My Top Picks of 2016 (So Far)

Recently, two of my favourite booktubers, The Mile Long Bookshelf and LucyTheReader, made videos on their favourite books so far in 2016 (here and here, if you’re interested!). I thought that this was quite a fun idea, but seeing as I don’t have a YouTube channel, I decided to do it as a blog post instead.

I wasn’t sure whether to do my favourite five books that I’ve read in 2016 that weren’t released this year, or if I should only choose books that have been released in 2016, so I’ve decided to do both and make two lists.

Favourite Five Books That I’ve Read in 2016 (So Far)

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  1. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – I devoured this book, and completely fell in love with the character and the story. It’s about Maddie, who has an immune deficiency so she cannot leave her house, and Olly, her neighbour, who is determined to get to know her. It was a beautiful book and a beautiful story, and I love it.
  2. The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury – another fantastic romance, combined with fantasy and an incredible world and great characters. It’s about Twylla, who is a goddess incarnate and can kill with a single touch, but not everything in her world is as it seems. The romance was great, but also the emotional depth and the plot twists, and just everything was wonderful about this book.
  3. The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew – this book was so powerful, both the idea behind the story and the characters. I was captivated by the idea, and loved the way that it was written. It’s about a world in which the Nazis won WW2, and the protagonists live in Nazi England. Even the protagonist’s thought process was affected by the totalitarian rule, just showing how deeply they influenced her life. Well-written and an interesting idea, I would definitely recommend this.
  4. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley – a story about desegregation in America, but the protagonists are also lesbians. Seeing as there is a difference in race between them, there is a lot of conflict, both around them and between them. There are lighter moments between them, but there are also lots of serious moments, and I was blown away by the writing and the quality of the idea. I raved about it loads when I read it, and it was an obvious choice for this list.
  5. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – I literally couldn’t stop reading this book! It’s about a world where there are Silvers, who are superior and have magical powers, and Reds, who lack powers and have to serve the Silvers. However, there is a Red girl, Mare, who has powers different to those of the Silvers, and she is brought into the royal court under the pretence that she is a Silver to avoid questions being asked, and she uses her position to help the rebellion looking for rights for Reds. It was gripping and descriptive, and I loved it.

I’m focusing on YA in this post, but I also really loved A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, because it was absolutely incredible and I literally couldn’t put it down, and 1984 by George Orwell, because it was really thought-provoking!

Favourite Five Books That Were Released in 2016 (So Far)

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  1. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman – I was so excited for the release of this book, as Alice Oseman is such a thought-provoking writer and I adored Solitaire, and it was amazing. I loved Radio Silence almost as much as Solitaire, if not more, as there was diversity, fantastic characters, and a great plot. The focus of the book was on pressure at school and pressure to get into a good university, which I thought was very relevant for our generation, and the main plot focus was on an online podcast that one of the protagonist’s friends was making, which, again, is perfect for our generation. This book proved to me again that Alice Oseman is a fantastic writer, and I cannot wait to see what she writes next (she is doing video diaries of writing her third book, which is really cool!).
  2. Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield – I love Seed by Lisa Heathfield, and I was once again blown away by the striking and suspenseful storyline she created. June suffers through bullying at school and abuse at home, and the only bright spot in her life is provided by her best friend, Blister. I can’t say much more without revealing too much of the plot, so all I will say is that this book is definitely worth reading, as it is superbly written and is full of emotion.
  3. Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall – I couldn’t write this list and not include this book! I raved about Under Rose-Tainted Skies in the review I wrote, because of its raw honesty and realistic characters. The story follows Norah, who has agoraphobia, and a boy, Luke, who helps her to make the jump to recover. However, it did not portray love as the cure for Norah’s problems, which is why I think the book is more true to real life. I could not recommend this book enough.
  4. Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard – this book is about a girl called Caddy, who has some problems with friendship when her best friend gets another best friend, Suzanne. However, Caddy and Suzanne quickly become friends. The book dealt with the issue of abuse and victim-blaming, so I think it is a very important book. Sara Barnard also kept the characters realistic and human, and the story flowed really well, so I enjoyed it a lot.
  5. The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury – seeing as I loved The Sin Eater’s Daughter so much, I had to include the sequel on the list. It focused on a different character, and while I was disappointed to leave Twylla, she did come up later in the story, and Errin, the protagonist of the second book in the trilogy, was perfect for carrying the story onwards, as the Sleeping Prince begins to take over Lormere and Tregellan. The third book in the series, The Scarecrow Queen, is coming out in 2017, so I am really looking forward to reading it.

So these were some of my favourite books of this year! Have any of you read these books? What are your favourite books of 2016 so far?

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