Well 2016 is now over so, firstly, Happy New Year to you all!
I thought it would be good to do an overall review of the books I read in 2016, listing them in different categories with an overall 2016 winner at then end. I read a total of 50 books in 2016; some where incredible and completely wrapped me up in their stories while some left me disappointed and completed deflated. So, without further ado, let’s begin:-
1. The Worst Character of the Year: Margaret Beaufort.
The protagonist of the The Red Queen is one of the most annoying, self-centered characters I have ever encountered. Margaret wants to live a life of piety, away from the world in a convent but, when this is denied her, she focuses on gaining the biggest prize of all, becoming Queen Mother. For a pious woman she has no thought for anyone aside herself, her mission in life is to get her son on the throne even if that means committing treason and she has the audacity to state that it all of it is the will of God. I have never interacted with a character that grated on me and who I was so disappointed to see achieve her goals at the end.
2. The Biggest Book Surprise of the Year: Where Angels Fear to Tread
I have to be honest, I completely expected to plod through this book and to have to really concentrate on the language and characters. However, this book was incredibly surprising and I thoroughly enjoyed it; the plot was interesting and comical in places while the characters were well-rounded and highlighted typical traits of the day. Forster beautifully uses language to make digs at society’s views and you can’t help but smile when you read it.
3. The Best Book I’ve Been Personally Asked to Review: Vault of Dreams
This book was just perfect, the author Luke Taylor constructed a world of beautiful emerald lands, enchanting queens and haunted heroes. It was a story that glorified strong women and the magic of the old worlds, it enraptures you and immerses you in its world and I was genuinely sad when it ended.
4. The Best Graphic Novel: Batman: Year One
I wanted to venture into the graphic novel genre but I didn’t know where to start. I am a Batman fan so thought that this would be ideal and I wasn’t disappointed. Batman: Year One was sensational because the artwork was dark and wonderfully detailed and the story gave the birth of the superhero himself. It was a fantastic first graphic novel for me and it has made me completely fall in love with the genre.
5. The Best Thriller: Intensity
This was simply one of the best thrillers I have ever read. It made my heart palpitate, it made the hairs on my arms stand on end and it had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. I’m not going to give an overview of the book because I don’t want to take anything away from the experience you will have. It is a must-read for all those who love a good thriller.
6. The Best Book Series: The Six of Crows Series
This was a tough category because I have read some wonderful series this year: Percy Jackson, Shades of Magic, Chaos Walking and they were all brilliant but the Six of Crows series had to take the crown. Both books in the series were amazing, the plots were complex and intriguing, the characters were perfectly imperfect, especially Kaz. It is a series I will constantly recommend and it has won the accolade of one of my most favourite book series of all time.
7. Most Favourite Author Discovered in 2016: Patrick Ness
This man evokes every single emotion in me; I have laughed, I have cried as if my heart was breaking, I have loved wholeheartedly and grieved deeply. Patrick has quickly become one of my most favourite authors of all time due to his ability to weave words in such a way that they make me feel everything all at once and, once I have closed the book, to leave me completely drained of all emotion.
8. The Best Book of 2016: A Monster Calls
This was my first introduction to Patrick Ness and it has left its mark on me for the rest of my life. It was whole new experience for me because I have never connected with a book as I did with this. It was so beautifully heartbreaking, so poignant that it left me a broken, sobbing mess on the floor. It was an incredible, emotional experience and it had to be the winner of 2016.
It has been a wonderful year in terms of books; I have explored new genres, found some hidden gems and read some that will stay with me forever. I just hope that I will be just as lucky in 2017.