2016 didn’t start out as a great year of reading for me. I graduated from university and found that for a while, my interest in reading just wasn’t there. Hey, that’s what a degree in literature can do. Eventually, I managed to pull myself out of the slump and read some great books, so I wanted to share them here. I’ll start with the most recent.
Frostblood by Elly Blake
I posted a full review of this book here. I received an ARC of Frostblood, and I’d never heard of it before, but I’m so glad I was introduced to it! It felt like just the book I needed in 2016: fun, action-packed, a great romance and, of course, magic. It comes out on January 12th in the UK, I believe, and I highly recommend it if you like fantasy.
The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan
Okay, technically this is a series, but I read the first three books this year and I was blown away by the writing and concept – I wrote full reviews for book one and two. The series follows Isabella Trent, who becomes a dragon naturalist in world that generally frowns upon women being scholars. I loved the Victorian feel and Isabella is such a great character.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but Elizabeth Gilbert’s take on the creative process/creative living is inspirational. I highlighted so many passages in this book and marked so many pages. It’s just full of wisdom and advice and I think it’s a must-read for any writer or artist, especially if you feel like you’re struggling.
Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Bernard
A YA contemporary, so not my usual genre, but I was blown away by this book, especially the friendship between the girls. It was so refreshing to read about. I also appreciated the way Sara Barnard depicted mental health problems and other important issues. It was done so well it actually made me feel emotional. A wonderful and important read.
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
I didn’t know what to expect with this book, but I ended up loving it and writing a full review. It combines so many things I enjoy in fiction – a Victorian setting, the gothic, mystery, fantastical elements, adventure. I wanted to read this book again as soon as I put it down, and that doesn’t happen very often!
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
I’m picking Radio Silence but I also loved Solitaire by the same author. This book is another YA contemporary – a genre I’ve found myself enjoying more and more this year. I loved the introverted, geeky characters, and the fact that the book centres around a podcast. I also related to the themes about university, particularly loneliness. I think this is a really important book and Alice Oseman definitely knows how to write about teen life.
So those are my top six! I wanted to keep the list short so this blog post didn’t go on forever, but it’s also worth mentioning that I loved The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon (read right at the start of the year), I am Malala, The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Despite a rocky start, 2016 turned out to be a pretty great year of reading, and I hope for the same in 2017!