Thursday, December 8

Best of 2016 - The Best of the Bestest Books

This year has been one of the weirdest ever- on one hand, it was everything I could hope for, yet on the other, it was one of the worst ever. Just last month stands testimony to why 2016 wouldn't be a year I'd particularly look back upon fondly. Skittles...rings a bell? Anyway, the rest of my posts for this month would focus only on  the best parts of 2016, which no doubt include books, books, and yet more books, because god knows we've had more than our share of negativity and disappointments this year. 

Unlike last year, when we wrapped everything up in an end-of-the-year survey, this time, Vera came up with the idea of doing a series of posts and I loved it so much that I stole it. *evil laughs* I decided to do a feature, "Best of 2016", on books, book covers, authors, reading and blogging. The first three will highlight the best in each category I've come across this year, (but aren't necessarily published in 2016), and the other two posts, reading and blogging will highlight anything prominent in either topics this year.

Today, I've highlighted a few books which, in my opinion, are the bestest of the best. The series starters or enders I've included are all from brilliant series, all of which I highly recommend. In an attempt to limit the number of posts, all the books I've included here? They also have the best ever covers! Well, except Tuesdays with Morrie, but it was just so good that I couldn't not include it. Without further ado, I present to you my favorite reads of 2016!

(Click on the covers for the Goodreads page!)

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love...
As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.
One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.
But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness. There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner. Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Gansey is different. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been told by her psychic family that she will kill her true love. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Cassie is writing a letter to the boy whose heart she broke. She’s trying to explain why. Why she pushed him away. Why her father got so angry when he saw them together. Why she disappears some nights. Why she won’t let herself remember what happened that long-ago night on the boardwalk. Why she fell apart so completely. Desperate for his forgiveness, she’s telling the whole story of the summer she nearly lost herself. She’s hoping he’ll understand as well as she now does how love—love for your family, love for that person who makes your heart beat faster, and love for yourself—can save you after all.

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.
The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

Beauty met the Beast and there was . . . Bloody murder? It’s the Annual Ambassadorial Ball in Glause, and Lady Isabella Farrah, the daughter of New Civet’s Ambassador, is feeling pleasantly scintillated.
In the library is Lord Pecus, a charming gentleman whose double mask hides a beastly face, and who has decided that Isabella is the very person to break the Pecus curse.
In the ball-room is young Lord Topher, who is rapidly falling in love with an older woman.
And in the card-room, lying in a pool of his own blood, is the body of one of Isabella’s oldest friends: Raoul, Civet’s Head Guardsman. The papers sewn into his sash seem to suggest espionage gone wrong, but Isabella is not so certain.
Lord Pecus, as Commander of the Watch, is of the opinion that Isabella should keep out of the investigation and out of danger. Isabella is of the opinion that it is her murder to investigate, and that what a certain Beast-Lord doesn’t know won’t hurt him. . . .
Will Isabella find the murderer before Lord Pecus does, or will she end her investigation as a bloody spatter on the parlour floor?

Jonny isn't like "normal" teenagers. Every day he wakes up in hospital, kept alive by a machine. Every day he wonders if this is the day they'll find a donor match for his heart. Every day he wonders if this is the day he'll die.
Every day, Niamh fights with her "perfect" brother Leo. Every single day, Leo wins. Every day, Niamh dreams of a life without Leo. But all that changes on the day of the accident: the day EVERYTHING falls apart.
This is a story about facing the future no matter how frightening. This is a story about healing your heart, no matter how much it hurts. 

1. Call out anything that is unfair on one gender
2. Don't call out the same thing twice (so you can sleep and breathe)
3. Always try to keep it funny
4. Don't let anything slide. Even when you start to break...
Lottie's determined to change the world with her #Vagilante vlog. Shame the trolls have other ideas...

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, and gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.
Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you?
Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying of ALS - or motor neurone disease - Mitch visited Morrie in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final 'class': lessons in how to live.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon's last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.
Can Ben's relationship with Fallon - and simultaneously his novel - be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?

Something which I really should mention here is that three of these series that I abso-freaking-lutely loved- The Raven Cycle, The Winner's Curse and Starbound- are ones which were recommended to me by Vera!  I should clearly listen to her more and just read the 983627145 books she has rec'd me so far already.

Have YOU read any of these books? If so, tell me what you thought about them! 
If you haven't, please excuse me while I throw these books at you. 


  1. Ahhh so many amazing ones here that I need to read! Especially that Holly Bourne series, I remember you telling me about it and it's been on my mind since! I really need to step up my reading game lol. The Raven Cycle was definitely the highlight of my year. That series changed me!

    1. Yes, yes, yes- you really do need to read these! :D Especially the Holly Bourne ones, because I'm SURE you'd love them! Step up the reading game, well, shouldn't we all XD The Raven Cycle was AMAZING, yes!!!

  2. Sorry to hear that 2016 hasn't been a great year for you, Ruzaika. I sure hope 2017 brings better things! On the plus side, so many great books! :) I've been meaning to read The Winner's Curse for so long! I even own the book but haven't got to it yet. Now I'm more excited than ever to pick it up! Same with These Broken Stars. And November 9... loved it! I was so invested in Fallon and Ben's story. Loved them. Great post! :)

    1. I really hope 2017 ups the game, I've had enough of disappointments and negativity this year to last a lifetime :D And omg, you HAVE to read Winner's Curse and These Broken Stars soon, Tanya! I KNOW you'd love them because they give SUCH feels and I know you do so love THAT in a book :D

    2. LOL You are totally right! I do love a feel that gives me all the feels. :) So thanks to you I just moved those two books up my TBR list.

    3. OOOOOOH ASFDGJFKLOXMNQERTY This did so make my day!!! I'm so excited for you- I hope you get to them soon and I HOPE YOU LOVE THEM TOO!!!

  3. Oo yes The Winner's Curse!! SUCH a good series! All the rest have been sitting on my TBR for this year but I didn't get around to them because of the unexpected craziness of college. Winter break will be the best ever for me to read and I can't wait until the semester is over! In other news, I may have to steal this stolen feature and do one of these (don't worry, I pinky promise I'll link back)! I've been getting back into doing wrap-ups and looking back on the whole year and doing a full year wrap-up will be fun!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. The Winner's Curse gives me ALL the feels! I LOVED the author's writing! You should so totally try at least some of these other books, and what better time than the winter break? :P And lol, don't bother with linking back (thanks though), this is hardly a unique idea XD

  4. Oh, I'm sorry 2016 wasn't a good year for you! :( Although a lot of negative things happened, overall, I found it a better year than 2015. Personally, I feel much more confident now!
    The Raven Boys will always be one of my favorite books. I recently read the last one in the series, The Raven King, and I also think I'll be adding that to my best of the year list. I really enjoyed The Winner's Curse as well! I really have to continue on with that series!

    1. I guess overall it was quiiite a good year, but I just feel like I've more than had enough of this year by now :D I'm glad you found this year to be better than the last- here's hoping for an even better 2017! The Raven King sure was great, but I included the first book because that's what made me fall so in love with the characters XD Ooooh, please do continue with the Winner's Curse trilogy!!!! I promise you won't be disappointed!!!

  5. The Raven Boys, yasssssssss! I mean the whole series is fantastic. I just bought a Holly Bourne book and I hope it lives up to the hype :)

    1. The Raven Boys, omg, fantastic doesn't even begin to describe it!!! I'm so excited now- I do hope you end up loving Holly Bourne just as much as I did!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

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