Note: These are all books I've read in 2016, not necessarily books that were published during the last year.
Tamar by Mal Peet
One of my favourite books of all-time, Tamar was technically a reread but I still think it counts as the last time I read it was way back in 2005! It's a tale of love and lies, deception and subterfuge, told partly in the present and partly in Nazi-occupied Holland during World War Two.
Summer Days and Summer Nights, edited by Stephanie Perkins
This is a Young Adult short story anthology, featuring stories written by some of the best voices in YA fiction at the moment. All the stories in Summer Days and Summer Nights centre around the theme of love, yet all are vastly different. There are some real gems in this collection.
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Another YA novel (anyone noticing a theme, here?) Rebel of the Sands is an action-packed fantasy western romance. It's done phenomenally well, earning debut author Alwyn Hamilton a plethora of awards and accolades since its release earlier in the year.
Solarversia by Toby Downton
Who says indie authors can't write great books? Solarversia is a sci-fi story with an absolutely incredible concept which I simply adored. It's superbly detailed and expertly written, making it more than worthy of a place in my top ten.
Streets of Sin: A Dark Biography of Notting Hill by Fiona Rule
Topping the list for non-fiction this year is Fiona Rule's fantastic biography of Notting Hill. It's a fascinating insight into the area's history and some of the most infamous crimes and skulduggery committed in the neighbourhood.
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
A heartbreakingly touching read, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is fiction at its finest. It tells the tale of an elderly man who discovers a charm bracelet owned by his late wife, and how his endeavour to discover the meaning behind the charms leads him on a journey of discovery not just about his wife, but about himself too. Sweet yet poignant, this is another excellent debut.
The Beach Hut by Cassandra Parkin
The Beach Hut is a contemporary fiction novel about love, loss, family and nostalgia. We have several different narrators, but the real skill here is how the narrator's lives are all pulled together. Packed with touching moments and plenty of laughs, this is definitely an enjoyable read.
How Not to Disappear by Clare Furniss
Another book focusing on love, family, loss and memories (this seems to be an overarching theme of my reading diet this year) How Not to Disappear tells the story of teenage Hattie and elderly Gloria. Brilliantly done, the book manages to overcome the limitations of Young Adult fiction and appeal to a much wider audience.
Thin Air by Michelle Paver
I'm a big fan of Michelle Paver, but Thin Air is her first book written for adults that I've read. It's chilling supernatural tale, building to the climax with incredible suspense. Highly engaging and expertly written, this book only serves to further cement Michelle Paver as one of my favourite authors.
Five on Brexit Island by Bruno Vincent
Last but not least, let's add some lighthearted humour into the mix with the inclusion of Five on Brexit Island. I was (and still am) a massive fan of Enid Blyton's original Famous Five books, so I have to admit I was a little wary of reading the 'Famous Five for Grown-Ups' spoof series. However, I've now read three of them, and this one is by far my favourite. It updates the work while paying homage to the original series, and of course, providing lots of laughs along the way!
As it's not really fair to compare them, I've also made a shortlist of my top three children's books from the last year. These were:
- Katy by Jacqueline Wilson
- The Secret Cat (Tiger Days #1) by Sarah Lean
- Tinsel Town (Zak & Jen's Astronomical Adventures) by Natalie Page and Chris Rivers Nuttall
- Beneath the Surface by Heidi Perks
- Valentina by S.E. Lynes
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
- The Other Alice by Michelle Harrison
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms and conditions:
1. Giveaway closes on 8th January 2017 at 11.59pm (GMT).
2. The prize consists of a copy of one of the books from my top ten shortlist above, as chosen by the winner.
3. The prize will be posted out to the winner by me directly from Amazon.
4. This giveaway is open to residents of the UK aged 18 and over.
5. The winner will be randomly generated once the giveaway has ended.
6. The winner will be informed by email once the giveaway has ended.
7. The winner will have 72 hours to claim their prize. If the winner has not responded by this time, another winner will be announced.
Did your favourite make the list? What were your top reads of 2016? Let me know in the comments below!