2016 was the year that gave us “Three Dark Crowns,” “Crooked Kingdom,” “Crystal Storm,” “Lady Midnight” and my blog, As The Book Ends (which I know you’re all beyond ecstatic about). I have to say, last year was a pretty phenomenal book year, and I am so glad to have been a part of it. Below is a list of my top 2016 picks for various categories of novels.
Favorite Cover of 2016: “The Blazing Star” by Imani Josey
I mean, really, just look at it. I can’t wait to see what the cover of the next book in this series looks like. Imani, make sure you keep that cover artist —they did a stunning job. The interior of the book is as appealing as the exterior. Set in ancient Egypt, “The Blazing Star” is unlike anything I read this year.
Favorite Historical Romance of 2016: “My Rogue, My Ruin” by Amalie Howard and Angie Morgan
Mystery, intrigue, witty banter and a touching love story — “My Rogue, My Ruin” has it all. I am so glad that these authors decided to collaborate, and I am waiting with bated breath for the next book in this series.
Favorite Contemporary Romance of 2016: “Beautifully Broken” by Laura Lee
I always say that if a romance novel makes me cry, it is a good one. This book had me sobbing, devouring chocolate by the handful and clutching my kitten for dear life. Laura Lee has a rare talent for character development, and this book absolutely showcases it. If you’re looking for a touching love story to curl up with, I highly recommend this one.
Favorite Love Story of 2016: “Lady Midnight” by Cassandra Clare
Trust me when I say that nobody loves a forbidden romance as much as I do. The love story between Emma and Jules, while not the biggest part of this book, was captivating. I thought that Cassandra Clare was done pulling at my heartstrings when Jem, Tess and Will got their happy endings — little did I know, she hadn’t even started. This book gave me butterflies and gossebumps. May just can’t come quickly enough.
Favorite YA Book of 2016: “Crooked Kingdom” by Leigh Bardugo
Let’s be real: Don’t be surprised that I chose this novel — I even have a quote from this book tattooed on my forearm. This duology consists of two of my favorite books of all time. There is not a single character I failed to connect with, nor a single chapter I didn’t enjoy. The Grisha trilogy was fantastic, but “Six of Crows” and “Crooked Kingdom” were, in my opinion, instant classics.
Favorite Breakout Author of 2016: “Ever the Hunted” by Erin Summerill
While I didn’t love Britta and Cohen as a character couple, I like Summerill’s writing style. The book flowed well and was easy to read. As a debut novel, “Ever the Hunted” set the bar high for Summerill’s future. She is definitely an author to watch.
Favorite Fantasy Book of 2016: “Crystal Storm” by Morgan Rhodes
This is another book that my twitter followers will be unsurprised to find in my list of favorites. The best way to describe the “Falling Kingdoms” series is this: It is a well-written soap opera disguised as a fantasy novel. There are plot twists, romances-gone-wrong, murders, betrayals and deceptions galore. This series gets better with every book Morgan Rhodes writes, and I continue to find myself more and more connected to and invested in the characters.
Favorite Book of 2016: “Three Dark Crowns” by Kendare Blake
What can I say about this book that will do it justice? For me, this book kind of came out of nowhere. I picked it up for the first time after seeing that Kendare Blake was one of the authors signing at a book festival I planned to attend. If the premise of the book alone isn’t enough to suck you in, trust me when I say that “Three Dark Crowns” is an absolute must-read.
The majority of this book was spent world-building and introducing readers to the characters, but it still completely knocked my socks off. I can’t wait to see what Blake has in store for her readers with book two.
With any luck, 2017 will bring as many incredible books as 2016 did. Last year was one of the best literary years I have had in a long long while.
Read more of Erin’s book reviews at her blog, As the Book Ends.