Top 10 Reads of 2016: Girls on Fire, A Court of Thorns and Roses and more

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As the clocks struck twelve on new year’s eve, I think the human race took a collective sigh of relief that 2016 was finally over! The year that gave us Brexit, Donald Trump, the death of Harambe, killer clowns, and too many celebrity deaths to think about, didn’t have much going for it. But it did, however, provide some brief respite in the slew of major book releases to storm the book market. So, with books becoming my safe space for the year, I managed to read a total of 256 of them. Here’s my countdown of my top ten reads of the year 2016.

  • 4 by a male author
  • 6 by a female author
  • 1 literary fiction
  • 8 fantasy
  • 1 contemporary
  •  6 are a pre-2016 release
  •  4 are a 2016 release
  • 2 are ebooks
  • 7 are paperbacks
  • 1 is a hardback

 

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Available in the UK and the US.

Read my full review here.

My first, largest and favourite read of 2016! The Name of the Wind is the first instalment in The Kingkiller Chronicles and has received massive literary acclaim. This fat, fantasy tome is told in an intimate narrative that reveals the first portion of protagonist, Kvothe’s, life; detailing his years as the child of a travelling performing troupe, a feral orphan, a member of a legendary magical academy and a fugitive on the run.



 

 

Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman 

Available in the UK and the US.

Read my full review here.

Released in 2016, this was the book that introduced me to the dark contemporary genre. The dark and brooding atmospheric quality of the narrative immediately sucked me in and I tore through this book in a matter of hours! Focusing on the story of an obsessive, teenage, female friendship, this does not make for light reading and contains some potential triggers.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOVU5y5ASJu/?taken-by=dannii.elle.reads

 

Whispers of a Storm by Anthony Lavisher

Available in the UK and the US.

Read my full review here.

This is the first instalment in a high-fantasy trilogy that culminated in December 2016 with the publication of Vengeance of a Storm. This high fantasy tale follows the lives of an immigrant stonemason and a sheltered noblewoman, and what happens when their two worlds collide. Full of throne politics and high-action escapades, and set in the magical and mystical Four Vales, there was no way this was not making my top ten list!

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Available in the UK and the US.

Read my full review here.

Sarah J. Maas proved herself Queen of the young adult genre with her New York Times’ bestselling series, Throne of Glass. Her most recent fantasy series, a fairy-tale retelling set in a world where faeries and humans collide, proved to be just as hyped, and with good reason! This epic first instalment provided unforgettable characters, a unique magic system and a complex world that brilliantly set up the next seven books to come, in this high-fantasy series.

 

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas 

Available in the UK and the US.

Read my full review here.

My three-word review, about the second book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, sums up the entirety of my thoughts on this book! The third book, A Court of Wind and Ruin, is set for release in early 2017. Read more about it here.

 

 

 

Furthermore by Taherah Mafi 

Available in the UK and the US.

Read my full review here.

I had to admit that I had mixed opinions when young adult author (and one half of the YA powerhouse couple, along with Ransom Riggs), Taherah Mafi, released her new middle-grade novel in the summer of 2016. The premise – a colourless girl in a world where colour is magic – intrigued and perplexed me. The delivered story was quietly witty, beautifully penned and utterly charming. This book, I believe, is one of those timeless classic pieces of literature that can be enjoyed by all ages. Speculation is still rife over whether this will form part of a larger series or continue to work as a stand-alone novel.

 

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Available in the UK and the US.

Read my full review here.

Man Booker Prize winner of 2015 is a disturbing and unsettling, yet powerful and poignant, account of the life of Yeong-hy, set against the backdrop of modern day South Korea. I, to this day, have yet to read such an emotionally powerful book as this!

 

 

 

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff 

Available in the UK and the US.

Read my full review here.

Kristoff, one-half of the genius duo that brought us, Illuminae, penned his first solo venture in 2016. Nevernight features a bad-ass, female, trainee assassin, with a cat-that-is-not-a-cat shadowy companion, and set in a world built in the bones of a human skeleton. Yes, it is every bit as bizarre and brilliant as it sounds!

 

 

 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Available in the UK and the US.

Read my full review here.

My first experience of Gaiman’s writing was a beautiful and bizarre one. This introduced me to the wonders of the magical realism genre and made me a firm believer in the magic of Gaiman, himself: his penmanship, with his lyrical and transcendent tone, is unrivalled.

 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 

Available in the UK and the US.

Read my full review here.

“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.”

This was the grand total of my knowledge of this marvellous story, before diving into it, and it should be yours, too.

 

 

So from 256, I (somehow!) managed to whittle my list of miracle reads down to just ten. What were the standout reads of your year? Do we share any of the same favourites? Share them with me in the comment section, down below.

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