The Best Books I Read in 2016 : #GoIndie2016 in Review

Can you believe it? 2016 is almost over. It feels like a blink ago that I pledged to read only self-published and small press books for the entire year, and now, thirty books later, I'm almost done! 

Was it hard to find quality, self-published books? Yes and no. No, because I've become friends with authors in this scope. Yes, because traditionally published books have such a huge push behind them. At the beginning of the year, BookBub was a great resource for me. And now that it's grown, about 2/3 of the books on my daily news are from big publishers. 

Even on Amazon, the books that I'm seeing the most now are the ones from Amazon's own imprints. This isn't a good or bad thing, but it just goes to show you that the publishing industry is always changing. For authors like myself, it helps to just stay the course. Keep writing. Keep adapting. 

Okay, ready for the big winners of this year? (In my book, at least.)

The Collector's Society by Heather Lyons

Here's the story : all of the books are real. Alice in Wonderland. Huckleberry Finn. But! Maybe not for long. A mysterious villain is erasing all their worlds. This book is part action, part romance, part history, and all parts awesome. 

Now and Again by Jennifer Ellision

I've previously mentioned this book in my February book list, and it's stayed on the top of my list. This book is a small town romance about two old friends reunited at a wedding. (Yes, it's a very similar premise to These Are the Moments, so in my mind, they're kind of like sister books.) 

Somewhere in Between by Katie Li

This is a five star read for me. Katie and I are bonded by our mutual editor, Tanya Gold, and I was amazed by the world she created. It's incredible writing and the story sucks you in from the start. The tag line reads, "Two friends find a portal to another dimension and use this “in-between place” to avoid the stress of their everyday lives." BRILLIANT!

Girl Unseen by Kate Ellison

This was one of my top summer reads. When Olivia Tithe's best friend is murdered, her mother is imprisoned for the crime. Now, she's starting to see his ghost, and he wants her to find the true killer. It's a classic whodunit story, and I enjoyed it!

New World Rising by Jennifer Wilson

Having Hunger Games withdrawals? You and me, both. This book is the solution! Plus, it's a series, so you can get to know these characters over a few books. This is a "graphic dystopian series" that follows the main character Phoenix as she tries to "stay strong and survive."

Tasa's Song by Linda Kass

Prepare you heart, my friend. This Holocaust story, inspired by true events, will bring you through the ringer of feelings. What I loved about this novel is the beacon of hope offered through Tasa's music. It's a beautiful, tough read.

Rise of the Six by Matt Ryan

Six children born on the same day are about to embark on an adventure they're hardly ready for. This novel is the start of a lengthy series that I'm excited to read, and I recommend this for any fans of superhero or action-type books.

Level Up by Cathy Yardley

This is probably my first favorite read of the year. Declaring itself a "geeky rom com," this story follows a Tessa, a video game engineer, and her roommate/possible love interest Adam. It's sweet and spunky and just the best.

Vinyl by Sophia Elaine Hanson

I fangirled about this book over on my February book list, and basically every day over on Instagram. Vinyl is "gritty steampunk fiction" that will take you into a world that feels so real that you could walk right into it. 

The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace

Poetry! Feminism! A bestseller! I was thrilled with these pages. I wanted to highlight like crazy, then go back and reread everything I'd just finished. It's fabulous and not to miss. 

How to Be Someone Else by Rachel Del

Rachel and I are growing up as writers together. We're navigating this publishing experience in similar timeframes, and I'm so proud of this book. She has created complex, well-loved characters and I read this in a matter of days. 

A Love Letter to Whiskey by Kandi Steiner

My finale book to a wonderful year of indie reading! I devoured this love story. It's back-and-forth, topsy-turvy, will-they-or-won't-they and I couldn't get enough. I look forward to reading more by Kandi soon. 

And there you have it! What should I read next year? I'm thinking of adding more classics into my list. Or maybe more small press books? Share your thoughts below!