2016 in Review(s)

2016, if you go by my Goodreads Reading Challenge (currently at 32/50), was a year of thrillers and non-fiction. Along the way I read a lot of lackluster crime novels and many biographical gems. The following are my favourites reads for 2016. These are items I read in 2016, but were not necessarily were published in 2016.

My Fave…

Image: Goodreads

Author: Sierra DeMulder
It’s great to see one of my favourite poets come out with another published collection. She sings to my heart with her rumination on life as a modern, flawed woman.



Fiction: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
A fast-paced and complex thriller showing how insidious criminals can be. The two main female protagonists were dimensional and captivating. I listened to this on Audible and the voice actors really made it.


Non-Fiction: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
An event that cross-generational consequences which should be a seminal part of our history. This book and the Lacks’ family’s story floored me.


Graphic Novel: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
This built on the insight and comedy of Brosh’s blog. An enjoyable read.


Poetry Collection: Today Means Amen by Sierra DeMulder
My favourite poems in particular are ‘The Seven Layers of Hell’ and ‘Exodus 33:20’. The poems on dementia and eating disorders were touching, and her reflections on her romantic relationships engaging. DeMulder is my favourite modern poet.


What were your favourite literary finds of 2016?

~ Emma

My Top 4 Young Adult Books

Hi there! Thanks for stumbling upon this post. Maybe you were directed here from my Whitewashing Katniss Everdeen post, or are a kind friend who decided to peruse my site in a fit of boredom. Irregardless of intent, it’s a pleasure to have you.

You only have to know me for five minutes to know I am a huge young adult (YA) fangirl. Even though I am no longer in my teens, there is something inside of my that connects deeply with the messy, dark and twisty internal monologue of teenage YA protagonists.

And so, I thought I’d share my top 4 favourite contemporary young adult books. I actually found this list hard to create without making every book one by Laurie Halse Anderson, who is my ultimate author bae – which is why there are only four listed, and not five.

4. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Straight up, this book should come with a massive trigger or content warning. It explores the reality of relapsing from an eating disorder in graphic detail, as well as exploring suicide and psychosis. Wintergirls is a startling study in using formatting to deepen the story, and is one that will haunt you long after you read it.




3. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Those of you outside of Australia will probably know Marchetta as the author of Looking for Alibrandi. Saving Francesca is a novel about a young woman dealing with the breakdown of her family due to her mother’s apparently sudden onset of depression. It has a cast of colourful characters and remains one of my favourite home grown novels today.





2. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

This infamous, small novel perfectly encapsulates what it is like to be a person who is different and to feel that difference deep in your soul.  Chbosky’s observations on identity show that Perks is a seminal YA text – one that writers can learn from.

1. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda Sordino is my spirit animal. The sarcastic, biting narration mixed with tree imagery makes this novel a true YA classic. The fact Speak shares a common yet often invisible story of a very young woman being sexually assaulted makes Halse Anderson’s book a utterly important read.

I’ll be posting lists of my favourite urban fantasy YA novels soon.

What are your fave contemporary YA books?