As 2016 draws to a close, I would like to have some sort of “Year in Review” in terms of the books I’ve read. This year, I started getting into the Romance genre and I’ve read quite a number of Romance and New Adult books since. So if you’re into Romance novels, here are some of my 2016 reads that I highly recommend:
Light-hearted, fluffy reads:
- The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Short summary: Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman are executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. They sit at their desks facing each other every day. They also hate each other. Lucy is cheerful and innocent, while Joshua is uptight and harsh. When it turns out that there is only one available spot for promotion, the tensions between the two begin to rise… and as you may have guessed, Lucy starts to realise that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua after all.
Review: The book’s premise is rather similar to Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James, but I enjoyed this much more because Lucy and Joshua are more developed and distinct characters that made me feel very attached to them. The romance was more of a “slow burn” kind and the transition from enemies to lovers could not have been done better. So although this is Sally Thorne’s debut and only novel so far, I’m definitely going to be looking out for more of her novels in future!
2. Beard Science by Penny Reid
Short summary: Jennifer Sylvester is known as the town’s Banana Cake Queen – she bakes the best Banana Cakes, among other treats – although she desperately wants people to know her as anything but that. All her life, she’s been an obedient daughter, baking for her parents’ shop, basically doing what her parents ask of her, even dressing according to her mother’s wishes. But when her mom asks her to do a cooking show on TV, it’s the final straw, and so she blackmails Cletus Winston for help…
Review: THIS WAS AMAZING. I loved Cletus so much because he has such a unique personality. He’s calculative, mysterious, and very precise in everything he does, yet there’s a hidden kindness in him, making his chapter POVs very fascinating to read. Jennifer and Cletus are a very unlikely pair, yet they went so well together. I loved the development of their relationship, and how Cletus had such sweet words only for Jennifer. (Although this is Book 3 of a series, I read this as a standalone and in fact it was my first Penny Reid book. I think it was still great as a standalone and frankly, after reading some other books by Penny Reid, I still haven’t found one that beats Beard Science!)
More: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Heavier books with powerful messages:
- It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
Summary: Lily comes from a small town in Maine, and moved to Boston with a dream of starting her own business. She’s been struggling for a large part of her life, but when she meets Ryle, her life makes a turn for the better. Ryle is assertive and stubborn, yet also sensitive, and loves Lily very much. But he has an aversion to relationships, which is disturbing and difficult for Lily. This relationship with Ryle triggers memories of her past. As Lily starts recalling her past through her diary entries, Atlas, Lily’s first love, reappears in her life, threatening Ryle’s position in her life.
Review: I’ve read many of Hoover’s novels, including Maybe Someday, Confess, Slammed, Point of Retreat. But this is by far the best, and I cannot emphasise how good this book is! I usually don’t like books with love triangles, but the main point of this book wasn’t the love triangle. There was a deeper message behind this novel that really left me shocked, upset, angry and heartbroken all at once. The entire story is written from Lily’s POV and Hoover’s writing is so good that I felt everything as though I were Lily – with Lily, I fell in love with Ryle and Atlas, I felt her pain when her heart was broken, and I felt the dilemma when Lily had to make the decisions that would change her life forever. A definite must-read for all Romance/NA lovers!!
2. A Different Blue by Amy Harmon
Summary: Blue Echohawk doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know her mother or father, where or when she was born, she doesn’t even know her real name. Abandoned at around 2 years old and raised by Jimmy until he died, she has no one to rely on except Jimmy’s sister, who doesn’t really do anything except give her a place to stay. On her first day of her senior year in high school, she meets a young new history teacher, Mr Darcy Wilson. Blue dislikes Wilson because she believes Wilson is a privileged man with everything she doesn’t have, but Wilson is determined to take the troubled student under his wing. A string of events bring them together and they form an unlikely friendship as Blue embarks on her journey of self-discovery…
Review: This was a very powerful novel and the book was nothing I expected it to be (it was much better than I would’ve thought). Blue’s apparent sadness and loneliness drew me in and I loved that Wilson saw her for who she was and not what she tried to be. While this is a Romance book, I think there is also so much more to book, which is more about Blue’s journey of self-discovery and the changes in her along the way. Additionally, Amy Harmon’s prose is especially captivating and makes it almost impossible for the reader to put the book down.
More: Unteachable by Leah Raeder
If you’ve read these books, do leave a comment and tell me what you think of them!! And feel free to recommend novels to me as well! ^^