My Favourite Books of 2016 #2016Books

Here are my favourite reads of 2016 – better late than never, right!?

I only awarded four books the elusive 5 Unicorns (not including rereads), because not many things are perfect, right? But I also rated 22 books with 4 Unicorns so this list was surprisingly difficult.

(Quotes from my reviews, synopsis’s from Goodreads, as always!)

unicorn rating 4

10. The Crow Girl ~ Erik Axl Sund

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The Crow Girl is one of the darkest, twisted, deviously woven crime books I’ve ever read. As the synopsis suggests it starts with one dead body, and mannnn does it escalate from there. “

Review // Goodreads 

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It starts with just one body – tortured, mummified and then discarded.

Its discovery reveals a nightmare world of hidden lives. Of lost identities, secret rituals and brutal exploitation, where nobody can be trusted.

This is the darkest, most complex case the police have ever seen.

This is the world of the Crow Girl.

9. The Merciless ~ Danielle Vega

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“I can definitely see where they got the whole ‘Mean Girls meets Stephen King’ tagline from. Unlike Stephen King however, this book is severely lacking in the character development department. But you know what? I kind of didn’t care.

Review // Goodreads 

Forgive us, Father, for we have sinned…

Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream.
 
Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.
 
Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls . . . unless she wants to be next. . . .
 
In this chilling debut, Danielle Vega delivers blood-curdling suspense and terror on every page. By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?

8. The Hummingbird’s Cage ~ Tamara Dietrich

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“I was hooked into this story straight away {…} It was all a bit Twin Peaks, albeit not quite as insane.”

Review // Goodreads 

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A dazzling debut novel about taking chances, finding hope, and learning to stand up for your dreams…

Everyone in Wheeler, New Mexico, thinks Joanna leads the perfect life: the quiet, contented housewife of a dashing deputy sheriff, raising a beautiful young daughter, Laurel. But Joanna’s reality is nothing like her facade. Behind closed doors, she lives in constant fear of her husband. She’s been trapped for so long, escape seems impossible—until a stranger offers her the help she needs to flee….

On the run, Joanna and Laurel stumble upon the small town of Morro, a charming and magical village that seems to exist out of time and place. There a farmer and his wife offer her sanctuary, and soon, between the comfort of her new home and blossoming friendships, Joanna’s soul begins to heal, easing the wounds of a decade of abuse.

But her past—and her husband—aren’t so easy to escape. Unwilling to live in fear any longer, Joanna must summon a strength she never knew she had to fight back and forge a new life for her daughter and herself….

7. Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky ~ Holly Martin

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“It’s literally like Holly Martin has taken all of my favourite things about Christmas and put them in this book. It was magical.”

Review // Goodreads 

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This year spend a wonderful Christmas on Juniper Island, where love can melt even the iciest of hearts…

Piper Chesterfield lives a glamorous life travelling the world and reviewing the finest hotels. She calls nowhere home, she works alone and that’s how she likes it. For long ago Piper decided that to protect her heart she should lock it away.

So when Piper’s next assignment brings her to the newly opened Stardust Lake Hotel for the festive season, the last person she expects to face is Gabe Whitaker, the man who broke her heart so completely she could never love again.

But Piper isn’t the only one who has been frozen in time by heartbreak. Gabe hasn’t forgotten the golden-eyed girl who disappeared from his world without a trace.

Now fate has reunited them on Juniper island, can the magic of Christmas heal old wounds? And can this enchanting town be the one place Piper can finally call home?

Curl up with this gorgeously romantic tale and let the glistening snow and the roaring fires of Stardust Lake Hotel get you in the festive spirit this Christmas.

6. Shadow and Bone ~ Leigh Bardugo

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“I saw influences from a lot of books I love such as Graceling and Throne of Glass, but Shadow and Bone felt fresh in some ways too. It was full of action and heartbreak, and I was totally invested in the great protagonist that is Alina.”

Review // Goodreads 

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The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite – the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him. But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

5. Into the Dim ~ Janet B. Taylor

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“I loved the setting, the plot was interesting and a whole lot of fun, but mostly, I enjoyed the writing. Taylor’s words grabbed me instantly”

Review // Goodreads

When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers.

Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing. 

Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail,Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens. 

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4. The Madwoman Upstairs ~ Catherine Lowell

madwoman“I loved everything about this book. The interactions between Samantha and Professor Orville were hilarious, and Samantha’s character in general just made me do actual LOLs.”

Review // Goodreads

In this smart and enthralling debut in the spirit of The Weird Sisters and Special Topics in Calamity Physics, the only remaining descendant of the Brontë family embarks on a modern-day literary scavenger hunt to find the family’s long-rumored secret estate, using clues her eccentric father left behind.

Samantha Whipple is used to stirring up speculation wherever she goes. As the last remaining descendant of the Brontë family, she’s rumored to have inherited a vital, mysterious portion of the Brontë’s literary estate; diaries, paintings, letters, and early novel drafts; a hidden fortune that’s never been shown outside of the family.

But Samantha has never seen this rumored estate, and as far as she knows, it doesn’t exist. She has no interest in acknowledging what the rest of the world has come to find so irresistible; namely, the sudden and untimely death of her eccentric father, or the cryptic estate he has bequeathed to her.

But everything changes when Samantha enrolls at Oxford University and bits and pieces of her past start mysteriously arriving at her doorstep, beginning with an old novel annotated in her father’s handwriting. As more and more bizarre clues arrive, Samantha soon realizes that her father has left her an elaborate scavenger hunt using the world’s greatest literature. With the aid of a handsome and elusive Oxford professor, Samantha must plunge into a vast literary mystery and an untold family legacy, one that can only be solved by decoding the clues hidden within the Brontë’s own writing.

A fast-paced adventure from start to finish, this vibrant and original novel is a moving exploration of what it means when the greatest truth is, in fact, fiction.

3. The Last Days of Jack Sparks

jacksparks“I absolutely loved this book. Jack reminded me a lot of Mystery Man from Colin Bateman’s novels of the same name. He is a lovable rogue. He is completely hopeless but you can’t help but root for him.”

Review // Goodreads 

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Jack Sparks died while writing this book. This is the account of his final days.

In 2014, Jack Sparks – the controversial pop culture journalist – died in mysterious circumstances.

To his fans, Jack was a fearless rebel; to his detractors, he was a talentless hack. Either way, his death came as a shock to everyone.

It was no secret that Jack had been researching the occult for his new book. He’d already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed in rural Italy.

Then there was that video: thirty-six seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account.

Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed – until now. This book, compiled from the files found after his death, reveals the chilling details of Jack’s final hours.

2. The Song of Achilles ~ Madeline Miller

songof” The Song of Achilles is a beautifully written story of war, love, betrayal, and tragedy, written from the perspective of Patroclus- best friend and lover of Achilles, making this version of the legend more human than it is God-like.”

Review // Goodreads 

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Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’s mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny.

Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

1. Sanctuary Bay ~ Laura Burns & Melinda Metz

sanctuarybay“I absolutely loved Sanctuary Bay and couldn’t put it down! I liked the contrast between the futuristic-type technology at the school and that part of it was built on a POW camp, and how all of this is woven into a great mystery.”

Review // Goodreads

When Sarah Merson receives the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the most elite prep school in the country-Sanctuary Bay Academy-it seems almost too good to be true. But, after years of bouncing from foster home to foster home, escaping to its tranquil setting, nestled deep in Swans Island, couldn’t sound more appealing.

Swiftly thrown into a world of privilege and secrets, Sarah quickly realizes finding herself noticed by class charmer, Nate, as well as her roommate’s dangerously attentive boyfriend, Ethan, are the least of her worries. When her roommate suddenly goes missing, she finds herself in a race against time, not only to find her, but to save herself and discover the dark truth behind Sanctuary Bay’s glossy reputation.

 

           Books of the Month – 2016

End of Year Survey: 2015 #MyYearInBooks

This popular end-of-year survey is hosted by Jamie at the Perpetual Page Turner. To join in, click the link to visit the original post. 

2015survey1

  1. Number Of Books Read: 66
  2. Number of Re-Reads: 0!
  3. Genre You Read The Most From: YA

 

2015survey2

  1. Best Book You Read In 2015? 

    Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

  2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? 

    The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

  3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? 

    Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

  4.  Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? 

    Erm either The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black, or The Lunar Chronicles!

  5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015? 

    Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard
    The Kiss of Death – Marcus Sedgwick
    Winter – Marissa meyer

  6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2015? 

    Ahh so many…either Benjamin Alire Sáenz or Rosamund Lupton

  7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? 

    Fearless by Devon Hartford

  8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? 

    Red Queen

  9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? 

    The Darkest Part of the Forest/Ari & Dante/ Red Queen

  10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2015? 

    redqueen

  11. Most memorable character of 2015? 

    Ruby from The Quality of Silence

  12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015? 

    The Darkest Part of the Forest

  13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015? 

    Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin

  14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

    The Kiss of Death – Marcus Sedgwick. Published in 2008

  15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015? 

    “There are worst things in life than kissing boys” – Ari & Dante

  16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015? 

    Badjelly the Witch by Spike Milligan: 64 pgs
    Winter by marissa Meyer: 824 pgs

  17. Book That Shocked You The Most 

    The Quality of Silence

  18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!) 

    Ari & Dante / Cinder & Kai

  19. Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year 

    Hazel & Ben (Darkest part of the Forest) and Celaena & Rowan (Heir of Fire)

  20. Favourite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously 

    Winter

  21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: 

    Uhm none really. Though, a lot of people recommended James Dawson (Cruel Summer), and Rebel Belle to me.

  22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

    Rowan (Heir of Fire), follwed closely by Prince Cal (Red Queen)
  23. Best 2015 debut you read? 

    Red Queen

  24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? 

    The Darkest Part of the Forest

  25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? 

    Both Rebel belle (Rachel Hawkins) and Vengeance Road (Erin Bowman), were SO much fun!

  26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015? 

    Ari & Dante, The Darkest Part of the Forest, Golden Boy…too many!

  27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? 

    Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bellfrozencharlotte

  28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? 

    Golden Boy

  29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015? 

    The Light That gets Lost by Natasha Carthew

  30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? 

    Red Queen!

 

2015survey3

  1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2015? 

    There were quite a few but My Tiny Obsessions was the first one that came to mind.

  2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2015? 

    The Darkest Part of the Forest, I think.

  3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog? 

    I was really rubbish at doing discussion posts this year – none spring to mind!

  4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? 

    I really enjoyed Horror October again this year.

  5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015? 

    I was really pleased to be invited to the Vulieo Blog Awards, and a bloggers picnic – although I couldn’t attend either due to work and sickness 😦 Nice to be invited though!

  6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year? 

    Finding the time/motivation to keep going!

  7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)? 

    Despite being published in August 2014, This is Endgame was also my most viewed post of 2015

  8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? 

    All guest posts!

  9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? 

    Oh, I dunno! I checked out Audible for the first time but I still haven’t subscribed.

  10.   Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?Uhm no, I pretty much failed…but that’s OK!

2015survey4

  1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016? 

    Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

  2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)? 

    The Glass Sword (Red Queen #2)

  3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? 

    Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer

  4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016? 

    The glass Sword!

  5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016? 

    Keep going!

  6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone 

    n/a

Woah that was long, but fun! Feel free to leave the link to yours if you joined in.