Every year I agonize over which books will earn a place on my end of the year favorites list. This year I decided to quit fretting and just make multiple lists! First up, my favorite YA reads of 2016. In alphabetical order:
- All American Boys by Jason Reynolds. This ripped from the headlines story of police brutality and race relations is an intense must-read.
2. All In and Bad Blood (The Naturals #3 and 4) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. The Naturals series is Criminal Minds with teens. It’s smart, suspenseful, and dark.
3. Calamity (The Reckoners #3) by Brandon Sanderson. The final showdown between the Epics and the Reckoners is all about redemption. A perfect series finale.
4. Carry on by Rainbow Rowell. Readers were introduced to Simon Snow and Baz in Fangirl. Carry On is the novel version of the fan fiction that Cath writes. Very meta.
5. The Creeping Shadow (Lockwood & Co. #4) by Jonathon Stroud. Full of twists and turns and shocking bombshells, this spooky series keeps getting better and better.
6. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling. It’s always a treat to be able to get new Harry Potter material!
7. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo. This is another timely read about a transgender teen looking to make a fresh start in a new town.
8. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray. The sequel to The Diviners is another spooky journey into the supernatural world of 1920’s New York City.
9. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand. Fans of The Princess Bride will love this hilarious, somewhat true(ish) account of Lady Jane Grey. A romantic, historical fiction tale with a touch of the paranormal. This is the first of a planned “famous Janes” series.
10. The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater. Why did the Raven Cycle have to come to an end??
11. The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter. One year in the lives of three teens living in a small Tennessee town. This one is a heart breaker.
12. Still Life With Tornado by A.S. King. It’s always a good year when you get a new A.S. King book.
13. This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab. For fans of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, this is a tale of two teens living in a broken world of violence and monsters. So much to love in this dark urban fantasy.
14. To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party by Skila Brown. This might be my surprise favorite book of the year. Let me tell you: this is a novel in verse about cannibals. Please and thank you!
15. The Tournament at Gorlan (The Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years #1) by John Flanagan. I will never tire of Halt and Crowley! This new series takes readers back to when Halt was the apprentice.
16. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma. Black Swan meets Orange is the New Black. This one is weird and I loved it.