Bookish Sweet 16: My Favorite 2016 YA Releases

2016 is quickly coming to an end and while I’m sure many of us are happy to see this year go there were some good things about this year, including some really great reads. For the next few weeks of the year I’ll be doing “Bookish Sweet 16” posts that are lists of 16 of my favorite bookish things. Since YA is what I read the most I’m starting with my favorite YA books that were released this year. Check out my list below and let me know if I missed any of your favorites.


1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

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This probably shocks no one but A Court of Mist of Fury was definitely my favorite new release this year. I absolutely loved this book and recommend this series to everyone. Also, it just won the Goodreads Choice Award for YA Fantasy/Sci-Fi so you know it’s good.

2. The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

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The Midnight Star was the perfect ending to an amazing trilogy. Marie Lu brought Adelina’s story to an epic conclusion that had me in tears but in the best way. If you haven’t read The Young Elites trilogy please do so immediately. It’s amazing!

3. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

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The Sun is Also a Star is a thought provoking romance that covers racism, immigration, suicide, and so much more. I absolutely loved this book and the way it was written. I don’t read a lot of contemporaries but this is one I highly recommend.

4. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

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Before this year I didn’t even know who Sarah J. Maas was. Now I’ve read almost every single one of her books and I regret nothing. Empire of Storms left me a crying mess because of the end but the book as a whole was an amazing ride. There were twists, a lot of action, tons of romance, and Aelin was the perfect sass queen as always.

5. Kids of Appetite by David Arnold

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I still haven’t read Mosquitoland but I heard enough good reviews of it to be excited to read David Arnold’s newest novel and it did not disappoint. This novel had a diverse group of characters that included two Congolese refugees, Vic, who suffers from a rare neurological condition called Moebius syndrome, and many others. It’s funny and insightful and a must read.

6. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

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Bardugo outdid herself with this novel. I was worried that I’d feel like two books wouldn’t be enough to truly wrap up this duology but it was perfect. I’d still like to see more of my Dregs but I was happy with how this novel ended. Filled with Kaz’s crazy schemes, a touch of romance, and a lot of hilarity I couldn’t put this book down and you won’t either.

7. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

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I’m always amazing by how Cassandra Clare continues to expand her Shadowhunters world and Lady Midnight did not let me down. I loved the characters in this book and want to be a part of the Blackthorns family. This novel was filled with mystery, adventure, and a healthy dose of drama.

8. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

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When I heard A Study in Charlotte was about the descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson I had to pick it up and I’m glad I did. Centered around a mystery (obviously) this book was the perfect mix of funny and serious moments as well as a bit of romance, which I always love.

9. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

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Honestly, I didn’t like Red Queen but I try not to quit series so I picked up Glass Sword anyway and that turned out to be a good decision. While I found Red Queen to be predictable, Glass Sword surprised me and kept me on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait to read the next book and see what happens next for Mare.

10. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

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Although I found the ending of The Raven King to be anticlimactic, overall I loved this book. Blue and her Raven Boys made me laugh, sigh with happiness, and cheer when they were successful. I especially liked the character development I saw in all of the characters and I’m excited to read Maggie Stiefvater’s new trilogy about Ronan.

11. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

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The Unexpected Everything is the first book I’ve read by Morgan Matson and I now get the hype for her books. This was a perfect contemporary romance and I couldn’t help but fall for Clark. I thought this book was cute and funny and I highly recommend it.

12. Interference by Kay Honeyman

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I’m a sucker for an Emma retelling so when I got an ARC of Interference, which blends Emma with Friday Night Lights I had to read it. The novel is a cute and quick read about a girl named Kate who has to leave her home in D.C. after an unfortunate scandal that affects her father’s campaign and move to Texas.

13. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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I’m not a big fan of sci-fi but when it came to Illuminae and Gemina I couldn’t put these books down. Written as if it’s a collection of documents in a file, these are insanely creative and fun books to read. Definitely give this series a try if you haven’t already. They’re worth a read.

14. Dreamology by Lucy Keating

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Dreamology is definitely one of the most underrated reads of 2016. The novel follows the story of Alice, who for as long as she can remember, has shared her dreams with a boy named Max that she loves. Therefore she’s ecstatic when she actually meets Max in real life only to become devastated when it turns out he doesn’t know her at all…or does he?

15. Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

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I loved The Lunar Chronicles so I was excited to read more about my favorite characters. Although all the short stories were great, what truly made this book awesome was the final short story that takes place after Winter. I won’t spoil it but I will say it gave me all the feels.

16. Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

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I’m still heartbroken over the end of Blood for Blood but I absolutely loved this novel. It was a roller coaster of emotions, which should be expected since it takes place in an alternate reality where the Nazis won World War II. If you’re into history and/or sci-fi you should definitely give this duology a read.

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