Best Books of 2016 Part 1: New Releases


Of course I need to rant and rave about my best books of 2016 so I’ll be doing this in 2 parts. Part 1 will be the best books that were released in 2016 and Part 2 will be the best books I read this year that were published before 2016!

Keep in mind that these are ordered by the dates I read them (oldest to newest) and NOT by favorites, I love all of these books!

I also will link up full reviews for these books if I have them since I won’t be spending too much time going into detail about all of these (there are quite a few!).

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13.) The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine

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A very unique and refreshing YA Fantasy book with a very interesting magic system. Also the world building and characters are great as well, the pacing got a bit slow sometimes but that’s about my only complaint!

You can read my full review of “The Impostor Queen” here.

12.) The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

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An excellent mystery/thriller that gets pretty dark and twisted for a YA book not to mention it’s totally unpredictable making it for one of my favorites.

You can read my full review of “The Darkest Corners” here.

11.) The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

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An absolutely fantastic retelling of the Aladdin story along with some of the most gorgeous writing I’ve ever read. I think of this book as I kind of hidden gem since a lot of people haven’t read it.

You can read my full review of “The Forbidden Wish” here.

10.) With Malice by Eileen Cook

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Another twisted YA mystery/thriller book where the main character wakes up with amnesia making it a lot of fun to read through and had some great plot twists. Plus I really love when books are set in Italy which this book’s flashbacks do.

You can read my full review of “With Malice” here.

9.) Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

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One of my new all time favorite books (and authors) I loved this book for it’s beautiful writing, fantastic world-building, and a downright dirty, gritty, dark, and twisted storyline.

You can read my full review of “Nevernight” here.

8.) And I Darken by Kiersten White

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This book has one of the most badass female protagonists that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about, Lada is awesome! Also how can you resist a book that’s a gender swapped Vlad the Impaler retelling? This is very character driven and all of the characters are interesting and complex and very fun to read about.

You can read my full review of “And I Darken” here.

7.) My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows

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This book is charming, silly, and just plain wonderful. It’s a historical retelling of the Lady Jane Grey (or the Nine Day Queen) and it is just so hilarious, light-hearted, and very fun!

You can read my full review of “My Lady Jane” here.

6.) Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

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A beautiful book both inside and out full of magic and a kind of dark, twisted version of Wonderland. I loved this book for said magic and the fact that’s it’s something so unique and rarely seen in YA books, I also love the strong family dynamic.

You can read my full review of “Labyrinth Lost” here.

5.) Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

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If there is going to be one true hidden gem of a book that was released this year it’s this one, you all seriously need to read this beauty! We have an original fantasy world complete with magic, world building, and one evil villain and it also includes retellings of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Mulan, and Jane Austen’s Emma as well.

You can read my full review of “Kingdom of Ash and Briars” here.

4.) And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

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First of all…just look at that cover! This is also one of the creepiest books I’ve read and it also really messes with your mind, in a good way that is. I love horror books and it takes quite a bit to get the hair on my neck to rise in terror and this book definitely had these moments!

You can read my full review of “And The Trees Crept In” here.

3.) This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston

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A surprisingly great YA mystery/thriller that actually breaks the mold, it’s definitely not like others that I have read that’s for sure! You also won’t see these twists coming!

You can read my full review of “This Is Our Story” here.

2.) Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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Probably the most surprising book for me this year since I did not enjoy Meyer’s book “Cinder” at all and here I am loving this book to bits and pieces. An origin story for the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland and it’s sure to be a fun read for any Alice fan!

You can read my full review of “Heartless” here.

1.) The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

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This was slow to start but then turned into something absolutely epic! Political intrigue, a badass heroine, a romance that I shipped so hard, and plenty of action! This was a seriously amazing book and I’m hoping to have my full review up soon.

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What new releases did you read this year?

Which ones did you like and/or dislike?

Have you read any of these 2016 releases?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy


Most Disappointing & “Meh” Books of 2016


I’m definitely going to be doing a list of the best books of 2016 as well but since I’m still trying to finish as many 2016 releases as possible so I’m going to put it off until the end of next week!

These are all 2016 releases! Not just books I’ve read this year!

This list is compiled of books I have reviewed and have yet to review if there are reviews I will include links to them, so click on the titles to go to their reviews. I also am including books I loathed as well as books that I kind of enjoyed but also had a lot of issues with, so anything between a 1 and 3 star rating.

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“Fate of Flames” by Sarah Raughley 3/5 Stars

I loved the concept and the cover but overall it wasn’t executed that well and the main character was absolutely horrible. Still had a few redeeming qualities though but definitely a “meh” book of 2016.

“Stalking Jack The Ripper” by Kerri Maniscalco 3/5 Stars

A much anticipated book (also with a fantastic cover) that was overall a disappointment for me, it was just really slow and not enough suspense or action for me.

“The Merciless II” by Danielle Vega     3/5 Stars

Not as good as the first book but still interesting enough to finish. I felt like it wasn’t as gory or scary as the previous book and that was kind of a big let down for me.

“Red Queen” by Christina Henry 3.5/5 Stars

I’m actually thinking this deserves a solid 3 stars and not 3.5 because it was so much LESS than the first book “Alice”. It wasn’t as interesting or horrific or dark and the characters didn’t feel the same. I gave the first book a full blown 5 stars because it is literally perfection so to go from that to this mediocre sequel was very disappointing.


“Truthwitch” by Susan Dennard 3/5 Stars

This is the definition of a “meh” book for me, it had good but also a lot of bad and definitely not worth the hype in my opinion. The world-building was pretty messy and the characters and story were just “meh”.

“Wink Poppy Midnight” by April Genevieve Tucholke 3/5 Stars

Pretty cover, pretty writing, what the hell is going on with the story? This is one of the most confusing books I’ve read and not in a good way, I still can’t really tell you what it’s about. Why did I rate this 3 stars? I should probably lower it to 2…..

“The Crown’s Game” by Evelyn Skye 2/5 Stars

One of my most anticipated books of 2016 and one of the biggest let downs, I was expecting fantastic magic and a battle to the death. What I got was insta-love, more insta-love, and some very complicated love triangles.

“The Graces” by Laure Eve 2/5 Stars

Slow, boring, and confusing. I expecting something more exciting with witches and all I got was a very dull reading experience.


“The Outliers” by Kimberly McCreight  2/5 Stars (Rating May Change)

I haven’t reviewed this yet but it started out pretty strong with the mystery and suspense but dwindled down from there to the point where it just got really weird and confusing. What the heck did I read?

“Unhooked” by Lisa Maxwell 2/5 Stars

I love Peter Pan and dark retellings but this was just a mess. There was a mish-mash of different elements that left me more and more confused as I read. All in all the only thing that even remotely made this feel like a Peter Pan telling were the uses of the names Captain Hook, Peter Pan, and Neverland. That’s it. I was extremely disappointed with this.

“A Fierce and Subtle Poison” by Samantha Mabry 2/5 Stars

Slow, boring, and the ending was just odd although I did really like the setting of Puerto Rico and the writing.

“The Mystery of Hollow Places” by Rebecca Podos 2/5 Stars

The mystery in the end was really unsatisfying and boring, I felt like I read the book for nothing. I did like the writing style and would check out Podos’s future books though.


“One Was Lost” by Natalie D. Richards 1/5 Stars

Judging this book by it’s premise and cover I thought it would be more of a horror book or at least have some suspense. What I got instead was a book about a bunch of whiny, annoying teenagers blundering through the woods. No.

“Beware That Girl” by Teresa Toten  1/5 Stars

This is marketed for fans of “The Girl on the Train” and “Gone Girl” and that is the funniest joke I have ever heard. There is nothing original about this book, the characters are so bland and stereotypical, and the plot twists are utterly predictable.

“Blackhearts” by Nicole Castroman 1/5 Stars

I’m sorry but to me this book is a complete joke. An origin story for Blackbeard? Yeah, right. There is no piracy to speak of in this book just a period romance. WHERE WERE MY PIRATES?!

“Once Upon A Dream” by Liz Braswell 1/5 Stars

I should have known better than to try this book after the first book in the Twisted Tales series received very negative reviews. It’s flat, boring, and the writing is awful and I DNF’d the crap out of it.

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What were your most disappointing books of 2016?

Did you like or dislike any of the books on this list?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy