Book awards: 2016 edition // Wrap Ups

Hey hey!

Because books deserve love and congratulations for their awesomeness, I present my book awards for 2016! I’ve tried to pick a different book for each category, but I only have a small list of favourites to choose from, and some authors might pop up a couple of times. This was the year of binging series. Let’s begin!

MOST LIKELY

(Click on book titles for the full synopsis)

1. Most UNEXPECTED…

(Favourite, ending, plot twists, finale, backstory, etc.)

22929578The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


4 stars

TWISTS! This political, mystery, thriller kept me on edge the entire time. It’s psychologically manipulative with excellent banter and an awesome protagonist (who is fluent in sarcasm might I add). Also YAY for complete and realistic realistic relationships. Did I mention that the romance status is nada. ‘Tis rare and fantastic.

Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather’s ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems…

2. Most UNIQUE…

(Book, plot, setting, characters, etc.)

 

22571275All Fall Down by Ally Carter


3.5 stars

SETTING! Overall, I didn’t find this book to be as excellent as her other series however, I was VERY intrigued with its setting. This novel takes place in the fictional city of Adria, Valancia. It mostly takes place on Embassy row which is a whole street of embassies of countries from all over the world – it’s where the VIPs hang out. So you just take a few steps and BOOM, you’re in a different country. This made the dynamics between the countries very intriguing and contributed to my engagement with the story. I want to visit!

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:
1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay…

3. Most SATISFYING…

(Ending, finale, events, etc.)

2802316Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead


4.5 stars

SEQUEL! This is the third book of the Vampire Academy series and I was so impressed with this follow up from Frostbite which was somewhat of a disappointment for me. The sequel was action-packed, suspenseful, whipped together with an epic and tragic ending. I enjoyed all the new relationships formed and developed, as well as our resident sarcasm machine and protagonist, Rose. All my feels and thoughts an be found in my full review HERE.

4. Most POETIC…

22544764Uprooted by Naomi Novik


4.5 stars

WRITING! I read this early on in the year and thus, could not find a book that matched its poetic beauty. The imagery is unreal in this novel and although takes a while to adjust, it’s completely engaging. I literally can’t describe how amazing of an experience it was reading the words. There’s magic – it’s wonderful. The writing – it’s wonderful. And wait until you get to the villain. Creepy stuff.

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life…

5. Most EPIC…

10964Outlander by Diana Gabaldon


4 stars

AND GARGANTUAN NOVEL EVER! **ADULT FICTION ALERT** I read an adult novel and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is truly the definition of epicness with all the crazy stuff that happens. Everything happens in this novel. The intensity is off the charts. There’s action, and gore, and emotions and an absolutely thrilling ride. My full review can be found HERE.

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743…

6. Most FUN…

32877734The Grift of the Magi by Ally Carter


4.5 stars

#ChristmasHeists. This was like the greatest bookish Christmas gift ever. Kat and her heist gang are back and all the feels flooded in from page 1. I always find Ally Carter books a joy to read and despite this being a novella, it felt like a full story – highly recommend!  If you loved the Heist Society series, don’t skip out on this book just because it’s a novella. More of my thoughts can be found in my review HERE.

The Magi Miracle Network was set to auction off a very rare, very valuable Faberge egg two days before Christmas, but the egg’s been stolen and now the charity’s reputation—and their future—is on the line.
Kat’s family and Interpol might be opposite sides of most jobs, but someone just stole Christmas…

7. Most EMOTIONALLY SOUL-CRUSHING…

20613470Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas


4 stars

The whole purpose of the creation of this book is to rip out your heart and destroy you. Reading it was such an emotional rollercoaster. We truly get to see Celaena struggle to come to terms with herself, dealing with grief and hardships. So many of your questions from reading the first few books of the Throne of Glass series will be answered, and even MORE will be raised. Everything’s tragic and my review can be found HERE!

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever…

8. Most THOUGHT PROVOKING/PERSPECTIVE CHANGING…

1618The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon


4 stars

I’m ashamed to say in the past, I haven’t actively sought out books with good representation of disabilities and mental illnesses. My privilege made me see past that and I didn’t see the concern – which is such an ableist response. Of course being a part of the booknet community, I’ve been able to see the flaws in my way of thinking and although it’s not only this book that attributed to that. However, this book is have an impact on me as the protagonist of it has Asperger’s syndrome – a subtype of autism. It was so interesting seeing the world from the eyes of an autistic child and although I don’t know enough about autism to comment on its accuracy, it helped me understand the importance of empathy.

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow…

9. Most RECOMMENDED…

345627Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead


4 stars

I finally started the Vampire Academy series in 2016 – a series I’ve constantly rejected from other people’s recommendations. I admit, I was wrong because now I’m seriously addicted to this series, its writing and characters. Such a fun series and I highly recommend. Don’t turn away from it just because you hear its about vampires. Give it a chance – at least until the ending of the first book because Richelle Mead writes seriously awesome endings.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger…and the Strigoi are always close by…

10. Most ATRACTIVE…

26200563Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter


5 stars

This book is so beautiful in real life. The spine, cover, photography, even the font. All of it, its aesthetic – so gorgeous. I mean, I love the content as well but I can’t even with its prettiness. I have a review that focuses less on the superficial HERE.

HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages–“since before this was even a show,” according to Miranda–traces its development from an improbable perfor­mance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Miranda has written more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is published here…

THE BEST

11. Best ANTICIPATED RELEASE

25494343Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare


5 stars

One of my favourite reads of 2016 and definitely the best anticipated release. Cassandra Clare books are so unique and the writing is so addicting. Before I read this, I was excited and wary having another Shadowhunters series but I’m glad I was wrong. This didn’t feel redundant – it felt like a new story in the Shadow world that has been so well-developed. Also it was interesting to follow a protagonist that is from the Shadow world and familiar with its customs rather than a newbie discovering it. And did I mention there’s a murder mystery? Excellent characters and relationships, a gripping plot full of twists and turns and awesome dialogue. A great book!

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them…

12. Best DEBUT NOVEL

25698127Yellow by Megan Jacobson


5 stars

#LoveOzYA. I’m so glad this book came to my attention. There is so much packed into this little gem. The writing is so poetic and the protagonist is such a precious, relatable character. It’s gritty and heartwarming and it’s become one of my favourites. Also look how beautiful that cover is – it’s reflected in its contents! A full review can be found HERE.

If fourteen-year-old Kirra is having a mid-life crisis now, then it doesn’t bode well for her life expectancy. Her so-called friends bully her, whatever semblance of a mother she had has been drowned at the bottom of a gin bottle ever since her dad left them for another woman, and now a teenage ghost is speaking to her through a broken phone booth…

13. Best SEQUEL

17167166Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas


4.5 stars

I was very impressed with this follow-up to the first book, Throne of Glass. It was everything I expected from the first instalment and it was epic. I really enjoy Sarah’s writing and she’s another author who is so great with endings. It was so intense and captivating the entire time. My review is HERE.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart…

 

14. Best FINALE

18335634Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare


5 stars

This book wrapped up The Infernal Devices series so well. I don’t expect anything less than greatness and heartbreak from Cassandra Clare finales. This was such an emotional read and engaged me the entire time. I have never seen a love triangle be resolved so flawlessly and tragically at the same time. Also some advice: don’t look at the family tree until you’ve finished the book.

THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray…

15. Best HIDDEN GEM

13149420Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson


5 stars

Another finale and a fantastic one too. I read the first book in this duology, Ultraviolet a very long time ago and that was pretty great as well. This book features an asexual protagonist and smashes all stereotypes. It was fast, it had action and turns throughout the story. I really enjoyed reading from Tori’s perspective and I believe the relationships were well-developed. There should be more talk about this book!

Back in her hometown, Tori Beaugrand had everything a teenaged girl could want—popularity, money, beauty. But she also had a secret. A secret that could change her life in an instant, or destroy it…

16. Best NEW AUTHOR DISCOVERED

Richelle Mead


Basically everyone has heard of Richelle Mead, famous for her Vampire Academy series and now I can say that I understand the hype. Her books are so fun and addictive and you’ll have a jolly time zooming through them. I’m so glad I finally got around to reading her books and I’ll definitely be continuing.

17. Best NEW WORLD DISCOVERED

Image result for outlander scottish highlandsThe Scottish highlands from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon


This isn’t exactly a fictional world but I fell in love with the Scottish highlands reading Outlander. The worldbuilding is so thorough and I was completely immersed in this land. Watching the television series adaptation may have also helped my wanderlust because I so badly want to visit Scotland now.

18. Best NEW CHARACTER DISCOVERED

Tess from The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


There were so many great new characters I discovered this year that I found it rather difficult to choose my absolute best. So these are my honourable mentions:

  • Rose from Vampire Academy
  • Kirra from Yellow
  • Nehemia from Crown of Midnight
  • Emma from Lady Midnight
  • Iago from Othello

However, I instantly connected with Tess and enjoyed her perspective so much. She was entirely relatable and a very admirable character. Any character who’s intuitive can hold their sarcasm gets points from me. She gets emotional but she’s not melodramatic. She’s just so great to read from.

19. Best NEW RELATIONSHIP DISCOVERED

18243700Celaena x Sam AKA Samlaena from The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas


There wasn’t a relationship that really stood out to me amongst others in the books I read in 2016. Am I expecting too much? Although there were a lot of great relationships in the books I read, a lot of the time I was expecting more and this may be largely due to hype surrounding familiar ships and close friendships. I have settled with the Celaena and Sam ship because of its adorableness, them both being assassins and felt like equals (that sentence made no sense). I didn’t love it as much as pretty much everyone does but I enjoyed the development of their relationship. I can’t properly explain it, but Sam just feels right. My full review of this bind-up of novellas can be found HERE.

20. Best BOOK QUOTE

“You treat me like a delicate flower. I’ll have you know that the most delicate flowers often produce the strongest scent when crushed.”

1265703from Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder


It was so difficult just choosing 1 quote. I’ve decided to go with that quote from Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder (which I thoroughly enjoyed might I add). It just really stuck with me. A review is HERE. An honourable mention goes to this one:

“Throughout history, people with new ideas—who think differently and try to change things—have always been called troublemakers.”

– Shadow Kiss, Richelle Mead

And there we have it – my book awards of 2016! There were some fantastic books I read in 2016 and hopefully I read even better ones in 2017. I hope you enjoyed reading this post and have a lovely day.

Emily x

DISCUSSION TIME

What are some of your favourite reads of 2016 in those categories or just in general? Link me your lists! Any good surprises? Comment below!

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