Although I only read 40 books, I felt that I really read quite a bit more than I have any other year. I know that many book bloggers read 50-100+ books a year, but I guess I just enjoy the slow ride of reading. Anyway, for this blog post, I will be discussing my top six favorite reads of 2016 and why I recommend them to you! (If there are multiple in a series, I am going to list them all as one item for diversity’s sake.) Enjoy!

  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses / A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  2. Throne of Glass / Crown of Midnight / Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
  3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  4. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  5. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  6. November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Because I am not caught up on my reader reactions for 2016, I do not yet have responses already written for each of them. Instead, I am just going to say that I simply love each and briefly explain why.

A Court of Thorns and Roses & A Court of Misty and Fury

These two novels are truly my favorite twist on Beauty and the Beast that I’ve read this year! Sadly, I had waited to read anything by Maas until this year. I wish that I’d started much sooner so I’d have been more excited during 2016’s new book releases, but at least there are this year’s to look forward to. Sarah J. Maas, as I have written dutifully in every reader reaction of her novels, is a literary goddess whom I praise for her talent at weaving webs so beautifully intricate and intriguing that her words become so much more tangible than ink on paper. If you love young adult literature and fairy tale retellings with a twist, I highly recommend these two novels.

Throne of Glass & Crown of Midnight & Heir of Fire

The Throne of Glass series was one recommended to me by a friend whose novel choices I trust very much; however, there were aspects of the series that I questioned, so I didn’t actually get around to reading it until after finishing both ACOTAR and ACOMAF just to get more of Maas’ writing. The concerns that I’d had with the series before reading it were completely forgotten within the first couple chapters of the first book. The second installment in the series took me a little longer to get through, but I finished the third quite quickly. Again, Maas has a knack for enthralling her readers and creating worlds that they don’t want to leave. Much like the first series that I’d read by her, I fell in love with the settings, characters, conflicts, atmosphere, and plot of the Throne of Glass series. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves badass characters and who aren’t afraid of actual physical conflict on top of the emotional and mental struggles.

Jane Eyre

This was my mother’s favorite book at the age of 9. Because of that, I was a little too intimidated to read it for quite some time. However, I read it this year for a Victorian Literature class and fell in love. For those of you who know the story from any of the films, it’s different. You get so much more from the book. The first person narrative of Jane Eyre is absolutely heart-breaking and tender yet wild to the core. It is a true reflection of the struggles of women, youth, and the middle-class in Victorian England. Although it doesn’t depict the lives of laborers versus the rich like Dickens’ novels, it is a brilliant view into the eyes of a young woman juggling expectations and prejudices. Honestly, this is a read for just about anyone.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Homosexuality has never phased me. In fact, exploring that different perspective through literature as a heterosexual female has led me to become even more open-minded, I believe. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was the first full-length novel that I read which highlighted homosexuality/gender confusion as a central theme. In today’s society, I think that it’s important for people to understand the outlooks of others. Literature is a wonderful window into lives unlike our own. Though I was hesitant to read Saenz’s novel at first, I am so glad that I did finish it! This is truly a spectacular novel that everyone should read. It’s quick and interesting. Although the writing style wasn’t my favorite, it was different, which I appreciated. I do recommend it.

Heartless

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Alice in Wonderland. Beauty and the Beast retellings are my favorite, but I am a sucker for Wonderland! That being said, of course Heartless was going to be in my top 6 for 2016. Marissa Meyer is a talented spinner of tales. It was my favorite of her books that I’ve read, thus far. It’s based before Alice falls through the rabbit hole into Wonderland – before the Queen of Hearts is chosen by the King. The entire duration, I was rooting for Kath against the odds. As for the ending, it’s one of those that makes you so full of emotions that you can’t read anything else for a bit. If you enjoy retellings and love stories that stab you repeatedly in the heart (in a good way), then I highly recommend Heartless.

November 9

This last year was the first time that I picked up a novel by Colleen Hoover! Although I’d heard of her before, I just hadn’t taken the time to seek out any of her books while at the store or via amazon. After reading November 9 this last November, that certainly changed. It may be a short book and a quick love story, but it’s much more than that. She explores vanity, self-esteem, self-worth, love, pain, relationships, family ties, and so much more! Honestly, I was extremely surprised when the story picked up and I found that I wasn’t reading a typical sappy romance novel. Hoover does a brilliant job in each of her novels (that I’ve read) at delving into people’s lives to really give birth to a person and their live rather than a character and their story. Readers who enjoy atypical love stories would definitely enjoy November 9 (though I recommend waiting ’til November to read it if you haven’t but plan to!).

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