Total Number of Books Read // 46
Total Number of Re-Reads // SEVEN (Shadow & Bone, Once Upon a Marigold, Anna and the French Kiss, The Great Gatsby, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Unearthly, and Cress).
Genre Read the Most From // YA (which is a major DUH)
I. Best Book of 2016 // Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
My absolutely GLOWING review for this novel will be coming out early in January so I don’t want to give away too many details, but I really truly adored this one. I’m so glad that my English teacher recommended it to me…what a WONDERFUL novel.
II. Book I was Excited About/Thought I was Going to Love but Didn’t // An Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
In last years End of Year Book Survey An Unexpected Everything was actually my “Most Anticipated 2016 Release”… and now has the title of biggest disappointment :/ It came as quite the surprise because I am usually such a fan of Matson! I even pre-ordered this novel (which is something that I rarely do). I think in the end even though AUE featured tons of classic Matson moments (like fun characters and a quirky romance) I struggled to find the relationship between Andie and her father to be believable and AUE featured my least favorite book trope ever: boring secondary characters. I couldn’t be more upset to give AUE this title, but in the end its the only one that fits.
III. Most Surprising Book // Butter by Erin Jade Lange
I think what was most surprising about Butter is that I didn’t think I would like it. I thought that the premise was entirely too far fetched… but upon reading the book I was surprised by how well the characters were developed. While it certainly wasn’t perfect, don’t let Butter‘s strange premise turn you off–it serves as an interesting read.
IV. Book I Pushed the Most in 2016 // Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield (Review)
When I say that I pushed Eligible in 2016–I really mean it. I recommended it to my friend group (especially because we are all fond of the og P&P) AND to my English Teacher AND to my mom’s bookclub (they loved it)! I’m just so fond of the way that Sittenfield re-imagined the classic and I think that anyone who enjoyed P&P would love it –> SO READ IT!
V. Best Series Started // Best Sequel // Best Series Ender //
I have to say, 2016 was not a big year for Mary + series. I read only one series starter worth continuing. That would have to be Winger by Andrew Smith (review). I did read one wonderful sequel which was Bitterblue by Kristen Cashore. Although I didn’t read any series enders in 2016 I did write out a whole plan for series reading in the future.
VI. Favorite New Author Discovered in 2016 // Toni Morrison
This school year we read Morrison’s Song of Solomon earlier this year in English class and I absolutely ADORED it. I cannot wait to read more of Morrison’s work (especially since my English teacher has given me very specific recommendations). Morrison’s work is so mystical but also incredibly personal. I’m so excited to read more!! 😀
VII. Best Book from a Genre I Don’t Typically Read // Ghosts by Raina Telgemier
I don’t read graphic novels all that often but my middle schoolers who I run book club for were REALLY excited about this one. I usually take just about all their input (unless I’m trying to convince them to read one of my old favorites) so of course I obliged. I’ve
read Telegemier’s work in the past and have always been a fan…but I feel as though Ghosts has a much more powerful message than some of Telegemier’s autobiographical work. I would certainly recommend to MG lovers and graphic novel lovers alike.
VIII. Most Unputdownable Book of 2016 // One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I discovered Reid in 2015 and I’ve got to say her books are ones that I sometimes just really need. I loved One True Loves because I NEVER knew how it was going to end… but I had very strong opinions about it. I think I just really like reading about 30somethings because it’s such a nice reprieve from YA contemporary, but the ROMANCE is still there don’t you worry.
IX. Book Read in 2016 That will Likely be Re-Read in 2017 // Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Kaur’s work was so magical…so wonderful. Poetry seems to be the theme of 2016… so why not 2017 as well? I think this would be a lovely one to re-read.
X. Favorite Cover of a Book Read In 2016 // The Thousandth Floor
by Katharine McGee
It’s actually quite sad that I really didn’t love the book encased in the favorite cover of 2016! :/ Unfortunately, The Thousandth Floor and I didn’t get along very well…was it effected by the fact that I read it in ARC form and didn’t have this beautiful cover to offset the icky book details? Possibly. A little too late in that regard BUT LOOK AT HOW BEAUTIFUL. I think this cover is absolutely stunning… especially because of the minimalist efforts. 10/10
XI. Most Memorable Character of 2016 // Is it bad that I don’t have one??? Eeek
XII. Most Beautifully Written Book of 2016 // Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón
2016 was the year that Mary fell in love with poetry. And I fell hard. Bright Dead Things was a collection that I read for a school assignment but I ADORED it. I have so so so many poems underlined and saved and lines that I love. I have an inkling that I need to read more of Limón’s work because if they’re anything like her latest collection they will be utterly wonderful.
XIII. Most Thought Provoking/ Life Changing Book of 2016 // We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
While I think that the title of this one may give away a little bit of why it’s so relevant today I REALLY recommend you read it OR listen/watch Adichie’s TedTalk version. They are both immaculate and incredibly important pieces.
XIV. Book I Can’t Believe I Waited Until 2016 to Finally Read // I’m not going to lie I don’t really have an answer for this lol. I think that I have plenty of books that I can’t believe I didn’t get to, but I felt like a lot of the books I read in 2016 either came out this year or were unknown before it…so no unnecessarily long waits.
XV. Favorite Passage/Quote from a Book Read in 2016 // Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield
XVI. Shortest/Longest Books of 2016 // We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (shortest) & Bitterblue by Kristen Cashore (longest) and I have to say I think it’s really funny because I read BOTH this books over Spring Break!
XVII. Book That Shocked me the Most // Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
I have to say, this novel shocked me so much because I was so underwhelmed :((( I LOVE British Lit & had being eyeing this title in the shops LONG before the big movie craze this summer. It was so unfortunate because I just really didn’t connect… I think I also had some issues with the way that the disability of one of the primary characters was handled so that was most certainly a turn off. Such a sad disappointment when I was expecting something grand.
XVIII. OTP of the Year // Yeah sorry…gonna skip this one.
XIX. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship of the Year // The Characters of The Dark Lady by Irene Adler
This prequel of sorts to Sherlock featured an adorable friendship between Sherlock and his best friends Lupin and Irene. Mystery solving 12 year olds? Count me in!!! 😀
XX. Favorite Book read in 2016 from an Author Read Previously // Heartless by Marissa Meyer
My review of this one will be going up in January but GUYS. I was a little worried to let The Lunar Chronicles go and embrace the future of Meyer’s work as a reader but HOT DAMN. Heartless was haunting and spooky and daring in a way that I honestly didn’t expect. Look out for my review for a more detailed explanation of my thoughts but overall I was thoroughly impressed.
XXI. Book read in 2016 Based off the SOLE Recommendation of Someone Else // The Martian by Andy Weir
My boyfriend doesn’t read a ton (although I’ve gotten him to read HP and he’s already on book FIVE!!!) so when he told me that he wanted me to read The Martian because it was his favorite book I knew something had to be up. One of my relatives had also strongly recommended the book to me so it seemed like SOMETHING must be going on…and you guys, The Martian is FANTASTIC. I’m a huge Sci-Fy fan (but not exactly science fan) but I felt like every meticulous detail was so necessary and overall just part of the novel that I couldn’t imagine it without them. I’m not sure if my boyfriend expected me to like The Martian or if he was just more on the hopeful side but needless to say I’ll ALWAYS listen to his recommendations in the future.
XXIII. Best 2016 Debut Read // Trouble by Non Pratt
So I’m going to cheat a little bit here… I’m a bit too lazy to figure out if any of the 2016 releases I read this year were debuts… BUT I do know that this 2016 RELEASE (but technically a 2014 release) was a debut and it was AWESOME. I have a review going up in the next couple months–keep your eyes out.
XXIV. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting // Heartless by Marissa Meyer
I know that Meyer just won a different category but I really think that she deserves this one too. Even though Wonderland is a world that many are familiar with the way that Meyer characterized Hearts was so unique and wonderful. Meyer certainly didn’t lose her descriptive touch.
XXV. Book that Put a Smile on my Face // Hamilton: The Revolution
Anyone who knows me well knows that I LOVE “Hamilton”. But I didn’t expect to love this collection as much as I did. The full color pictures were WONDERFUL and the libretto + footnotes were fascinating. The chapter openers gave such an awesome view into the makings of the Musical. All in all I was really impressed with how much this book adds to the “Hamilton” experience as a whole.
XXVI. Book that Made me Cry // The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace
TBH I cried to lots of books in 2016 but I’m going to give the prize to this one because it was just so heartbreaking. Lovelace’s lyricisms were haunting and beautiful. Maybe it was because I read this collection in the bath (lol) but it felt very personal. I can’t help but describe Lovelace’s work as incredibly noteworthy.
XXVII. Hidden Gem // Today Means Amen by Sierra DeMulder
I know I keep talking about poetry books but GUYS POETRY IS COOL OKAY??? Anyways I first discovered DeMulder’s work when my English Teacher showed her title poem in video form to the class (link here) which I (cried to) but was then motivated to order the whole collection and speed through it. I’ve grown to appreciate the way that poetry can say so much with so little. Sometimes novels get jumbled up for me…and I like and appreciate the simplicity of poetry.
XXVIII. Book that Crushed my Soul // Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne (+ J.K. Rowling & John Tiffany)
I know that this is controversial… but THIS PLAY MADE ME SO HAPPY. I loved the way that the characters I know and love grew up into different people. I loved the ways that their children were characterized–I even loved the absurdity of the plot. I think that for lots of people they were expecting an exact continuation of the novels…and that’s not what this is. This is a potential continuation of the story and most importantly its told in the form of a PLAY. Perhaps it’s because I’m a theater geek but I spent the majority of the book dreaming up how it would be performed on stage–and loving it. I couldn’t have asked for anything more as a fan.
XXIX. Most Unique Read of 2016 // A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry
I feel as though my magical realism reads always win this category but I do adore them so and they truly are unlike anything else I read. The ability to blend two genres together–fuse them rather–is such a talent. Mabry’s novel was a such a LOVELY conclusion to my Spring Break trip that I gushed about it for several weeks afterwards. It was so so lovely. I really recommend.
XXX. Book that Made Me the Most Mad // Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
I think what made me most mad about Sloppy Firsts was actually the title… okay no. It was the fact that the title didn’t actually precede the book very well. Here I was…expecting a least some sort of action and there was…nada. VERY MISLEADING.
II. Favorite 2016 Review (of mine) //
This is so hard because I’ve written several reviews that I LOVE in the past couple of days… but they’re not going up until the new year! lol But I’m actually quite happy with my Eligible and Winger reviews… so check them out.
III. Favorite Discussion/Non-review (of mine) //
I’m incredibly fond of my aesthetic post from this summer. There’s a lot more than just visual media and I’m very proud of it. Check it out!
IV. Best Event I Participated in // BEA
This is a hands down no question about this answer… participating in BEA this year (newly rebranded as BookExpo) was an extraordinary experience. I fell in love with the rush of the galley drops to networking with fellow bloggers to discussing upcoming novels with publicists and authors. Overall, it was such a positive experience for me, and I’m looking forward to attending again in 2017… in NEW YORK.
V. Best Moment of Blogging/Bookish Life // Marissa Meyer
This sort of has to go along with BEA (and is also detailed in my upcoming Heartless review) but basically I had a LOVELY interaction with Meyer at BEA in which she and her team remembered me from a previous event and I SO EXECITED and SO FLATTERED. Meyer is an wonderful human being and I loved the way she interacted with me as a fan.
VI. Most Challenging Thing About Blogging/Bookish Life in 2016 // Change
It would be lame of me to say SHOOL OMG IT’S SO HARD TO BALANCE because duh. I would rather talk about something more real…which is really my struggle to come to terms with my evolution as a reader and a blogger. I think I might do a more detailed post about this later in 2017 but the only way I can describe it is that…I’m not really a fangirl anymore. I’m not sure I ever was, at least not to the extent some people are (and I certainly haven’t been in the past year or two). But my reading tastes have also changed–I’ve grown to be very fond of literaery/adult fiction and poetry. My reivews/and content in general has shifted to become much more analytical/disccusion based rather than gushing about books. There’s nothing wrong with this style of blog/review/reader, it’s just not who I am anymore, and I that it’s time that I really embrace that.
VII. Most Popular Post from the Blog in 2016 // Lol
I’m not a stat recorder. Stats are not why I blog and I’ve really grown to OWN that this year. So… I honestly couldn’t tell you exactly what my most popular post from the blog was. Based on some prep for future blog posts though I’m pretty sure my 2016 Bookish/Blogging Resolutions post got lots comments.
VIII. Post I Wish got a Little More Love // Short & Sweet
2016 was the first time I ever made an effort to write a mini review. It’s usually pretty hard for me to be concise with my thoughts BUT I planned a system and think that I have a formula that will work in the form of my new feature Short & Sweet mini reviews. I’ve only done one so far though (The Lifeboat Clique) but I really liked to format and plan to continue to use them in a pinch (or just when I have less to say). I hope y’all enjoy them (as they are certainly less rambly lol)
IX. Best Bookish Discovery of 2016 // Booktagram
Yeah, yeah. Don’t try and tell me that Bookstagram has been around. Because I KNOW. But this year I followed TONS more accounts and really just fell in love with the set up. Did I make my own account? Oh yeah. Did it last? Oh no. Perhaps this
summer I’ll have more time to take my own pictures but… I kinda just like READING the books with the occasional picture. But who knows, perhaps in the future I’ll be a more dedicated photographer… that aside I mentioned some of my favorite accounts in this post about bookish people on social media.
X. Reading Challenge Completion // #KINDA A FAIL
Alright lemme explain. Last year I boycotted Goodreads’ Reading Challenge because I hated the pressure and was avoiding long books. Even with the challenge avoided I read 47 books. This year I figured, hey, let’s up to 55 books. And…I didn’t make it. I read 46. Lesson learned: don’t over-challenge yourself Mary, clearly you’ve started a pattern. I’ll be more thoughtful in my 2017 goal setting.
I. Book I Didn’t Read in 2016 but is a 2017 priority // Kids of Appetite by David Arnold
I snagged a copy of this on one of my orders to Barnes and Noble this fall. I tried to start it but quickly realized this was a read I needed to sit down and dive into for a bit–at least to get myself started. But it’s a diverse mystery!!!! So it has to be a priority.
II. Most Anticipated 2017 Release (non-debut) // Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
Dessen is one of the only contemporary writers left in the business that I still really can rely on. I took a major break from contemporary this year (more on that later) but her work always makes me excited. Also, the book is about a wedding planners daughter–and I love weddings so… we’re already off to a good start.
III. Most Anticipated 2017 Debut // One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
I’m a BIG fan of “The Breakfast Club” and an even bigger fan of mysteries. I’m hoping that McManus’ debut is one to impress!
IV. Most Anticipated Series Ending/Sequel of 2017 //
I’m particularly excited or the concluding installment of the Throne of Glass series. Don’t hate me–but I’ve stopping reading the
books! It got to be such a hassle to re-read when each new book comes out… so I’ve decided to wait until the final book is released and them read them all together. I think it should be fun.
V. One Bookish/Blogging Goal for 2017 //
I think my bookish/blogging goal for 2017 is to jump wholeheartedly into the pool of general fiction/literature fiction. While I am not completly turning my back on YA, I’ve been dipping my toes in gradually over the past couple of years. If there’s anything I’ve learned in 2016 is that literary fiction and adult lit can serve me well, so I want to read it more often.
VI. One 2017 I’ve Already Read/ Recommend (?) //
Well…I haven’t read many 2017 releases already…so I think I’m just going to leave this one blank. None of them are worthy of true recommendations!
Oh my goodness WOW. That was a TON of work but totally worth it. I hope y’all enjoy this post as much as I love curating it!