My Favorite 2016 Releases Thus Far

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Best 2016 Releases Thus Far

I’ve read quite a bit of 2016 releases and I have to say that it was REALLY easy to come up with this list because these were honestly the standouts for me with the exception of a couple others that could have easily made this list too. Some of the 2016 releases I read were lackluster for me but OH MAN these 10 were easily some of the best books I’ve read this year so far. It’s going to be SO hard to think about making a list again at the end of the year if I keep reading so many excellent books!

best books so far this year

1. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner: Definitely at the top of my list! I *loved* this book something fierce and had a major book hangover afterwards — great characters, southern small town setting and so many feels.

2. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson: A new book to love from one of my all time favorite authors!! If you love contemporary YA, you must read Morgan’s books! This one was delightful — great romance, friendships and a great father-daughter relationship.

3. Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys: Oh maaaan…Ruta’s books are some of my faves in the historical fiction genre and this one was no exception. I had NO idea about this huge maritime disaster and I just was absorbed by this story. It was a beautiful, emotionally devastating story about tremendous strength and survival in the face of awful tragedies. Ruta’s writing and the ferocity of her characters’ voices just absolutely drop you right in the hardships so many experienced on this road to safety and make you feel the pain, loss and general darkness mixed with that buoying feeling of hope, love and freedom all around them.

4. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard: I technically didn’t read it this year but it IS a 2016 release sooo it’s fair game. If you are looking for a new fantasy series to get into, you HAVE to read this one before the next installment.

5. The Imposter Queen by Sarah Fine: Another great fantasy I read this year! The Impostor Queen was definitely a refreshing and action-packed YA fantasy! I loved the world —  it was so rich magic-wise and the political setup was so interesting.  I really enjoyed watching the strength Elli exuded after her whole world imploded and the future she had for herself was no longer. Plus the romance in this book was super swoony!

6. The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski: The final installment to a fantasy trilogy I love and Marie did NOT disappoint you. Now that they are all out, I highly recommend you do a binge read.

7. When We Collided by Emery Lord: OOOH my heart this book. Emery is another fave author and I was pleased to yet again love her latest. A heart-wrenching one for sure but it was so, so powerful for me.

8. The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye: If you are in need of an action-packed fantasy book, this one right here is a good one to pick up! I could NOT put this one down and loved this historical fantasy set in Russia. The magic competition was intense and I needed someone to pick up my jaw by the end.

9. Girl Against The Universe by Paula Stokes: This one was so smile-inducing but also made me tear up. It was super cute and swoony and perfect for a lazy day by the pool or at the beach. I loved how therapy was a real and integral part of the main character’s story — A+ for positive therapy representation.

10. Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee: Ooooof this historical YA set in San Fransisco in 1906 was incredible. The main character’s strength is inspiring and I loved that this story was about her persevering to get what she wants in a society that doesn’t want her to succeed as a Chinese woman and also about how barriers can be broken down in the face of tragedy.


my review of The Serpent King /review of Salt to the Sea /my review of Truthwitch/my review of The Imposter Queen /review of The Winner’s Kiss/series overview / my review of The Crown’s Game/my review of Girl Against The Universe /my review of Outrun the Moon

So tell me…what are some of the best 2016 releases you’ve read so far this year?? Please tell me which ones I need to get to!!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I see we share a few favorite books on our TTTs this week. The Winner’s Kiss, When We Collided and Outrun the Moon are fantastic novels and I also highly recommend them to everyone. I almost added The Crown’s Game to my list this week but it was hard to narrow down all the books.

    If you haven’t read Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum and Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch, definitely check them out. They are some of my favorite contemporaries of the year.

  2. The Imposter Queen looks SO good. I hadn’t heard of it before, but I think I’m going to have to check it out!

    • I hadn’t heard much about it and got it review and picked it up on a whim and was so impressed!!! I hope you get to it!

  3. A hundred times YES to The Winner’s Kiss.
    And I think I’m going to have to put When We Collided on my TBR. It sounds great and I’m a fan of Emery’s other books.

  4. Girl Against the Universe looks good to me, I’ve heard good things about that one and it’s nice that she handles therapy well.

    • It’s really excellent! One of those books that manages to be ~feel good~ but also tackles something really hard very poignantly!

  5. The Serpent King and The Smell Of Other People’s Houses are my top two so far!

    • Ah I really need to get to The Smell of Other People’s Houses! I think it was you that mentioned it before!

  6. The only book on this list that I have read is Serpent King and I LOVED it! So many more of these are on my TBR. I have not even read The Winner’s Curse yet, but hopefully soon. Great list! Here is my top ten list:

    • I HIGHLY rec The Winner’s Curse trilogy! The best part is you won’t have the agonizing wait when you get to it!!

  7. Salt To The Sea, just like every Ruta Sepetys book, will stay with me forever! It was sooo good, I think I liked it even better than BSOG, although they were both solid five stars! Must get my hands on The Serpent King and some of the others!

    • You know, I think I loved it more than BSOG too! I think BSOG affected me more emotionally because I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed forever but Salt to the Sea did a number on me too, even though maybe I didn’t cry as much as BSOG, but I felt like it was even more brilliant. GOD HER BOOKS ARE SO GOOD.

  8. Ahh these all look so amazing! I actually saw The Serpent King at my local library and I can’t believe I didn’t take it out, well, at least it gives me an excuse to go to the library now! ;D I also so badly want to read a Ruta Sepetys book – I’ve heard such amazing things!

    Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic
    My TTT Post!

  9. I’m looking forward to To Salt the Sea and The Crown’s Game. Unexpected Everything is on My TTT too. But I keep going back to the beautiful cover of Outrun the Moon. I need to get a copy for my shelf (and to read of course!)

    • It IS such a beautiful cover!!

      I hope you enjoy all of these soon!! You’ve got some good reading ahead of you, that’s for sure!

  10. AHHHHH I NEED TO READ THE SERVANT KING T.T I’m not sure why I haven’t read it yet xD I’ve heard great things about it! And Salt to the Sea was good 😀 I enjoyed it a lot!

  11. The Winner’s Kiss made my list this week too! I haven’t read any of the others you’ve mentioned. Hope you have a great week!

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

  12. Wow. Thanks for the recommendations. I will have to pick up The Serpent King. I’m reading a classic right now, but I’m going to need a fast, fun read for summer. It’s just great when you get to read a string of awesome books.

  13. Most of my 2016 releases have been non-fiction. Not because I am not reading fiction but because I’ve been reading mostly older fiction.

  14. Maeghan Trail says:

    I definitely couldn’t wait for the sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses. I actually just finished it in the early morning hours. A Court of Mist and Fury was definitely worth waiting for! I have one heck of a book hangover. I can’t wait for the next one. Sarah J. Maas is such a wonderful world creator. After reading it nothing feels like it will be any where’s close to as good as A Court of Mist and Fury. If you haven’t read the series yet, you really should!

  15. Great books here, especially THE SERPENT KING was an outstanding piece of literature – the second half of it made me cry like a baby.
    Girl Against the Universe has been getting a lot of positive reviews due to which I am really looking forward to reading it – I have never read anything by Paula Stokes, but maybe that one would be a good place to start.
    Thanks for sharing these & HAPPY READING! 🙂

  16. YESSS THE SERPENT KING! <3 Oh how I adore that book. So very much. I also enjoyed Girl Against The Universe a lot! 😀 I haven't read the others yet. *hides*

  17. Great list. I saw The Unexpected everything in so many lists. I should pick up The Serpent king soon.

  18. I haven’t read any of these :(. But I really want to, and I actually have some of them on my shelves. I guess I REALLY need to get on it now. Thanks Jamie!

  19. Great list! I also really loved The Winner’s Kiss, The Crown’s Game and Truthwitch! I’m currently reading The Unexpected Everything and I’m really loving it so far – am planning to binge read all other Morgan Matson books after this 🙂

  20. The only ones I’ve read off your list are Truthwitch and When We Collided. I adored them both but lordie I am so behind on 2016 books like how have I not read The Unexpected Everything yet? I BOUGHT IT ON RELEASE DAY. I am a failure.

  21. I’ve only read Truthwitch and The Winner’s Kiss from your list, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THEM! I’m so excited for Windwitch. I needed it, like, January 6. I was so happy with the ending of TWK, even if it was an emotional rollercoaster. And I’m hoping to read The Crown’s Game and The Imposter Queen sometime soon! I hope the rest of 2016 is even better!

    Check out my TTT

    Lizzie @ Big Books and Grande Lattes

  22. OOoh nice! The Winner’s Kiss made my list too!! Still need to read Truthwitch and The Crown’s Game! Really wish I could read faster. Or not need sleep and be a functional human being of society!!!

    Here’s my Tuesday Post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower 🙂

  23. I am all over the place with what books would be on my list if I’d made one, but 100% THE WINNER’S KISS and OUTRUN THE MOON would be among them! (And I still have to read SALT TO THE SEA and TRUTHWITCH, clearly!)

  24. Salt to the Sea made my list too and Girl Against the Universe and When We Collided were so close. (I only picked five and my co-blogger picked five and just five is tough!) This post is giving me the push I need to pick up a few of these books that I’ve been waffling on (ahem, The Crown’s Game). Also, I have been really into historical fiction this year, so I think I’d better look into Outrun the Moon too.

  25. I have seen The Crown’s Game come up on a few different lists this week. I guess that should be my motivation to pull it off my bookshelf and read it.
    Thanks for sharing!


  27. hey girl! checking out all these books, i think most of them are on my tbr already. don’t want to be a crazy weirdo but just thought i’d let you know that the link for salt to the sea doesn’t work, i always click your links and i hate when i screw up a link and no-one tells me so… thought i’d tell you! 🙂

    • AH thank you!! I really appreciate. I’m the same way. I’m like omg please tell me if something doesn’t work or I made an error or did something dumb! lol

  28. I agree, Truthwitch is an amazing read! I’m taking note of these other ones and adding them to my already fat list. My favorite so far, even though I haven’t even finished the book yet, is And I Darken by Kiersten White. I can already tell it’s going to wreck me in the best way possible.