Today I am here with the last of my 2016 round-up posts. So in 2015, I started watching Booktube a lot and it’s where I get a lot of my book recommendations. My favorite videos to watch are everyone’s year-end videos of their favorite books of the year and there are a lot of them. So what I decided to do, because I like to be unnecessarily complicated, is to create an excel algorithm that could tell me definitively what were the top books of the year. The algorithm is pretty complicated but it takes into account ranking (if booktubers had ranked their favorites), and it even takes into account whether booktubers ranked their favorites or not.
This list is great if you’re new to Booktube and want to know what books are popular right now, but you don’t have the time to watch all those videos. This list is based on the following 30 booktubers (because I can’t include everyone):
polandbananasBOOKS, Katytastic, abookutopia, shoutame, jessethereader, Tashapolis, HardbackHoarder, PeruseProject, padfootandprongs07, Piera Forde, emmmabooks, Between Chapters, BookswithEmilyFox, Bookables, Hailey in Bookland, BangadyBangz, Riley Marie, Thoughts on Tomes, Kassidy Voinche, carolinethereader, A Clockwork Reader, sarawithoutanH, WhyMermaids, ChapterStackss, Super Space Chick, Kellys Bookspill, ForTheLoveOfBooks, InsaneReader, gracewithabookinherface, and brandonthebookaddict.
Consider this a booktuber recommendation list too. Collectively, they read a lot of YA so this list will comprise mostly of YA books. But anyway, without further ado, here is the list!
10. Cress by Marissa Meyer
This is the 3rd book in The Lunar Chronicles series and it came out in 2014. Oh yeah, I should mention that booktubers typically include all the books they read in 2016 and not necessarily just new releases so some of these were released before 2016. I haven’t read this series yet but I’m planning to this year and I’ve been told that Cress is the best book in the series. The series is a sci-fi retelling of characters like Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel (which Cress is about), and Snow White, which just sounds incredible to me. Can’t wait!
9. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
This book came out in 2015 and is a sci-fi story told in a very interesting format. It tells the story in transcripts, IM chats, computer language, and all kinds of other cool ways. I also read this book this year and I enjoyed the unique way that the story was told. The plot was very interesting, but I think it was only interesting because of the way it was told. If it was told in normal prose, it might not have been so interesting. Also, I didn’t like the main characters in the story and found them to be very one-dimensional. Still, it was a very cool read, plot and format-wise, and I can see why everyone loved it so much. The second book, Gemina, came out last year but I’ve heard it’s not as good as Illuminae. It also follows different characters so it seems to be more of a companion novel? But I think you still have to read Illuminae first before you read Gemina. Not sure if I’m going to pick up Gemina though cause I’m not really all that interested.
8. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
I’m actually quite surprised that this is so low on the list. It seemed like everyone on Booktube was raving about this towards the later end of the year. Maybe because it came out later in 2016, not many people had a chance to read it yet. This is the second book in the Six of Crows duology which is set in a fantasy world (the same universe as Leigh Bardugo’s The Grisha trilogy) and the first book was about a group of characters coming together for an impossible heist. Sounds super interesting! It also has a very diverse group of characters, which is always important. So far, I have not heard a single person say anything bad about this book or the duology as a whole so I’m quite interested in it even though I’m not much of a fantasy reader. People also say that this second book is better than the first one, which will appear later in this list. Also, that cover is #goals.
7. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
This is a historical fiction based on a real-life event published in 2016. It is about the worst maritime disaster in history during World War II that nobody even knows about. It follows four characters as they try to board a ship to escape from East Prussia at the tail end of World War II. I also read this book this year and it is an absolutely devastating story. However, I liked Ruta Sepetys’ other book, Between Shades of Grey, a little bit more than this one. That one was published a year before Salt to the Sea and the stories are somewhat connected but it’s not necessary to read Between Shades of Grey before reading Salt to the Sea. I just liked Between Shades of Grey a bit more because we follow one main character instead of four, so I felt like I had more time to get attached to her. Still, Salt to the Sea is a beautiful and important book and Ruta Sepetys specializes in the untold stories of World War II, like the horrors experienced by the people in Lithuania, Siberia, East Prussia, and those other countries that we don’t get to learn about in our history classes.
6. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
This is the last book in The Raven Cycle, which is a four-book fantasy series, and it was published in 2016. I also haven’t read this series yet but planning to later this year. I’ve heard that it’s a slow-paced, character-driven, atmospheric kind of read so if you like a fast-paced action plot, maybe this one isn’t for you. There seems to be mixed feelings about this finale, some people really liked it but some people felt that it fell short of their expectations. Will get back to you on my own thoughts once I’ve read the series for myself!
5. The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
I’ve heard a lot of great things about this 2016 release, even outside of Booktube. I don’t know much about it except that it is a story talking about rape culture. I’m always up for books talking about heavy topics so I’m quite excited to give it a go! I think it’ll be a pretty eye-opening read. Usually, I’m quite wary of books dealing with heavy issues because you never know if they’ll be able to deal with it properly but since so many booktubers highly recommend it, I think I can be safe in setting high expectations for this one (famous last words?).
4. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
You know a series is good when two books in it (in this case, all of the books) make it to the same top 10 list endorsed by 30 booktubers. This was released in 2015 and is the book that precedes Crooked Kingdom and is the one that contains the heist plot. I’m not actually sure what the plot of Crooked Kingdom is (because spoilers) but I’m definitely interested in reading both of them. I mean how can I not be when every booktuber is yelling at me to read it! In every video!
3. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
This is Nicola Yoon’s second book and it was published in 2016. Her first book which came out in 2015, Everything Everything, made pretty big waves on Booktube as well and if I had done one of these lists for 2015, that book would probably have been on it. Feelings were mixed for Everything Everything but it seems that people unanimously love The Sun is Also a Star. This one also sounds more interesting to me. It is about a Jamaican girl who meets a Korean-American boy on the day she is about to be deported back to her home country . Sounds like a love story to me! It touches on important topics of immigration and deportation though, which seems especially important these days given certain wall-building enthusiasts. It’s giving me Eleanor and Park vibes although no one has described it as such so I might be wrong. Definitely interested in reading it though.
2. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
This was definitely to be expected because it was basically everyone’s most anticipated release of 2016. Booktube is really obsessed with Cassandra Clare and to be honest, I haven’t read a single one of her books. I’m going to attempt to read The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices this year but I’m quite afraid honestly. I think I might be too old for them and I get so easily annoyed with YA romances now. Gonna give it my very best shot but we’ll see how it goes. But anyway, Lady Midnight is the first book in a new series by Cassandra Clare but apparently, you have to have read The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, and all the other novellas before you can read this one. Basically, you have to read every single book that Cassandra Clare has published before you can read this. Clever huh? Don’t think I will ever get to this unless I suddenly fall in love with the Shadowhunter world. Check back here for my progress on that.
1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
If you have watched even one Booktube video in 2016, you would have known this was going to be number one. This book took the reading corner of the Internet by storm! It is a 2016 release and is the second book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. The first book was pretty controversial with some people absolutely loving it and others absolutely hating it. This book though, people unanimously and aggressively love. Even people who hated the first book! I can’t quite imagine how that is possible. This is a New Adult fantasy series (so somewhat steamy oooooh) and the first book was a sort of Beauty and the Beast retelling? I’ve heard the second one is a Hades and Persephone retelling but I’m not sure how closely they really follow that. I wasn’t really interested in this series at first but after it overwhelmingly made it to the top of everyone’s lists, I’m somewhat intrigued. We shall see.
So there we are! Those are the definitive top 10 books of 2016 (at least based on 30 booktubers). This was actually incredibly fun though difficult to compile together because I got to watch so much Booktube but also, the excel algorithm was pretty complicated. Guess CAT was useful for something after all HAHA. Hope you got some recommendations from this, or at least are more informed about the kinds of books people on Booktube like. Of course, these are based on only 30 booktubers and I’m sure there are many others who are not YA readers. Ooooooh, maybe next time I will do a booktuber recommendations post? Or some sort of Guide to Booktube? Stay tuned for that!
Cheers and happy reading!