what i read // 2016 favourites

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I really hope the whole season/summer has been a great time for you. I also hope you've got lots of books to keep you company or you were given some for Christmas. My perfect Boxing Day will always involve books, to be honest. : )

I didn't quite reach my Goodreads 2016 reading challenge. I was, like, five books short of it, which is sad, but this post isn't really about that. It's about celebrating all the awesome books I did read in 2016, and, you know what? I read some pretty great books. I ventured outside of my historical and middle-grade fiction comfort zone of which I'm super proud, haha.

Because lists are the best and help me make sense of everything, I've made one of my favourite books read in 2016. Yes, it's in somewhat of an order, and, yes, there are Goodreads links. But there won't be, like, proper reviews or anything, only a brief premise/blurb, some comparative titles and why I loved it or you might like to read it.

Okay? Okay. (Yay!)

2 0 1 6  F A V O U R I T E  R E A D S

X The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock // Yes, I know I've mentioned (gushed) over this novel a few times. I just loved everything: the four main characters' intertwining stories, the similes and semicolons, the unpretentious, visual writing, and the setting of 1970s Alaska. If you love any of those elements, or, if you want a shortish, wintery read that deals with serious issues and has all the emotions, READ THIS. (You're welcome.)
O Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta // Three things I loved: the sweet, stubborn, messed up normal main character, Francesca Spinelli; the absolutely bursting full of life supporting characters; how Melina Marchetta writes about the theme of saving yourself. I think if you like Jenny Han or Siobhan Vivian novels (which I've also read this year), you'll definitely enjoy this story.
X Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter, and Me by Lorilee Craker // Thanks goes to my mum for discovering and letting me borrow her copy of this memoir about adoption and literary heroines. Four stories (those of Lorilee, her daughter, Anne Shirley, and LM Montgomery) are wrapped around each other. I'm thankful to learn so much about Anne's creator, to be reminded how much I love Anne, and to be invited on a journey of how God adopts us all.
O Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson // Surprise, surprise, another historical fiction! Chains is set in the late 1700s around the interesting paradox of if the American colonies can question what independence means and fight for their freedom, why can't Isabel, a twelve-year-old slave girl? For me, her voice burst off every page and I particularly loved the historical realism.  
X Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy by Karen Foxlee // Sensible science blends with magic and friendship and saving the world in this loose retelling of The Snow Queen, one of my most favourite fairy tales. It's such an enthralling, imaginative middle-grade fantasy adventure. There's lots of snow and missing names and creepy creatures and swords (like the main character's dad is a leading authority on swords), so why wouldn't you want to read this? ;)
O Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman // I can honestly say I've never read a novel quite like this one: the writing is all kinds of amazing and makes you feel so many different emotions all at once; the story is confusing, nonjudgemental, and honest. It's about Caden's suffering from, being diagnosed with, and learning to live with a mental illness. As someone who hasn't read a lot of fiction dealing with mental illness or doesn't have personal experience with it, Challenger Deep was eye-opening, to say the least.
X Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty // What I love about this novel is that is has pretty much everything: friendship, imaginary thought letters, circuses, foreign countries, dogs, sadness, and imperfection. On the surface it seems light and funny, but underneath the quirks is a layer of quiet honesty about the twists and turns of teenage life. I reckon if you liked Melina Marchetta or Cath Crowley's novels, you'll probably find a soft spot in your heart for Jaclyn Moriarty's YA contemporary epistolary novel.

So which books made your 2016 favourites list? Did we twin on any? Oh, and, reading suggestions (new year, new reading challenge) are welcome!!


  1. I've heard nothing but great things about The Smell of Other People's Houses and Chasing Francisca, so seeing them on your list is just reaffirming my need to read them as soon as possible.

    Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous choices! <3

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    1. Ooops...I meant Saving Francisca LOL.

    2. Seriously and probably, you have to read both of them! :) Thanks for stopping by, Zoe.


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