Hello all, merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, happy holidays! Today I get to unveil one of my favorite posts of the year: my totally definitive Best Books of 2016! Read on to find out what I absolutely loved this year, and you could win one of my favorites!
Mostly YA Lit’s Best Books of 2016
- The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner. I don’t often have a #1 book of the year, but this year The Serpent King is it. This YA about three best friends living in a super religious town will break your heart so hard. Incredibly, perfectly voiced. Read it now.
- The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Sometimes, you get hit in the feels with a book like this in December. A romance so quirky, adorable, and incredibly weird that you have to put it in your top 12. If you’re a contemporary romance reader who’s not scared of sexytimes, please pick up this amazing, hate-to-love office romance and squee with me.
- The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. A summery romance full of complex friendships, book fandom, and awesome dogs. The perfect thing to sink into any time you need a smile – and we need quite a few this year. Also, it’s a YA book that reminds you how swoony a romance can be even after the characters get together, which I think is kinda rare.
- When We Collided by Emery Lord. Even though it’s not my personal fave Emery book, When We Collided is an incredibly intimate look at mental health issues and grief that held my heart so tightly during reading. Yes, it will make you sob, but it also has bittersweet scenes that will make you believe in love, family, and personal strength.
- This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills. Mills has made it to my auto-buy authors list with This Adventure Ends. A book about friends, a quest, and fanfiction, it’s a near perfect contemporary. Rich with characterization, slow-burn romance, and a refusal to allow for disengaged teenagers.
- The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. I don’t usually read spec fic, but even I cannot deny the brilliance of this lushly written magical series. The Raven King is the perfect example of a great YA book – something that breathes coming-of-age, sophisticated language, and unpredictable but perfectly executed moments.
- If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo. A contemporary romance with gorgeous characterization about a transgender girl starting at a new school. Whether it’s the pitch-perfect voices or the compassion it has for all of its characters, their beliefs and friendships, this debut delicately shows you a trans experience without feeling like an issues book.
- The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt. This was one of the first books I read in 2016 and it’s stayed with me throughout the year. With characters that pop off the page, A to Z has steamy romance, great female friendship, baseball, family issues and more. For fans of Stephanie Perkins.
- Steadfast by Sarina Bowen. In the last two years, I’ve read almost all of Sarina’s catalogue, but this one is extra special. A vividly described romance between a former drug addict and a girl who is dealing with severe emotional abuse, Steadfast is dark, but it’s also brilliantly and sensitively written. These are people who are atoning for their mistakes, living with the worst parts of themselves, and trying to accept love in the meantime.
- Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Kaufman and Kristoff managed to pull off the near impossible with Gemina: they provided a worthy sequel to Illuminae. No, it’s not as good as Illuminae, but I think the romance is better. And anyone who is able to create an ending like that one deserves to be on this list.
- Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick. Very rarely does a book make me laugh out loud several times. The fact that Scrappy Little Nobody does so while making me fist pump for feminism makes it a perfect addition to this list.
- Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston. Sometimes you come across a book with such an unusual take on a topic that it sticks with you. BEARS!! was that book for me. Instead of going into the experience of rape and the rage of it, E.K. Johnston chooses to show what you, your friends and family should do if you are sexually abused. A hopeful book that strengthened my belief in survivors, not victims.
What books are on your top 10 – err, 12 – this year? Leave a comment and I’ll stop by! And hit the Rafflecopter for a chance to win any of these books. Open internationally.