Okay, so this title may be a bit misleading because not all of these books came out in 2016. These are just the books I read in 2016.
I used Goodreads to view my year in books. I read 18 books this year, but I’m going to talk about my top favorites.
- Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George- A retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, this book immediately grabbed my attention. It focuses primarily on the oldest princess, Rose, and Galen, a soldier returning from war who loves to knit. I read this right after I started crocheting, so I loved the fact that Galen was not afraid to be constantly seen with his knitting needles and yarn. This book stayed true to the original tale while not afraid to forge its own unique path as it tells its own tale. The rest of the series, Princess of Glass and Princess of the Silver Woods were retellings of Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. The first one was definitely my favorite, and I loved the third one as well. I didn’t like the second one as much because the ending was super abrupt and I had to read it through a bunch of times before understanding what happened, but these are all books I would highly recommend for fairy tale lovers.
- Fairy Godmothers, Inc. by Jenniffer Wardell- I met Jenniffer Wardell at LTUE this year. She was on a panel discussing fairy tale retellings, and she was talking about the book she was working on at the time, Dreamless, which came out earlier this year but I haven’t read it yet. It sounded super interesting, so I picked up Fairy Godmothers, Inc. and Beast Charming. FGI is a retelling of Cinderella. It’s very cheesy, and totally adorable. I’m not big on the cheesy romance, but this one was written so well that I was practically in tears it was so funny. Beast Charming is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and it was every bit as charming and funny as the first one. I can’t wait to get my hands on Dreamless.
- The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani- Recommended to me by a friend, I was a bit skeptical at first. It sounded so funny, but it started off a bit slow and predictable. It took a while to really sink my teeth into, but once the plot picked up, I couldn’t put it down. I was disappointed by the abruptness of the ending, so of course I picked up the sequel, A World Without Princes. I got frustrated with the characters because they were kind of self involved and kept making assumptions without asking questions, but I enjoyed it as well, though not as much as the first one. I was disappointed by the end, and a little confused, so I decided not to read the third one. I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually.
- Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan- Kind of cheating here since I haven’t actually finished this one yet, but I’m planning on finishing it before the end of the year. It started off AMAZING, like every Rick Riordan book, but slowed down about halfway through and didn’t pick back up, which is why I haven’t actually finished it yet. Magnus is the kind of character that keeps you guessing and laughing, and I loved Sam, too. But the voice of the story sounded too similar to Percy Jackson and Jason Grace, which may be why the story got a little stale towards the end. The sequel, The Hammer of Thor, came out this year, and I plan on reading it soon.
- I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai- I LOVE Malala Yousafzai. I wrote a paper on her in college, because I found her story so inspiring. Of course, I had to read her autobiography. Reading her story first hand was drastically different than reading the news reports on her when I wrote about her. I would highly recommend this book to everyone, women and men alike, because this book shows that a problem in our world does exist, and people need to be reminded about it and how to solve it.
- Heart of the Winterland by Kristen Kooistra- The story of a young 200-year old princess who finally gets to experience life when a curse on her starts to lift, her adventures and her friends, and the story of the foreigner branded as an outcast and betrayed by a prince, who soon discovers powers beyond her wildest dreams. I am waiting in anticipation for the sequel, Heart of the Sorceress to be finished so I can add it to my collection. And there’s a rumor going around that there may be a third book, too.
- The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan- My favorite book of 2016. And this one actually came out in 2016! Apollo has been one of my favorite characters since I read his first haiku in the Percy Jackson series. Getting to experience the story firsthand from his point of view was an amazing experience. I am counting down the days until the sequel, The Dark Prophecy, is released. Although, I’m worried I can’t wait that long. Each chapter is titled with a haiku from Apollo, and each chapter revolves around Apollo’s greatness, reflecting on it frequently. It’s truly one of the best books Riordan has ever written.