Wow! What an amazing year it has been for fiction! Keeping in mind that I obviously did not read every YA novel that came out in 2016, we will plunge ahead with my completely subjective opinion based solely on my level of enjoyment from the few newly released books that I did read this year. And so, in no particular order.
Number One: Starflight by Melissa Landers This book was so much excellent fun! Fast-paced high adventure, it was funny, it was romantic, and it was super exciting. I mean, hello! It has space pirates! You can't go wrong with space pirates. If you're in the mood for a light read that manages to constantly keep you on the edge of your seat, you will absolutely adore this book. Sci-fi space shenanigans at their very best! But be warned: It's the first in a series, and you'll be chomping at the bit for book two. Which, luckily for you, comes out fairly soon in February.
Number Two: Morning Star by Pierce Brown The final installment in the Red Rising trilogy, this book is absolutely flawless. It wraps up the story so perfectly that reading it is enough to make a struggling-to-get-noticed author cry. I nearly had a heart attack at one point, I won't lie. My homicidal instinct reared its ugly head for one scary moment—but fear not, dear fellow bibliophiles! This author does not betray our trust as he brings this awesome tale to a very, very satisfying end. (Sevro forever!)
Number Three: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo First of all, if you haven't read Six of Crows, stop everything you're doing in your life right this instant and get a copy immediately! It is such perfection that I don't even know where to begin. I suspect the author of possessing magical powers. Seriously. Crooked Kingdom is the second and final book in this duology featuring the six most lovable criminal masterminds in fictional history. If you love heist stories with delicious twists and turns and surprises and feels and just pure, unfiltered awesomeness, I guarantee you will love it. (Kaz for all eternity)
Number Four: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare Okay. If you still haven't started the Shadowhunter series I am extremely jealous of you because you get to dive in at the beginning and read all twelve of them! Lady Midnight is the first in the newest trilogy within this same demon-riddled world, with appearances from our beloved Jace & Co. thrown in for good measure. All I can say is this book sets up the start of a whole new ocean of feels and heartache and I cannot wait to see what Clare does to bring it all to a glorious, happy conclusion. I have full and complete faith in her ability to cut our hearts out, weave embroidery of such sweet sorrow onto them with a long, very sharp needle, and deliver us, unable to keep our minds off the characters and our eyes off the page until we read the final word—and for years afterwards.
Number Five: The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski It's like historical fiction with a whole new world brought seamlessly to life by this amazing author. There's no magic, there's no supernatural creatures, there's no paranormal elements. There IS every kind of epic romance, battles, political intrigue, and good against evil—evil that is all too familiar in the history of our flawed human condition. Think Roman Empire Invades Persian Southern California—meets Romeo & Julietesque fantabulousness. I could not put this book down. I started the first and then just went from there, as if all three were one giant volume. Great story. Great writing. Great characters. Read it.
There were many, MANY more mind-boggling books this year, but I picked five so I wouldn't be writing this all week and never get any writing done on my manuscript of The Infernal Guard 3: Severance. If you were looking for a great book to read, I hope this was helpful. What were some of your favorite books of 2016? Let me know and we can enjoy arguing! Thanks for tuning in, and I wish you all the reading enjoyment in the world right now and in your many glorious years to come.