Friday, 6 January 2017

Favourite Books of 2016




1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany
I mean, you all probably knew that this was coming. In the period between December 2015 and last June, my emotions were a blur of anger and concern surrounding Cursed Child. I hated the casting, and hated that the medium means it's so inaccessible to many, and then one weird day I watched a video and just got over it. My anxiety for an outcome I'd hate blended with my elation at finally being able to participate in a Potter midnight release, and the fact that we had more Harry Potter after nine years and suddenly I had a new story in my hands and it was everything I could have hoped. There's things I'm bitter about *coughs* Hugo *coughs,* and the plot is a little questionable, but it gave me answers where I'd needed them for so long, made me feel strange things for characters I'd once hated. I got the Potter experience because Cursed Child happened, and no matter how divisive this script is, I adore it. A new all-time favourite! Read in July. REVIEW


2. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Just like Cursed Child, TLWTASAP quickly became one of my favourite books ever. It made me feel everything in such purity; I didn't expect this to seem so real and yet every time I emerged from the pages, unlike with so many other books, I just wanted to jump back in again.Very few books ever make me feel so invested and compassionate for all its characters, yet The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet did. For a somewhat standalone, the character development is astonishingly good. This book is written which such warmth and love and care; it's the kind of book that I'll probably just pick up again tomorrow because I already miss its contents. [October]

3. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Over the course of three days, I completely fell in love with this tale, and became engrossed in the lives of Ponyboy and the greasers. When reading this, a part of you doesn't want to open the book, because as long as the book is closed, you can tell yourself that they're all okay. The symbolism and meaning is so thought provoking - The Outsiders wasn't screaming to be studied, but everything was laid out in front of you, providing you looked close enough.[January]

4. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Let's set the scene for a second: It's a cold December Saturday evening. You've a load homework to do but can't because there's no internet in your area and won't be for another 3 weeks. Not only are you unable to get anything you need to do, but the lack of connection to the outside world is pulling you into your lowest mentality since the summer. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry was a book I'd tried picking up twice before and just hadn't clicked with. But this day it did. A glorious balance between romance, action, and mystery, this book was a warm hug that couldn't have come at a better time. It's one of those rare books that I literally couldn't put down. A joy to read and beautifully crafted, this is a story that combines the mundanity of the every day with a man who lives and breathes books, to the point where his life is a blend of all the books he's ever encountered. [December]

5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling
This is the first screenplay I've ever read, and I'm glad I started of with Rowling's. It's not perfect, and it doesn't have nearly as much extra content as I think we'd been led to believe, but the detail in her stage directions is excellent. So many additions in here have made certain moments in the film make a lot more sense. I can see why people would consider this a money grab, and I did as well at first, but having the extra revisions and explanations [not to forget the gorgeous MinaLima illustrations] makes this film that little bit more special. [November REVIEW]



6. Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
I should preface this with one clear point: I know absolutely nothing about Star Wars. Until reading this book, I'd never taken any interest in watching the series, regardless of how many friends told me "You haven't lived until you've watched Star Wars." This is a wonderful portrayal of what it's like to be absorbed in a fandom to the point where it is your life. Kindred Spirits was so much deeper than a typical Rainbow Rowell love story - instead it was about bonding over something your passionate about. Elena reminds me of my experience with Harry Potter, as for Elena, Star Wars has been a constant throughout her life. For me, having this story based around the lengths people in a fandom will go to was brilliant. [April]

7. All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Regretfully, I never made any notes on my thoughts on this after reading and so whilst I don't remember a lot of why this book was so brilliant, it has stuck with me since I read it nearly a year ago. Part debate on rape culture, part murder mystery this book was gruesome, bitter and often hard to read, but Summers' cold, distant prose had me hooked from the beginning. It was always going to be an unpleasant read, but it educated me in an area that beforehand I knew very little about. (I'd also recommend you read this instead of/prior to Asking for It, just because All the Rage is lesser known and in my opinion deserves more attention.) [February]


8. The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupery
Nothing really to say on The Little Prince other than the fact that this is a truly beautiful tale about childhood innocence and the naivety of adults not having faith in those younger than them. The running idea of how children have it best because whilst they're not exposed to parts of the world, their imaginations are the most vivid and untameable in existence exists to remind the reader of what we lose and what we should choose to keep as we age. [September]

9. Asking for It by Louise O'Neill
If you've been here for a while, then you may know that O'Neill's debut Only Ever Yours was my favourite book of 2015. O'Neill uses her pen as her weapon, and Asking for It continued my astonishment at her work. It's gritty and brutal and just hard to read because of the nature of the topic. I came away from this infuriated by the outcome and gave this an angry 4 stars, but then I remembered that that's the point of the ending. You're meant to feel the anger, because that is the reality we live in. Asking for It is a novel that will haunt my thoughts for many years to come. [September]

10. Where Am I Now by Mara Wilson
Mara Wilson is a fantastic writer, as evident through Where Am I Now, but this is a book that holds much more sentiment to me than being excellently written. To me, it's special because it makes sense. This is the first time I've come across someone write about Anxiety and having Anxiety in EXACTLY the way I process it. Where Am I Now has given me faith; in my dream to become a writer and make it a reality; and in trying to understand where I am in my own mental health. It's not perfect, but it's comforting. [October]


Special Mention - milk and honey by Rupi Kaur - which was a beautiful collection of poetry that I'll definitely be buying in the future, but currently don't possess a copy of my own. 

What were your favourite books of 2016? 

6 comments:

  1. I read the Cursed Child and was quite disappointed. Probably because I had such high expectations and had avoided all spoilers so I started reading it thinking it was another Harry Potter book by J.K and instead it's more of a fan fiction.
    Asking For It was also one of my favourites of 2016. I gave it 5 stars because it was so brilliant and haunting.
    But my absolute favourite has to be I'll Give You the Sun!! Have you read it? ^_^

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    1. Ooh interesting... I've heard quite a lot of opinions like that, but then an equal amount that speak in adoration. Each to their own I guess!
      Yes! I read I'll Give You the Sun back in October! I think at the time I gave it a 3/5 - beautiful writing but the plot just didn't wholly grab me in the way I thought it would. Glad you enjoyed it though, all my friends have loved it just as much as you did!

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  2. I have read complete book of Harry Potter however other books I have not read yet. However I will manage time to read other books too. dissertation writing services

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  3. Ahh this is such a beautiful looking list and pile of books!! I'm ashamed to say I've only read The Outsiders out of your list (and I actaully really really want to reread that because it's been YEARS since I first read it!) and I absolutely adore that book. <3 I also really want to read The Little Prince and Asking for It (I'm working up the courage though, because the author's last book was sooooo good but sooo destroying). And omg those Harry Potter books are just GORGEOUS. I love the fonts!!

    So glad you loved these books last year!

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    1. Hahaha it's by chance that they're colour co-ordinating and ALL SO BEAUTIFUL TOGETHER! You should definitely reread The Outsiders! It's such a stunning let soul-crushing read!

      Thank you Cait!

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