I only gave three books 5 stars this year. But, happily, I gave seven books 4.5 stars which means I can do a top 10!
I read and reviewed 117 this year. Only three of them got 5 stars. I think I may be getting pickier with my 5 stars as I get older!
There were also seven books which came very close to those elusive 5 stars, so I’ve included them here too.
Click on the book title for my full review. Click on the book cover to go to Goodreads.
Here we go!
1/3. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga (reviewed 8th March 2016)
The first book in the Jasper Dent trilogy is nail-biting and utterly compelling. Sadly I didn’t enjoy parts 2 and 3 as much as the opening installment, but this is a series well worth checking out if you don’t mind serial killer thrillers and the odd bit of teenage angst.
2/3. Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye (reviewed 16th June 2016)
I loved this. And you don’t need to have read or like Jane Eyre to have fun reading Lyndsay Faye’s story.
3/3. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (reviewed 23rd June 2016)
That said, if you are completely unfamiliar with the story of Achilles, the background to the Siege of Troy and the fall of the city, the start of the book could be very confusing… I’d encourage you to stick with it if you can!
(so close… just missing something, often something I can’t put my finger on)
1/7. This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by V. E. Schwab (reviewed 18th July 2016)
Victoria Schwab continues to produce excellent, imaginative fiction. This Savage Song is violent, creepy and fiercely moral. All in a good way.
I’m looking forward to reading the second half of the story – Our Dark Duet – in 2017.
2/7. A Gathering of Shadows (A Darker Shade of Magic #2) by V. E. Schwab (reviewed 25th February 2016)
Another great year for Schwab! I didn’t enjoy part two of the Shades of Magic trilogy as much as book 1 – A Darker Shade of Magic – but it was still brilliant.
Can’t wait for the final part of the trilogy – A Conjuring of Light – which is out in February 2017. I will be getting nothing done the day it’s published!
3/7. Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo (reviewed 14th January 2016)
Truly brilliant. There are so many plot strands and viewpoints here but they are handled superbly. Impressive work. I didn’t love the second part of the story, Crooked Kingdom, quite as much as Six of Crows, but this is a wonderful duology and I can’t wait to see what Bardugo writes next.
4/7. Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff (reviewed 8th August 2016)
5/7. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce #4) by Alan Bradley
I listened to the audio book and it was wonderful. I didn’t realise this was the fourth book in a series and I’ve since read the rest of the books over the Christmas holidays. They’re all great (series review to come!).
A precocious, chemistry-obsessed 11-year old sleuth sets about beating the police at their own game in this 1950s-set murder mystery. If I’d read these growing up, I might have liked chemistry more.
6/7. Victoria by Daisy Goodwin (reviewed 17th November 2016)
I read this because I’d watched and enjoyed the TV series. I was pleased to find the book was just as enjoyable, even if it did end too early for my liking (the TV series gives us another year of events past the end of the book).
I hope Goodwin keeps writing TV screenplays and scripts. Let’s face it: Victoria’s reign was long enough to give her the raw material!
7/7. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (reviewed 8th December 2016)
A castaway tale featuring the multiverse and other mind-bending theories? But which also reminded me of Quantum Leap? Step forward Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. A gripping story of one man’s struggle to get home.
Those were my top 10 books of 2016! Did you read any of these? What did you make of them?
What were your favourite books this year? Let me know in the comments and leave me links to your “2016 in review” posts so I can check them out 🙂
Claire Huston / Art and Soul