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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

16 best books of 2016

As the new year is approaching us, I thought it would be a good idea to show off 16 books that I read this year and were special to me. These 16 books each did something to deserve a special spot in this list of the "16 best of 2016".

Note: the order in which the books are presented is not a grade for how good they were. All books in here are equally good no matter what number is before them.
Note: If I present a second, third,... of a series try not to read the letters in bold because they could contain spoilers since it's a synopsis of the book and we're already in a new, advanced stage in the series!

1. Did I Mention I Love You by Estelle Maskame
This book was a huge life changer in my book-life! I remember falling in love with this cover and really wanting it, not only for its cover but also for the little synopsis I got. God, this was so not a mistake! This book really gave me a huge portion of the feels and it really got me obsessing with the series! 

Eden goes all the way from Portland to Santa Monica to spend the summer with her father. The man who left her and her mother three years ago and never let anything hear of him. Then all of a sudden, he called her and gave her the opportunity to spend the summer with him and his new family. Eden accepted to offer, but not for her dad. She thought it could give her a way more awesome summer there than in stupid, boring Portland. 
But as she arrives there and meets with one of the three stepbrothers, she isn't as convinced this is going to be as awesome as she thought. Taylor is short tempered, has an ego to big for his head and drives her completely insane! Yet she can't deny that she doesn't find him interesting. Soon Eden gets caught up in a lot of drama and the masks eventually fall, revealing all sorts of secrets but also creates a whole lot of new lies and secrets... It might not be an awesome summer, it is at least an interesting one. 

The characters are strong, the plot gave you feels and plot twists and backstabbing and unanswered love and answered love and all those kind of things. It was all teenage drama but still absolutely great I just devoured the book. Also the rest of the series was absolutely fantastic, and as much as I want to put them in the list I can only pick one of a series in my 2016 top 16 (I promised myself...). I chose the first one because it got me addicted to the rest of the series but all were equally good! A thing I did notice through this series, and which I was keen on, was the fact that I saw a growing line in these three books. Where the first book was all teenage drama, the last book was very mature. The characters really grew up and developed themselves. I totally recommend this series!

Review on Did I Mention I Love You?: HERE!
Review on Did I Mention I Need You?: HERE!
Review on Did I Mention I Miss You?: HERE!

2. Switched by Amanda Hocking
Also this read was very surprising because I came across a species I've never, ever read of before. I didn't even think I'd enjoy a read about creatures like this but I found myself tangled in this book before I could notice!

Wendy Everly was only six-years-old when her mother tried to kill her. She was so convinced that Wendy wasn't hers, that she was a monster and that she'll only mean trouble. Ever since that day her older brother Matt and her aunt Maggie have been taking care of her. Making sure their mother can't lay one finger on Wendy ever again. 
It isn't until years later that Wendy finds out that her mother might've been right all along. Together with Finn Holmes, Wendy tries to find out exactly who she is in a world she never knew existed. But she's not sure she wants to be a part of it...

This was also my first book ever written by Amanda Hocking, she's a great author I had heard and after reading this book: I couldn't agree more! She left quiet the impression. This book deserves its place really for the concept it had but also because of its very strong plot! I was very surprised to where it was going and never expected things to go that certain way. I was very content with what this book brought me. Also the cover just looked really appealing! 

Review on Switched: HERE!
Review on Torn: HERE!

3. La Fille de Papier by Guillaume Musso
La Fille de Papier, the book of my French class! I hate reading French books, I absolutely loath it because as much as I love French... I couldn't understand a word of it! Each French book I came across, was so hard to read that I just didn't enjoy it until... this book came along. Alone for the fact that I could properly understand it, it should be a reason to get into my top 16 but this book didn't only surprise me on the "waw I understand it"-scale but also on the story itself. 

Tom Boyd is a writer and the first two books of his trilogy are a big hit! Above that Tom has two good friends and falls in love with the lovely Aurore who is a celebrity too. Yet Aurore doesn't feel like it can last and leaves the famous writer. 
Devastated and torn Tom decides not to finish the last book in the trilogy. The story ends in the middle of the book with an unfinished chapter. He's just done with it and meanwhile gets on the wrong path of life. That it until a mysterious women arrives in his house, one that looks very alike the main character of his book. Soon decisions he once made will change or there will be consequences. 

This book had a very mysterious vibe hanging around it but it does deceive you! Not only were the characters really enjoyable, also the plot was very strong and mysterious which I totally give a million stars for. The story line just does amazing things, in French!, and will awaken your senses to a whole new level. It was an easy read and would really be a recommendation if you were trying to read a book in a different language! Also because of the plot twist I'd give it all its stars. A great read for my French class, that's why I thought it was worthy of my top 16.

Review on La Fille de Papier: HERE!

4. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins 
What can I say? I fell in love with this series... I never wanted to read this series. Somehow I try to stay away from super popular series for whatever reason there is. Yet my friend Fien encouraged me to read the books. It worked, I just loved this series but the last one a bit more than the first two.

Katniss Everdeen closed Catching Fire with blowing up the arena and being saved my her mentor and the Head Gamemaker. Facing hard times with the Capitol, it's decided that Katniss will have to become the symbol of the rebellion: The Mockingjay. All that while there's no sign of Peeta and other tributes that weren't saved from the arena, Katniss is facing the problems and nightmares all by herself. It's not until there's an unexpected turn that Katniss realizes who the real enemy is...

I hadn't seen Mockingjay part two and that also made the last book more appealing. I was just sucked up in the story because I wanted to know how this series would end. The plot was strong and everything was explained so well and detailed it was just mind-blowing! I fell in love with the series, but a little bit more with the last part because it completed everything and we saw how strong each character had become. Also, the end didn't disappoint me at all which I was a bit scared of because some said it was a bad ending. 

Review on The Hunger Games: HERE!
Review on Catching Fire: HERE!
Review on Mockingjay: HERE!

5. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
A book that was just... amazingly fantastic. I never read anything by this author but I had heard so many good things about her and she really lived up to my expectations. I've been waiting for this book series for over a year before I found them and grabbed them as if my life depended on it.

Ever since Grace was a very young child, she was fascinated with the wolves in the backyard. Especially in the one with the yellow eyes, the wolf had something human-like, something familiar. It took six years for her to watch him and get him closer. It isn't until a boy is killed by wolves that the town begins to show interest into the pack. The suspicion grows and the town wants them dead. Grace fights against them, still fascinated with them.Yet that fascination takes a whole different meaning when she meets a guy with the same yellow eyes... 

These characters really are fantastic and have such great bonds! Also the fact that there are wolves! Wolves! I was amazed by these creatures and how they acted. Above that the scene setting was absolutely amazing and I just really wanted to live with Sam and Grace so badly... Amazing books, the whole series is really good! Especially because they built up to a very big concept and each book has a very nice ending that leaves you with questions that need to be answered and make you want to have the next book.

Review on Shiver: HERE!
Review on Linger: HERE!
Review on Forever: HERE!

6. Melody's Key by Dallas Coryell
The reason this book deserves a little space in this top 16 is because it was my first ever book read for review! I was really honored and glad that I got this opportunity but Melody's Key also deserved this spot because it was an amazing book!

Tegan Lockwood was stuck in life. All the opportunities that were given to her she declined because of her duty towards her family. They had been having a very hard time lately and were in debts, they couldn't lose the extra power. They wouldn't survive without her help. And that's why Tegan gave in, because they needed her. Struggling with past events, Tegan has a hard time giving her life some color and find things that make her truly happy. That is until a new visitor comes around in Lockwood Holiday and it sure brings some sparks in her life...

The feels in this book were up so high I was totally addicted to it! Each character has its own insecurities they'll have to work with in the story and they'll really be confronted with it. This confrontation makes it very easily to relate to them and that was something I really adored! I really recommend this book!

Review on Melody's Key: HERE!

7. Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
A book that I chose as my July Summer Read and absolutely deserved to be that kind of read. This book really gives you those summer feels and also the story won't make you feel disappointed at all. I really wished I had this book on my trip to Italy but the book got delivered a day later (!). 

Lina's mother makes her promise that she has to go to Italy. Lina doesn't know why her mother would want that but promises it anyway because it's her mother's last wish. After the loss of her mother, Lina finishes her school year in Seattle and then moves out to the country she didn't want to go to. There, she is confronted with her mother's memories and above that she finds out why she is in Italy. Her mother wanted her to go to find her father and together with the journal she'll discover much more than only that. Lina meets a new friend, which makes her time in Italy more interesting and together they find out the real truth about what happened in Italy...

What was really marvelous in this read was how they describes the environment. We're settled in Florence, Firenze in Italy and I really fell in love with this city on my trip. This book described everything so well that I could just really visualize everything and relive everything Florence had to offer. Also the plot was very adoring and cute which is also a nice asset to the book of course! It was a very swoon-worthy and romantic kind of book but still with the uncertainty of love.

Review on Love and Gelato: HERE!

8. The One by Kiera Cass
Again a third in a series! I was a bit scared when I first started reading this series because it was all very princess-y girly and so on and the books I previously read might have been about queens and princesses but they were always really tough. This was a competition to be a princess and I didn't know if it would effect me that much but... oh waw. It did totally surprise me!

Determined to win her true lover's love, America throws in everything to win The Selection. When she first entered the competition, she never thought she'd end up this close to the crown and grow to adore the palace and all that comes with it. To have the future she wants to have, she'll have to go under more pressure to get what she really wants: the love of her life. Yet the treat of the rebels is still lurking around and ready to overthrow everything that they've ever known. As she finally discovers what she stands to lose, America also discovers how much she needs to fight for what she truly desires.

During this series we actually see the backstabbing we call "girls skill". I absolutely, terribly enjoyed the backstabbing. That sounds so bad but it just brought so much more to the story and really accentuated that this was a competition! I didn't enjoy the second book that much but the third and last in this trilogy really made up for that entirely. This series has had a few problems meaning that there are rebels and we finally get answers I've been waiting on for... two books! Also The One brought a bit of action which is always a good thing and of course it's a final of a series so also the winner of the competition will be named. The last book doesn't concentrate on the backstabbing really because we've narrowed the competition down to just a few girls but it did concentrate on the bonds between the characters. That was something I thought was really exciting and beautiful to see and also to see it become such a great bond. 

Review on The Selection: HERE!
Review on The Elite: HERE!
Review on The One: HERE!

9. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
This book has been waiting on my TBR-list for forever now. It took me what? A year to finally buy the book and read it? And I can't believe I put it off for so long! This is a book that's been recommended by a good friend of mine. She said it was absolutely amazing and I couldn't agree more.

One red notebook can change your life. Lily left the notebook in her bookstore, waiting for a boy to come around and take it off the dusty shelves. In the notebook, the person gets a lot of dares presented. The main goal? Finding true love. And true love can be just around the corner when Dash takes the notebook and decides to play along. But will this passing back and forth of the book really bring true love? Or is this just a lovely time of doing dares, sharing dreams and then wrap it up and forget all about it?

The characters in this book are just amazing. I have laughed so much during this read, I can't believe it. It's been a long time since I've read anything this hilarious. Only for that I'd already recommend it. But there's so much more, the environment the book creates and the atmosphere? It's absolutely fabulous. I couldn't wait to have my own red notebook! This book is a total recommendation if you want the new kinda love, with a comical tone in it and great characters!

Above that there's a second part in this series! YES, I know, I couldn't believe it either! Both books in the series are set in Christmas time so I'd definitely a wintery read. I have read the second part as my Christmas Read of 2016. Once you read this 2016 review, I also already posted the review about it! It's never to late to start that one...

Review on Dash and Lily's Book of Dares: HERE!
Review on The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily: HERE!

10. Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
A book that I've read in the beginning of 2016 and one that absolutely got my attention. I remember seeing the book in various bookstores and only because of its color it caught my attention. I read the book in Dutch but I don't mind it as much as I normally do. It might also explain why it's a flashy color, I don't know if the English versions have a color like this...

Hannah and Sam don't want to be virgins any longer when they go to university. That means they've got only one summer left to find the one and to reach that mile-stone. It all doesn't go as easy as both had planned, especially when you feel like your friends are better at everything. Hannah feels less beautiful and not worthy of a boy while Sam struggles to be, according to his friends, "a real man". Both must navigate social misunderstandings, the plotting of well-meaning friends, and their own fears of being virgins for ever to find happiness. And in the end, it all boils down to love.

Also this book contains a lot of hilarity! This is mostly caused by awkward situations but it's also a story that contains a lot of love, fate and destiny. Or that's how I see it really! Above that it also contains some drama which I can enjoy if it's not laid on very thick. In this book that isn't the case, lucky me! But yeah, this is also a book I'd recommend but beware because you will be stared at when you laugh. And you will laugh. Hard.

Review on Lobsters: HERE!

11. The Power by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Ah, a book by one of my favorite authors! I must say, I haven't read a lot of books by her this year. It's kind of sad... But hey, this book is WAW. And I hadn't expected any less by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Beware everyone, this is a second book in a series! 

Now Josie's finally settled in the world she was introduced to a while ago, she's finally growing to become a badass-ninja. Although she thinks she's making process, Seth's holding on tight not so sure if in the end she'll be able to kill. He knows how it goes and he knows how it feels. Guarding these feelings from her, Seth grows to really love her company. Yet not all is over. Last time they saved Josie but the danger isn't gone. The Titans and other dangers are still looming around and trying to get her. Seth is determined not to let her out of his sight. It isn't until something bad happens, Seth starts to realize also he might be a danger to Josie... 

This book seriously broke my heart and healed it and broke it again and I just NEED the following book in this series. It's actually not hard to believe I need the second book: who doesn't want a book where Seth is? Seth is like amazing, but this book will concentrate on his good side and how much effort he makes. I really loved to see this other side of Seth because it gave so much more perspective. Also Josie's other side will be accentuated in the book. Above that the plot was again too good for words and didn't disappoint. I can't really add more to it, it was amazing and I loved it. But I love all Jennifer L. Armentrout's books! I don't only recommend this series, I also recommend this author!

Review on The Return: HERE!
Review on The Power: HERE!

12. Haze by Paula Weston
Holy hell! This book was so much better and more exiting than Shadows. Don't get me wrong though, Shadows was good but this one was just over the top. I'm keeping it short here, only because the review will be out soon. 

Now Gaby knows she's different from what she first thought, she still struggles with not knowing enough. Unable to remember her old life, Gaby is touching in the dark. People who know her, are mad at her, hate her or want her to tell them what she was doing one year ago. And Demons are hunting her down because also they want her. The only constant in her life is Rafa, who keeps his own secrets and doesn't let loose anything about their past together. But the biggest thing she can't comprehend is that her twin brother might be alive...

It has been a while since I had read a book that had the theme Angels so I was really happy I picked this one off the shelves. This book shows us so many sides to the characters but this time the soft side will be accentuated which was fantastic. I mean, I already ship two people in this book... now I really want them together! God, I love them. Above that the plot was strong and alternated between action (a lot of action) and sweet, caring and supporting moments. All hens on deck people, this book will bring you surprise, plot twists, betrayal and much more! 

The review of Haze will be online on the 18th of January, so stay tuned! Meanwhile I've also read the third book in this series, Shimmer. Also this review will be up in a bit.

Review on Shadows: HERE!
Review on Haze: COMING SOON (18th of January)
Review on Shimmer: COMING SOON (1st of March)

13. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
A book that have been made a movie. I did see the movie first but hear me out! I was bored one day and I didn't have the book yet so I kinda just watched the movie? I know that's know how it's supposed to go and I wasn't planning on doing it in that order... Sorry? But it did make me buy the book immediately after that! And I of course, adored it more than the movie itself (although I found that one pretty stunning and emotional too!)

Louisa Clark has never been out of her hometown and she never saw any reason to. Soon she finds herself changing for the better and that all by the man that she should be changing. Disabled in a wheelchair, Will Traynor has lost his interest in life and Louisa tries her best to make him think differently again. What they don't know is that both of them are in for a ride full of emotions and life changers. Both want the best for each other: Will wants Lou to live life but Lou wants for Will to find that passion about life again. Yet soon they find themselves battling against the other to make them realize life can be perfect, but not easy...

What I really enjoyed and feel like most readers will be keen on is the fact that Jojo Moyes added some chapters that where in the perspective of some characters. We mainly see Louisa Clark and her character is worth to be with constantly. Obviously because she's important but also because I see her grow so much. All characters are very well written and won't bore you, they make you feel the way you feel during the book and that's kind of amazing. Why I love the fact that other characters get their own chapter is because it gives us so much more understanding towards them instead of our brain making up how they must be feeling.

Also the fact that it's talking about taking lives is making this one one of my favorites. We're not in the year 2016, so people thought about it so much differently. It's nice to see this perspective come to live but also see who follows this and who doesn't want this at all. It gives us feels and it makes you take a stand yourself. 

Review on Me Before You: COMING SOON (25th of January)

14. The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne
Hello book by an author that makes me love reading about war. Honestly, I don't know how he does it guys! I hate reading about war, there were only two books that made that "I love reading about this topic": The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and How I live Now. Now, get me back to a few weeks before this post, I was attracted by this cover in the library. I saw it was by the same author as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas... I took it. I opened it. I freaking devoured it.

When both his parents die, Pierrot needs to go live with his aunt Beatrix at the top of a mountain somewhere in Germany. Ready for the new adventure, Pierrot gets invited into a home where everyone seems scared of its owner. Everyone gets all ready and preparing it for when he decides to take a rest at the top of the mountain. Before Pierrot knows it, he gets intertwined in the world of Adolf Hitler, filled with lies, betrayal and danger. Will he ever get out safely?

Really, John Boyne. REALLY? This book is just... FABULOUS. The characters are so strongly written and so diverse that I wish I was one of them. And then there's the plot which made me fall in love with this book even more! It all starts out so innocent but then turns into a world about lies and betrayal and hurting people and brainwashing. BRAINWASHING! Just take this book from me okay, just grab it when you find it and trust me. This was amazing! People turn from innocent to monsters and that ending... Please, devote your life to this author. He's amazing. 

Review on The Boy at the Top of the Mountain: COMING SOON (22th of February)

15. Confess by Colleen Hoover
This is the best book I've read by this author. And this is only my second book by this author. But really, this one captured me from the start, right at the moment the characters introduced themselves. If rated this book 5 stunning stars on Goodreads. If I could give more stars, I'd give this book the whole damn galaxy. This is a master piece. 

Caused by certain circumstances, Auburn is forced to move to Dallas. Fighting to keep her head above water, she's in desperate need of finding a second job. Luckily for her, Fate is on her side that day and she finds a second job with an artist in the art gallery: Confess. His work is inspired by confessions people submit at his place. Before she knows it Auburn finds herself really interested in all that has to do with Owen, the artist. What they both don't realize is that they each have their own confessions to admit before this might become something serious. And even then the question is if Fate will support their decisions...

This. Book. Has. Real. Confessions. This is so original and show how strong some readers of hers are because they had the courage to confess these confessions. I lived up to the moment to read each confession that's been placed into the book and it's amazing. The courage and strength they show by doing this, was shown in the characters too. Therefore there was a good link seen between them and I was really keen on this. 

These confessions will also make sure that the book turn from something cute to something a bit more dangerous. There's action, confessions, lies and betrayal. There's cuteness, sweetness and adorableness. There's FATE. There's beautiful art in it as well which was a very stunning extra touch to the book too next to the confessions. For short: this book is a master piece. The feels you'll have during the book, the doubts, the questions: thrilling is what I call it. My heart has beating a lot during this read because I was so thrilled and excited to see what'll happen next. Another thing, before I leave it at this, that I really want to say it: be patient. You won't fully know the characters (inside and out) until way past in the book and after a few confessions but it's so worth the wait...

Review on Confess: COMING SOON (15th of March)

16. The Geography of you and me by Jennifer E. Smith
This is not a series but boy I might really want a sequel to tell me what'll happen after this book! I was pretty surprised with this one, even though I knew the big lines of the book because a friend told me about it many years ago. 

Owen and Lucy have never met, even though they live in the same building. Tonight it all changes as the two of them meet while being stuck in an elevator. It hits both of them that they're good together and laugh as the best when they're together. But time to discover if they'd work as something more is not something they get. Lucy moves to Europe, while Owen and his dad try to figure out what they'll do next and travel further through America. Both think about the other all the time, but will they ever meet each other again?

This book was so different from what I expected it to be at first sight! It was stunning and not really about love. Well it was but it still was different! The characters will end up at another part in the world and it shows the reader their lives apart and not together. It's about figuring out your life and figuring out if you need that other person, if they're your other half you can't live without. That was what this book's main vibe was about and I really loved to see all this figuring out and being on your own and sorting out YOUR life and not all being romantic all the time. It's very refreshing!

Also can I just tell you guys that this book... uses absolutely STUNNING passages (and I quote one of them in my review) that really make you think and wonder about how poetic and beautiful everything is. I fell for that the first moment I read one! An absolute asset to my opinion.

Review to The Geography of you and me: COMING SOON (8th of February)

That said, this look back on 2016 has ended! I had a beautiful year filled with many books I have loved and cherished, I hope you guys have had that too. With still a few days left before we turn to a new chapter in our own book I wish you guys a very happy 2017 and may all your book wishes (and other wished) come true! I'll see you all next year.

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