My Reading List 2016

Over the past couple of years I have documented every film that I have watched and reviewed them all using Letterboxd.

As a way to motivate myself to read more, I thought I would do the same for what books I have been reading, using Goodreads as a way to set myself a reading challenge.

So, this year I set myself a challenge of reading 18 books, and for the first time since doing so, I have managed to exceed my target, hooray!

Here’s how my 2016 challenge went, with a short review and rating for each of the books:

1. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Young adult dystopias are a trending topic at the minute. So how does The 5th Wave compare? The first chapter (the longest chapter in the book), at least, is incredible. This opening section details Cassie’s present day situation by giving us some background information about her life, moving on to when the alien invasion began. Detailing the first four waves, as Cassie writes in her diary from the present day whilst on her own and on the run, this first chapter really draws you in. The premise is clever, the story feels original, and as Cassie describes her mother dying and how she came to be on her own, it’s even quite emotional.

Read my full review of the book here.

2. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone did something that no other book has done: it got the world reading. It’s rare that a book can have such a worldwide effect on people of all ages, but this first chapter in an incredible franchise ensured that this was a book that nobody wanted to put down.

Read my full review of the book here.

3. The Divergent Series: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

The book starts off with an epigraph from the Erudite faction manifesto: “Every question that can be answered must be answered or at least engaged. Illogical thought processes must be challenged when they arise.” Roth obviously had this intention in mind for her final book, but it quickly becomes apparent that Allegiant wasn’t going to provide all of the answers to the questions that we were deeply craving.

Read my full review of the book here.

4. High-Rise by J.G. Ballard

Review to come.

5. The Death And Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud is a romantic and exhilarating book that follows the journey from death to life. Set against a background of bereavement and grief, there are many conversations about what happens to us after we die, exploring the different ways that these characters have learnt how to move on from the loss of somebody close, and at the conflict of holding on and letting go.

Read my full review of the book here.

6. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Review to come.

7. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones is a chilling and haunting story, but it’s also an uplifting tale of acceptance and redemption. Susie is a beautifully created character full of optimism and hope and, as she experiences longings for the everyday things she can no longer do, it’s easy to find yourself drawn in by her character.

Read my full review of the book here.

8. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Daphne Du Maurier‘s Rebecca is my number one favourite book of all time. Beautifully written, the story is centred on two of the most humanly complex characters ever written, begins with one of the most memorable opening lines in literature, and ends with an intensely powerful image.

Read my full review of the book here.

9. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You is a story impossible not to fall in love with. The characters are so beautifully crafted that I cried more than once reading about how their relationship progressed. Even before there’s any inclination of romantic feelings from either characters, it’s obvious that they have a deep connection, and their emotions are explored so well that you can really get inside both of their minds.

Read my full review of the book here.

10. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Review to come.

11. Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Review to come.

12. The Missing by C.L. Taylor

Review to come.

13. Harry Potter And The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany

Review to come.

14. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a book that you will want to read as soon as you have picked it up off of the shelf. With a beautiful production of its ghostly front cover and the use of high-quality photographs scattered inside, the whole look and feel of this book makes you want to jump into this intriguing world of peculiarity straight away. Even minutes after buying this book I found myself hooked and not wanting to put it down, restless to dive in as soon as I could to find out what these disturbingly creepy pictures were all about.

Read my full review of the book here.

15. The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

Told in a first-person narrative from the point of view of three women – Rachel, Anna and Megan – The Girl On The Train constantly shifts perspectives as well as between timescales, jumping from after the murder to weeks before, slowly revealing the truth about the lives of these three women and the connection that they each have.

Read my full review of the book here.

16. Story Of Your Life by Ted Chiang

Story Of Your Life is a short story like no other. You may think that you know what to expect from a science fiction novella set during an alien invasion like this, but you would be wrong. Instead, this short story is a joyous treat to read, filled with thought-provoking ideas beyond its short length and minimal premise.

Read my full review of the book here.

17. The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey

We all love zombie films and stories, but handling the genre successfully is another matter. It’s hard to find a new spin on such popular genres these days when premises around zombies, vampires, and dystopian futures (to name a few) are so largely recycled. But that’s exactly what The Girl with All the Gifts manages to do.

Read my full review of the book here.

18. The Hogwarts Library: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling

Review to come.

19. The Hogwarts Library: The Tales Of Beedle The Bard by J.K. Rowling

Review to come.

20. The Hogwarts Library: Quidditch Through The Years by J.K. Rowling

Review to come.

21. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Written 30 years ago now, Diana Wynne Jones creates an old-fashioned kind of fantasy full of adventure. With wizards, demons, magic spells, and moving castles, Howl’s Moving Castle is an original and imaginative story that certainly takes you on a journey or two.

Read my full review of the book here.

22. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Told in the first person by Patrick Bateman, American Pyscho is a detailed narrative account of the repetitiveness of everyday life – from getting dressed in the morning, to going to work, to eating out and aimlessly getting through they year – combined with intensely detailed scenes of sex, torture, and murder.

Read my full review of the book here.

23. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Review to come.

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