My 2016 Year in Reading

I don’t blog much anymore (that’s actually one of my 2017 resolutions, because with the year we’re about to have, I feel like I have more to say than what can be conveyed in a tweet), but my year in reading post is stalwart. I had a pretty good year, though I fell just shy of my 100 books goal (I actually thought I was about to meet it with the book I’m reading now, but then realized I’d miscounted … oops!). So without further adieu, here’s my faves:

The Great Harry Potter Reread
I’d read the first 4 books a couple times, but this year I decided to do a complete series reread for the first time ever. And holy wow did those books hold up. I actually enjoyed the 7th book more the second time around than I did the first (it seemed like they wandered in the woods less than I remembered?). My favorite is a tie between The Prisoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
It’s a hard book to read, but one I think we all need to as we move into 2017. Of course, I didn’t know what would be coming when I read it back in February (oh, you sweet summer child…).

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
This was such a Lauren book … snark, humor, and amazing chemistry in the romance. I looooved Jack, the book boyfriend. I’m really looking forward to what Jenn Bennett does next.

Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas
This is one that had sat on my shelf for a long time before I finally picked it up. And damn, is it good. I’d put this right up there with Perks of Being a Wallflower for instant classic, and yet so many YA fans I know haven’t read it. It has a really interesting format, and the voice is really fantastic. Highly recommend for YA readers looking for a deep cut.

Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
Another book that had been on my shelf for a while, and I’m so glad I finally picked it up. I’ve loved all Leila’s books, and this one is right up there (I also reread my favorite of hers, This Song Will Save Your Life this year). I was truly surprised by the plot, which is something that doesn’t happen to me a lot, what with all the YA I read. Leila Sales stays on my auto-buy list.

Once Was a Time by Leila Sales
Speaking of Leila Sales, this is her middle grade book that came out this year. Middle grade is not normally my thing, but like I said, Leila = auto-buy. And man, I was not disappointed. It’s a great twist on time travel that I devoured in one sitting (I stayed up late to finish!). I’m pretty sure this would have been 5th grade Lauren’s very favorite book.

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by Elana K. Johnston
This was a one-sitting read for me. It’s heavy, but it a way that you don’t see often, and I think it does a lot of good work to combat rape culture. There are some amazing characters in this one, and if you missed it, go back and pick it up.

One Plus One by JoJo Moyes
I read 3 JoJo Moyes books this year, but this one was by far my favorite. The characters felt so vibrant and real, and I think it did a really good job exploring the realities of poverty. The romance was also very sweet.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
A Pride & Prejudice retelling for anyone who ever wanted Elizabeth and Darcy to bone. ‘Nuff said.

The Girls in the Moon by Janet McNally
I’m pretty sure this was my favorite book I read this year. I read it as a galley, and when it came out I made sure to get a hard cover. You hear “If you love Sarah Dessen, you’ll love …” all the time, but this book really means it. It’s got a really interesting POV that you never see in YA, but here it absolutely works. I’m already looking forward to my reread.

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
I read several adult books this year (gasp!), and enjoyed a lot of them. I’ve heard really mixed reviews on this one, but it really worked for me. Despite being a story about rich white people problems, it never felt cynical. It was funny and heartfelt, and I loved the characters.

The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Savenaz Tash
Another 100% Lauren book. If you love John Hughes movies and classic rom coms, this book is absolutely for you, whether you’re into comics or fandom or not. It just made me so happy, which is really what I need from books these days.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Another one that sat on my shelf, and I’m glad I finally picked it up. Even more glad that I picked it up just as the sequel was coming out, because Crooked Kingdom was just as good, if not better. It’s like Ocean’s 11 meets Gangs of New York … but with magic. How’s that for a pitch? Seriously, believe the hype and just read this. I”m not even a fantasy person and I loved it.

The Hate U Give by Angela Thomas
Speaking of hype, this has got to be one of the most-hyped books of 2017. Which can be a dangerous position to be in, particularly for a debut. Well, I got an ARC of it, and I gotta say, it 100% lived up to the hype. In fact, I’d say it exceeded my sky-high expectations. The characters are so vivid and amazing (I seriously loved her father), and it’s the perfect example of why #ownvoices is important. I truly don’t think any tourist writer could write even one tenth of this level of realism and create such wonderful, full-realized characters.

Party of One by Dave Holmes (audio)
My favorite audiobook genre is “Celebrity Memoirs Read by the Celebrity,” and this was far and away my favorite of these. Maybe because it hit my nostalgia button, maybe because Dave Holmes is hilarious and a damn fantastic writer, maybe it was his own great reading. Whatever it was, I was all in. This one joins Amy Poehler’s Yes Please as an audio book I’ll listen to again.

And there you have it! My favorite reads of 2016. Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn will probably hop on this list, too, but I haven’t finished it yet.

So spill in the comments … what were your favorite reads of 2016?

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