Fangirl Roundup 2016: My Favorite Books This Year

I bet you thought I'd disappeared into the ether, but I'm here to squee about the books I loved the most this year. Some of these were not published in 2016, but they were new to me this year, so I'm counting them.

I started writing down, somewhat haphazardly, what I was reading each day in my planner, and I've also consulted my purchase histories. I kept my TBR pile under control for the first half of the year, but the last half...not so much. Too many good deals and too much having a day job. Still, there are some of the books that I wrote down that I have absolutely no memory of, which is a judgment in and of itself. Others, I've reread multiple times already this year. Some of the authors will appear multiple times because I glommed their backlists or they had multiple releases this year. And some months, I just couldn't pick one. Sue me. So, without further ado, Sionna's favorites books of 2016, by month read.

January:

Two picks for this month because you can't make me choose!

The Fit Trilogy, Rebekah Weatherspoon

I housed all three novellas in this series over three days and developed a lingering writer crush on Rebekah Weatherspoon. Despite the dark, broody cover dudes, this series is relatively light on angst, but still firmly in the erotic romance camp. Suh-woon. 

Level Up, Cathy Yardley

This book caused me to text my sister-in-law within about five pages because the characters were playing Quidditch pong. I want there to be more of this series NOW. 

February: 

Taking the Lead, Cecilia Tan

I was already a Cecilia Tan fan when this came out at the end of January. I read Taking the Lead, then continued getting as much of her backlist as possible into my eyeballs for pretty much the rest of the month. We already know how I feel about the second book in the series.

March:

Come As You Are, Emily Nagoski

A non-fiction entry to the list! If you are a person with a vagina, or someone who's just fascinated by how the brain works, I cannot recommend this book enough. (With the caveat that the book is largely addressed to ciswomen, which Nagoski acknowledges as a limitation based on the current lack of research on the sexual wellbeing of trans and genderqueer folks.)

April:

Dumplin', Julie Murphy

This book, you guys. So sweet, so funny, so earnest. Just go. Trust me.

May:

Jane Steele, Lyndsay Faye

A riff on Jane Eyre in which Jane gets sweet, sweet revenge for all the shit she's been put through? Get it in my eyeballs. (This one's kind of pricey, as ebooks go, but I got it from the library. It's definitely on my wishlist for if I ever see it on sale.)

June:

Uprooted, Naomi Novik

Beautiful and strange, with a tender heart amidst the violence, this epic fantasy kept me up past my bedtime repeatedly, because I was so desperate to unravel the mystery.

July:

Another two-fer, really a four-fer, but we've already discussed my feelings about Bluest of Blue and Ride 'Em.

the Girl from Everywhere, Heidi Heilig

I can't begin to do this book justice. But if a cast of time-traveling pirates hailing from various corners and eras of the world doesn't intrigue you, I can't help you. 

Beginner's Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions, Six de los Reyes

After a large chunk of romancelandia heartily recommended this book on Twitter, I jumped on it. (Romance twitter, at least the corner of it I follow, has rarely steered me wrong in books, TV, or movies. It is awesome and terrible, all at once.) I loved this book. The characters, including Kaya's large, loud, meddlesome family, felt like real people, and I loved the slow burn of the relationship between the hero and heroine. 

August:

August began something of a reading slump, tied in part to the fact that I was so exhausted most nights that I passed out the second my head hit the pillow.

Still, there was Perv

Watching Nate get his comeuppance at the hands of Robyn was so satisfying. For that matter, so was seeing Robyn work through her grief and rage. You might think this would be straight erotica, based on the title and cover, but it's not (I mean, there is a lot of sex, but there's a fully-realized story there, too), and it's so good.

September:

Most of September's reads were firmly "meh," to "if this were a paperback, I would be throwing it at the wall right now." Honorable mention goes to Cream of the Crop.

It's a silly, little piece of escape that wraps itself up in a neat bow by the end, and that's okay. That's what it's supposed to do. It's also supposed to make you want to visit upstate New York in the fall. Like it should be sponsored by the tourism board.

October:

School Ties, Tamsen Parker

Did someone say virgin Dom hero and his former math teacher? Yes, yes they did. Also, I say that, but the book is actually fairly light on sex and heavy on longing fantasies during the first half of the book in which they are actually teacher and student. 

November:

So For Real, Rebekah Weatherspoon

Weatherspoon gets a double entry because sometimes when you're staring down what feels like the start of the apocalypse, you need something as gooey and sweet as the ending of the Sugar Baby series. Everyone deserves a Michael. 

December:

The month isn't over yet, but I'm giving it to Do You Want to Start a Scandal, by Tessa Dare. 

It delivers exactly what I expect from a Tessa Dare novel: smart (and smart-ass) ladies, lots of banter, sexy bits, more banter, and an emotionally believable and satisfying HEA. I ended up being glad the husband was hopped up on Nyquil while I was reading this, because I cackled so hard at the peach and eggplant scene (oh yes, she went there in a historical) I absolutely would have woken him up, otherwise.

And that's it. That's my list. Proof that I'll read anything, from YA to fantasy to romance, from sweet to steamy and pretty much everything in between. Happy Holidays to those who celebrate. May you find corners to sneak away to with a book if you need them.