Best of 2016

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If you knew me at all, you would know that I’m one of those people that waits until the New Year comes in until I compile my list of the Best and Worst of the year, mainly because I’m worried about these two situations:

A. “This book was the BEST book I’ve ever read in my entire life, but I didn’t wait until the New Year to compile my list, and it’s December 31st, ten minutes before midnight, and I’ve already compiled my list so no will hear my raves! NOOOOO!”

or

B. “This book was the absolute WORST book I’ve read this year, but I didn’t wait until the New Year to compile my list, and it’s December 31st, ten minutes before midnight, and I’ve already compiled my list so no one will hear my rants! NOOOOO!”

But, this year is a little different. I admit, I’ve been completely slacking this month on reading, mainly because I’ve been working on this blog and also, I over-reached my goal by around 80-90 books, so I’m treating myself. So, I decided it’d be harmless to go ahead and post my Top 10 Best and Worst of 2016 posts this week.

(Let’s hope and pray that a better or worst book doesn’t come along and overthrow my entire plan.)

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Dark Matter

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If that blurb doesn’t pull you in, I don’t know what will. But, seriously, this book was one of the biggest surprises of this year. I didn’t expect anything that happened nor did I think I’d get so absorbed in it as I did. I’m a sucker for speculative sci-fi – sort of like the brilliant TV show Black Mirror – and this one didn’t fail to please me. Not to mention that it had a little bit of a love story, and though I’m one to groan and roll my eyes if romances are included in genres they don’t belong in, I really enjoyed this one. And the ending was brilliant, though open-ended. I can’t speak any more praises.

*

Into the Darkest Corners

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This summer I discovered a new favorite genre: thrillers. And I’ve realized that one of my favorite types is “The Evil Boyfriend.” Nothing is more annoying than seeing a psychopath get away with his obsessive love, but it’s also a little entertaining (even though that sounds awful). Out of all the ones I’ve read, this one has definitely held up as the best of the bunch. Not only  was it completely addicting, but I loved the budding romance between Stuart and Cathy, and it was definitely interesting to get Before and After POVs. It was actually quite scary how similar Lee was to some of the so-called “heroes” of NA romance novels, and definitely shed light on domestic abuse.

(Also, that letter at the end? CHILLS!)

*

A Monster Calls

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CAN I SAY TEARS? While watching the Mrs. Peregrine’s movie, I saw a trailer for the movie adaptation of this book, and actually teared up. At that point, I hadn’t actually READ the book yet, but a couple weeks later, I did, and after finishing it, I was emotionally drained. Not only are the tales gorgeous, but the writing is truly beautiful,  with Conor’s emotions practically bleeding through the pages. Not to mention the great relationship shared between the monster and Conor. It’s such a fantastic book, and I highly recommend it. Not to mention that the movie looks perfect.

*

The Ice Twins

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Before reading this, I was in a sort of slump-y mood. I picked this one up on a whim, and the first two or three chapters were simply “meh.” I was ready to put it down, but then it started to get really good, and before I knew it, I was on this crazy addictive roller coaster. I mean, is there anything creepier than twins, especially ones claiming to be a dead one? A really good horror-thriller!

*

How to Repair a Mechanical Heart

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THIS WAS SO CUTE! This was one of those hidden gems that just popped up out of nowhere. I highly recommend for those who were huge fans of Fangirl and Carry On, and want something a little bit gayer. The romance between Brandon and Abel was so cute, and the little twist that gets thrown in a little bit into the book makes it even better. The book is genuinely funny – I haven’t laughed so hard reading a book in a long while – but also manages to balance the serious side, with Brandon constantly struggling being gay when he’s been basically brainwashed to think what he’s doing is wrong. It really is a beautiful book, and I highly recommend.

*

Gone Girl

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How could I start reading thrillers this year and not read one of the most famous thrillers in most recent years? This was actually the third Gillian Flynn book I read – Sharp Objects and Dark Places are both shorter, so I read them quicker – and, stereotypically, my favorite of hers. Even though I’m one to hate guys like Nick Dunne in domestic thrillers, he’s just so…likable? Annoying, but likeable. It also introduced me to Amy Dunne, probably one of my top female characters ever, and one of my favorite women in thrillers. And the famous “Cool Girl” quote is now my feminist anthem. The movie is probably one of my favorite book-to-movie adaptations I’ve ever watched, and will now be the standards adaptations have to reach (sorry!).

*

Night Film

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This was my first foray into the first thriller I fell in love with. Scott is the detective who feels like he’s lost it all, and I absolutely loved his character development throughout the novel. Hopper and Nora, the other two main characters who end up going along with the mystery of Ashley Cordova, and the little group they created was so beautiful. I was surprised to find myself welling up  with tears as they said their good-byes. The mystery surrounding Ashley Cordova was absolutely consuming, pulling you in and refusing to let you go. In the end, you don’t really get an answer to the mystery, which might bother others, but that was what was so great about it. The fact that though we as people like to make up stories, sometimes, what happened was painfully ordinary. And the unique format of the book with pictures and blog posts made it immersive as well.

*

The Song of Achilles

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This book was utterly painful to read. In a good way. If you know anything about the story of Achilles, you know that he dies at the end. So, basically, you get to read this gorgeous love story that ultimately leads to death, and you’re well aware of it. But you still read it anyway. The romance between Achilles and Patroclus was so beautiful and so sweet and so fluffy that I couldn’t stop smiling. Seeing the character development of Achilles is also sad to watch, as he distances himself from the only person that loves him, and the final 100 pages were just pure pain and tears, but the ending was beautiful, in its own way?

*

Dangerous Girls

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I have never been so emotionally invested in a book in my life. I’m one to throw my emotions into a book if it’s really good, which also means I’ll rant a lot in my head and talk to myself (I swear, not crazy). And boy, was I into this one. I was cheering so hard for Anna, who is blamed as the murderer of her best friend, especially since everyone was basically against her. But on the other hand, we have Tate, her boyfriend, who I like to refer to as “Satan’s Handsome Brother,” but whatever. It was really nice to see how the judicial system can work for and against someone, and how easily lying and cheating can come around. I also really loved the journalism aspect shown, and how media can play a huge part in how people’s opinion changes. I didn’t see the end of this one coming, and it definitely ruined the other YA thrillers I read this year.

*

The Troop

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This was the grossest book I’ve probably read ever. And I honestly don’t think I’ll read a grosser book in my lifetime. Nick Cutter has a way with words that make you cringe and gape at the pages (which I did both profusely as I read this). You get so easily attached to the boys (okay, two of them are pretty bad, but the other three are great), and cheer them on. And it’s really sickening how the scientists and army handle the situation as the boys suffer. And, again, with a chilling ending (I’m a sucker for those).

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And that’s it for my Top 10 Books of 2016! Of course, I read SO many fantastic books this year (and I’ll hopefully continue to read more since it’s not over yet), but these were just some of my very, very favorites!

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What were some of your favorite books this year?

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6 thoughts on “Best of 2016

    • Yes, The Ice Twins and Gone Girl were so great! Ooh, Dark Matter is brilliant; I hope you love it! Into the Darkest Corner was dark, but still one of my favorite “evil boyfriend” books out there. And A Monster Calls just stomped on my heart. XD

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: All-Time Favorite Stand-Alones | the well-thumbed reader

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