So 2016 is nearly over. To be honest I’m not sure where most of this year went. I seem to have lost a huge chunk out of it somehow. The end of the year means “Best of….” lists and I’ve split mine up into two this year, a YA favourites list and an adult fiction list. This list is in the order that I read them, not in any particular order of preference.
Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar. Allen & Unwin. My review.
I was so pumped for this book and I couldn’t find it anywhere when it came out so I had it ordered in and it was so worth it. I talked about it a bit in my post from yesterday, about how I felt that it tapped into a part of the YA/NA market that was a bit neglected, which is the university years and residential colleges. I spent two years living in a residential college at a Sydney university and sometimes I loved it, sometimes I hated it. But oh the experiences! And Summer Skin is an awesome portrayal. I wasn’t sure anything could top Raw Blue but for me, this is just as good in a different way.
The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub. Harper Collins AUS.
This list (and probably tomorrow’s) are most likely going to showcase how slack I was writing reviews this year. I really liked Sarah Ayoub’s second novel, The Yearbook Committee. Her first, Hate Is Such A Strong Word was one of my favourite books a few years ago and I felt that nothing was lost with this one. An eclectic group of students are chosen (read: forced) to work together to complete their school yearbook. I will say that the ending is a bit…..shocking but I really loved the interactions between all of the students and the portrayal of the various situations that they found themselves in.
The Things I Didn’t Say by Kylie Fornasier. Penguin Books AUS. My review.
I’ve never read a book with selective mutism featured before and this made me really think about it. I also really appreciated the way Kylie Fornasier managed to construct a believable relationship between two characters, one of which never speaks a word to the other. Piper has to use other methods to communicate and despite that it all felt very natural and well done. I also really liked Piper’s relationship with her family, who are quite present in this book (something that can be rare in YA).
When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah. Pan MacMillan AUS. My review.
Probably gets the award for the most relevant book I read in 2016. It was a thoughtfully handled debate on asylum seekers and showcased the fact that not everyone who didn’t want them arriving was evil, but that they could sometimes be educated and sometimes not. Mina was a fantastic character….and her stepdad. I would love to read a book about her stepfather’s experiences. He was a fantastic man, really well written and there should be more portrayals of people like them in fiction.
Words In Deep Blue by Cath Crowley. Pan MacMillan AUS. My review.
Bookstores are my favourite places! The bookstore in this book sounds like the absolute ultimate and this is such a sweet story but with some real sad and heartfelt undertones. It’s definitely the sort of book you could read over and over again. I really need to read Cath Crawley’s Graffiti Moon. That can be one of my summer goals.
Frankie by Shivaun Plozza. Penguin Books AUS.
Another that I read and really loved but didn’t get around to writing a review for. I picked this up when I was in Melbourne for the writers festival…..and I think it’s the only book I’ve read that I bought during that time! The rest of them are still sitting in a pile on my TBR shelf. I really need to get on that. Anyway this was a smart and sassy story with some wonderfully real and very flawed characters. A great showcasing of Melbourne too. Definitely looking forward to more from Shivaun Plozza in the future.
Rebel Of The Sands by Alwyn Hamilton. Faber & Faber.
I read this only recently and haven’t gotten around to writing a review for it yet, hopefully I will before the year is out. I picked this book up from our new (squee!) bookstore that just recently opened up in our completely refurbished and overhauled shopping centre. It’s so wonderful to have a bookstore! I shamelessly admit I bought it judging it on its cover…..it’s so beautiful! It had some mixed reviews but I really enjoyed it. It’s a lot different to pretty much everything else I’ve been reading and I liked it for that. I am really looking forward to book #2.
A Court Of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Bloomsbury ANZ
Before I bought the first 2 books in this series, I asked yay or nay on twitter and got positive responses. I have read quite a few fae books and I always end up really enjoying them so I wanted to give this series a go. I read this just a couple of weeks ago and am planning to read the 2nd book in January. I actually ended up enjoying this a lot more than I thought I would and it’s been a bit of a task not to dive straight into the next book. But I have some other stuff that I need to read first before I catch up with Feyre, Tamlin and what the hell is going to happen with Rhysand.
These were my favourite YA reads in 2016. Tomorrow I’ll have a post with my favourite adult reads so make sure you check back! Feel free to let me know if you enjoyed anything here or leave a recommendation in the comments.