This year I tried to expand my reading to incorporate more female authors and more diverse topics and as a result I read some outstanding books. I’ve been thinking long and hard over the Christmas holiday about which books were my favourites and finally, after many agonising sleepless nights (I may be exaggerating a tad) I have come up with my list.
These books weren’t necessarily released this year, just ones that I happened to read in 2016.
I’ve tried to come up with categories as well as picking one overall winner, so check out my choices, check out these books if you haven’t yet read them, and let me know your thoughts or your picks for the year.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
So strong is Alice Oseman’s talent at creating realistic, believable, and totally human characters, that I still can’t stop thinking about them 7 months later. Read if you want to understand the diverse expressions of love and respect teenagers are capable of.
Best book read in one sitting
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Just what 2016 needed, a beautiful, uplifting, happy gay romance. Read if you want to fall in love or have your heart mended.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, narrated by Jason Isaacs
A Monster Calls is a heart-breaking story even without the beautiful narration by Jason Isaacs, but this audio book was deeply moving and a perfect telling of the Siobhan Dowd tale.
Ace of Spiders by Stefan Mohamed
More superpowers, more drama, more romance, more peril. This follow-up to the phenomenal Bitter Sixteen is every bit as outstanding. Read if you want a modern, fresh, super-hero tale of teenage boy angst.
Best Soul-Destroying Read
The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury
In The Sleeping Prince Melinda succeeds in doing exactly what she always sets out to. Building your hopes up, making you cosy and comfortable, and then eviscerating you, dragging your heart out and setting it on fire, then warming herself in the glow of your pathetic remains. Runner-up for my book of the year and a perfect second book in the Sin Eaters Daughter trilogy. Read if it’s no longer 2016, so you’ll be emotionally ready for it
Book of the Year
Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence
I picked Orangeboy as my book of the year not only because I loved it, but because it’s the one book I think everyone should read. Characters so painfully human in their choices that you can’t help but love them and want to protect them. It’s a gripping tale full of drama, but also full of love and hope, beautifully written and relevant to all our lives.