As long-time readers of this blog know, I often theme and categorise my reads – but in this case, to be one of my top reads for this year, a book *just* (!) had to:
- i) Stick in my mind plot-wise
- ii) Have a character I really empathised with for some reason
Now, I read A LOT of books, so standing out is a tall order in itself … But I’m also a pro script reader, so potentially there’s SQUILLIONS of stories running around my head at any one time. So, you can safely say that if a book sticks in *my* brain, it’s GOTTA be good!
So, without further ado, here’s my top picks for 2016 …
1) The Liar’s Chair by Rebecca Whitney
I read this book back in July and it really captured my imagination. We hear loads about characters needing to be ‘likable’, yet this book demonstrates superbly how we can empathise with a protagonist’s terrible behaviour, without condoning it. We don’t often see female characters behaving as badly as this (too often they have to be ‘better’ than male characters somehow – ugh!), so let’s hope this marks a change in how the average reader sees characterisation! See my full review, HERE.
2) In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings
This was one of my first reads of this year, plus it was the very first review I ever got on the actual book! However it wasn’t for these reasons that this book is so special to me. I loved the haunting, lyrical feel of this story and its characters. I grew up in a rural seaside area not unlike the setting here and it feels so authentic … The touristy, jolly feel down on the seafront, the poverty and deprivation hidden from view. Fantastic. See my full review, HERE.
3) Untouchable by Ava Marsh
As a script reader, I frequently read stories about sex workers but they’re nearly always the same: victims who are all on drugs, and/or abused runaways. Whilst this obviously happens, it’s not the only story out there! Again, the authenticity here is exceptional, but more than that I loved the mystery at the heart of this tale, it really keeps you guessing and reminds me of one of my favourite movies, CHINATOWN. See my full review, HERE.
4) Defender by G X Todd
Now this one is not out until January 2017, but I was lucky enough to receive an ARC. I don’t know what I was expecting, since I knew absolutely zilch about it – but I LOVED it! I’ve always been a big fan of dystopian stories anyway, but what I loved about this one was the character of Pilgrim. He’s not your ‘average’ hero by a long shot. But I’ll stop there, so you can read this yourself in the new year!!! (But if you really can’t wait, see my full – non spoilery!! – review, HERE).
Now, I don’t normally throw my weight behind BIG authors … Not because they don’t deserve it, but because I figure they don’t need little ol’ me recommending their books as well as half the world!
However, I’ll make an exception for The Fireman by Joe Hill. It’s an epic length at 747 pages, but don’t let that put you off. It’s the characters that really make this book SING – somehow, they take us on a journey that feels a third of the size! I was upset to leave them, I had a book hangover for DAYS, it’s that good. Seriously!! See my full review, HERE.
What about you?
What were YOUR top reads for 2016?? If you’ve written posts about them, feel free to link to them in the comments, I’d love to create a list of reading recommendations here. GO GO GO! 😀