Monday, December 19, 2016

My Favorite Books of the Year

Guys, I have read some really great books this year and, well, some not so great books.  Many YA novels have let me down this year, but on the other hand, I read some really great adult novels that I have been meaning to read for quite awhile.  

Here are my favorite books of the year and I've included some books that I read that are "older" or considered backlist due to their publication date. If you are interested in my thoughts regarding any of these titles, you can find my reviews alphabetized by author in my review archive

1.  The Girl in the Castle by Santa Montefiore - I loved being swept away to County Cork, Ireland in the early 1900s. The setting is gorgeous, the characters are memorable, and it's the part of a promising new series. 

2.  Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory - Gregory is one of my favorite authors, so it should come as no surprise that her latest novel was one of my favorites of the year. Even though I thought my interest in the Tudors was waning, Gregory somehow always keeps me interested. 

3.  One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid - I absolutely fell in love with this novel. The writing is beautiful, the plot is completely engrossing, and it really made me think. It was a smart read, but totally appropriate for vacation as well....which makes it the best kind of read in my opinion!

4.  America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie - Such a compelling historical novel! I loved learning more about Thomas Jefferson's eldest daughter, Patsy.  I also appreciate the fact that this book highlights a female whose story would normally go unnoticed, especially in the shadow of Jefferson.

5.  Victoria by Daisy Goodwin - Not only did this book get me excited for PBS's upcoming show, it also got me interested in Victoria as a young queen and her experiences before Prince Albert came in the picture. 

6. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld - I love Pride and Prejudice and I was worried that this modern retelling would leave me wanting more, but that was not the case. I adored it!

7.  The One That Got Away by Leigh Himes - I loved this debut, which takes place in my hometown and surrounding areas. It was such a fun read and one that is perfect for vacation! It made me think of the different paths that we take in life and the possible outcomes.

1.  A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas - It's rare that I enjoy the second book in a series as much as the first book, but of course Maas does it again. She is one of the best YA authors out there and no one competes with her when it comes to her characterization and world building. I highly recommend this series to fans of fantasy as well as strong heroines.

2.  With Malice by Eileen Cook - I rarely find a YA mystery to be compelling. In fact many of the mysteries are super predictable, but that was not the case with this novel. It was engaging, smart, and very addicting. It's my favorite YA mystery of the year and felt like a murder mystery ripped from the headlines.

3.  Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys- This is my favorite book of the year. Sepetys knows how to write a historical novel that will stay with you long after you finish it. This novel had me sobbing uncontrollably and it had me googling the little-known tragedy featured in its pages. It made me want to learn more the Wilhelm Gustloff, w
hich is the mark of a great novel. It's such a powerful book.

4.  This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills - I LOVE this book! I want to bottle up the dialogue and read it on a rainy day over and over again, because it was just that damn witty. I also want to be friends with the characters in this novel and I loved Sloane's relationship with her father. Mills is such a great writer and I think writes the best dialogue after John Green and Emery Lord.

5.  The Season of You and Me by Robin Constantine - This book was one of my favorite "beach reads" of the year and in turn one of my favorite books of the year. I loved everything from the Jersey Shore setting to the unconventional romance in the novel.  

6.  The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson - I love Matson's novels and while it took me awhile to warm up to this one, I absolutely adored the second half of the novel as well as all of the dogs featured in it. I like the idea of an unplanned summer and being open to all the possibilities. But that ending. Swoon!

7.  When We Collided by Emery Lord - Like Emma Mills, Emery Lord writes fantastic dialogue and her characterization is also extremely well done. This book made me think. I love that about Lord's novels; plus, it featured an important topic: mental health.  It was not only serious, but had a strong romance, which balanced it out perfectly. 

Favorite "Backlist Novels - 2015 or Older:

1.  Villa America by Liza Klaussmann - I saved this novel to read while on my vacation and it was the perfect historical beach read. Klaussman not only impressed me as a writer (she had me crying in the first twenty pages, which is a tough feat!) I adored her cast of characters. Plus, it didn't hurt that the setting was to-die-for.  I loved being lost in the world of the beautiful French Riveria and brushing elbows with the Fitzgeralds, Hemingways, and more.

2.  Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid - This was my introduction to Taylor Jenkins Reid and I was thoroughly impressed. Much like The One That Got Away, this book examines that other road in life you were thinking of taking and could have happened. 

3.  Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer - My one goal this year was to get caught up with The Lunar Chronicles series and I really loved Scarlet as well as Cress. I look forward to finishing this series in 2017, but I am sad to see it end!

4.  Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - I FINALLY read this book and I knew it would be fantastic. It made me laugh, it made me think, and it tugged on my heartstrings. I loved that I was able to watch the move directly after I finished the novel. It is such a memorable book and Will is one of my favorite characters of the year!

2016 Honorable Mentions:

  • The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price by Jennifer Maschari (2016 MG Favorite)
  • Wanderlost by Jen Malone (2016 YA Favorite)
  • Banished (Forbidden #2) by Kimberley G. Little (2016 YA Favorite)
  • The Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider (2016 YA Favorite)
  • Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood (2016 YA Favorite)
  • The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown (2016 Adult Fiction Favorite)
  • A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams (2016 Adult Fiction Favorite)
  • The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger (2016 Adult Fiction Favorite)

Backlist Honorable Mentions:

  • Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer  (Backlist YA Favorite)
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (Backlist YA Favorite)
  • The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty (Backlist Adult Fiction Favorite) 
  • Drums of Autumn (Outlander #4)  by Diana Gabaldon  (Backlist Adult Fiction Favorite)

So, what are some of your favorite novels that you read this year? What do you think of my list? Let me know in the comments below.


  1. Ack. I know I have to do a post like this one at some point. But I feel like I've read so many wonderful novels this year that it's going to be a tough job to do. I'm glad to see a few books here that I've read that would more than likely make my Best Of list as well.

    1. I hear you! It was tough to narrow it all down. I'm glad you agree with some of my choices. Thanks for visiting, Joy!

  2. Me Before You would definitely be on my list, too. I quickly became obsessed with that book and the movie! I also agree with you on The Unexpected Everything. I'd say it's my second favorite Matson novel, but if the first half had been trimmed just a bit, it could have very easily been my favorite. What a great list you have here!

    ~ Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

  3. I'm so glad to see Victoria on your list! I stumbled across it at the bookstore and it sounds pretty good.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    1. I hope you enjoy it, Krystianna! It has me excited for the new PBS show. Thanks for visiting!

  4. Loved this post! I'm literally bookmarking it so I can come back to it later for recommendations! I really liked The Unexpected Everything too! :)

    1. Thanks so much, Michele! I'm glad you enjoyed that novel as well. I am a big fan of Matson. Thanks for visiting!

  5. So many great books on your list. Some of these I still haven't read like the new Emma Mills novel. I'll have to get to that next year.

    America's First Daughter was excellent (thanks for the recommendation!) and I loved A Court of Mist and Fury. Salt to the Sea will also be making my favorites list.

    1. I hope you read Emma Mill's's fantastic and I think you'd enjoy it. I'm glad you enjoyed America's First Daughter. I definitely enjoyed it as well! I look forward to finding out which books made your "favorites" list. Thanks for visiting!

  6. I loved One True Loves! Maybe in Another Life is on my list. I really liked After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid as well.

    1. Me too! You should definitely check out Maybe in Another Life as well! Thanks for visiting, Chrissy!

  7. I just picked up America's First Daughter from the library. I'm looking forward to it.


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