Top Ten YA Books of 2016

These posts are always so hard!  Just ten?  ONLY TEN???  This is where my heart starts going all Mr. Darcy on me: "In vain I have struggled; it will not do.  I need more than ten options, ardently!"

Let's see if I can pull this off.  I am limiting myself to books published in 2016 that I read in 2016 (so the ARCs I read in 2015 don't count).

(in no particular order)

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

I didn't review this book here, but I did a joint review with Drea and Faythe over on Teen Services Underground.

Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood.

A contemporary YA that I loved (IS THIS AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE???) written by a librarian.  Winner winner chicken dinner!

Scythe by Neal Shusterman.

Finally!  Dystopia done right. *shimmy dance*

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

Yes, this book is about rape.  But it's also about agency and determination and friendship.  You need it.

Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King

I'm starting to think that it is impossible for me to feel anything but frantic love for A.S. King's works.  This one is slightly less surreal than my all-time favorite, I Crawl Through It, but it's heartbreaking and just weird enough.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

After going on a self-imposed exile from fantasy YA (too many love triangles, too many bad boys, too many characters who think they're ugly but are in fact total babes), I picked this one up.  WOW.  WOW WOW WOW.  I am dancing with impatience for Windwitch.

The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge

As with A.S. King, I will read and love anything Hardinge writes.  I had the extraordinary pleasure of meeting her (and her fabulous hat) at ALA Annual 2016, and yes, I geeked out big time.  The Lie Tree is a fantastic exploration of truth, Victorian moral hypocrisy, and archaeology.  Trust me: Hardinge makes it work.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Monsters and humans in a post-Apocalyptic America?  Yes, please, and thank you.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

This is the book equivalent of a luscious chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream and fruit and maybe some raspberry coulis because why not?  It's sensual and beautiful and it makes me have all the feels.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Most teen revenge novels involve pranks with lipstick or the classic bucket of blood.  Not here.  We have a killer on our hands, and the problem is--well, it's kind of hard not to empathize with her.

Argh!  It was so hard to choose!  Plus, I had to leave out at least three completely mind-blowing books that I read this year because they're not out until next year!

What were your favorite YA reads of 2016?


  1. I love your list! Ooh, I'm not generally a contemporary YA fan either, but Wild Swans really does sound interesting. I also read and loved Scythe, it was incredibly impressive, as was This Savage Song. SO many of these are books I still want to read, and I hope to do so soon. :) It looks like you got to read some really great books this year! I hope 2017 is just as successful!

    1. Hey Jordan, thank you! I cannot wait for the next Scythe installment--how long do we have to wait!??!?! From what I've read so far, 2017 seems pretty awesome, book-wise.


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