If, like us, you love a good list of brilliant books then you’ve come to the right place!!
Several of the Scribblers list and discuss the best books they’ve read this year and we hope there is something for everyone amongst them!
1. Morning Star by Pierce Brown – The third part of a compelling trilogy, which will blow your mind with it’s scale and emotional complexity. It’s epic sci-fi but it’s humanity which is explored. A must read, Darrow will win the hearts of anyone who picks up this trilogy.
2. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – The sequel to Red Queen, this book is everything I like – it’s X-men meets Throne of Glass and book 2, every is amped as Mare Barrow builds her army to take on the Royal Silvers. With book 3 out next year, this is a trilogy to get your mits on.
3. Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden – Harry Potter meets City of Bones in this stunning debut, as Denizen teams up with other Knights, including his aunt, to fight the forces of darkness.
1. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue – A beautifully written story set in mid-nineteenth century rural Ireland, The Wonder follows the story of an English nurse who is sent on a very unusual case. Though technically an adult book, there are many elements that will definitely appeal to a YA audience. Couldn’t put this one down. You won’t either.
2. One by Sarah Crossan – Sarah’s second verse novel, a moving story of conjoined twins, kept me up late in the night. Gorgeous writing and wonderful characters.
3. The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell –Historical children’s fiction at its best. She had me hooked from the very first sentence.
1. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton – atmosphere, mystery, an unusual setting plus breathtaking language, all the right ingredients for an unforgettable read. Another adult book, but I dare any YA not to fall in love with it.
2. The Fault in our Stars by John Green – a literary YA that centres around a 16 year old girl with cancer. An achingly-good page-turner with real heart, this book definitely stole mine.
3. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – an unlikely hero and heroine embark on a turbulent journey into first love. We are with them every step of the way and Rowel has that special talent of making the small and insignificant truly beautiful.
1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – An effortless read. Dynamic action, enchanting characters, wonderful dialogue. Fantasy and heist. I love, love, loved this book. It couldn’t have been more awesome. It kept me turning pages until late into the night.
2. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton – The first book I had picked up in a long time that felt totally fresh. The main character is lovable, fierce and flawed. Genre, cowboy come self discovery, come fantasy. Come on read it…
3. Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neil- This was the one I couldn’t stop thinking about for days after I finished it. A contemporary ‘Brave New World’ for teens. The style was easy, the characters terribly dislikeable. In a society where looks are everything, the ugly truth is never far away.This book makes the future look bleaker than an empty box of chocolates and should make every young feminist want to sit up and shout.
1. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – A powerful and poignant retelling of Arabian Nights, with a great female protagonist and diverse characters. Beautiful descriptions of the setting and outfits really bring the whole thing to life, and the love story will leave you wanting more.
2. More Than This by Patrick Ness – From the very first line, it’s clear that this one will be unique. More Than This is brilliant, full of mystery, and keeps you turning the pages trying to figure it all out. With LGBT representation and Patrick Ness’s spectacular narration, it’s one I’ll keep thinking about long after I finish.
3. Made You Up by Francesca Zappia – This story is another one I’ll find myself thinking of. The reader is taken into the mind of the protagonist, a girl who happens to have a mental illness – schizophrenia. Through her eyes we see the world as she sees it, all the while never knowing if what she’s showing us is actually real. This story is one that portrays mental illness is a very real and sensitive way. It also offers a uniquely unreliable narrator and a twist that will make you question everything.
1. The Deviants by CJ Skuse – This book was on my radar for a while before its release date, simply down to the chilling tag line, ‘Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.’ Ella’s journey through the novel is incredible and it deals with a sensitive issue in a bold and upfront manner.
2. 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough – This book was called ‘Mean Girls for the Instagram age’ and certainly lives up to it. When queen bee Natasha is revived after being found in an icy river, she sets out to find her attacker. Full of secrets, this is a YA Gone Girl.
3. The Graces by Laure Eve – ‘Everyone said they were witches…’ The Graces is a story of how it feels to be an outsider who is suddenly embraced by the school celebrities. Throw in a sprinkling of magic and some unrequited love and you have UKYA at its finest.
1. The Nest by Kenneth Oppel. Illustrations by Jon Klassen – Realism and fantasy mesh seamlessly in this eerie psychological thriller. Steve is anxious about his sick baby brother. In many ways, both brothers are fighting for survival. The Wasp Queen offers a solution – perfection in fact – but is the price too high to pay? Dark, unsettling, scary, weird and wonderful. Middle Grade – but suitable for older readers too.
2. Time Travelling With A Hamster by Ross Welford – ‘My dad died twice. But only the second time was my fault.’ If the title and this teaser on the front cover isn’t enough to pique your interest then I don’t know what will! Ross Welford’s debut novel is fast, gripping, funny and touching – often all at the same time. A new take on the philosophy of time travel that also hits some big themes like bereavement, family and the constancy of love. Middle Grade – but again, enjoyable for all ages. Read it- you know you want to!
3. Pax by Sara Pennypacker. Illustrations by Jon Klassen – Peter and his pet fox, Pax are torn apart by war. Told in alternating chapters, this beautifully written novel chronicals the journey and struggles of each, as they fight to be reunited. Sara Pennypacker’s tale is a wonderful exploration of the potential of our relationship with non-human animals and the way we impact the humans around us too. She challenges middle grade readers to think about the meaning of love, loyalty, betrayal, healing and self-sacrifice. You may need the odd sniffle into a hanky here and there but the novel doesn’t give in to over-sentimentality; nature is harsh – and the nature of man is even harsher.
Definitely three of my favourite Middle Grade reads of 2016.