2016 Favorites & Disappointments

Hey guys, I know we’re almost halfway through the first month of 2017 (!) but I wanted to discuss my favorite and most disappointing reads for 2016.

My favorite books per month:

1. Without Tess by Marcella Pixley
2. The Art of Falling by Kathryn Craft
3. Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
4. The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey
5. Animorphs #19: The Departure by K.A. Applegate
6. Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes
7. End of Watch by Stephen King
8. Labyrinth novelization by A.C.H. Smith
9. Cress by Marissa Meyer
10. The Haunted Mask (Goosebumps) by R.L. Stine
11. Fairest by Marissa Meyer
12. Winter by Marissa Meyer

If I had to choose my top six, they would be: Without Tess, Burn for Burn, The Fifth Wave, Queen of Hearts, End of Watch, and Cress.

My #1 pick would be my first favorite of 2016, Without Tess. It was beautifully written and a very haunting yet deep story involving sisters and imagination. Ironically it is also my favorite book picture for the year.

DSC07087

For 2016, I challenged myself to read one classic each month. Here are the books by month:

1. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
3. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
6. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
7. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
8. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
9. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
10. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
11. Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
12. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

My top six favorites out of this list would be: Jane Eyre, The Fellowship of the Ring, To Kill a Mockingbird, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Martian Chronicles, The Little Prince, and the Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

I actually enjoyed all of the classics I read and most of them got 3.5 to 4 stars. If I had to pick a least favorite it would probably be The Wizard of Oz just because while I did enjoy it, at the same time it felt like the story was also missing a lot of details. The writing style was also a little difficult for me to get into.

My favorite classic was hands down, Jane Eyre! While I did find parts of it to drag, I found myself thinking about this book a lot this year so it has become my favorite classic of all time.

My classic read for February 2016.
My classic read for February 2016.

These are all of the series I managed to read in 2016:

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
The Lunar Chronicles (minus Stars Above) by Marissa Meyer
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Bill Hodges trilogy by Stephen King
The Selection trilogy (not the short stories or companion novels) by Kiera Cass
Divergent series (Minus Four) by Veronica Roth
Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay

Out of these, my top three would be: The Lunar Chronicles, Infernal Devices, & Bill Hodges.

Only two series ended up being disappointing.

The first was The 5th Wave trilogy. I loved the first book. The second was decent. But the last book, the conclusion, I hated it. It started off okay but ended up being a huge disappointment. It wasn’t even because it was a “sad” ending or anything, but that the author tried to make it “happy” despite the losses. It just felt so fake to me, some characters felt unlike themselves, and it felt like a slap in the face.

The second was the Divergent series. I loved the first two books but the last book was awful. Aside from the ending itself, I didn’t like it for the majority because the characters, especially the main ones, no longer felt like the ones I’d known from the previous books. I also hated the shifting POV.

My favorite series ended up being The Lunar Chronicles. I read Cinder years ago but forgot it was in a series somehow. When I re-read it this year, I liked it but it also didn’t blow me away. The next book got better. Then the next three books became my favorites for each month I read them for. The conclusion was very satisfying. I haven’t read the short story collection, Stars Above, yet, but I can’t wait! Cress, the third book, is still my absolute favorite (and she is also my favorite character) but I loved the entire story arc, the writing, and the characters.

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Now for my most disappointing reads for 2016. These are ones I hated, did not enjoy, or just felt very disappointed about.

In no particular order (yet):

1. Two Girls Staring At the Ceiling by Lucy Frank
2. The 100 by Morgan Cass
3. Lucid by Adrienne Stoltz & Ron Bass
4. The Last Star by Rick Yancey
5. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
6. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne (J.K. Rowling)
7. I Know It’s Over by C. K. Kelly Martin
8. Kiss by Ted Dekker
9. Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
10. Dexter’s Final Cut by Jeff Lindsay

My top three disappointments would be: The Last Star, Dexter’s Final Cut, and Allegiant.

You can probably guess which one of these is my most disappointing read of 2016 since I’ve already ranted about it. That would be The Last Star by Rick Yancey. I just have so many feelings on that one. I could probably write a novel on how disappointing it was and I think I feel this way because I loved the first book, The Fifth Wave, so much. To see how things ended the way they did was like squeezing my beating heart.

Anyway, yeah, worst book of the year for me. I’m still debating on whether or not to keep it. I believe I ended up giving it a generous 2 stars for the few things I did like but the more I think about it, the more I want to deduct one.

So, to recap:

Favorite book of 2016: Without Tess by Marcella Pixley

Worst book of 2016: The Last Star by Rick Yancey

Favorite classic of 2016: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Least liked classic of 2016: The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Favorite series of 2016: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Worst series of 2016: The Fifth Wave trilogy by Rick Yancey (should have been a standalone)

 

What were your favorite(s) and most disappointing books and series for 2016? I’d love to know! Thankfully overall I found 2016 to be one of my best reading years yet.

 

jnc

 

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