My Top 10 Reads of 2016

I read 100 books this year, which is going to make this reading round-up incredibly difficult compared to past years. But I’m here to try, so let’s do this!

Young Adult

Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember – I’ve had a very love-hate relationship with YA (overall) lately, especially over the past year, but Julia Ember’s book was a bright, refreshing light for me. Unicorn Tracks is one of the most unique YA Fantasy books I’ve ever read. It’s also a diverse read. If you’re looking for an amazing, fast-paced strikingly different YA Fantasy, try Unicorn Tracks. You won’t be disappointed.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer – Cinder is a YA Sci-Fi Fairytale Retelling of Cinderella, but it’s also a lot more. This was a book I’d meant to read for years now and finally picked up when I discovered audiobooks this year. (And the audiobook is phenomenal, by the way!) Cinder took me by utter surprise. It’s easy to forget this is a Cinderella retelling and not a sci-fi/dystopian tale of an Earth plagued by a disease that kills within days. But then Meyer reminds you this is, in fact, a fairytale. I’ve gone on to read most of the rest of the series, and am currently finishing up Winter. This series might become one of my favorite YA series of all-time.

New Adult

Artificial by Jadah McCoy – Artificial is a NA SF story that mixes creatures and monsters with androids and the question of what makes us human, not just in the futuristic dystopian setting of the book, but in general. I loved this!

The Debt Collector, Season One by Susan Kaye Quinn – Here’s another great new adult sci-fi/noir story, told as a serial.  I’ve really gotten into serials this year and actually really prefer this format (for the same reason I love series of books and TV shows compared to one-shot movies and standalone books).

Of Scions and Men by Courtney Sloan – OSAM is a SF Dystopian that restored my faith in vampire novels, utterly and completely. This book is dark and gritty, but also full of heart. Check this book out for sure!

The Immortality Cure by Tori Centanni – This is another vampire book, but with a twist. The main character used to be a vampire and is searching for a way to regain her immortality. SO GOOD.


The Rouge Retrieval by Dan Koboldt – This is an adult SFF reminiscent of Stargate and Now You See Me, which are two of my favorite things on the planet. So, naturally, this book is easily in my top 10 list. There’s no further description. GO ONE-CLICK THIS BOOK!

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – This novella is an Adult Fantasy / Fairytale that is somehow at once both light-hearted and whimsical, and a dark, soul-wrenching look at what happens to the children who go to other worlds like Narnia and Wonderland… and are forced to come back against their will. The children who are stranded in our world. The children who are forever changed by their adventure. If I could give this novella a million stars, I would.

Craft Books

I read a TON of craft books this year, but these were my favorites 🙂

Take Off Your Pants! By Libbie Hawker – This book saved my (writing) life. Literally. I used to pants everything. Every time I plotted a book, I “lost the magic” and couldn’t finish it. But for some reason, Libbie Hawker made plotting make sense, and I refer to this book every time I start a new project. This book is now my writing bible.

Chris Fox’s entire Write Faster, Write Smarter craft book series was recommended to me and I loved every book. Though they’re short, these novella-length craft books are jam-packed with useful information, good tips, and an easy step-by-step guide to many things in the publishing world.


So, there you have it. That’s my Top 10 of 2016 Reading List. But what’s my favorite book from this year? That’s easy.

My favorite read of 2016 is: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. Here, I’ll even make it easy for you to pick up your own copy. Just follow this link to Amazon and purchase it for yourself 🙂

Jessica Gunn
Jessica Gunn is a New Adult fantasy and sci-fi author with Curiosity Quills Press.

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