Favorites of 2016

I managed to reach my goal of reading 50 (published) books this year.

(I find it necessary to clarify that these are published books only because I do read a lot of unpublished work for my critique partners, beta buddies, Pitch Wars mentee, and other writer friends. Often, these books would hit my favorites list as well, if they were published.)

Granted, some people have goals that blow my mind (200 books in a year? How is that even possible?), making my meager 50 seem like chump change. But still. It's a number I'm proud of.

My favorites? Good grief, there are so many. At one point it seemed that I gave everything I read 5 stars on Goodreads. And I meant it. 2016 was filled with some great, great books. Here are my top 10 fiction favorites, with a bonus non-fiction that I couldn't resist adding.

 
I'm not usually a fan of high fantasy, but occasionally, I'll get the itch. And man, oh man, this book was exactly what I wanted. CROOKED KINGDOM and its predecessor SIX OF CROWS was one of those wild rides that I couldn't look away from. I went out and bought all the fantasy I could find after reading this.

I'm not usually a fan of high fantasy, but occasionally, I'll get the itch. And man, oh man, this book was exactly what I wanted. CROOKED KINGDOM and its predecessor SIX OF CROWS was one of those wild rides that I couldn't look away from. I went out and bought all the fantasy I could find after reading this.

My favorite love story of 2016 by far was THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR. I actually hugged this book when I finished the last page. Totally not lying.

My favorite love story of 2016 by far was THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR. I actually hugged this book when I finished the last page. Totally not lying.

 
Dude. You will FEEL the 1920s in your soul after reading this book. Plus, it's got magic, underground gin joints, wise guys and Irish mafia. What more could you want? 

Dude. You will FEEL the 1920s in your soul after reading this book. Plus, it's got magic, underground gin joints, wise guys and Irish mafia. What more could you want? 

Dude. Talk about epic love stories. THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD was one of my first reads of the year and it has still stuck with me as if I read it yesterday. What a beautiful, beautiful story.

Dude. Talk about epic love stories. THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD was one of my first reads of the year and it has still stuck with me as if I read it yesterday. What a beautiful, beautiful story.

 
 
The greatest feel-good story of 2016 for me was HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE. Also, an adorable romance.

The greatest feel-good story of 2016 for me was HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE. Also, an adorable romance.

 
THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS chronicles the minutes of gripping fear for four different characters during a school shooting. I cried and cried and cried. That's all I can say. Also, Marieke Nijkamp is one of the coolest, kindest, warmest, and most welcoming authors in the writing community. That she's found success with her debut makes this read so much sweeter.

THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS chronicles the minutes of gripping fear for four different characters during a school shooting. I cried and cried and cried. That's all I can say. Also, Marieke Nijkamp is one of the coolest, kindest, warmest, and most welcoming authors in the writing community. That she's found success with her debut makes this read so much sweeter.

 
 
FIRSTS was, coincidentally, the first book I read in 2016. It was all at once hilarious, sexy, sad, and important. I loved its messages of sex positivity and valuing oneself.

FIRSTS was, coincidentally, the first book I read in 2016. It was all at once hilarious, sexy, sad, and important. I loved its messages of sex positivity and valuing oneself.

AMERICAN GIRLS is an analysis of the crazy LA/Hollywood world of vanity. It weaves everything in with an analogy to the Manson Family desperation and craziness. Couldn't love it more.

AMERICAN GIRLS is an analysis of the crazy LA/Hollywood world of vanity. It weaves everything in with an analogy to the Manson Family desperation and craziness. Couldn't love it more.

 
 
THE PASSENGER was my favorite adult fiction of 2016 by a mile. It has the high level of suspense as in GIRL ON THE TRAIN, but with tons more twists and turns. You don't know what's coming next, all the way through to the final page. I enjoyed it so, so much.

THE PASSENGER was my favorite adult fiction of 2016 by a mile. It has the high level of suspense as in GIRL ON THE TRAIN, but with tons more twists and turns. You don't know what's coming next, all the way through to the final page. I enjoyed it so, so much.

And my bonus non-fiction favorite of 2016......

All the feels. ALL THE FEELS. My emotions were all over the place while reading THE NEST. I was so invested in these crazy, flawed characters. Also, loved the shout-out to my hometown in the book. 

All the feels. ALL THE FEELS. My emotions were all over the place while reading THE NEST. I was so invested in these crazy, flawed characters. Also, loved the shout-out to my hometown in the book. 

 
Every YA writer should read this book, regardless whether  the book they're writing involves sex and/or sexuality. Also, every parent of a teenage girl should check it out. It was thoughtful and eye-opening.

Every YA writer should read this book, regardless whether  the book they're writing involves sex and/or sexuality. Also, every parent of a teenage girl should check it out. It was thoughtful and eye-opening.