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Best of 2016!

2016 wasn’t an amazing reading year but no matter what kind of reading year it is, a few will always emerge as my favorites. Eve @ Eve Messenger’s Otherworldly Endeavors kindly tagged me in a “Best of 2016” tag and I’m going to try and incorporate it into my favorites!

So here are some of the best that will not be mentioned in my favorites.

Books so Fun They Felt Like Reading Parties

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The main character reminds me of the bitch from Cats Don’t Dance both physically and personality wise. This graphic novel also reminds me a lot of Wreck it Ralph but for adults.

 

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omg she was so evil..
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Excerpt (my picture)
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There’s a princess, dragons, a prince, political scheming and old-school fantasy characters. Young Carolyn would have been ecstatic. Present Carolyn was still pretty ecstatic

 

 

Best Female Protagonist

Is it weird to say that my favorite is Wonder Woman? I found and fell in love with her this year. She stands for everything I have come to love in my changing life: wonder and courage but also the utmost compassion.

Best Book Boyfriend

Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables. I just think he is funny but also very honorable and loyal. I love him.

Best Cover

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Look how gorgeous this Puffin edition is?? I borrowed it from library just so I can take pictures of it. Oh and read it.
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How exquisite.

Favorite Audiobook

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I kind of love her voice and her sarcasm “voice” is so similar to mine.

The #1 Book No One Else Seems to Like But Me

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Plenty of people like this book I know but just as many people don’t like it. 

I’m also adding categories:

Best Play

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An unexpected look at the different ways people deal with grief. 

Best Graphic Novels

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I’ve read so many WW comics this year and I don’t understand why this character is so hard to write about. But thankfully this one did not disappoint.
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I like the idea of your future self meeting your younger self which is exactly what I got in this sequel. Also a ton of action and a stellar ending.

Now on to my favorites of 2016!! I’ve only included 8 this year and there was never any doubt that they would end up on this list. Banners will all link to my review =)

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Best Small Press Standalone

Author: Silvia Moreno Garcia

I find it funny how glad I am to leave my high school days behind but somehow want to read about characters that are finding themselves in high school settings. Maybe it’s the accuracy and grace with which Garcia portrays teens with a not-so-great home life navigating high school. But I think more than anything, I love coming-of-age stories that illustrate friendship in all its frustrations but ultimately its glories. A stand out story that features magical realism and the weaving of folklore and music.

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Author: Shaun David Hutchinson

I just loved my coming-of-age this year. Like Signal to Noise, it’s not a straight up contemporary but includes hints of science fiction that blend together so nicely with its more realistic aspects. This book is standout among its type because it gives layers to all of its characters, the bully is not just the bully because there needs to be a bully in a YA contemporary and the brother doesn’t exist just to be an asshole, even if you don’t like them, you can sometimes glimpse an understanding of them. It is pessimistic but inspiring all at once and so genuinely written, it will be hard not to love.

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Best Plot Twist

Author: Marisha Pessl

Night Film was so deliciously creepy and eerie. I loved the mystery, the suspense and that plot twist at the end was so mind boggling. And to top it all off, it gives such a unique reading experience with its addition of articles and blogs and photos interspersed throughout.

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Best Worldbuilding

Best Setting

Author: Becky Chambers

Whenever I think about this book, I think about how wondrous this world really is (as cheesy as that sounds). It’s also one of those books where you just sit in awe at how they could create a world like this, a world so teeming with possibility and comfort you kind fo wish it was real. Becky Chambers just turns your expectations of gender, orientation, culture, and identity upside down in the most unexpected and wonderful ways possible. It sort of harkens back to what Star Trek use to be, a low-stakes (for the most part) heartwarming scifi opera.

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Author: Jung Yun

As Shelter progressed, it grew a lot more intense that I expected. There’s that sense of claustrophobia and ominous foreboding. The main character is also deeply flawed as main characters go but what it does best is explore the intersection of family fidelity and individualism that a lot of Asian cultures face and explores the extent of human endurance.

It’s down to my last three!! Let’s go…

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Best Sequel

Author: Libba Bray

Libba Bray’s writing is so, so underrated. It takes a couple of years between her books but you know that each second of her writing time is dedicated to details of making 1920’s New York seem as real as possible. I also really respect the diversity of her characters and that she doesn’t blame the historical period for not including people from other walks of life.

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Favorite Series

Author: Marie Rutkoski

This is the third book in The Winner’s Trilogy and while I loved her writing in the previous two books, this third book just showcases how exquisite her writing is. It just hits all the sentimentality and the dramatic that I love in writing. The plot was even more intense than ever and it was almost the perfect conclusion I wanted from this series. Kestrel will always remain one of my favorite female characters of all time. I will be rereading this series for many years to come.

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Most Devastating Read

Author: Bryan Stevenson

I always save my favorite book for something that worms its way into my heart and opens it in unexpected ways. Last year, it was A Little Life and this year, it’s no less emotional in Just Mercy. This book talks about those who have always been sidelined and talks about them with such compassion. This book broke my heart and really forced me to think about the laws that I have always  stood by and turned them upside down.

Those are my favorite books of 2016! I’m accompanied with that same sense of sadness and hope that follows me at the end of every year. Let me know what you think of my choices. I want to thank you all for reading my blog this year. I have so many plans for this blog for next year and I hope you’ll be there with me. I hope you’re having a wonderful New Year’s Eve and I will see you next year in 2017 😉

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8 thoughts on “Best of 2016!

  1. I loved reading this post, Carolyn! 😊

    I’ve heard of We Are The Ants but never thought to pick it up. But, if you like it, I’ll definitely love to give it a go! I totally know what you mean by reading about characters in high school. For me, it feels so nostalgic and I find the dynamic in high school (esp American high schools haha) very interesting.

    I have A Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet waiting for me at the library! I requested it awhile ago because I saw how everyone loved it, so I hope this will be the book that gets me out of my reading slump. ;_;

    It sounds like you read some awesome books in 2016! I hope you read even better books in 2017, and discover new favourites. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you enjoyed reading it CW! :3 I think you would really enjoy We are the Ants! It’s simply amazing and it’s also a #ownvoices book too. Well said, I think I really like the huge sense of self-discovery in high school..
      I think it will get you out of that reading slump! It’s so great.
      Thank you!! =) I hope you find some good ones as well. I think you found some really great books in 2016 though 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhh, this is such a great tag! IDK if I will steal it for my own blog because I’m already gonna be doing a TON of recap posts (+ goal-ish posts) in the next few days/weeks, but it was fun to read yours. 🙂

    I also started reading Wonder Woman comics this year! I love that hero so sooo much. 😀

    AHHHHH WHAT EVEN I DID NOT KNOW THE SECOND VOLUME OF PAPER GIRLS HAD BEEN PUBLISHED OK UM EXCUSE ME WHILE I RUSH OFF TO THE LIBRARY TO FIND A COPY.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel you! I still have my 2017 goals post to do and my december wrap up and favorites and possibly a favorite movies of 2016 but there’s so many and not enough time LOL. Maybe you can combine this one with your favorite books of 2016 ?
      Me too! Ugh I love Wonder Woman and I’m so excited for the movie coming out this year. June cannot come soon enough.
      YES! And I thought the second volume was even better than the first one! Everything is starting to make more sense to me in terms of the plot and I love the girls :3

      Like

  3. Cats Don’t Dance was one of my childhood favorites, that girl used to terrify me, lol. A lot of your books are on my TBR right now. Hopefully I’ll get to read them in 2017. Libba Bray is so underrated, her historical fiction is amazing! I still have to read The Diviners.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’ll really enjoy them!! Since you’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction too, I think you would really, really like Just Mercy too. It’s one of my favorite nonfiction period.

      Like

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