawal. I've actually never read/seen The Princess Bride and I enjoyed My Lady Jane nonetheless. Happy reading!

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  2. I loved The Unexpected Everything too! It was so much more than I expected. It was also my first Morgan Matson book.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

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    1. The Unexpected Everything was my first Morgan Matson book, too! I tried to pick up Since You've Been Gone, but I never got past the first chapter-- I was in a reading slump for sure. I might try to pick it up again this summer, but for now I'm satisfied with The Unexpected Everything.

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  3. I've had The Glass Castle sitting on my shelf for a while, but this post definitely encouraged me to move it up on my TBR. My Lady Jane seems to be a popular release this year as it is literally everywhere, so I need to check that out, too! Off the top of my head, my favorite reads of the year so far are probably The Night Circus and Bone Gap. Both were so different from what I expected.

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    1. I haven't read The Night Circus or Bone Gap, I'll have to check the out! Thanks for the recommendations. My Lady Jane is one to watch. I hope you enjoy it!

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  4. I loved TUE and Six of Crows as well! And I've heard great things about Hidden Oracle, I'm still working on finally finishing the Heroes of Olympus series, which is ironic considering I read every Percy Jackson book as soon as it came out. But I'm so excited since I heard there's a few cameos from old favorites. Wolf by Wolf and This Savage Song are two of my favorite reads this year :)

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    1. I hope you like the rest of the Heroes of Olympus series! Rick Riordan's books never fail to captivate me. I read This Savage Song recently (a few weeks after I wrote this post), and I absolutely loved it! I've been a fan of Schwab's other books and I read TSS a bit late but still enjoyed it nonetheless.

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  5. Yesss, The Hidden Oracle!
    I was very hesitant going into this book, at first. Since Rick Riordan already wrote ten books in this universe, I didn't know if this was going to be just more and more of the same.
    Thankfully, it wasn't! I fell in love with the characters and I can't wait to read the other books in the series. Apollo is such a funny main character and I'm glad that he sounds very different from Percy, but just as amazing!
    Hope you enjoy the rest of your reading year!

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    1. Thanks, Lais! Approaching the Hidden Oracle, I had many of the same fears. I did thoroughly enjoy the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series, but I wasn't sure if there'd be any creative means left to explore different stories in the same universe. Once I read the synopsis for The Hidden Oracle, though, I was hooked.

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  6. I haven't actuallu read any of these - but I am not surprised that The Hidden Oracle made your list! Rick Riordan always writes really well and his witty characters are such a pleasure to read about!

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    1. I completely agree, Geraldine! Riordan's books always seem to please me. I hope you can read The Hidden Oracle soon!

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  7. Ohh great list! I haven't read any of these, but I keep hearing fantastic things about My Lady JAne. I'm not a huge fan of historical novels, but I heard it's not that huge in My Lady Jane, and you can go in without knowing anything about history as well, so I'm glad haha. I might have to read it soon! :)

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    1. I completely recommend it, Marie! I do enjoy historical fiction books, but history was not stressed in My Lady Jane and I still enjoyed it. I don't know anything about the history behind the story aside from what was presented in the story, but magic, memorable characters, and humor carried it along:)

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  8. I loved The Glass Castle so so much! I read it this year too, and it's one of my favourite books of the year too. It made me so emotional, and I really want to re-read it sometime! I really want to read Six of Crows soon - I've heard so many good things about it. It seems pretty much everyone loves it, so hopefully I will too! ♥

    Denise | The Bibliolater

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    1. I completely recommend Six of Crows to you, Denise! Even though I was iffy about the Shadow and Bone series, I adored SoC and I'm counting down the days until the sequel releases!

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  9. I absolutely loved Six of Crows so I am so glad to see it on your list! And I've been a bit nervous about reading The Hidden Oracle just because I'm not sure if it can live up to the amazingness of the original PJO series, but seeing it on your list makes me want to give it a try. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous choices! <3

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    1. Thanks Zoe! Initially I was nervous about reading The Hidden Oracle because of how much I enjoyed the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it! I hope you enjoy it as well!

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  10. I'm so happy you liked A Study in Charlotte so much! I'm a big fan of the original Sherlock Holmes stories and I really want to read that spin off. A girl Holmes sounds so cool. And can you believe I haven't read Six of Crows yet? Everyone keeps telling me how amazing it is but I've been avoiding it because I wasn't a big fan of the Grisha series... Anyway, I hope you get to catch up on reading this summer! I always find it harder to read during the school year.n

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    1. Thanks Erin! And I totally recommend Six of Crows and A Study in Charlotte to you! I was hesitant to read Six of Crows at first, too. I finished the Grisha series and while I did like some elements of the story, I felt iffy about the series overall. I can say with ease that I enjoyed Six of Crows a lot more, and I'm looking forward to the sequel!

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  11. I've actually never read A Study in Charlotte yet :/ but it seems like such a great book! (Plus the cover is stunning.) I've heard about My Lady Jane but I haven't gotten my hands on it yet, but I will read it soon :) Great recommendations!!!

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    1. Thanks, Anna, I hope you get to read them soon! And the covers are to die for!

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  12. I'm so excited to read The Unexpected Everything! Some of my favourites in this year are Cinder, The Deal and Me Before You :)

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    1. Yay! I haven't read The Deal and Me Before You, so I'll have to add those to my TBR! I read Cinder late last year but never continued the series...I'll also have to start Scarlet soon!

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  13. Fun! I spy some of my most anticipated 2016 reads on this list including Morgan Matson's and My Lady Jane. Fun list! :)

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  14. The only one I read so far is The Glass Castle which was so amazing. There are a couple of other books on your list I want to read too.

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    1. I'm glad to hear it, Tanya! And I completely agree, The Glass Castle was an incredibly memorable read. I hope you enjoy the other books!

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  15. You encouraged me to read The Hidden Oracle, I've been looking for it everywhere! I'll definitely start it very soon. Thanks for sharing♥

    Jumana @ Books by Jay

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    1. No problem, Jay! I hope you enjoy the Hidden Oracle!

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  16. I haven't read any of these but they're all on my TBR! I'm glad you're enjoying them. For me, I think that my favourite book that I've read so far is Red Queen. It's just so fantastic. <3

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  17. Hey Claire!
    I'd have to say my favorite books of 2016 so far were To All The Boys I've Loved Before (I was a little late in reading that one, but it has become one of my new favorites of ALL time), The Crown, Beautiful Broken Things, We Were Liars, and a couple Morgan Matson books. I read Since You've Been Gone near the beginning of the summer and for a while Morgan's books were all I wanted to read! I LOVED The Unexpected Everything as well! I'm a huge contemporary fan and her books are just so summery and beautiful.
    I'm still planning on reading A Study In Charlotte. I recently read the first book in the Portia Adams series, which is also a Sherlock spin off, and I really, really enjoyed it! It's definitely worth checking out if you liked A Study In Charlotte.
    I'm also very late in reading this post - for some reason I missed it ;)

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