Best of 2016

best-of-2016

Like many others, I am 100% ready to leave the nightmare that was 2016 behind and begin afresh in 2017. Before we look forward to the new year, I would like to look back on one of the few good things 2016 offered: all the wonderful books I got to read. I loved many books this year, but here are 8 of the books that personally touched me the most.

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo: I will never love another crew as much as I love the six characters in this series. This epic conclusion brought more character development to the table, as well as more scenes between all of my favourite ships. Filled with all the things I love best: witty banter, impossible heists, lady friendships, and Kaz Brekker’s one liners. Full Review.

A Gathering Of Shadows by Victoria Schwab: Victoria Schwab has created the perfect character in Lila Bard, all debonair and arrogant swagger. This book continues to be wildly entertaining, with even more magic and action than previous. The middle part of AGOS did suffer from slow pacing, but the lead up to its climax more than made up for it. It’s also the one fantasy series that managed to hook my boyfriend in, now we’re both desperately waiting for ACOL. Full Review.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi: I’ll admit, I was disappointed by many of my preordered debuts of 2016. However, this fusion retelling of Hades/Persephone and Mahabharata more than made up for it. The writing is lush and evocative, it inspired me to make so many graphic fanart. Although I wish the story offered more meaningful interactions between its female characters, I still can’t wait for A Crown of Wishes. Full Review.

When The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie Mclemore: I adore magical realism and fairy tales, but I had always felt a little excluded from their narrative. Therefore, I can’t thank Anna-Marie McLemore enough for writing this modern day fairy tale, dedicated to all the PoC and the LGBTQIA+ community. Her gorgeous writing gets under your skin and arrests all of your senses. This book is a treasure. Full Review & Graphic Fan Arts.

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Morning Star by Pierce Brown: I have not read such a pitch-perfect conclusion since Monsters of Men. Pierce Brown outdoes himself with every single book, how is this possible? The stakes skyrockets in this book. There’s love and loss and war, and Darrow finally sheds his invincibility and reconnects to the people he’s meant to stand for. Many tears were shed. Many hairs were sacrificed in the reading of this book. Graphic Fan Art.

A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki: There are some stories you love because you appreciate that it’s a technical marvel. Then there are some stories you love because it whispers all of the secrets of your heart. For me, this book is both. It’s going to be one of my favourite books of all time, not just of this year. It features raw, everyday human struggles, from Nao’s bullying, to her father’s hopelessness, to her great uncle’s time as a soldier in World War II. Alongside are questions about time, identity, and choices. The book is at once a mystery, a drama, and a science fiction – told in numerous formats ranging from email exchanges to diary entries to news articles. It owns my heart completely. Full Review.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North: Claire North is a master at playing with very complex concepts and exploring them in thought-provoking ways. Harry August was born in the 1920s, and is cursed with reliving his life over and over again. He understands the world and it was and as it will become, but he can never be a part of it. Also features a magnetic rivalry, just read it! Full Review.

A Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers: This charming sci-fi novel has delighted me both my heart and my brain. It’s focused on a mixed-sapient crew traveling to a far-flung planet. It questions our concepts of gender, of species, of sexuality in startling and refreshing ways. The characters are all so endearing and I want to clutch them all to my chest and keep them safe. Full Review.


Have you read any of the above? Let me know what you think of them! What were your favourite books of 2016? Please link me to your post if you have written one ❤ I hope you all a happy new year!

35 thoughts on “Best of 2016

  1. I loved crooked kingdoms and the star touched queen, they were both amazing books. I’m currently listening to the A Gatering Of Shadows audiobook and am loving it so far. I’ve heard there’s a cliffhanger ending and I’m really nervous 😟 but still excited.
    I also did a best books of 2016 if you want to check that out. 😊 https://ikramreads.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/top-11-books-of-2016/
    Hopefully the next year will bring many more great books as well. 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic list, Aentee! ^.^

    I agree that 2016 was an abysmal year, but luckily there were some great books that helped readers escape reality temporarily. Of these I’ve read Crooked Kingdom, A Gathering of Shadows, and When the Moon was Ours, and I loved all three.

    I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for us. Happy new year!

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  3. I promise to read A Tale for The Time Being within the next 365 days *New Years Resolution made.* There’s so much stellar SFF but Becky Chambers keeps orbiting my favourite blogger’s lists, so I shall take that as a sign for the future 😀

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  4. I LOVE YOUR LIST SO MUCH I SHALL JUST BE OVER HERE FLAILING. Because Crooked Kingdom was actual perfection. And like usually sequels terrify me (especially if I loved the first book so so much) but this???? CK was actual perfection. I think I’m having an EMOTION HELP ME.
    I also adored Morning Star and and AGOS (like anything be VE Schwab is perfection obviously). 😍

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  5. All these books sound so interesting! Thank you for the recommendations.

    I have had A Gathering of Shadows sitting on my TBR pile for way too long. I liked the first book, but not as much as everyone else did. I am hoping I’ll enjoy this one more, but I’m not sure if it’s one of the those series that might just have fallen victim of its own hype (and pretty covers).

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  6. A Gathering of Shadows and Crooked Kingdom were also a couple of my favourites this year. I am beyond obsessed with the world the Shades of Magic series has to offer and I don’t think a trilogy will ever be enough for me (which is saying something since I ordinarily hate series’ that drag on). And that ending! ACOL is by far my most anticipated release for 2017.
    Then there’s Crooked Kingdom, which I thought was pretty near flawless. I liked Six of Crows but the sequel was miles better and had me laughing and crying the whole way through because of the marvelous characters.
    I also read Harry August last year on a friend’s recommendation and could not put it down. The concept was fascinating and so engaging so I was surprised I’d heard so little of it before.
    Wonderful list – I might be adding some of these to next year’s TBR!
    This is my Best of 2016 if you’d like to check it out 🙂

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  7. Fantastic list, thanks for sharing!! I’ve read Crooked Kingdom (love!) and A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, the latter being my favourite book I read this year – such amazing, diverse characters and a beautiful narrative. I’ve been meaning to jump into A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows so I’ll be bumping them up on my TBR for 2017!

    Stef @ the Noveltea Corner

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  8. You’ve read some awesome titles! All of these are very high on my TBR and I cannot wait to read them soon. Some of my favourite books for the year are A Court of Mist and Fury and Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. But I’ve also enjoyed some historical fiction and contemporary reads as well.

    I posted my top ten favourite books for 2016 yesterday if you’d like to check it out 🙂

    Nihaad – Read & Seek

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  9. I haven’t read any of these books -bawls- BUT THAT’S OKAY. I’m waiting until A Conjuring of Light to read A Gathering of Shadows (I heard the cliffhanger is unbearable!). I think my favourite book was probably When We Collided by Emery Lord or Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare or Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley ^_^

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  10. I adored Crooked Kingdom too and, unsurprisingly, it made my top books of 2016 list! I was planning on reading AGOS this month, but since I haven’t finished ACOMAF yet and have two days to go I can’t see it happening! But it’ll be the first book I pick up next month (and next year!). I also reeeeally want to read The Star Touched Queen, so I may treat myself to a copy once I’m back in England 🙂 Great post!

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  11. 2016 was such a dumpster fire. I can’t even look at it, haha. But thankfully there were some really good reads to get us all through! 🙏

    I STILL haven’t started the Shades of Magic series, even though I own ADSOM. Which is especially shameful as I’ve heard rumblings about a bi main character??? I am the wooooorst. *hangs head* I did read A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet though, and it was one of my favourite reads too! It’s so refreshing to read a heartwarming story about good people. It’s just not all that common, especially in SFF!

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  12. A Gathering Of Shadows and The Star-Touched Queen are two of my favorites for 2016 reads. I just finished The Bear and the Nightingale and absolutely fell in love with Katherine Arden’s writing!! Hope you have many more fantastic reads in 2017, Aentee 🙂

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  13. YES! Finally someone else who’s read The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August! I feel like Clare North doesn’t get even a quarter of the credit she deserves. That book completely blew me away.

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  14. Great post and way to convince me to pick up a couple of books which have been gathering dust on my shelves. I still haven’t read The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August even though it’s been on my shelf for about a year. You make it sound fantastic so that’s getting moved up the pile. Also, I need to buy The Star Touched Queen. I was so excited for it this year and then it never got added to my basket even when worse books made it through. Don’t ask me to explain my buying habits. I trust your taste, though, A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet was read because of you and I loved every page of it.

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  15. I haven’t read any of these D: Crooked Kingdom I only received a few days ago so I have an excuse for that one haha. The Star Touched Queen has moved onto my “Need to Buy” list because I’ve only heard so many good things!

    ADSOM and Red Rising are series I really should hurry up and get into, especially considering how long they’ve been on my TBR pile… SOON

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  16. Ahhh I’m sorry to hear that 2016 wasn’t a good year for you, Aentee. 😦 Hoping 2017’s full of happiness and blessings for you! ❤

    I'M SO GLAD YOU LOVED THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN AS WELL! It was one of the few books I read this year and it was just so beautifully written.

    I can't wait to get my hands on When the Moon was Ours. I've read Anna's debut novel and fell in love with her writing–the descriptions are just so gorgeous and to die for. And this one has PoC / lgbt characters?! I'm SO in.

    Aimee @ I Adork You

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  17. Awww I love how both you and the bf have picked up AGOS! I read ADSOM but I think I need to re-read it. I’m glad you rec’d TSTQ, I ended up loving it! And of course, Crooked Kingdom, Long Way and Morning Star. I also picked up A Long Way because of your review. Great picks An!

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  18. I completely agree! Crooked Kingdom was one of my favorite books of 2016 as well, so I’m so glad to see you enjoyed it as much as I did. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! ❤

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  19. This was such a beautiful post! Unfortunately, I haven’t read any of the books on this list, but they’re being added to my, already incredibly long, TBR list! Thanks for the recommendations!

    Love your blog x

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  20. I’ve been of hiatus, so I’m only now reading this post. I haven’t read any of these books, though I have most of them on my tbr-list (thanks to you). I’m especially looking forward to start Shades of Magic series; I’m just waiting when the third book would be released. Thanks for sharing Aentee.

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