From thriller to horror, to romance, this list has books from all over the genre spectrum, but the one thing they all have in common is the simple fact that these are the best books I’ve read in 2016.
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
This was the first book I read of the year and it amazed me. I feel like this book almost completely kick started me back into really loving reading again. North’s narration and characters were unlike anything I’d read in such a long time. I was lost in the story the entire way through and was sad to see it end. This was everything it needed to be, funny, serious, exciting and sad. Beautiful.
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
I went into this wary, as it’s really a love or hate kind of book, plus I love the film adaptation so didn’t want to feel let down. I can’t quite work out whether this novel is as amazing as I think it is or whether I just read it at the right time and in the right mindset, but either way, I know this has become one of my all time favourite reads. Not for the weak stomached and not for the faint hearted. This is one of those books you’ve got to read before you die.
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
I never thought I’d pick up an emotional love story like this ever again as those kinds of books are really not what I’m into anymore, but this blew me away. I’d seen so much hype about it all over my Goodreads feed so stepped out of my comfort zone to see what was so great. I don’t think I’ve ever been so emotional over a book, and I know I’ll never be so emotional over a child-adult relationship ever again, but this story gripped my heart strings and tugged with all its might.
The Last One by Alexandra Oliva
This is a bit of a weird one. This debut came out around the middle of the year and was something I requested off Netgalley just as a random read. I certainly wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did! Again, this is not the sort of book I normally read, in fact, it may be the only dystopian novel I’ve ever finished but something about the characters had me turning the pages at lightning speed. It’s certainly one of the more fun and light reads on this list!
A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan
I had been anticipating this book for a long time. Adding it into my Amazon basket and then removing it, not sure if I actually wanted to purchase it or not. In the end, a mistake with Amazon was actually how it came into my possession and I’m annoyed I hadn’t given it a try sooner! I think a lot of people rate this mediocrely because they’re not expecting it to be so mellow and slow-paced, but that was something I enjoyed about this. It was still suspenseful and creepy, but it didn’t rush anywhere, it didn’t give up all the excitement in one go only to fall short at the end, it just let you go with the flow, and I liked that.
The Girl Before by Rena Olsen
Another incredible debut to add to this list and also another book I’d anticipated for a long time. Admittedly, when I first started I wasn’t sure I was going to love this but as the story drew out, the more I realised just how thrilling this was to read. Olsen’s writing was so smooth throughout, it was easy to lose track of time when reading this. Even though this deals with some pretty depressing topics, it’s still an easy book to pick up and enjoy.
Misery by Stephen King
This was my first ever Stephen King read and it grabbed my attention from the first page. Both now and in my review, I’ve found it hard to put into words why I loved this so much. It was just amazing, that’s all I can think to say. It will suck you in, chew you up and spit you out at the other end, craving more of King’s writing, as it did with me. Another book to read before you die.
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
I’ve been sat here wondering what to write about why this novel is in my top books of 2016 but I can’t actually come up with anything to say. This was just one of those books that I connected with for no particular reason. It was simply that I enjoyed the story and the writing just perfectly. Slow moving historical fiction mysteries will always be some of my favourite reads.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
I never, in a million years, thought I would be so in love with a sci-fi romance novel. This might be my favourite read of the year! I can’t say too much about it without spoiling anything, but all you have to know is that this will blow your mind and you’ll have some serious trouble enjoying other books straight after you read it, because your expectations of literature will be set so high.