First, a confession: I haven't read as many books as usual in 2016 (um. .. about half as many as usual.) This was partly the result of a slight reading slump, but mostly because things in my offline life have been pretty hectic over the past year.
But I still have a few great favorites of 2016. I mean, these are the books that un-slumped me, so there's something special there. I'm going to be giving a couple of them away over the next week, so stay tuned!
The Sun is Also a Star
by Nicola Yoon
Published on November 1, 2016
by Delacorte Press
Yes, The Sun is Also a Star had some aspects that aren't usually my favorite. It's a romance set in one day, so there's some *whispers* instalove. But I was still completely charmed by this story of an unlikely love story between an about-to-be-deported Jamaican-American girl and an about-to-be-college-interviewed Korean-American guy. The book's narrative also omnisciently peeks into the lives (and futures) of minor characters, like a security guard and a secretary. I'm not always enamored of such techniques, but in this story I thought the technique served to point out that our lives are connected with those of others in mysterious and surprising ways. And that's why the epilogue, which required some suspension of disbelief, didn't bother me. Nicola Yoon looks at the world in such a whimsical, humorous, compassionate way -- that's one of the reasons I love her writing.
This Adventure Ends
by Emma Mills
Published on October 1, 2016
by Henry Holt
I'm all about a character-driven book and This Adventure Ends is a prime example of how a book with very little plot can be as gripping and entertaining as the twistiest thriller. Sloane is a fish-out-of-water New Yorker suddenly transplanted to the South, but finds herself drawn in to a group of friends, into a quest for a missing painting, into her father's sort-of midlife crisis (he's a Nicholas Sparks-style writer who starts writing fanfic). This book creates a unique world that you enjoy being a part of and hate to leave.
Last Seen Leaving
by Caleb Roehrig
Published on October 4, 2016
by Feiwel and Friends
Flynn is a guy with a missing girlfriend and the police are interested in what he knows. Flynn knows stuff, sure. He also has some secrets of his own, secrets he might not be ready to tell. So he begins to look for January and, in the process, gets to know himself better. At once a mystery and a coming of age story, Last Seen Leaving is absorbing and moving.
The Long Game (The Fixer #2)
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published on June 7, 2016
I'm always bemoaning the non-thrillingness of many YA thrillers, but The Long Game had twists and turns that thrilled and surprised me. This is book two in a series about a girl in an exclusive DC private school who "fixes" the problems of her fellow students. Book one was good, but this book took the series into serious political thriller territory. I can't wait for the next installment!
by Jessica Shirvington
Published (in the US) on October 4, 2016
When I read the synopsis of this one (dystopian featuring a microchip that can identify your perfect love match -- or identify you as
divergent -- whoops, I mean a "neg" -- and send you to a rehabilitation camp ) I rolled my eyes. But positive reviews from fellow bloggers convinced me to pick it up - and they were right. The premise feels familiar, but is well-executed and the romance is really compelling. Looking forward to the next installment!
The year's not over and I'm still looking for great books - tell me about some of your favorites of 2016 in comments!