When someone ever asks me what my favorite book is, I always go blank. How do you expect me to answer that with one book? It’s like asking me to pick which body limb I want to keep more. Okay, it might not be that serious, but to any bookworm that is a question that you don’t touch with a ten-foot pole unless you want to get a glare and a how dare you stare.
Throughout the year, I’ve kept up with some of my favorite books. While this does not begin to touch all of the great literature that I’ve read this year, it is an idea of what has been in my hands. These are some of the books that I’ve thought about long after I’ve turned that last few pages and will be reading again…or might have already, in some cases.
Young adult is my weapon of choice and mainly what I spend my year reading. I’ve read a few adult and new adult books, but YA holds a special place in my heart and a special place on my favorites list.
YA contemporary romance was by far my favorite genre this year, evident in how many different stories I’ve read. I read a few fantasy and got my scifi fix in a science fiction literature course I took this fall, as well as some self-published works by Siobhan Davis. These books are not in order (like I said, impossible to pick a favorite), so I’ll start with the first.
I read my first Jennifer E. Smith book this year and fell in love with her writing. This book follows Ellie O’Neil, a girl living in a small town, only dreaming of big cities and endless opportunities. Ellie will do everything to make her dreams come true, then she meets Graham Larkin, and her world is turned upside down. With a Gilmore Girls-like feel, this book makes it almost too easy to escape.
This is What Happy Looks Like Review
My Life With the Walter Boys by Ali Novak
MLWTWB was originally published on Wattpad, a website for writers. I discovered the book while perusing Books-A-Million and read it twice this year—TWICE. Cole Walter demands your attention, and only reading this book once is not an option. After Jackie lost her entire family in a freak accident, the Walter family helped her mourn and grow. I went back and read the Wattpad version of the story and even started reading the sequel. I’m hoping that the published version of this story will get a sequel, but until then I suggest this as a reread, as well as the rest of Ali Novak’s books.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
I fell in love with these characters and did a happy dance when I found out there would be a sequel! I will be reading this book again, even if it doesn’t count towards my Goodreads goal. Once you meet the Garretts, you’re done for! (Especially George)
There aren’t enough words to describe how wonderful this book is. I read it in less than a day, constantly taking pictures of quotes and scenes, tweeting about these characters, their struggles, and everything in between. This is the prefect read if you’re going through a difficult time in your life or mourning the loss of someone or something, whether through death or differing paths. I cannot give this book enough praise and highly suggest making it one of your 2016 reads, if you haven’t joined Alexi on her journey.
The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine
This is the companion to The Promise of Amazing, one of my favorite books of 2014! Anything Robin Constantine writes will have a spot on my shelf. Her romances are just what one needs to escape reality every now and then. Plus! The main character in this book has a drink of choice at the coffee shop she frequents where meets the other narrator of the story, which is told in dual perspectives, and the day after Christmas I had the opportunity to taste the inspiration at the Chocolate Lounge in Asheville, NC! Worth a trip, I promise!
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Escape to London with uptight, overanalyzing Julia and learn what love is about. For someone who plans out everything, this is a wish come true—for everything to (sort of) have a happy ending when all those plans are thrown out the window and smashed by a two-tier bus. I laughed, I swooned, and I couldn’t put this one down. Traveling? Check. Unexpected love? Check. Seriously, get this one on your shelf.
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
I discovered Han’s work in 2014 when I found a copy of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on the clearance rack at Books-A-Million. Another one of my favorites of 2014, I sat agape when I turned the last page, needing desperately for there to be more to the story. A few months later my wish came true, and I had a copy of the sequel in my hands. Lara Jean fell hard in the first book, but this book is about things going a little differently than expected. I flipped through the pages so fast that I was sad to say goodbye to the characters and already need more Peter just thinking about it.
Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
My first Katie McGarry book was an experience. Deitre brought me back a finished—signed!—copy of the book back from BEA, and cue the itching that I had to read it. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. When I think bikers, this book didn’t even come close. McGarry crushed stereotype after stereotype and presented relatable and coming of age characters that will appeal to everyone. I’ve already committed to everything she’s ever written and will be snatching up the companion come March.
The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
Never have I had the desire to read The Art of War, but somehow Stokes convinced me that it might not be such a bad idea. Lainey lost her boyfriend and decided that the only way to get him back was to follow a dead Chinese warrior’s advise. Creepy pancake houses and irresistible guys with mohawks that know how to cook, what’s not to love?
Akarnae by Lynette Noni
Think Harry Potter meets Narnia meets X-Men and you have this novel. Noni’s debut was magnificent, and I can honestly say that five books might not be enough. There are strong friendships throughout the book and old magic revealed, and, like Alex, I want to return as soon as possible!
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Since I follow a lot of book pages on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, Maas’s books kept on popping up. I didn’t get it—what was so great about this series? I’ll tell you: everything. A vivid setting, unique characters, mysteries around every corner, I had to devote time and energy to keeping up with Celaena Sardothien. Not to mention a crown prince and a handsome Captain of the Guard are involved, adding some romance to the mix.
Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Speaking of unique worlds, Raasch created a world where everyone is divided into Seasons and Rhythms, but the division was much more than that. I felt the divide, as well as the hunger for a home from the Winterians and have started out the new year reading the sequel. Magic and mayhem were in store for Meira of Winter, as well as some plot twist that I didn’t see coming.
Saven: Deception by Siobhan Davis
I read an article the other day about how science fiction is rising in ranks, and after reading a novel like this I can understand why. Sadie Owens wanted a better life and decided to go out and get one—in the underground city of Thalassic City. I started and completed Davis’s other scifi romance series, True Calling, and knew that this one would not disappoint. Aliens and love go hand-in-hand in the first book in her new trilogy, and I kept highlighting my favorite scenes with Logan and Sadie, rooting for them the whole way. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
There’s a peak at my year in books! I’ve been lucky enough to read some of the debuts and releases coming in 2016 and am astounded by the breathtaking stories and characters that are making an appearance. 2015 was a good year for literature, and 2016 is only looking up!