These are not necessarily books that have come out in the year 2016, but rather, books that I have read within the year 2016. These are the books that have made me laugh, cry, and have kept me entertained. The ones for which I will always remember this year.
The books are in no particular order.
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Kaz and his crew have done the impossible, broken in and out of the Ice Court, the most secure place on Earth. But all is not fine, after their daring escape, one of their own is taken captive, along with all their money. Now it’s up to Kaz to get what is his, and get his crew out of it alive.
Wow. Leigh Bardugo is a queen. She is an absolute genius in the world of fiction writing. Her writing is incredible, her plotlines are intriguing and fast paced, her world building is flawless and her characters are amazing. Overall, she everything this woman writes will be an automatic buy from now on. Six of Crows last year was absolutely golden, and Crooked Kingdom was the icing on this perfect cake of a series. If you haven’t read it, please do. Like, go, drop everything right now and race to your nearest kindle/bookstore/library.
Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Kady and Ezra have just broken up. Not only that, but on that same morning an evil corporation attacks their planet, forcing the inhabitants to flee. Now, chased across the galaxy, while separated on different ships, the two must find a way to cope with the consequences of their enemy’s actions and figure out what exactly is going on. Not to mention that fact that there is a deadly virus on board the ships, currently turning everyone into cannibalistic psychos, and that the ship’s A.I. a supercomputer named A.I.D.A.N. has gone rogue and may or may not be trying to kill them all. All this told through letters, emails and interviews from the POV of the various passengers on board.
This story was epic. No, that is not true, epic does not even begin to describe what this story is and how awesome it is presented to the reader. This is by far the most unique book that has ever been written. Just look at some of the pages inside! If you don’t read it for the plot, please, at least pick it up for the design. It will surprise you.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
In childhood, the wealthy Catherine Earnshaw meets the orphaned Heathcliff, a poor gypsy boy her father picks up from the streets and adopts. The two become friends, the two fall in love. Due to some serious miscommunication, Heathcliff leaves to make his fortune and Cathy marries the kind-hearted Edgar Linton. Years later, Heathcliff is back, he is rich, he is slightly psychotic, and he is out or revenge. Taking place over two generations filled with hatred and deception as Heathcliff vows to destroy all those who wronged him, this novel was amazing. As far as classics go, this was my favorite.
I am usually not a fan of classics. The writing sometimes seems outdated and the stories are difficult to relate to. Admittedly, I don’t exactly relate to the violent, cruel, vengeful Heathcliff, or the vindictive, spoiled, disrespectful Catherine, but I do love both the characters all the same. They were golden, in their terrible sort of way. They were real and they were in love, and their love was that of epic proportions. I just can’t even describe this book, there is too much going on. There is romance, revenge, mental illness, a ghost, and so many other things. If you are going to read a classic, read this.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Told from the point of view of Death itself, the story follows a young girl through Nazi Germany. In her life, she meets many great people who will foster her love for reading and her eventual transformation into a book thief. Among these people are her best friend Rudy, a boy with lemon yellow hair and a love for Jesse Owens. Hans Huberman, her loving foster father who teaches her to read. Rosa Huberman, her prickly, yet equally loving foster mother. And of course, Max, the Jewish runaway hiding in her basement.
This book made me cry. Most of all, this book made me feel. One of the most beautifully written books that I have ever read, The Book Thief is a book that I recommend to everyone.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
A mysterious host invites ten strangers to spend the week on an island, all under different pretenses. Only when they arrive, there is no host on the island. Worse than that, on that very first night, the first of the ten ends up dead. From then on, the bodies start dropping like flies as each tries to figure out both who is the murder and who is the next victim. The mystery comes to be that in the end, they all end up dead. The question is, who did it?
I don’t read mysteries. It is simply not a thing that I do. Then one day a pretty attractive guy told me he had just finished this novel and that it was amazing. I, of course, then had to run to the library and check this book out because next time I saw him, I needed to have something to talk about. The fact that I liked this was just a bonus.
But on a serious note, this book was good. There are no obvious hints given. There were countless twists. There were countless deceptions. You never know who did it until the very last chapter. Greatly recommend. I now see why Agatha Christie is named the queen of mystery.
What have been your favorites this year?