Hi everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the festive season whether you celebrate or not and that you’re looking forward to 2017! At the beginning of this year I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge at 20 books thinking that this was a low number that I’d easily achieve as the year before I had read almost double this, however the truth is that it is much harder to find the time to read when you’re at University, at least it is in my experience. Not only do you always have something that you should be working on but in my case you live with friends and therefore there are long evening conversations, TV show marathons and Taylor Swift singalongs that fill the time that I’d previously spend reading. That being said, I did not reach my reading goal this year. It is 4 days until the end of the year and I’ve read 15 books, but I’ve made my peace with it and ultimately it’s not the end of the world. So many of the books that I read this year were amazing and I really wanted to share that on this blog so without further ado here are my top 5 favourite books that I read in 2016!
5 – Forgive Me Leonard Peacock By Matthew Quick
Genre: YA Fiction
Forgive Me Leonard Peacock is a great young adult novel that features important issues such as suicide. This was the second book that I read in the year and it has stuck with me for the rest of 2016 due to the haunting writing style and the emotions that it caused me to feel towards the main character Leonard. I feel that this novel tells a very important story while also remaining thrilling and readable and therefore it has made it to my favourite reads list! If you’d like to know more about this book I’ve written a full review here.
4 – You Before Me By Jojo Moyes
Genre: Adult Fiction/Romance
I’m sure that many of you are aware of or have read this novel or maybe you’ve seen the movie (I haven’t yet!) but in case some of you haven’t I’ll tell you about it anyway! The best way that I can describe the contents of this book is that it is a rollercoaster of emotions, as in I shed tears of happiness and sadness more than once while reading! It focuses on Louisa Clark, a quirky young woman as she loses her job and finds a new one, deals with family stresses at home and supports her boyfriend Patrick. However, this story is so much more than just another romance novel featuring a cardboard cut-out female character; the characters and relationships are so real and well-written that it’s impossible not to have real emotions towards them. It is engaging and funny while also managing to break your heart, in short I highly recommend Me Before You, it’d be a great start to your 2017 reading!
3 – Code Name Verity By Elizabeth Wein
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Code Name Verity is a historical fiction novel set during World War 2 and follows two girls and their contributions to the war effort. I cannot even tell you how much this book blew my mind, the writing is incredible and the plot is so fantastically twisty that you just lose yourself completely. The strange thing about my love for this book is that it needed two attempts to grow, earlier on in the year I had tried to begin reading this book but I just could not get into it, to the point where I thought I would never attempt to read it again. However, I kept it around and when I had nothing else to read I picked it up again and totally fell in love with it which just proves that sometimes you need to give books a second chance. This novel is interesting as it focuses on two young women who are employed by the military which not only helps to shine light on the fact that women were essential to the war effort in more roles than just looking after the children at home but also provides an exciting and elusive perspective to read about. The pace of the novel starts off quite slow but increasingly picks up throughout the novel which builds anticipation and interest. Of all of the young adult historical fiction I’ve read this is without a doubt one of the best, one of those books that I just want to shove at people and shout “Read this please!!”.
2 – The Nightingale By Kristin Hannah
Genre: Historical Fiction
Just in case you hadn’t guessed, I think it’s fair to say that I love historical fiction! I just feel that there are so many amazing books in this genre that don’t get the attention and praise that they deserve, also history is so interesting! The Nightingale is set in France during World War 2 and follows two sisters and their different experiences and approaches to the war. I can honestly say that this is one of the most beautifully written novels I’ve ever read, everything from the descriptions of the houses to the food was gorgeous but the relationships featured in the story take the crown for the most beautiful aspect. Whether it is a friendship, a romantic relationship or that between a mother and daughter Kristin Hannah writes it perfectly. Due to the time period of the novel there are a lot of events that cause the reader to feel a wide spectrum of emotions giving the book a very realistic tone. I cannot think of enough good things to write that would do this novel justice, purely a stunning read.
1 – A Man Called Ove By Fredrik Backman
Genre: Adult Fiction
A man called Ove is a fiction novel set in Sweden following an elderly gentleman named Ove and his experiences with his new neighbours. If you’re looking for a heart-warming novel full of warm and real characters then this is a story for you. This book gave me such a warm feeling in my chest while I was reading it (and when I remember reading it) but that’s not to say that this is a sugary sweet read because it certainly is not. There are sad moments in the novel that are so real and relatable that you feel as though the story could be set in your very own neighbourhood. As with all of the books on this list I cannot recommend it enough and I’m so excited to hopefully read more from this author soon! If you’d like to read more about this novel I have a full review here.
Phew that was a long post! I really hope that you enjoyed it and that you’ll want to check out some of these amazing books! Please feel free to comment your favourite books of the year, I’d love to hear them!
Until next time,