2016 Book List

This is my list of books I’ve read so far in 2016 and also a master review list for the year. Click on the titles for reviews, at least those I’ve got around to writing!

January 2016:
1. Stephanie Perkins (and others) – My True Love Gave to Me
2. Holly Smale – Picture Perfect
3. Patrick Ness – A Monster Calls
4. Noelle Stevenson – Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy
5. G. Willow Wilson – Ms. Marvel Vol. 3: Crushed

my true love gave to me pictureperfect a-monster-calls lumberjanes-vol-1 ms-marvel-vol-3
February 2016:
6. Holly Bourne – How Hard Can Love Be?
7. Stephanie Perkins – Anna and the French Kiss

how hard can love be Anna
March 2016:
8. Pierce Brown – Red Rising
9. Alice Oseman – Radio Silence
10. Rainbow Rowell – Kindred Spirits
11. Frances Hardinge – A Face Like Glass

red rising radio silence kindred spirits aflg
April 2016:
12. Sara Barnard – Beautiful Broken Things
13. Melinda Salisbury – The Sleeping Prince
14. Lucy Inglis – Crow Mountain 

beautiful broken things the sleeping prince aprilreads3
May 2016:
15. Eve Ainsworth – Crush
16. Alywn Hamilton – Rebel of the Sands
17. Sarah J Maas – A Court of Mist and Fury
18. Holly Smale – All That Glitters
19. Taran Matharu – The Novice
20. Sarah Crossan – One
21. Jenny McLachlan – Flirty Dancing

maybooks1 rebel of the sands a court of mist and fury all that glitters
The Novice One Flirty Dancing
June 2016:
22. V. E. Schwab – A Darker Shade of Magic
23. Annabel Pitcher – Ketchup Clouds
24. Graeme Simsion – The Rosie Project

A Darker Shade of Magic Ketchup Clouds rosie project
July 2016:
25. Rainbow Rowell – Carry On
26. Leigh Bardugo – Shadow and Bone
27. Louise O’Neill – Asking For It
28. David Levithan and Nina LaCour – You Know Me Well

carry on shadow and bone asking for it you know me well
August 2016:
29. Leigh Bardugo – Siege and Storm
30. Holly Bourne – What’s a Girl Gotta Do?
31. Frances Hardinge – The Lie Tree

siege and storm whats-a-girl-gotta-do the-lie-tree
September 2017:
32. Laure Eve – The Graces
33. Sally Green – Half Lost

the-graces half-lost
October 2016:
34. Leigh Bardugo – Ruin and Rising
35. (Reread) Lauren Oliver – Delirium

ruin and rising
November 2016:
36. Kiran Millwood Hargrave – The Girl of Ink and Stars
37. Holly Bourne – And a Happy New Year
38. Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger

the-girl-of-ink-and-stars and-a-happy-new-year i-am-the-messenger
December 2016:
39. Alyssa B. Sheinmel – Faceless
40. Danielle Paige – Stealing Snow

faceless  stealing-snow


Review: ‘A Face Like Glass’ by Frances Hardinge

aflgSynopsis: “In the underground city of Caverna the world’s most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare – wines that can remove memories, cheeses that can make you hallucinate and perfumes that convince you to trust the wearer, even as they slit your throat. The people of Caverna are more ordinary, but for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned, and only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to show (or fake) joy, despair or fear – at a price.”

Young and naive, Neverfell appears without explanation in an underground city called Caverna, where amazing magical crafts are practiced by masters and a medieval court system operates like an elaborate and deadly dance. Not to mention that all of Caverna’s citizens (except Neverfell) have to learn to don specific faicial expressions like masks.

A Face Like Glass was first and foremost a beautiful read. I found that the language and vivid imagination above anything sucked me into the world. Whilst I don’t generally like comparing one book to another, this definitely felt Alice in Wonderland-esque.

There is an abundance of action and adventure mixed with magic and intrigue. I love how completely original all the magical artefacts are, from wines and cheeses to perfumes and jellies, described so vividly you can amost touch them. The delicacies are of such opulence and luxury that the gap between the master craftsmen and the working ‘drudges’ is made so much greater. Indeed, one of the most insightful and relevant themes of the book is this wealth gap. In comparison to the elites, the drudges undertake deadly manual labour trying to afford enough eggs to prevent their children getting rickets, all the while only being taught enough faces to express satisfied subsurvience. Pretty dark, but a very interesting social commentary.

Neverfell is frustratingly naieve but her wild character is a joy to read, especially as her self-awareness develops and she learns more about the world around her and why she shouldn’t necessarily trust everyone she meets.

Whist A Face Like Glass is a middle grade book (not that it is simplistic in any way but it is reflected in the age of the protagonist) this is such a unique and sophisticated novel that could be read and enjoyed by children, teens and adults of any age.

Favourite quotes:

“All her life Neverfell had suffered the dull, embarrassed ache of the knowledge that she was always the maddest person in the room.”

“The cheeses were Grandible’s only friends and family, their scents and textures taking the place of conversation. They were his children, waiting moon-faced on their shelves for him to bathe them, turn them and tend to them.”

Top three reasons to read:

  • The writing itself is beautiful and a pleasure to read.
  • Everything is so quirky and imaginative; you will laugh out loud.
  • As a standalone book, it’s a refreshing break from endless series/trilogies and the angst of waiting for each sequel to come out.