Fiction that stayed with me in 2016

The complete list of books that I read can be found here.

Anyone who knows me and my reading tastes right now knows that I am obsessed with structure. These reviews are based on my goodreads reviews, with some additional comments.

  1. Bird Box by Josh Malerman

I’ll be the first to admit that the writing in this book is not the best. But holy crap, this book was scary. I started reading it one day and then read it continuously, even through parts of my own dance dress rehearsal (sorry fellow dancers). I basically finished this novel in one sitting. In this book, people are plagued by creatures that make you go insane if you see them. The pacing is bang on and there are a few scenes that will stay with me forever.


  1. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel-
    A beautiful and sad book. As a writer, I don’t quite understand how this was constructed, and this frustrates me. I liked the book and thought it was gorgeous, but parts of it did remind me of Margaret Atwood’s MadAddam trilogy, which I disliked.That said, I did like Station Eleven, and thought it was quite sophisticated, well-written and imaginative. This novel is a science fiction book about what happens to the world after the population is hit by the fictional flu known as the Georgian pandemic. The links and connections in this novel are pretty incredible and the writing is solid.


  1. All Inclusive by Farzana Doctor- A swinging, bisexual, biracial protagonist. Life on a resort. A search for a father. Questions of identity. Count me in.


  1. Flannery by Lisa Moore- Lisa Moore’s first YA book and it’s a doozy. I absolutely loved this book. Great writing and a great narrative voice. It was a thoughtful YA, and there were a few scenes that made me cringe and shudder. I think Moore tackled a lot with this book- class difference, bullying, friendship struggles and romance. I loved that it was set in Newfoundland.


  1. Birdie by Tracey Lindberg- A really beautiful book about the life of one native woman. I loved that all the characters were women, and I loved the style of storytelling. I’m a very linear person and so I know I missed a few things because of the way the narrative slipped in and out.However, this is a stunning book and I’m glad I read it.


  1. Sweetland by Michael Crummey- This was such a perfect, beautiful book. This book absolutely destroyed me. It was just so sad and beautiful and note perfect.
    Moses Sweetland is an old man living on a small island in Newfoundland. Since everyone is leaving, the government offers residents pay outs to leave. Only Moses doesn’t want to leave.
    The book goes into flashbacks telling us about Moses’ life, and his present day. Great characters, great dialogue and strong Newfoundland setting.
    There were several scenes and themes in this book that gutted me. Highly recommended. I thought it was fantastic. It deserves all the acclaim it has received, and more.


  1. The Vacationers by Emma Straub- This is a story about a family who goes to Mallorca to stay in a house together for a two-week vacation. Each chapter is narrated by a different family member. I loved the characters and the style of writing and the structure. The thing I loved most about this book is that Emma Straub and I have a very similar sense of humour and a fascination with the intricacies of domestic life and interpersonal relationships.


  1. The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall- Excellent, wonderfully written and believable story about a family whose patriarch is accused of sexual assault. This is not a thriller- but an examination of the family who must continue to go on when the patriarch has been imprisoned.This book had a very contemporary feel and excellent characters.


  1. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue- HOLY *&#(@)$&@#*(! This book was an absolute thriller and had so many plot twists that I was on the edge of my seat. I could not believe the amount of historical research and creativity in this story about a village in 1850s Ireland and a girl who appears to be living with food. This novel read like a thriller, and the writing was impeccable. I actually started this book, got to the middle and then read it again because I wanted to study what Donoghue was doing.


  1. The Break by Katherena Vermette- This book about Metis women living in Winnipeg’s North End felt fresh and raw. It’s told from nine viewpoints. At the start of the book, one character witnesses an act of sexual assault. The characters in this book deal with violence, history, resiliency and gender politics. This book is heartbreaking, but oh so necessary and oh so good.

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