Since we are approaching the halfway point of the year I thought I would make a list of my favourite reads of 2016 (so far!). I’ve been fortunate enough to read some excellent books so far this year and this is my top five.
5. The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood.
This brilliantly crafted, hard hitting book won the Stella Prize for fiction and has been nominated for the Miles Franklin Award. As a gritty, symbolic analogy of modern misogyny it takes no prisoners and makes for a compelling read (review to come). It’s surprisingly accessible and fast-paced for literary fiction.
Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in an abandoned property in the middle of a desert in a story of two friends, sisterly love and courage – a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted.
4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl speaks to geek in all of us and is a good, easy read. The character interactions in this novel are wonderfully authentic and relatable – Rowell is a truly talented YA writer.
In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life–and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to. Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is probably the best young adult fantasy book that I have read. It is engaging, well written and fast paced, with excellent world-building.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.
When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
2. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Me Before You is another interesting, light read. Moyes unfolds a beautiful love story with a fleshed-out cast of characters. The issues dealt with in this novel are well-done and very relevant to our times.
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.
1.Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor and Park gripped me completely, as a beautiful story of first love. Like in Fangirl, Rowell writes interactions in E&P realistically and the plot flows effortlessly. I absolutely loved this book!
Eleanor is the new girl in town, and she’s never felt more alone. All mismatched clothes, mad red hair and chaotic home life, she couldn’t stick out more if she tried. Then she takes the seat on the bus next to Park. Quiet, careful and, in Eleanor’s eyes, impossibly cool, Park’s worked out that flying under the radar is the best way to get by. Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mixed tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re 16, and you have nothing and everything to lose. Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor and Park is funny, sad, shocking and true – an exquisite nostalgia trip for anyone who has never forgotten their first love
Thanks for checking out this post 🙂
What have been your favourite reads of 2016 so far?