This year was a strange one for books. Originally I aimed to read 100 books on my Goodreads challenge. When my life turned upside down because of school, I changed it to 90 books. Then when it became clear I wasn’t going to be able to read 90 books, I changed it to 85, and I barely made it.
I didn’t post very many book reviews this year, mostly because I hardly had time towards the end of the year. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t read any.
I read A LOT of great books this year, and putting this post together reminded me how many there were that I had forgotten about from earlier on in the year.
Like last year, I put together sections of my favourite books in categories. Within these categories, I list my absolute favourite book and why. Hope you enjoy reading this!
Best Adult Fiction
All of the books in this category captivated me. Whether they made me cry or made me laugh, all of the stories held my attention and made me think about them well after I had turned the last page. They’re all very different, but I enjoyed them all immensely. It’s a tough decision and I’m a bit embarrassed by my favourite out of these, but I stand by it: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. Unlike the others, it’s not a very deep story, but I enjoyed it immensely. Kwan’s story charts a family that is equal parts fascinating and rich. It was such an escapist read that I fell in love immediately with the story and the characters. I was so stressed with school when I read it that it felt like a vacation to escape into a life filled with private jets and private islands with the characters. Funny and filled with fascinating characters, Crazy Rich Asians was also my staff pick at work.
I read a lot of YA contemporary books this year. When compiling this list, I initially had 6 books, but then I narrowed it down to my top 4. Every single one of these books was wonderful; they all made me feel like I knew the characters, especially the protagonists. My absolute favourite was Paper Towns by John Green. I like to call this year the year of John Green for me. I read The Fault in Our Stars last year and didn’t really enjoy so I put him off. But then someone recommended him An Abundance of Katherines to me and I really enjoyed it. Then I read Paper Towns and I fell in love with Quentin and Margo and the rest of the characters. Humorous yet heart-breaking, Paper Towns stayed me for awhile. Green’s writing of both Quentin and Margo was impeccable; at every step of the story, I felt like I knew them and that I was part of their crazy adventures. It too made my staff pick at work and I recommended it everyone and anyone who walked through teen this year.
I didn’t read very many YA Paranormal books this year, but all three of these were highly enjoyable. Neither of them followed the classic good girl meets bad vampire/angel/werewolf cliched story and that’s why I loved them equally. They were all unique in their plots and characters. But my absolute favourite is Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan. I absolutely LOVED this book! Whimsical and witty, Unspoken was unlike anything I had read before; Kami was hilarious as a protagonist and reading about her and Jared’s connection was highly enjoyable, especially when they finally meet each other. The ending blew me away and for once I was glad I read a book so late after it was published, since I only had to wait a few short months before the sequel.
Psychological Thriller (adult and teen)
This is a combined category of teen and adult fiction. All three of these books kept me up at night as I furiously turned pages, dying to know what would happen next. All of these were equal parts horrifying and fascinating. But my favourite one from these three is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Technically this is a book from last year, but I only got my hands on it this year and I’m so glad I did! The beginning was a bit slow, but the story quickly picks up and before you know it, you are on a roller coaster of a lifetime with Nick and Amy, a couple who are both strange and wonderful and weird. Amy was such a wonderfully written and I couldn’t stop thinking about her and Nick well after the story was done. So creepy, yet so wonderful!
I read all three of these in the latter part of the year and so all three are fresh in my mind. All three are follow-ups to other books and so all three had the pressure of living up to high expectations. Only one was almost as good as its predecessor and that’s Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes. Sequel to last year’s Falling Kingdoms, Rebel Spring picks up shortly after. Told in the similar style of multiple point of views, Rebel Spring adds a few new characters and a whole host of complications as evil King Gaius’s plans begin to come to fruition. The lives of all the characters continue to inter
So these three were all books that hyped up a lot this year, yet all three managed to disappoint me immensely. For me, the biggest disappointment, naturally, was The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith aka JK Rowling. I didn’t enjoy Jo’s The Casual Vacancy yet when news broke about The Cuckoo’s Calling, I quickly grabbed a copy at my local library before anyone even knew what was happening. Despite my excitement for Jo’s newest piece of fiction, I found myself disappointed in the plot. The characters were interesting, but I found myself losing interest in the murder mystery halfway through the book. I know Jo can write a good mystery (see Chamber of Secrets), and so I was disappointed in the pacing and excitement of it all. Despite that, I know I was still always read anything Jo puts out. 😛
Anyways, those are this year’s top picks! Hope you enjoyed this post and found something new to read. 🙂
Hope you all have a great evening; see you next year!
Thanks for reading,