Let's Discuss: The Best and Worst Books of 2016


Apparently, there are only a couple of weeks left in 2016.

WHAT.

I am not mentally prepared for this help.

This year absolutely zoomed by, and I think one of the reasons is all the awesome books we in the book blogging community read.

(And then there were the not so good ones.....but shhh, we don't talk about them. They have been officially shunned and put in the corner.)

Today, I've enlisted the help of some of the most fabulous bloggers in the 'sphere to talk about the very best - and very worst - of the books we read in 2016.

Vivian @ Day-Dreamer, Night-Thinker
My favorite book I read during 2016 was definitely To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I loved this book so much that when I finished it the first time, I flipped back to the front cover and read it a second time through. The way it was written, from the perspective of a young girl, was genius, and allowed the reader to get the full picture from a viewpoint that was still innocent, and untainted by society's biases. I also loved how the book focused on not one but numerous themes, and explored them all excellently. It was a truly awesome read, and one of my favorite books of all time. My least favorite book I read this year was probably (sorry my friend who loved these) Daughter of Smoke and Bone. In particular, I disliked the last one. Although the concept was intriguing, I found the book bland and one dimensional overall. The love story in particular was written very poorly, and overall I disliked most of the plot line. To be honest, the series was really only redeemed by Ziri, Mik, Liraz, and Zuzana. Those four characters were really the only reason I continued to read, which is not good since they are secondary characters. But in general, 2016 was a pretty good year in books for me.
by far, the best book i read this year was milk and honey by rupi kaur. first of all, ms. kaur’s story is incredibly inspiring; secondly, her writing is absolutely stunning. her poems are extremely powerful and the kind of poetry i’ve always wanted to be able to do. i want to be able to affect the world like she has through her work. in direct contrast to that is the worst book i read this year, stealing snow by danielle paige. it’s a fantasy retelling, but it just felt like ms. paige smashed a bunch of fairytales together haphazardly to make something “cool” instead of actually thinking through her choices. furthermore, snow was an extremely special snowflake with the depth of a smashed pancake. it was, unfortunately, a very disappointing read.
Hi! I’m Anna, the blogger behind annaish. Annaish emphasizes books but my blog also contains some bits and pieces of lifestyle and personal photography. But today I’m here to talk about books, more specifically, my absolute favorites of 2016.
Personally, this year, I was all about the big series. I read Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Heroes of Olympus. But 2016 was also the year when my favorite series ended. That being said, The Raven King and Crooked Kingdom were my top two favorites this year. With The Raven King, I had this hunger for it. I simply just needed that book. Were the characters going to be ok? How about this thing? Or this? I was craving for answers .. while with Crooked Kingdom, I could have waited a couple more months for it. I had more answers (the author was dropping teasers like crazy!) with Crooked Kingdom so I was more nervous how things were going to play out. And well, I also cried over Crooked Kingdom. That tells you something, I guess. The Raven King and Crooked Kingdom were my two favorites for 2016 but I had different thoughts, reactions, and feelings over them.
Honorable mentions: A Gathering of Shadows, Gemina, Girl Against the Universe, Stars Above.
Now, I didn’t despise a lot of books this year but I had issues with The Crown and A Court of Mist and Fury. The Crown is the last book in The Selection series, a series I’ve had problems with from the start. I was altogether disappointed, not surprised, with how things were wrapped up. With A Court of Mist and Fury, I had problems with a main character. I didn’t like this character’s personality or beliefs. Since this character was a main focus in the book, this created more problems for me. Overall, I had given some high ratings to books this year!
Best Book - Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal. Okay, technically my favorite book I read this year was Cress by Marissa Meyer but since that's a 3rd book in a series, I decided to choose the best standalone I've read. And that was, without a shadow of a doubt, Paper Crowns. This is a wistful little story you're going to want to consume under a tree on a summer's day. It's short and simplistic, but that's the very charm of it. This is a fairytale through and through, with an enchanting world, magical beings, humorous mishaps, and beautifully simple but fluent writing that sweeps you away right into the whimsy of it all. Then there’s Mirriam’s trademark lovable characters. Such as Hal a SHAPESHIFTING CAT (need I say more?), Ginny our heroine who can make origami come alive, and a fire elemental who literally speaks in ALL CAPS. Also Azrael. If for no other reason, read this book for the wizard Azrael. Trust me on this. Paper Crowns is a breath of sunshine, and one of the most delightful books I've ever had the pleasure of reading.
Worst Book - The Beguilers by Kate Thompson. This book was just...weird. I found it at a thrift store for 50 cents and I'm a sucker for cheap books, so I decided to give it a try. I regret that now. It was one of the most tedious things I've ever read. There was no plot, at least not that I could tell. The whole idea is that there are these creatures made of light called the Beguilers, who hypnotize people and lead them to their deaths, but no one knows what they are or why they're, ya know, always trying to kill people. So Rilka, a girl from a small village, has taken it upon herself to try to capture one of these mysterious things. Okay, not too bad a premise, right? But then...nothing happened. I kid you not when I say the entire book was about Rilka climbing up a mountain and then climbing back down. That was it. Nothing happened during her journey. It's like it took the most boring parts of books (the loooong journey full of camping and scavenging for food and walking and walking and walking) and made that the whole story. And the telling! Oh, the telling. No showing, no emotion, hardly any dialogue. Just the narrator telling me about this girl's walk up a mountain. And when she finally made it to her destination and we got to the climax it...made no sense. At all. I think there was supposed to be some deep message somewhere but I didn't get it. I was so absurdly confused! I honestly have no clue what happened at the end. None. I waded through paragraph after paragraph of telling and walking with no action to speak of, only to receive a completely bizarre and unclear climax. But this could just be me! This book actually won some awards, and it's a short little thing, so it took no time to get through. So if it sounds interesting to you, there's no real harm giving it a try. It just...wasn't for me.
Melissa @ Quill Pen Writer


2016 hasn’t been the most amazing reading year for me; there’s been ups and downs, and I wasn’t able to read as many books as I’d liked to. When I sat down to think about what my favourite book of the year was, I have to admit I was a little stumped. Firstly, my memory is horrible, and secondly because that meant picking from books I love! But honestly, the winner has to be ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ by Sarah J Maas. It’s one of the few sequels I’ve read that I consider better than the first book, and the world-building is so crazy good! I could go on and on and on about it. As for least favourite book...well, this one wasn’t so hard to pick: ‘Rook’ by Sharon Cameron. The premise and world-building almost saved it for me, but the characters fell flat and the pacing made me want to grit my teeth in frustration. Here’s to a better reading year in 2017!
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So, let's chat! What were the best books you read in 2016? The worst? Do you agree or disagree with any on these lists? And what 2017 releases are you most looking forward to? Comment below, and have a wonderful day <3

Namarië,
Ellie

14 comments:

  1. ooh, this was really interesting! I honestly haven't read most of these books. But I LOVED Crooked Kingdom and the Raven King so I'd agree that they're two of the best books of the year.😍😍

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    1. Crooked Kingdom was all right, but I loved TRK! <3

      - Ellie

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  2. Yay! This was super fun to read through what other bloggers thought were the best and worst books. I now have the desperate urge to finally have Crooked Kingdom in my hands. Thanks for letting me be a part of this! XD

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    1. Thank you for being a part of it! <3

      - Ellie

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  3. I KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO 2016 WHERE DID IT GO.
    anyway, some of my favorite books were the city of ember by jeanne duprau (i think that's how you spell her name lol.), the heroes of olympus series by rick riordan, and ghosts by raina telgemeier. (i didn't read much except of school texts this year lol oops?)
    ~izzy

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    1. IT IS GONE. I SEE IT NOWHERE.
      Heroes of Olympus looks really good, actually!

      - Ellie

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  4. Thanks for including me in this Ellie! This is an awesome post :)

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    1. Thank you for participating! :D Thank you <3

      - Ellie

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  5. Thank you so much for inviting me to do this, Ellie! I absolutely love this idea!

    It was so fun reading what books others enjoyed (or didn't enjoy). I need to add some of these to my TBR pile! (As if it's not big enough. *cough, cough*)

    I hope you have a merry Christmas!!! (And HOOOWWWWW is it almost 2017???? CRAZINESS.)

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    1. Thank you for contributing!

      Oh my gosh same. There are too many books on my TBR, yet not enough. How even is that a thing?

      You too! AND IKR WHERE DID THE YEAR GO I AM NOT EMOTIONALLY PREPARED FOR 2017.

      - Ellie

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  6. Thanks for inviting me to do this, Ellie! I really enjoyed it. I loved reading everybody else's best/worst books this year. This was such a fun idea! Happy holidays.

    anna | annaish

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    1. Thank you for contributing!

      I did as well! Happy holidays, love :)

      - Ellie

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  7. Oh my goshhhh I LOVED Milk and Honey. And I hated Stealing Snow so clearly that's an excellent opinion to have. I love the divergent opinions of ACOMAF, too...verrrrry interesting.

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    1. MILK AND HONEY WAS PHENOMENAL. My copy of it is bookmarked and highlighted beyond belief.

      Yeah - I was tempted to read Stealing Snow, but then I saw a tonnnn of negative reviews and decided not to.

      I agree!

      - Ellie

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