Top Five of 2016

Top 5 2014I had The Sidekicks picked as my favourite book of 2016 in March, and when I mentioned this to Mr Kostakis  he told me that I would find something better by the end of the year. I told him that wasn’t possible, and by December I hadn’t, but I did find one that was its equal in The Yearbook Committee. This was such a great year for books. I discovered so many new authors and some amazing new stories I will love for years to come. Two were from my book club, two were from the Penguin YA Squad, and one was chosen because there was a Melina Marchetta quote on the cover.

1. The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis/ The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub

The Sidekicks

“If I could shove this book into the hands of everyone I passed on the street I would be happy. This isn’t a book that will automatically change your world or your opinion or try to teach you anything. It may do that, I don’t know, but this book is a fantastic and invigorating experience. You become so invested in every little aspect of this book and these three guys and their lives.”

I was left an emotional mess by the time I had finished The Sidekicks. I was barely able to finish it for the all the Emotions I was having. This is a brilliant book, one you must read if you haven’t yet. The three boys who tell their story are so different, yet they have one thing in common, their friend Isaac. This connection brings them together and each of their lives will break your heart in so many ways. It’s beautiful.

The Yearbook Committee

“I knew a Melina Marchetta recommendation wouldn’t let me down and a reading binge until 4am proves me right. The Yearbook Committee is a beautiful story that encapsulates how people from different situations can come together (albeit unwilling) and can have their lives changed forever.”

This is a tie for first place because what Ayoub has done is create a beautifully tragic story that is almost too realistic with its unapologetic honesty. It is a story that shows how important peers can be and the effects these peers can have one people and how that influences their actions. The Yearbook Committee is a brilliant story because there are no heroes, just ordinary kids with their own problematic lives trying their best and sometimes failing.

2. Yellow by Megan Jacobson

“To quote a line from an incredibly wise author by the name of Megan Jacobson, ‘this is the kind of book that makes you stop and just rest the pages on your chest from the truth of it’. Yellow is a brilliant, emotionally charged book that reveals so much about the various struggles in people’s lives. There is an incredible amount of beauty and honesty and raw strength in this story; Jacobson captures so much from so many angles and connects them together into this life of a fourteen-year-old.”

I loved this book, it is sweet, honest, complicated, and relatable. Kirra’s story is one that will stay with you long after you have finished it and will continue to break your heart as you read it. When you finish it you can feel you have had an experience and one that has changed you in a small way. Kirra will forever be my hero. I love her so much.

3. Time and Time Again by Ben Elton

Time travel and history is always a wonderful combo. This story is based on the premise that if you could go back and change one thing in history what would it be. Elton plays on this and it is perfect the way he weighs up the pros and cons of tampering with history. It isn’t as simple as that either, there are some incredible moments that come out of nowhere and after a while you just go along for the ride because you never know what is going to happen next. It is a thrilling story that continually keeps you guessing right up until the last page.

4. The Midnight Watch by David Dwyer

For those who love the story of the Titanic are going to adore this book. Dwyer looks at the tragedy of April 1912 with a new focus. He tells the story of The Californian, the ship that saw the Titanic sink and could have saved it but didn’t. While it is fiction, it’s a story based on true accounts, court transcripts and real people and real mistakes. I didn’t even know this ship existed until I read this book. It was a fascinating and sad story about how close the Titanic came to being rescued if it weren’t for a few key details.

5. Wish List by Belinda Williams

“For me this is the best and most wonderful ending to a series and a book I’ve read. The continual surprises and little bits of joy and intensity are an emotional ride but I wouldn’t change a thing. As I read my heart was pounding, I had knots in my stomach, a smile on my face, continually holding in gasps and squeals as my eyes flew across the page trying to read faster and possibly physically immerse myself in the story.”

This is the final novel in the City Love series and Williams goes out with style. Having read the other three accounts I was eager to get into the fourth and final story. There is love and independence in this story, it is all about working out who you are and what you want from life. Williams’ writing draws you in, surprises you, lulls you into safety then springs on you out of nowhere. It’s a beautifully complicated story that is the perfect ending to the series.


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