2016 was a pretty good reading year for me. There are definitely books I wish I had gotten to and book I wish I hadn’t wasted my time with but overall looking at my final Top 10 books I can see some books that I am going to love rereading in years to come.
All of these books made me feel some seriously strong emotions, whether it was overwhelming joy or crippling despair and I am so grateful to the authors for writing them.
First, before we get into my Top 10, I do have some honourable mentions that almost made it to the top 10, but for some reason or other didn’t quite make it. But I still loved these books and recommend you give them a go yourself!
Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig: It’s funny because when I wrote the review to this I said this was for sure going to be in my top 10. I do still think this book is amazing and incredible but it also scares me because it reminds me of where I was a year ago and why I wanted to read this book in the first place.
Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman: I really enjoyed this book, and honestly it’s rare for me to enjoy a YA dystopia these days. But this one just had something different about it that didn’t make it totally cliche. It just didn’t stick with me for long afterwards, so it’s not in my top 10.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini: This book so nearly made it to my top 10. It was heart breaking and a tough read but I absolutely devoured it.
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown: I was not expecting to like this as much as I did. I actually took it off my shelf a few times in the three years I’ve owned it because I thought there was no way I would enjoy it. But the plot was so intense and thrilling it was hard for me to put it down.
Perks and Harry Potter: The last two are rereads but I can’t not mention them. Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is my favourite YA novel of all time and I can tell it will be for years to come. I love everything about it and it means so much to me.
This year I also finally finished rereading the rest of the HP series (3-7) and I had so much fun doing it. I actually couldn’t remember a lot of what happened in the last book (that isn’t in the movie) so that was a fun time.
MY TOP 10!
10. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
I loved this story and I loved the way it was told. Half words, half beautiful illustrations, both so enjoyable. This book tells the story of Hugo who, recently orphaned, lives alone in a train station working on a project his father left unfinished. The story is so touching and I love the friendships that are formed.
9. A Court of Mist and Fury
This is a guilty pleasure but honestly I enjoyed this book too much for me not to put it on this list. I love the characters and how they bounce off each other. I love how interesting the world is. I love the twists and turns. I don’t love that this is no longer going to be a trilogy but I’ll just have to get over that.
8. 1984 by George Orwell
This is the book that has inspired so many of our favourite YA dystopias and this was so much better. This is both creepy and terrifying and I loved it. This is set in a UK that is governed and controlled by Big Brother. You are watched and brainwashed by him. He controls everything, and the main characters job is to rewrite and censor history and news and he is mentally rebelling against Big Brother.
7. Autumn by Ali Smith
Honestly I wasn’t sure what I thought of this book when I finished it. I know it was an incredibly brilliant novel set in today’s Britain but I did feel like a lot of it went over my head so I didn’t even give it a rating because I feel like I needed time to think about it.
Now that I’ve thought about it I know that I love this book. When I say it’s set in today’s Britain I mean today’s Britain. This is set post-brexit so if you live in Britain you will definitely be able to relate to this book. But it’s not just about Brexit. To be honest it’s kind of about everything. It’s about ordinary life and unexpected friendships. The writing was so poetic and this book really made me think.
6. The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
This book is in the point of view of a boy who wishes to be a girl. Transsexuality isn’t something I knew or really understood until I read this book. So I am very glad and grateful I did. You see the struggles they go through, the importance of true friendships and just how sucky closed minded people can be.
5. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
This one is really weird because I read two of Hosseini’s books this year and I actually gave the other one a higher rating. But as I was thinking about it I think this is actually the better read. The character development was brilliant, there were moments when this book broke my heart and I ended up really caring about the characters and what happened to them. The plot was page turning and unpredictable. This book reminds me that it’s never too late to turn around and redeem yourself.
4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
This book and the characters in it bring so much joy to my heart. I love the family dynamics in this, I love that each sister has their own quirk (so you’ll be able to relate to at least one of them’ and I love how their mother teaches them to be kind and giving.
3. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
If I had to pick one of these I would say I preferred Through the Looking Glass but I really loved both of these. Lewis Carol’s stories are weird but that’s what I love about them. He came up with some of the most genius and iconic creations that we’re all familiar with but reading the actual book I realised I never knew just how brilliant and deep it is.
I love the wacky structure of the book. A lot of the events are very disconnected and inexplicable things happen that really make no sense what so ever. But for me (Spoiler Alert if you don’t know the ending) that’s exactly what a dream is. So reading this it felt like reading a dream and I just think that’s brilliant.
2. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
This was so unexpectedly good. Honestly, I was not expecting to enjoy this book seeing as I bought it by accident. This book kept me so gripped and the plot had me gasping multiple times. I love the representation in this book and I love how relatable the characters circumstances where.
The writing was beautiful and I loved that even though the story progressed with us learning a lot of backstories it never lost my interest and everything was relevant and important to the plot. It was a simple story told in a beautiful way.
1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Finally, my favourite book of 2016 was Jane Eyre. This is the book that has gotten me obsessed with the Bronte’s because I just think their story is so inspiring. They all had such short lives yet they made an everlasting mark on literature.
I think my favourite thing about this book is Jane Eyre herself. I love how strong she is, how independent she is, how ambitious she is. I love that she feels so real and relatable. She isn’t confined by society’s expectations and I love how much her personality shines when she’s talking to Rochester. It made me believe they’re feelings for one another.
So that is my top 10 favourite books of 2016! Let me know if you’ve done a top 10 post!
Thanks for reading