Reader Favorites – Amy’s 2016 Top Ten List

by Maryse on January 8, 2017 · 26 comments

in Book Recommendations

It’s TIME!!!! It’s time for my book-twin’s list (the other half of our “Marmy-ness list”) and I haven’t even PEEKED yet at this one. She sent it, I “stored” it… and I kept my eyes closed until RIGHT now. I get to see what my book twin loved, that I haven’t read yet.

Eeeeeeeeeep! I’m so excited! (P.S. Now that I’ve peeked BIG time, making this post I realize, surprise surprise!!! She loves the same ones I did. And guess what? The ones she’s read and loved, that I haven’t yet? TOP OF MY TBR LIST!!!)

Wait a minute. What?!!!! Ames. Aaaaaaaaaaaames!!!!! There are some books in this list that I’ve not even heard of yet. HOW?!! HOWWWWWWW???? Can this be?!!!

She says:

Here’s my list!!

Soooooooo, it’s the last day of 2016, and I finished one book just in time to make it on this list. YAY!!! Most of these were five stars, but the ones which weren’t are still affecting me enough months later that they HAVE to be on the list. Here goes (in no particular order):

Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas – Jerkface meanie but an (almost…okay mostly) understandable chip on his shoulder. But you can understand why she is the way she is as well. Anyone remember the name he called her and what he did to her hair in that one part? JERKFACE!! SO much fun.

Held by Edeet Ravel – Maryse said it was a Marmy read. So I read it. Wondered where the Marmy-ish stuff was. And then…BA-BAM!!!! I still say “they” were wrong. Most likely. Probably? No, they WERE wrong. I’m sticking to it. *bites fingernail* Right?

The Turning Point by Freya North – Recommended as a heart-wrenching and ugly-cry inducing read. Took me a while to get into it because of the writing style, but then before I knew it I had been absorbed into the story. Thought I knew what was going to be the heartbreaking part based on one of the things going on. I was wrong. SO wrong. And I’m still bruised from it.

Take Me With You by Nina G. Jones – OMG what a MIND FU…er, mind screw. WOW. The whole thing was so messed up and yet I couldn’t help but be addicted to it. The blurb warns if you need a trigger warning of any kind then it’s not for you…if that’s not catnip then I don’t know what is. ;)

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas – Did she? No, she couldn’t have. But he could have. Or maybe not? So who did?? And then, the ending…slap my a$$ and call me Sally. Holy moly.

Full Tilt by Emma Scott – I’ll never look at stained glass the same again. Nor can I hear this song without wanting to bawl.

Undecided by Julianna Keyes – Old school NA feel which is SO hard to find anymore. What an unexpected gem. Can’t thank bev enough for finding this one for us!!

Bad Mommy by Tarryn Fisher – Finished it on the last day of the year, and oh HECK YEAH is it on the list!! What. A. CRAZY. Story. I was all in Fig’s head thinking, “Yeah, YEAH…you’re right, take it from her. Take it!” Then we get Darius’ POV and just WTF?? Are you kidding me? And finally, Jolene’s POV. Er, yeah…I need a mental slap upside the head. Thanks, Tarryn Fisher, for once again screwing with my head…just the way I like it to be screwed with.

And my absolute favorite of the year is actually a tie between two incredibly gut-wrenching/heart-wrenching reads:

It Ends with Us: A Novel by Colleen Hoover – Oh, my heart. I am still amazed at how CH made me question my convictions with this one. Months later and I feel like I am STILL healing and all while still thinking, “well, maybe if…” even when I know it ended the only way it could. Damn, did something just sit on my chest?

Hausfrau: A Novel by Jill Alexander Essbaum – Holy hell, this one made an absolute mess of me. What can I say that I haven’t already said? Just read Maryse’s review and you can see what it did to me. I’m stopping there because if I don’t then word vomit will commence. ;)

Honorable mentions:

Cruel & Beautiful by Terri Laine, not because of the twist but because I figured out the twist in the first chapter and as a result had a slowwwwwwww and painful break of my heart *SOB*;

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, because it made me sob and blubber like a freaking baby near the end, and in a male POV at that; and

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton, because it is so over the top and you need a completely open mind to read it, yet it still had the power to put me through a whole range of strong and unexpected emotions.

Okay, here are some MORE honorable mentions I had to add. These are the ones which I don’t necessarily think about often but when I see them I think, “Oh YEAH! I remember that one!!!” and then get to relive all the intense emotions.

Oh, and I’ll just get this out of the way right now… Hi, my name is Fig and I’m a copycat. :P


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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Cheryl January 8, 2017 at 8:39 PM

Well, Amy as always your book “loves” both inspire and scare the sh!t out of me!! Surprisingly I have read 4 out of your top ten- Full Tilt, Bad Mommy, It Ends With Us, and Cruel and Beautiful. If I feel the need for a full out cry, I can look to your list!! *HUGS*

bev January 8, 2017 at 9:37 PM

And no surprise I have read one book off of this list. *snort*
I do have a couple in my tbr, though. That I will probably read. We do have some overlap often.
To be honest I’m going to guess when it comes to books we *love* and the reasons why we love them I’m on one end of the spectrum and you are on the other.
It does make for some great conversations. ;)

R. Renee January 8, 2017 at 9:38 PM

Ugh Amy. What you said about IEWU is EXACTLY it. Ugh. UGH. More wine.

R. Renee January 8, 2017 at 9:39 PM

Oh yeah, and I hate you for reminding me about this Lifehouse song!

Jan January 9, 2017 at 12:11 AM

Thanks for another great list, Amy. A lot of them look too angsty for me though :-/ (I’m still reeling from The Turning Point).

Tessa January 9, 2017 at 12:45 AM

I can’t believe there are two I’ve read! I can say four, right, since one is a trilogy I pushed you to read? 4 books! Punk 57 though, wasn’t that strangely wonderful? And it mentioned Devil’s Night! Eeep!

Honestly, if I have that weird random need for sadness, I know who to ask. *hugs*That said, the “if you have a trigger…” for Take Me With You, I won’t have issues, will I? I Really want to read it.

Amy January 9, 2017 at 2:08 AM

Maryse!! I don’t know HOW you didn’t hear me go into a tizzy over some of those up there! You were probably too busy snatching up my martini while I was rambling about them. :P

I’m tellin’ ya, some of the ones up there you haven’t read were SO Marmy in one way or another. Just look at Jan’s comment. And 1986? I’m still haunted by that one. Yes, haunted. And…and…Cruel and Beautiful, and Why She Left Us, and How It Ends…which I’ll tell you how it ends – with me on my knees trying to push my heart back in my chest after it plopped out onto the ground.

*rubs hands together and squeals* I can’t wait to see you read some of them!!!

Amy January 9, 2017 at 2:11 AM

“your book “loves” both inspire and scare the sh!t out of me!!” <—– LOL!!!!! You survived Full Tilt and Cruel and Beautiful, so you can handle the other ones on my list. ;)

*hugs* to you too!

Amy January 9, 2017 at 2:22 AM

Oops, that comment above was for Cheryl.

bev, we DO have some overlap in our reading. Undecided, Jellicoe Road, A Place to Call Home, Written in Red…see, we like the same ones at times. And other times…well, it really does make for fun conversation. ;)

R…right?? That Lifehouse song has Full Tilt written all over it. Oh! So does this one: …You’re welcome. *snort*

Aw Jan, I’m hurting right along with you. I was expecting some heartbreak, but how it played out was so much harder than I thought it would be!

Amy January 9, 2017 at 2:28 AM

Tessa…I am so glad you pushed me to read the Dark Elements series!! And yes, Punk 57 was great…and the sexy times were just hubba-hubba. :P

Considering what I know of your triggers, I think you might be okay with Take Me With You. Just know the lines between consent and non-consent are often blurred and at other times erased completely. Message me on GR if you want to know anything specific, m’kay?

Pia January 9, 2017 at 3:13 AM

Great list Amy :-) I have actually only read one from you list but another two from your honorable mentions.
But Hausfrau, Punk 57, Undecided and Full Tilt are all on my tbr and ready to be explored in 2017.

Tessa January 9, 2017 at 3:17 AM

How sad is it that the consent and non-consent are never an issue with me? Lol Just the whole family/guardian thing.

Lisa January 9, 2017 at 7:05 AM

Hahahaha. Im not at all shocked that there is only one book on your list I have read. And a ton I have slotted into my Pandora’s Box file (to never be opened) instead.
I know, I know! I’m never getting into the Marmy club or the Death club for that matter.
Great list Amy. :)

Fabi January 9, 2017 at 7:18 AM

I’m patting myself on the back after reading your list. I’ve one from your favorites and one from you honorable. See? I’m no a total chicken. Just 99.999. :-)

Lisa Aiello January 9, 2017 at 9:02 AM

Well, you’re like my book twin…but the better, more well read version of my twin!!! I have almost every one of these either read or on my TBR (proud smile).

Leslie M January 9, 2017 at 9:20 AM

Maryse’s comments made me giggle (as well as Amy’s reaction to Dangerous Girls, hee hee)

Of course a lot of these I am way too wimpy to read, but how cool that despite how different we all are, most of us LOVED “It Ends With Us”? Such a phenomenal story.

Grey January 9, 2017 at 1:16 PM

Oh Amy… We have so many favorites in common. Punk 57, Dangerous Girls, Undecided, It Ends With Us, Behind Closed Doors, Author Anonymous, Ricochet and The Dark Elements Collection, (that I read on you and Tessa’s advisement.)

I haven’t heard of a couple of these… And a few others just got shortlisted closer to the top of my own TBR, because I know that if you loved them, I will too! Thanks for an awesome list and for all of your bartending skills around here LOL!

Thanks to you, as always Maryse!

Cheryl January 9, 2017 at 3:33 PM

Yeh right Amy. So not going there and I’m ok with my wimpiness. I read for enjoyment and that usually does not include ripping my heart out and crying my eyes out and NOT getting a HEA. Gotta give me something if I’m going to be put thru the wringer!!

Amy January 9, 2017 at 3:59 PM

Pia…Hausfrau is HEAVY, Full Tilt will crack your heart in two, and Punk 57 and Undecided are great NA reads, but all of them are FUN!!

Tessa…your non-consent issues aren’t any more sad than my issue with cheating H’s but non-issue with cheating h’s. ;)

Aw Lisa, you’re not alone in avoiding the “death club”…glad to know my lists do something for you, even if it’s only as a warning LOL!!

Amy January 9, 2017 at 4:09 PM

Nope Fabi, you’re definitely not a chicken. You did read Rainfall after all. ;) *cackles and hides from Fabi’s reaction*

Lisa A…woman after my own heart!!! You are a Marmy!!

Leslie…IEWU was a definite common love among all of us no matter what our reading tastes are. Have you read Dangerous Girls (I *think* it was on your list but can’t remember for sure…)?

Amy January 9, 2017 at 4:30 PM

YEAH Grey!!! I would live to hear others’ input on some of the lesser known ones from my list, especially Ava Lavender. No doubt, my friend, that YOU are a Marmy. :D

Cheryl…it cracks me up that my reading enjoyment is the antithesis of yours!!

Fabi January 9, 2017 at 5:53 PM

I’ve also read Punk 57 , Undecided, & Ricochet. Plus, I have Take Me With You, Bad Mommy, Evelyn, After and the Dark Elements series on my tbr. Maybe I’ll some of those with bev’s challenge this year.

Jean January 9, 2017 at 7:08 PM

I’ve read 6 on your list and 4 on your honorable mentions……. and many are on my TBR, but Held. Just checked that out for the 1st time and whoa……Hausfrau…..yeah I keep thinking ‘I should read that’.

I loved Ricochet!!!!

Cheryl January 10, 2017 at 7:30 AM

You know Amy, I’ve thought about it and it’s not that I hate the angst-filled, tear-jerker books that might not end with a pretty tied with a bow, HEA. It’s the death books that I hate and will avoid. You can put me thru angst hell, but at least let the MC’s be alive at the end; and the MC’s might not be the same one’s as the beginning of the book.

Leslie M January 10, 2017 at 7:47 AM

Amy, I have not read Dangerous Girls. Although it sounds very interesting, I rarely ever read non-romance books. I would watch a movie with that story though. Funny how our tastes change…I used to read only non-fiction for a long time and I even liked chick-lit/fiction which I now can’t stand. I think I’ve read three non-romance books in the last six years (out of hundreds).

Dana Fiore Stusse January 10, 2017 at 7:51 PM

Punk 57 was one of my top reads but I’ve come to the conclusion that Penelope Douglas could write menus or phone books and make them best-sellers. It really made me happy to see “Cruel & Beautiful” listed by the dynamic duo of A.M. Hargrove and Terri E. Laine, amazing, amazing ladies and talent.

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