I am so excited about 2016 because there are so many fantastic books coming out this year! I’ve had the pleasure of reading quite a few 2016 releases this month and I can’t wait to share my brief thoughts on each book! I read a total of 17 books this month (plus one reread) and I’m super ahead in my 100 book challenge!
I wanted to talk briefly about my reading goals for this year. I’ve created a new page called 2016 Reading Challenges that lists my 4 goals for this year. In addition to reading 100 books this year, I’m hoping to read The Complete Sherlock Holmes by the end of the year. This month, I read A Study in Scarlet, one of the four novels in the collection. I’ve also signed up for one reading challenge, which is to read all of the Youth Media Awards YA Books of 2016. You can check out the challenges on my Reading Challenges Page. Lastly, I’m also planning to participate each month in Aentee @ Read at Midnight‘s new Diverse YA Book Club!
[edit: I completely forgot about the Aussie YA Bloggers 2016 Book Club Challenge! I’ll be adding a section on my Reading Challenges page later].
As always, these books appear in the order that I read them and their reviews are linked. I am a co-blogger at Happy Indulgence and I also post YA reviews there.
1. Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods – Rick Riordan (illustrated by John Rocco)
A beautifully illustrated guide to the 12 major gods (and goddesses) of Olympus. It also contains chapters about the beginning of the world and the Titans. I absolutely loved this and will treasure this book forever.
2. Madame Tussaud’s Apprentice – Kathleen Benner Duble
This is a historical fiction novel set in France during the French Revolution. It follows a young orphan girl who is a thief and steals from the rich. One day she is given the opportunity to work as an apprentice for Madame Tussaud and discovers that the world doesn’t work the way she thought it did…
3. The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski
This is one of my new favourite series now. It has a superbly constructed plot and world. The characters are magnificent and the tension will have you rolling around in anticipation.
4. The Winner’s Crime – Marie Rutkoski
One of my favourite novels of all time! This was the perfect sequel to The Winner’s Curse. The yearning and tension and political intrigue in this book was out of this world!! Cannot recommend this one highly enough and it was, by far, my favourite book of the month,.
5. Passenger – Alexandra Bracken
A scavenger hunt through time and space, Passenger follows the story of a violin virtuoso who discovers that she comes from a family of time travellers.
6. Chewy Noh and the March of Death – Tim Learn
The third instalment of the Chewy Noh series, this one was a little bit disappointing since I enjoyed the first two so much. I still found the Korean culture and the mythology to be fascinating though.
7. The Distance from A to Z – Natalie Blitt
A short and fast-paced contemporary romance about a girl who attends an intensive French language course during the summer. She falls in love with her French speaking partner… and things happen. I wasn’t a big fan of this one. It was a pretty average plot with a frustrating and dislikable main character. This book also had a large amount of dialogue that was in French, with English translations provided at the end of every line, which felt very repetitive to me since I’ve studied French in the past. It also kind of broke the flow of the book a little. This novel was just kind of average.
8. Second Chance Summer – Morgan Matson
This is one of my new favourite coming of age stories. It’s a beautiful summery contemporary about forgiveness and second chances. It had wonderful characters and the perfect balance of family, romance and friendship.
9. Yuki Chan in Brontë Country – Mick Jackson
An adult novel about a Japanese girl in a small English town during the winter. Yuki is on a quest to find out what led to her mother’s death a decade ago. This was a beautifully written story about a girl travelling alone to a foreign country.
10. Truthwitch – Susan Dennard
The first book in a new four-book high fantasy series, Truthwitch was one long escape/survival story. It has some amazing characters and ships and an intriguing magic system, but lacked a little on the world building.
11. Symptoms of Being Human – Jeff Garvin
A unique and eye-opening novel about a gender fluid character. There’s a lot of information about gender fluidity packed into this book but it felt a little bit plotless at times.
12. Not If I See You First – Eric Lindstrom
Another eye-opening read about a blind main character and her discovery that things aren’t always as they seem. It was a fast-paced read and I enjoyed how the book explored blindness. It was lighthearted and showed how the main character is able to do things that others can do.
13. Max – Sarah Cohen-Scali
Written from the perspective of a boy who was conceived and molded into the perfect Hitler youth, this book follows Max’s journey from birth until the end of WWII. This book is profound and disturbing and I enjoyed reading about the Nazi Regime from such a unique perspective.
14. Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club – Alison Goodman
A paranormal fantasy, set in Regency London, this book follows Lady Helen as she discovers that she’s not just a regular young lady in 19th century London. She discovers a clandestine world full of tentacled demons and becomes sucked into the action and horror of it all.
15. The Year We Fell Apart – Emily Martin
This is another fast-paced contemporary, second-chance romance story. The premise of this book seems very similar to Second Chance Summer. However, this debut novel wasn’t quite as good and I had some problems with the plot and main character.
16. The Love That Split the World – Emily Henry
This was a bit of a strange read for me. It’s not quite contemporary, not quite fantasy and not quite magical realism. There were lots of things that I didn’t understand but it was still, strangely, enjoyable?
17. The Stars at Oktober Bend – Glenda Millard
I actually finished this at 2am on Feb 1, but I’m going to sneak this one in here. I could have read this one faster but the writing was so beautiful that I had to read the whole book out loud. This is a moving Australian YA novel about overcoming adversity and living with hope and courage. A review will be coming soon.
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
I reread this one for the Diverse YA Book Club this month and I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time I read this book.
I posted a Top Ten Tuesday list each week of January:
- 05-01-16: Book Bucket List 2016
- 12-01-16: Ten 2015 Releases That I Didn’t Get To
- 19-01-16: Last Ten Books I Added To My Wishlist
- 26-01-16: Favourite Villains / Morally Ambiguous Characters
What was your favourite book of the month?