Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Top ten; the best books I have read in 2016!

I found this idea on Instagram today and it got me thinking about all the wonderful books I have read this year. I ended up with twelve... it was awful trying to cut it down. I have no self control, at least where books are concerned anyway!

1. Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven:

I fell in love with Jennifer Niven and her writing almost immediately. All the Bright Places is one of my all time favourite novels. Holding up the Universe was equally lovely. She is an absolutely wonderful person, with one of the biggest hearts I've ever come across. Libby was such a relatable and loveable character.

2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas:

The sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses, this time, retold the tale of Hades and Persephone. Sarah J Maas is an author I only discovered this year. Her story telling is something to be forever envious of. Throne of Glass was brilliant and I have even more appreciation for this new, incomplete, series. Additionally... Rhysand. Is it possible to fall in love with fictional characters? If so, I have been in love many times over!

Rhysand, Theodore Finch, Fitzwilliam Darcy, George Knightly....

3. Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them by J K Rowling.

I read this after not having finished the entire Harry Potter series. (I've still yet to read Half Blood Prince and the Deathly Hallows). I loved it! I'll admit that I had reservations based on it being a screenplay. This was something I was able to ignore though, and read past. I loved seeing the Wizarding world from another perspective!

4. Heartless by Marissa Meyer

See review for my pointless ramblings about this book!

5. Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

Having read and seen the film P.S I Love You and heard glowing reviews from Love, Rosie, this was surprising from Ahern. Normally I find her books an easy and contenting read. However, nothing spectacular. Flawed was not only her first YA book, but also her first science fiction book. The three concepts blended together perfectly. This novel was thought provoking, emotional, and intellectually thrilling!

6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix- J K Rowling:

Having never read any Harry Potter when I was younger, I've surprised myself by actually enjoying them on this first occasion. I've been watching the films on ITV for the past three days, and have been irritating everyone by pointing out the differences between the films and novels. One of my lecturer's at university doesn't think very highly of Rowling, but credit where credit is due, she has a great talent! Order of the Phoenix took the longest time of all of the books but I enjoyed it the most. I took a great dislike to Umbridge, however her terrifyingly pink and feline filled office amused me to no end! Hermoine will always be my favourite. The film is on ITV tomorrow!

7. The Heart Goes Last- Margaret Atwood

This will be a short one because I honestly do not feel I could accurately describe this book to anybody. A friend of mine recommended it to me and she tried to explain it. Having read it, I understand why her explanation seemed confusing. I enjoyed this book a great deal! Atwood truly does put 'the human heart to the ultimate test'! This book was terrifyingly wonderful.

8. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

I've read almost all of Hoover's books this year. All except November 9th, I think. This was the most recent of her novels, and also one of the last ones that I read. The development I witnessed in her writing was absolutely amazing! Hoover was evidently stronger, and more self assured and that was remarkable to Witness. Hoover's novels are normally light-hearted and I am able to stay on the periphery. Not this time. Not with It Ends With Us. Lily was admirable and I felt attached to her in some way. The phrase that came to mind when reading her was Hemingway: 'the world breaks everyone, and afterward some are strong at the broken places'.  Not once did I pity her, I didn't feel that she needed my pity. Lily's character was beautiful and brave.

9. A Girl is a Half Formed Thing by Eimear McBride

A Girl is a Half Formed Thing was a book I was subjected to by university. I found it challenging, due to it being written in a stream of consciousness. However, it was something I enjoyed reading because it was challenging. At the time, I rated it only 3 stars on Goodreads. Though upon reflection I can put this down to the fact that I had to write an assignment on it. However, recently I've re-read it. This time, I was able to read it for pleasure. Rather than searching for something in which to write an essay on. It was heartbreaking. Truly beautiful.

By far my favourite line: 'Board my body up. I’m not for loving. Anymore'.

10. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Patrick Ness' A Monster Calls is my most recent read of this year and is easily one of my favourites (I had difficulty choosing between A Monster Calls and The Rest of Us Just Live Here!). I don't know what to say about it except that it defied all expectations. I expected to be terrified of this monster. Instead, I found myself looking forward to its visits to Connor. Unlike Lily from It Ends With Us, I did feel extreme sympathy for little Connor. I wanted to protect him from the horror that he inevitably will have to face. This book is one of the few that made me cry this year. 44 pages before the end, I could see the ending coming. I had to stop. I put the book down, grabbed some tissues and a drink. I settled back in my spot in bed and resumed my torture. God, I cried. I am not ashamed. Patrick Ness, you are a wonder.

I still have reservations regarding Eligible. We'll see! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas.

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