Tuesday 20 December 2016

A Shout Out: My Top 5 Authors of 2016

Hi, thanks for stopping by.

Today's blog post is going to be one filled with love and gushing compliments and recommendations - I've managed, pain-stakingly, to pick out my 5 favourite authors of this year. I was inspired to do this through watching a video from Maddie and Bee over at Heart Full of Books. Now, picking these out from shelves full of wonderful reads was hard enough, so I won't be putting them into order, they're just 5 equally wonderful writers. Another note, these are not books necessarily published in 2016, or authors that necessarily became known in 2016 (which I'm sure is made glaringly obvious by 5), but merely books that I read and loved this year, perhaps not for the first time. A trend you'll notice is that most of the authors have been reviewed on my blog already in great detail, so do check out my other posts for more details if you're interested in the sound of a certain person's writing.



Based on the exceedingly positive reviews I've posted about The Sky is Everywhere and I'll Give You The Sun, this probably comes as no surprise. As I've said before, to me, Jandy is everything I would love to be as a writer. Her stories are funny, sad, charming, romantic and memorable. Her characters are some of my absolute favourites of all time, which is truly saying a lot. There is an artistic, poetic quality to her writing that is fairly rare within YA, in my opinion. Also, she has been a really wonderful author to interact with via social media, which makes me so happy. Really, I just can't say enough amazing things about her writing. If you haven't read her books, even if you don't like YA usually, I could not recommend them more, they are fabulous and will make you laugh, cry and smile till your cheeks hurt.



Again, I'm aware that I've spoken about Rainbow Rowell before on my blog, when I reviewed Fangirl  here but there was absolutely no way I could make a blog post about my favourite authors of the year and not include Rainbow. I read Fangirl a few months back, rather reluctantly. I had heard about it through Zoella's book club and the premise just didn't sound like something I would like at all. THANK GOODNESS I went to the library on a whim and saw it there. I did that whole 'well I wouldn't pay for my own copy but I guess I can read it if it's free' thing and then felt thoroughly ashamed of myself when after about fifty pages I knew I needed a copy of my own. I also read Eleanor & Park this year, which had the same heart-warming, funny sweetness as Fangirl, although it didn't quite reach the same heights for me, perhaps partly because it's a lot shorter (and maybe because of that ending, too). Rainbow Rowell has several other books published that I haven't gotten around to reading yet, but they are on my TBR list and 2017 will be the time for them, I'm sure.



Louise O'Neill writes fantastically feminist books that deal with the sort of uncomfortable topic matters that so many shy away from. Only Ever Yours and Asking For It are books that deal with gender, eating disorders, bullying, rape, rape culture and so much more. They are not easy, light reads, but that's okay, because they're so important. It's not been a good year, has it? Merely mentioning the names Brock Turner and Donald Trump seems enough to prove my point here. Books like these are so important, not only for teenage girls to be reading, but for everybody. I watched an interview in which Louise was talking about the movie of Only Ever Yours (!!!!??? Who knew this was happening?!) in which she also mentioned 'a third book' which I seriously hope is coming in 2017 because I cannot wait much longer than that.



This year I embarked upon a re-read of one of my ultimate favourite book series ever - Anna and the French Kiss (which I've only just gotten around to re-reading as we speak), Isla and the Happily Ever After and Lola and the Boy Next Door (both of which I reread back in the spring). These three books are to me exactly what YA fiction is all about. Stephanie Perkins is the most wonderful writer. For me, Anna and the French Kiss is right up there with my favourite YA books ever and might even be contender for the top spot, actually. I've never experienced so much joy when exploring characters as I did when I first read these books - Stephanie has this wonderful quality of being able to make each and every person vibrant and colourful and interesting and loveable in some way. My copies of these books are also SO GORGEOUS and fit so wonderfully on my rainbow shelves. I also, at the very, very start of 2016, read her edited anthology of festive short stories (My True Love Gave To Me) and this summer treated myself to the gorgeous hard-back version of the summer anthology (Summer Days and Summer Nights). I'm not gonna lie, Stephanie's stories were my favourites in both (I was so happy that the winter one was continued in the summer). Although, I've just realised when photographing the books that there are Rainbow Rowell stories...... I need to re-read those ASAP now that I know her writing so much better.



I don't care what anybody says, there will never be a better set of books than the Harry Potter series. Every single summer since the first time I finished the series, I re-read all seven books. This summer was just as wonderful as the last however many. The same moments make me laugh and cry every single time. The world that J.K. Rowling created is so real - or maybe I just want it to be real.... Anyway, the point is, for me at least, nobody compares when it comes to story-telling. I mean, I've actually spent hours out of my life watching the entire live premier of the final film, on several occasions (I think you can still find it on YouTube) and regret nothing, so maybe I'm a special case, but Harry Potter is just the best story I have ever read!! If you haven't read these books in a while, you should so reread them, the magic happens all over again, it's wonderful. And, as J.K. Rowling herself said, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.

Till next week


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