For me, 2016 was full of fantastic reads that I would definitely return to in a heartbeat. I’ve awarded several books a five star review here and on Goodreads, where the awards generally line up.
I don’t often give reviews on Goodreads, but here’s my make up for that. This is why I gave the following books five stars. The books appear in no particular order, so there’s no one book I favoured over the year.
My Map of You by Isabelle Broom
Why I gave this five stars: Isabelle’s first book, this stunningly describes the white sandy beaches of Zakynthos. If you don’t have wanderlust now, you surely will when you’ve read this.
Ctrl Alt Delete by Emma Gannon
Why I gave this five stars: I very rarely find books I’m so engrossed in, I miss my stop on the bus home. once I picked this one up, I couldn’t put it down.
Room by Emma Donoghue
Why I gave this five stars: If Emma intended for this book to completely terrify the reader, mission accomplished. I finished this on a train into London and I felt so exposed. A thrilling read you simply have to pick up.
One by Sarah Crossan
Why I gave this five stars: There’s very few books that leave me in tears and completely emotionally destroyed. This is one of them.
How Hard Can Love Be by Holly Bourne
Why I gave this five stars: After reading this, Amber quickly became my favourite member of the Spinster Club. I instantly resonated with her shaky relationship with her mam – it was like reading about my own life.
The Better Brown Stories by Allan Alhberg
Why I gave this five stars: I first read this book when I was young, and couldn’t properly appreciate the fantastic humour in this book. The short stories, based on some well known tales, are fantastic, a great book to read with your kids.
A Year and a Day by Isabelle Broom
Why I gave this five stars: Isabelle once again inspires wanderlust with tales of the Czech capital. I’ve never been to Prague but was still able to picture the streets and alleys in my head.
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
Why I gave this five stars: I don’t often read the book after going to see the film, but I really enjoyed the book. At the time I read it, Eilis and I were both emigrants and I really connected with her.
Born Scared by Kevin Brooks
Why I gave this five stars: I love Kevin Brooks, and this was the first book I’ve read of his in a long time. It was like revisiting an old friend.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kahling
Why I gave this five stars: Reading this was like sitting down with a friend having them tell you about their life up to the point where they first meet you.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Why I gave this five stars: What I love most about this, and any other Liane Moriarty book I’ve read, is being totally unable to predict the twist if I tried.
The Call by Peadar O Guilín
Why I gave this five stars: When you read lots of dystopian fiction, you get accustomed to seeing foreign and fictional lands. Seeing a dystopia set in Ireland was fantastic. I was hooked.