4 January 2017
My Favourite Books of 2016
If you need a new book to read, look no further!
This is probably my favourite post to compile every year (well, I haven't been doing it that long) because I, and you, get to see what my favourite reads were from the entire year. That's a pretty big deal, as I tend to read quite a lot and get sent a few. There's a lot of YA in here which is perfect if you're a fan of that - also never underestimate young adult fiction because there are some amazing ideas and stories that come from these books. I also have a couple of books not pictured here as I don't own a copy but had to include them. I gave most of these books 5/5 stars on my Good Reads. Let me know if you're intrigued by any of these reads and if you'll pick them up!
Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow*
When I started reading this, I really had no idea what to expect - the summary was very vague. It turns out this is somewhat of a cross between Orange is the New Black and Girl Interrupted. A girl who is at a psychiatric ward has had a very difficult past, and because she doesn't know how to live normally or how to face the outside world, she quite relishes being left inside. This is an incredibly moving and gripping story about how a girl gets back on her own feet and learns to live again. This book isn't cliche or anything, I find it incredibly raw and, at times, an intense read. It was very realistic, hard-hitting and just such a good book. This could be triggering for some people who have a mental illness though, so be careful.
The Memory Book by Lara Avery*
This book felt like a wild ride (more like a sad, emotional rollercoaster) as I read it in about a day and a half. This rarely happens with me, but for some reason I couldn't put this down. The start doesn't immediately suck you in, but as you get further in it certainly does. I think I was having an emotional day when I read this (haha) and it just goes to show if you read something at the right time it can be amazing! This book basically follows a girl who has a life-threatening disease (not as cliche as it sounds) and we know this right at the beginning of the book. She essentially writes to herself on her laptop, and that's what the book is - full of everything she does and remembers. The format is pretty much like a normal book with normal chapters, but there's something about the way it's written which is really intimate and makes you get inside the main character's head. This made me laugh, cry, and think a lot.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman*
If you've read my book posts before I may sound like a broken record, but I love Alice Oseman's writing. There's something very realistic about it, and she really knows what it's like to be a teenager. You know when adults write and try and be down with the kids, all cliche and stuff? None of that here. I especially loved the interesting characters in this book and the amazing diversity it offered. Until reading this, I don't think I'd really considered the importance of diverse characters (with different sexualities and race), but when I'd finished the book I saw just how great YA could be. This is essentially about a girl called Frances who is a bit of a study-machine and feels quite pressured with school, but she ends up meeting the creator of this big internet podcast show she's a huge fan of, and their friendship unlocks something different in Frances. There's a lot of depth to the characters and there's more than meets the eye.
What's a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne*
I had to include one of Holly Bourne's books because she's been one of my favourite authors this year. I equally loved How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne but What's a Girl Gotta Do? spoke to me a little bit more because of the way it included so much emphasis on feminism - basically the whole book is about feminism! It follows a girl called Lottie who wonders what it would be like if she called out every instance of sexism she sees. I know it can feel like you see the word feminism plastered everywhere right now, but it's so important to see it's more than just a trend. While this book doesn't handle intersectional feminism so much (which is important!) it definitely acknowledges that it's not the answer to everything, it's just a start. It makes me so happy that this will open young people's eyes to gendered issues in such an accessible way. Well done, Holly Bourne *hands clapping emoji*.
Girl Out of Water by Nat Luurtsema*
This was another book which I read really quickly - probably in about a day or two. If you need a laugh and something light to read this is utterly perfect. I always say the cover makes it look like it's for children, but I'm 20 and I really liked it! It reminds me a little bit of Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging which I actually love. This is written by a comedian which I think really helps because it's really funny and light-hearted. In this book, a girl basically teaches three boys from her school how to do synchronised swimming for a nation-wide talent show. There's something about this which I absolutely loved, I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's such an easy, entertaining read for young adults.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
This was hands down up there with one of my absolute favourite reads of this year and probably ever. I'm not entirely sure why, but there's something so badass, subtle and interesting about this book that I love it. As it's young adult, it's super easy to read and so accessible, but I don't think it's silly or has any basic message like YA is sometimes looked to be. This is about a girl called Frankie who attends a fancy school which used to be an all boy's school. She discovers more about the history of the school, and starts to question why things are the way they are (wow, so articulate, Emma!) I would say just read this one yourself because I have a special place for it in my heart. This has some of my favourite quotes from a book and I'm dying to write them here but I won't spoil the good bits. I am definitely going to reread this soon.
Who's That Girl? By Mhairi McFarlane*
I only have a proof copy of this book, so that's not what the cover looks like, but 'What's the one thing you don't do at a wedding?' is quite an intriguing question, no? This book is definitely more adult fiction than YA, and it follows a woman who gets caught up in a scandal at a wedding and has to regain her own self-worth and reputation. In the story, she ends up getting sent to interview one of the most famous celebrities in the world. This book is unapologetically British, and was really entertaining and funny. Mhairi writes books which can be utterly devoured and I really recommend this one!
The Moonlight Dreamers by Siobhan Curham*
When I think back to reading this book, it's one I wish I could forget and read again. I absolutely loved the idea and execution of this book - it follows four girls living in London who all have different lives and concerns. One of them creates a club called 'The Moonlight Dreamers' where you have to get an invitation to attend meetings and they all meet each other this way. I love that this book was written in four different perspectives from each girl because it really made you see that you don't know every thing that's going on in someone's life and you should embrace differences. This was such an easy, accessible and enjoyable read.
Ctrl Alt Delete by Emma Gannon
Despite not owning a copy, I had to include this fabulous book in this line up. If you're going to read one non-fiction book next year, definitely pick this up because it's brilliant. Emma Gannon has a blog, a podcast, and she's a bit of an internet fan. In this book, she talks about what it was like to grow up online, including all of her funny experiences. She discusses such important topics within this book, and it's really hard to put it down. Anyone will enjoy reading this book, and chances are you will relate with most of what she's saying especially if you are a little bit older and had MSN, etc. There's a load of different topics, from feminism to catfishing.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
This book follows a teenage boy called Simon - he's gay, but no one really knows it apart from Blue, an anonymous someone who he talks to online via email. Basically, someone starts blackmailing him and if he isn't careful his sexuality will be broadcasted to everyone he knows. I found this book to be incredibly cute and funny, I honestly loved this book so much - I stayed up until 2am to finish it which is rare. I think you could say my heart exploded in my chest when I finished this. It was genuinely funny, really well-written as it made me really believe Simon's character, and it had the sweetest romantic touches to it which I completely died over. I legitimately cried.
I hoped you liked this post, writing it has made me want to reread all of these because they're so good!
© emma etc