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Teenreads Reviewers Pick Their Favorite Books of 2016!

Reviewer Picks

Teenreads Reviewers Pick Their Favorite Books of 2016!

There's no better way to start an argument with self-proclaimed book nerds than to ask "what is the best YA book of 2016?" We decided to get our lovely reviewers and Teen Board members involved in the debate by asking them to tell us a few of their favorites. See below for their picks and a few fun quotes. Do you agree with their choices? 


Dana Cuadrado

  • GEMINA by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
    The sequel to the incredible ILLUMINAE was just as unique and action-packed as the first book with its engaging characters and high stakes. This series is unlike anything else you will read in YA just for the reading experience alone.

    This debut was everything I could want in a book. Set in Victorian London, where demons have ravaged the city and only one prophesied mage could save everyone. It sounds like a familiar story, except the main character is not the chosen-one and this world is unlike anything else I’ve read.

  • A COURT OF MIST AND FURY by Sarah J. Maas
    The breathtaking sequel to A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES follows raises the bar on drama ten-fold. This book has everything you could have wanted and leaves you dying for the next book in the series.

  • THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER by Jennifer L. Armentrout
    Jennifer L. Armentrout is my most read author and this has to be my favorite book she has written yet. It is incredibly emotional and deals with child abuse. There is a romance, but the friendship and character growth is what makes this story worthwhile.

Matthew Burbridge

  • RUNNING GIRL by Simon Mason
    A murder mystery with a teenager who is too smart to keep his mouth shut and an ending that challenges even the most experienced mystery reader to solve? I'm already considering picking it up again to get me ready for the sequel, and that's not due out for ages!

  • STEEPLEJACK by A.J. Hartley
    A murdered boy, a government conspiracy, and a steampunk South African city sets up this new series from A.J. Hartley. Anglet Sutonga is my hero (heroine) of the year. Give this book a chance and she'll be yours too.
  • AHSOKA by E. K. Johnston
    This title stands out as both a wonderful Star Wars novel and as terrific YA with a female protagonist. Ahsoka Tano faces her childhood and dark past to forge ahead into a war she didn't choose.

Brianna Robinson

    THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU by Lily Anderson is one of my favorite books of 2016 for oh so many reasons. 1) The book is a retelling of my favorite Shakespeare play “Much Ado About Nothing.”  2) There are almost more pop-culture references than my Star Trek centric tumblr. 3) The completely amazing chemistry between the characters. 4) It was the one and probably only book to succeed in making me wish that I could go back to high school and be my proud nerdy intelligent self.

  • A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE by Brittany Cavallaro
    A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE by Brittany Cavallaro filled the Sherlock sized hole in my heart as we wait for series 4 to begin. Of course, the book is completely different from the show, not only because it’s set in a boarding school in the US, but because Charlotte Holmes is the great-great-great-granddaughter of the super sleuth and meets Jamie Watson—the great great great grandson of the Doctor. And like their far-removed relatives, they solve crimes. And it is completely fantastic. There are so many nods to the canon and easter eggs abound. I was awed and inspired. I cannot wait to read the sequel THE LAST OF AUGUST, which is bound to be just as amazing as the first.

Emma Kantor

  • LUCKY STRIKES by Louis Bayard
    Acclaimed mystery writer and “Downton Abbey” recapper Louis Bayard crosses into YA territory with the confidence of a veteran, giving us a screwball dramedy for the ages.
  • A FIERCE AND SUBTLE POISON by Samantha Mabry
    Fans of Leslye Walton and Laura Ruby will revel in this magical realist whodunit. 
  • WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS by Anna-Marie McLemore
    Three cheers for intersectional YA fantasy rendered in luminous prose. 
  • AMERICAN GIRLS by Alison Umminger
    A caustic close-up on Hollywood, the Manson murders and the tyranny of the male gaze, shown through the lens of a fierce and relatable heroine.
  • THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon
    Once again, Yoon melts my cynical heart. Her deft intercutting of intimate character studies with cosmic themes --- unfolding in something akin to real-time --- would be right at home in Linklater’s Before trilogy.



Lauren H.

  • THE LAST EXECUTION by Jesper Wung-Sung and Lindy Falk van Rooyen
    I loved THE LAST EXECUTION because I am a historical fiction nerd! I love that genre and have ever since I started to read! It was also incredible creepy and left me with an eerie feeling throughout the whole novel. And I loved every second of it!


  • WAKE THE HOLLOW by Gaby Triana
    WAKE THE HOLLOW was just all of my favorite genres put together into one masterpiece! It has historical fiction and romance and mystery. It made me laugh and hide under a blanket from fear. But at the same time it also made me cry and the romance in this novel was just so perfect. I have reread it already and plan to do so again many times in the future!

Jeremy H.

  • AFTERWARD by Jennifer Mathieu
    I greatly enjoyed this novel because of the realism in the post traumatic effects of kidnap. Mathieu succeeded in creating two main, genuine characters. I could feel the emotion in both characters as they struggled through life after a tragic event.

Rachel D.

  • DREAMOLOGY by Lucy Keating
    An original story that took me places I never could have imagined going. It posed such a cool situation where two teens fall in love through dreams, but struggle to fall in love in real life.
  • EMPIRE OF STORMS by Sarah J. Maas
    The most epic continuation of the THRONE OF GLASS series yet. There's so much character development here, and we get to find out more about our favorite characters' respective backstories. It was impossible for me to put this book down.
  • THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon
    This story is pure, beautiful, and touching in all ways possible. The majority of the plot happens within one day, yet Nicola Yoon makes it seem like years through ingenious writing and great character building.
    Combine witty writing with a cute love story and what do you get? The book itself is humorous, but the themes the main character, Maguire, deals with are definitely not yet are presented casually and in an accepting manner. A subtle but much appreciated nod to teens dealing with mental health issues.
  • HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, Jack Tiffany
    I, like many, have been waiting for a Harry Potter continuation that wasn't limited to the screen or a theme park, and this did not disappoint. I grew to love Scorpius Malfoy more than Albus Severus Potter, which was definitely a shock. A fulfilling addition to the immensely addictive world of HARRY POTTER.

Brynn S.

  • THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon
    This book is beautiful and heartbreaking and joyous all at the same time. It explores how everyone is connected and first love, all in a few hundred pages. You can’t help but immediately fall for the characters and root for them from the start.

  • NEVERNIGHT by Jay Kristoff
    If you’re ever looking for HARRY POTTER but with a darker twist, this book is perfect. The author crafts an incredibly strong and well-written character and a fascinating world with so many twists, turns, and heartbreaks along the way.

  • GEMINA by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
    Just like the first book in the series, it is an extremely fast-paced story with a well-woven plot. The characters and their dynamic are unforgettable, their quick wit and connection sticking with you even after the book ends.

  • KILL THE BOY BAND by Goldy Moldavsky
    This book is so so so hilarious and full of dark humor. It’s perfect for anyone who has gone in too deep into a fandom world at one time or another. The author takes many leaps and twists, making for an effortlessly entertaining read.

  • LADY MIDNIGHT by Cassandra Clare
    As with every book by this author, the characters are truly memorable and enjoyable. Cassie Clare creates incredible stories that no reader can forget with beautiful relationships and never ending plot twists that leave everyone craving more.

Caitlyn K.

  • CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo
    This continued the story of SIX OF CROWS phenomenally. This story if full of characters on the wrong side of the law, and I love exploring the darker sides to characters that a reader doesn't usually find. Each character was explored in such depth, I couldn't help but feel attached to everyone.

  • EMPIRE OF STORMS by Sarah J Maas
    This novel is the fifth installment in the Throne of Glass series. It went to heights above and beyond all the previous stories. I loved how it combined the tales of the prequel novellas to create a whole new element in the story line. The weaving of seemingly insignificant details throughout the series into key points in this story really changed the game. I was also blown away by the ending in this book, which wrecked havoc upon my mind.

  • A COURT OF MIST AND FURY by Sarah J Maas
    This is the second book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy. After leaving off on quite a cliff hanger in the first novel, I was immediately immersed back into the world. The main character, Feyre, goes on such a journey throughout the book, and her development is impeccably written. The descriptions in this book is so vivid, I can still perfectly remember each significant place in the story like a picture in my mind. And, as most series do, this novel ended in a way that shocked me unlike anything I have read.

Grace P.

  • A COURT OF MIST AND FURY by Sarah J Maas
    This book really surprised me because I had not expected to like it after A COURT OF THORNES AND ROSES was just fine to me. This novel changed my outlook on this world and the characters greatly.
    This was an excellent follow-up to the breath-taking AN EMBER IN THE ASHES. The characters went through so much that I did not expect, and it kept me engrossed.
  • WALK THE EDGE by Katy McGarry
    This had such a great romance and made me want to read the third book immediately!
  • BLOOD FOR BLOOD by Ryan Graudin
    This was a book I read for Teenreads that I thought was better than the first book, which rarely happens with sequels. The world got so much more complex, and it was a thrilling conclusion.
  • THE ROSE AND THE DAGGER by Renee Ahdieh
    This was exactly what I wanted from the end of this duology, it ended with just enough closure.

Ashley D.

  • UNITED AS ONE by Pittacus Lore
    As a conclusion to the Lorian Legacies series, this book was truly amazing. I cried, I laughed, I wished to be one of the Garde. It is the perfect ending to a series I fell in love with --- although I would have liked to have made a few changes...
  • THE LAST STAR by Rick Yancey
    Another conclusion to a magnificent series. Once again, I laughed and I cried. Through ups and downs, I stayed with the characters I love most. It was another perfect ending for another series I fell in love with.

Bryn D.

  • LUCKY STRIKES by Louis Bayard
    I got this book for review for Teenreads, and I absolutely fell in love with it. There is just something about it that makes it so charming and unique to me...I already want to reread it.
    This book is more like a tie for first because it is so shocking but also beautiful and poetic. I got the opportunity to interview Mindy this past October and talking to her made me love this book so much more. 
  • A COURT OF MIST AND FURY by Sarah J. Maas
    This is probably on everyone's list, and there is a good reason for that. Sarah has this incredible way of crafting characters, plot, and my favorite part of any book: atmosphere. I was transported to another world while reading this fantastic novel. I have no doubt the concluding novel in this series will be on my top five list next year.
    I actually read all of John Corey Whaley's books this past year, and this one has to be my favorite. From the very first page, I knew I was going to be engrossed for hours. Any book that can accomplish that, especially with my short attention span, deserves a spot on this list.
    This one was a hard choice, but I had to go with a Morgan Matson novel. She has not failed me yet. Every one of her books gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, and they are impossible to put down.

Rachel A.

  • THE SIREN by Kiera Cass
    Though I'm not a big fan of sirens, I really enjoyed this revised version of the book. It had a very unique take on siren mythology. Definitely better than the original.      


    I really appreciated how Eglington was able to write a healthy contemporary romance, which in and of itself is a rarity in YA. This book is by far one of my top rated contemporaries.
  • CATALYST by Kristen Smith
    This book was advertised as being a fast-paced, action-packed romantic thriller. It was refreshing to finally find a book that really was what it claimed to be.

Harleen K.

  • AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White
    I had never read a book set in the Ottoman Empire before, and I loved learning about the culture, with all of its brutalities, especially along with a really interesting story of two siblings.
  • THE SIREN by Kiera Cass
    This book was so original, and I loved the characters. I was so invested in the book that I read it in only one day.
  • WALK THE EDGE by Katie McGarry
    I loved the second book in this series because this contemporary had a serious issue in it, like all of her other books, and that makes me truly care for the story.
  • PS I LIKE YOU by Kasie West
    Kasie West is one of my favorite contemporary authors, and she did not disappoint with this book. It was so cute and I really connected with the characters, especially Lily.
  • SWEET TEMPTATION by Wendy Higgins
    I didn't think I needed this book until I read it. I loved reading Kaiden's point of view of the series, and I think Higgins did a great job picking which scenes to actually include in this book.

Rebecca N.

  • THE REPLACEMENT CRUSH by Lisa Brown Roberts
    I read this book to review for teenreads, and I absolutely loved it. The characters were more realistic that other YA books, and the story was sweet and funny. I loved that even though it was a love story, the plot didn’t suffer from that.

Pranshu A.

    Wow, was this book funny! If you want to find yourself clutching your sides because you're in actual physical pain from laughing too much, this is the book for you. Combine that with the heartwarming ending and you've got the recipe for a perfect book.
    I live for books that delve deep into some part of history. My history classes simply don't go into the depth this book did.
  • EMPIRE OF DUST by Eleanor Herman
    Sequels often do not live up to the first book but this one went above and beyond. I was hooked from the first page!