It is officially 2017 now, and since I am trying to get back to blogging after a few months of absence from this platform, I knew that looking back on my reading year of 2016 was the best option. I was torn between the top ten books and this survey, but the latter looks a bit more challenging, and I want to dedicate more time for my official come-back post. Maybe I will do the former post as well later on, maybe not. Although I will be completing only the first section of this survey, it still leaves me with quite a lot of difficult questions ahead. So I better get started now…
Before I start, I just want to credit the creator of this excellent survey, allowing readers to reflect on their reading of the previous year. Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner is the one hosting this wonderful survey, and I could not pass the opportunity to participate.
2016 has been a good year for me reading-wise. I have read 60 books, surpassing my Goodreads challenge of 50, with quite a few exceptional reads.
I am not a person who ever re-reads the books (with Harry Potter being the only exception, and it happening years after reading it in the first place), so I can only share my number of the new books (at least for me).
2016 was also a year when I rediscovered my love for fantasy, mainly YA, realising that it is not really silly at all, but can be really intense, creative, smart, and magical. So, therefore, fantasy was the dominant genre of the books I’ve read in 2016.
1. Best Book You Read In 2016?
Although 2016 has gifted me with many great reads, It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover comes as a true winner. This book affected me deeply, changing my perspective of things I was so sure I would never change my opinion about. It is a very emotional read, which surpassed any other book that I have read in the previous year, and none of the others could simply measure up to this one.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Whether it is as a result of every incredibly great thing I have heard about this book prior to reading it, or that the storyline was the one I have heard before way too many times, Eleanor and Park just did not do it for me. I guess me being late to the party was at play here, and I wonder if my opinion would have been different if I have read this book earlier, being unaware of the hype surrounding it.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Not that astounding plot-wise, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I have enjoyed this book. Truly, when I started Clockwork Angel, my expectations were quite low, since I thought that The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare was pretty mediocre. But I got so attached to all these characters and so invested in the story, that it ended up surprising me a great deal.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I believe this book will appear on numerous questions in this post as it impacted me greatly. After reading it, I pushed all my friends to read it as well (and it is not an ordinary task since my friends do not read that much). I do believe that this book should be read by everyone, and will be the one I will be recommending to everybody for years to come.
5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?
It is quite a difficult question since series was my thing this year, but I will try to choose wisely.
Best Series I started would have to be The Infernal Devices, proving me that authors should be given second chances. Although I do not think this series is that outstanding quality-wise, but it definitely sucked me up to the magical world and did not let go.
Best Sequel would have to be Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas. To this day, I cannot stop feeling utterly disappointed by the turnout of the progression of the series. Although I and the series have more of a hate rather than love relationship, this book blew my mind, delivering everything a reader can hope for from a sequel.
The Best Series Ender without a doubt is The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski. I don’t believe I have ever read a more satisfying ending, where everything I wished for was delivered to me, without a drop of more or less than required. It made me hurt, it made me laugh, and overall, it was the perfect end to a truly wonderful series.
6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2016?
I guess I will go with Marissa Meyer. She delivers insanely intense storylines, creates highly compelling characters, produces an incredibly entertaining plot, and makes sure you do not spend a minute bored, even if the book is more than 800 pages long!
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Science fiction is a genre I do not consider to be for me. I was never a star wars fan, and all the space stuff does not really peak my interest. Nevertheless, Illuminae convinced be that sometimes it is not a bad thing to get out of your comfort zone. This book had everything – action, love, intensity, and most of all, creativity – both in the storyline and in narration.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
I have to go with Wolf by Wolf for this category. Not only this book came as a total surprise, but throughout the whole read, it has kept me on the edge of my seat. It was definitely one thrilling ride, filled with many twists and turns on every corner.
9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Although I do not tend to re-read books, I have a feeling that I will be getting back to this one someday. It might not be in 2017 precisely, but I do believe that I will need to read this powerful novel again.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?
Even though the book was quite disappointing, the cover was not.
11. Most memorable character of 2016?
Although I am not as mesmerised with Sarah J. Maas as half the world seems to be, and do not consider ACOMAF to be the best book ever, Rhysand still has to be the most memorable character of this year. The character’s development was truly magnificent, and if not for the insane hype surrounding this book, I might be able to love it a bit more.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?
No competition there, Renee Ahdieh has a gift, and throughout the whole book, the whole series in fact, I could not stop admiring her way with words. The Rose and the Dagger is a wonderfully written masterpiece, and I highly recommend it.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?
Again, I go with this one, but what can I do, it did change my life. It is funny how you go your whole life thinking you definitely know the situation and the appropriate reaction to it, and you really don’t. It also helped me realise the reason behind my flawed relationship with my grandfather, and why it will never get better. But enough with being cryptic. Just read this book if you haven’t already.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read?
I mean, I was supposed to read this in school, I guess it took me finishing university to finally get to this one.
15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?
“All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t the mistakes we make. It’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.”
–Colleen Hoover, It Ends With Us
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?
Shortest (92 pages) Longest (832 pages)
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
I just did not see any plot-twists coming in this one, everything was so intense and ground-breaking. The next book also shocked me quite a lot, like how can a book series go so downhill.
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
There have been quite a few pairings that got me crazily invested in the books this year, but I have to go with Arin and Kestrel. I loved how their relationship progressed, how they were developed as characters, but not just for the sake of romantic angst, and how the relationship was resolved. I will have to go with the relationship that makes me happy, not the one that will anger me forever *cough Chaol and Celaena cough*.
19. Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Will and Jem, enough said. The whole parabatai bond in this series was the most beautiful thing, and more authors should focus on friendship bonds.
20. Favourite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
The Catcher in the Rye, I guess. Usually I am the one that does the recommending. I have started like 3 books based on the suggestions of others this year, yet I have not finished any of them. Probably best if I stick to finding the books I want to read myself.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?
Arin from The Winner’s Curse series. His character was amazing, and I did want to go with someone other than Rhysand.
23. Best 2016 debut you read?
Pretty sure I have not read any. I am usually late to the party.
24. Best World-building/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Marissa Meyer has done wonders with her series, especially the world build-up.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
I smiled so much while reading Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda that my face really started to hurt. This is such a feel-good book, with a highly entertaining main character, that it is just impossible not to love this one.
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?
Since I am quite a cryer when it comes to books, it would be like 50% of my reads. So instead I will just go with the one that made me cry the most. And surprise surprise, it is my favourite book of the year! I guess I just really love the books that destroy me emotionally.
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
I’ll Meet You There is definitely the hidden gem that I found this year. The story was so beautiful and tragic, and it just made me feel. It was a great romance of second chances and finding silver linings during the darkest of times.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Yup, this one again. Totally crushed my soul in the best possible way.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?
It definitely was the most unique Beauty and the Beast retelling that I have read, for sure. Cruel Beauty builds a mesmerising world, mixing fairy tales with ancient Greek mythology, and it is something I have never seen before. Plus, the story is very compelling, making it a really great read.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Don’t even start with me on this one, destroying one of my favourite series. It had so much potential, and everything was flushed down the toilet. I need some time (like years) before I am calm enough to continue with the series (probably just to be able to rant about it more).
So here it is, my reflection on the books that I have read in 2016. I know I have not completed the survey fully, but I feel like this post has been long enough. Otherwise, I doubt I will go to sleep today. Also, I guess my writing skills are a bit rusty after a few months of absence.
So these are my opinions. I would love to hear if we share any of the same ones, or if you disagree with me on some of my choices. Most of all, I just want to wish you a good reading year in 2017!
It is good to be back.