The Thinker Awards: 2016 Edition (Best in 2016 Fiction)

The Thinker Awards is posted under the umbrella of Top Ten Tuesday, an original weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish


This Week’s Theme:
The Thinker Awards
(Best in 2016 Fiction)

Initial Thoughts:

Welcome to The 2016 Thinker Awards wherein the “Best Of” 2016 books are featured. This year, I have enlisted six panelists to join me in showcasing their faves.

The 2016 Thinker Award Panelists:

Maria @ Big City Bookworm
Jesse @ Books at Dawn
Jenna @ Reading with Jenna
Ambur @ Burning Impossibly Bright
Patty @ Bookish Wander Love
…and yours truly.

At the end of all this, please do let me know: which book do you think deserves the “Best Overall” title!

2016 Thinker Awards

(Selections are generally based on books read during 2016.
All titles link to their respective Goodreads.


Best Visual/World Building:

Joey: Vassa in the Night (Sarah Porter)
Jenna: Crooked Kingdom (Leigh Bardugo)
Maria: Scythe (Neal Shusterman)
Ambur: The Wrath & The Dawn (Renee Ahdieh)
Jesse: Court of Fives (Kate Elliot)
Patty: The Star-Touched Queen (Roshani Chokshi)

Best Fight Sequence:

Joey: Calamity (Brandon Sanderson)
Jenna: Blood for Blood (Ryan Graudin)
Maria: Deadly Class Vol. 4 (Rick Remender)
Ambur: A Gathering of Shadows (Victoria Schwab)
Jesse: Fate of Flames (Sarah Raughley)
Patty: Fate of Flames (Sarah Raughley)

Best Adaptation:

Joey: Westworld
Jenna: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Maria: Outcast Vol. 1 & 2
Ambur: A Monster Calls
Jesse: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Patty: Captain America: Civil War

Best Cover:

Joey: Ever the Hunted (Erin Summerill)
Jenna: The Thousandth Floor (Katherine McGee)
Maria: Highly Illogical Behaviour (John Corey Waley)
Ambur: Labyrinth Lost (Zoraida Cordova)
Jesse: The Sun is Also a Star (Nicola Yoon)
Patty: Museum of Heartbreak (Meg Leder)

Best Surprise:

Joey: The Great American Whatever (Tim Federle)
Jenna: The Weight of Feathers (Anna-Marie McLemore)
Maria: Bruiser (Neal Shusterman)
Ambur: His Bloody Project (Graeme Macrae Burnet)
Jesse: N/A
Patty: Fate of Flames (Sarah Raughley)

Best Book Title:

Joey: Adulthood is a Myth
Jenna: The Smell of Other People’s Houses
Maria: The Summer That Melted Everything
Ambur: All the Feels
Jesse: More Happy Than Not
Patty: All the Feels

Best Quote:

Joey: “Writing is something that you can learn only by doing. To become a writer, you need an imagination, which you clearly have. You need to read books, which you clearly do. And you need to write, which you don’t yet do, but should.”
(The Serpent King, Jeff Zentner)

Jenna: “I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”
(Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo)

Maria: “But why can’t good things feel like forever? […] I want to spin it back…slow it down. Why is time like that? Why does it slow down in the places you don’t want it to, but it speeds away when you’re happy?”
(A List of Cages, Robin Roe)

Ambur: “She bent most of the rules. She broke the rest.”
(A Gathering of Shadows, Victoria Schwab)

Patty: “Things change, Penelope; people change. Sometimes you get to hurt. And sometimes you’re the one doing the hurting.”
(The Museum of Heartbreak, Meg Leder)


Best Anthropomorphic or Animal Sidekick:

Joey: Bridget (Mark of the Plague, Kevin Sands)
Jenna: Ardent (Frogkisser!, Garth Nix)
Maria: Lily (Lily & The Octopus, Steven Rowley)
Ambur: Erg (Vassa in the Night, Sarah Porter)
Jesse: Allegro (This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab)
Patty: Kamila (The Star-Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi)

Best Friendship:

Joey: Griffin, Theo, Jackson (History is All You Left Me, Adam Silvera)
Jenna: Miel & Sam (When the Moon Was Ours, Anna-Marie McLemore)
Maria: Julian & Adam (A List of Cages, Robin Roe)
Ambur: Blue & The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, Maggie Stiefvater)
Jesse: Simon & Baz (Carry On, Rainbow Rowell)
Patty: Christopher & Tom (The Blackthorn Key, Kevin Sands)

Best Bromance:

Joey: Jasper & Howie (I Hunt Killers, Barry Lyga)
Jenna: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, Maggie Stiefvater)
Maria: Archie & Jughead (Archie Vol. 1, Waid and Staples)
Ambur: Kell & Rhys (A Gathering of Shadows, Victoria Schwab)
Jesse: Darrow & Sevro (Morning Star, Pierce Brown)
Patty: Gideon & Kyle (Been Here All Along, Sandy Hall)

Best Sisterhood:

Joey: Sidonia & Nemesis (The Diabolic, S. J. Kincaid)
Jenna: Inej & Nina (Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo)
Maria: Gretchen & Abby (My Best Friends Exorcism, Grady Hendrix)
Ambur: Kinsley & Becca (Scoring Wilder, R. S. Gray)
Jesse: Sidonia & Nemesis (The Diabolic, S. J. Kincaid)
Patty: The Effigies (Fate of Flames, Sarah Raughley)

Best Villain:

Joey: Cygna (The Diabolic, S. J. Kincaid)
Jenna: Mia (Nevernight, Jay Kristoff)
Maria: Scythe Goddard (Scythe, Neal Shusterman)
Ambur: Negan (The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman)
Jesse: Talis (The Scorpion Rules, Erin Bow)
Patty: Saul (Fate of Flames, Sarah Raughley)

Best Ship: 

Joey: Kell & Lila (A Gathering of Shadows, Victoria Schwab)
Jenna: Maggie & Quentin (Disruption, Jessica Shirvington)
Maria: Rhysand & Feyre (A Court of Mist and Fury, Sarah J. Maas)
Ambur: Liv & Gabriel (Cainsville, Kelley Armstrong)
Jesse: Simon & Baz (Carry On, Rainbow Rowell)
Patty: Rhys & Maia (Fate of Flames, Sarah Raughley)

Best Supporting Character in a Contemporary/Romance/Mystery/Historical:

Joey: Howie (I Hunt Killers, Barry Lyga)
Jenna: Clark (The Unexpected Everything, Morgan Matson)
Maria: Willem (A Little Life, Hanya Yanigahara)
Ambur: Xander (All the Feels, Danika Stone)
Jesse: Easton (Paper Princess, Erin Watt)
Patty: Archer (Archer’s Voice, Mia Sheridan)

Best Hero/Heroine in a Contemporary/Romance/Mystery/Historical:

Joey: Dillard (The Serpent King, Jeff Zentner)
Jenna: Adam (The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, Teresa Toten)
Maria: Adam (A List of Cages, Robin Roe)
Ambur: Lada (And I Darken, Kiersten White)
Jesse: Henry (We Are the Ants, Shaun David Hutchinson)
Patty: Didi (Stay With Me, Mila Gray)

Best Supporting Character in a Sci-Fi/Fantasy:

Joey: Scythe Curie (Scythe, Neal Shusterman)
Jenna: Doran (Starflight, Melissa Landers)
Maria: Lucien (A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas)
Ambur: Rhys (A Gathering of Shadows, Victoria Schwab)
Jesse: Sevro (Morning Star, Pierce Brown)
Patty: Amar (The Star-Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi)

Best Hero/Heroine in a Sci-Fi/Fantasy:

Joey: Sage (The False Prince, Jennifer Nielsen)
Jenna: Kestrel (Winner’s Trilogy, Marie Rutkoski)
Maria: Lila (A Gathering of Shadows, Victoria Schwab)
Ambur: Lila/Kell (A Gathering of Shadows, Victoria Schwab)
Jesse: Darrow (Morning Star, Pierce Brown)
Patty: Maya (The Star-Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi)


Best Book Hype:

Joey: Truthwitch (Susan Dennard)
Jenna: Heartless (Marissa Meyer)
Maria: Vicious (Victoria Schwab)
Ambur: A Gathering of Shadows (Victoria Schwab)
Jesse: Glass Sword (Victoria Aveyard)
Patty: Monstress (Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda)

Best Author on Social Media:

Joey: Simon Curtis
Jenna: Anna-Marie McLemore
Maria: Grady Hendrix
Ambur: Victoria Schwab
Jesse: Simon Curtis
Patty: Roshani Chokshi

Best Debut Author:

Joey: Jeff Zentner (The Serpent King)
Jenna: Sally Thorne (The Hating Game)
Maria: Tiffany McDaniel (The Summer That Melted Everything)
Ambur: Danika Stone (All the Feels)
Jesse: Simon Curtis (Boy Robot)
Patty: Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen)

Best Book Community Moment:

Joey:2016 is the year I began building those bridges that has opened many doors welcoming a plethora of opportunity.”

Jenna:David Levithan & Rainbow Rowell signing!”

Maria:Pierce Brown signing – when I met most of the Toronto bloggers for the first time!”

Ambur:Going to the Harry Potter & the Cursed Child Release Party!”

Jesse: “Hanging out with Pierce Brown before his signing at Toronto!”

Patty:There’s so many! Absolute top would have to be meeting Roshani Chokshi and her knowing who I was from social media and asking if she could hug me. I died. I went into complete fan girl shock moment.”


Best Contemporary/Romance/Mystery:

Joey: The Serpent King (Jeff Zentner)
Jenna: I’ll Meet You There (Heather Demetrios)
Maria: A List of Cages (Robin Roe)
Ambur: Too Late (Colleen Hoover)
Jesse: We Are The Ants (Shaun David Hutchinson)
Patty: Museum of Heartbreak (Meg Leder)

Best Historical:

Joey: Mark of the Plague (Kevin Sands)
Jenna: Salt to the Sea (Ruta Sepetys)
Maria: All The Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr)
Ambur: And I Darken (Kiersten White)
Jesse: Empire of Dust (Eleanor Herman)
Patty: The Blackthorn Key (Kevin Sands)

Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy:

Joey: A Gathering of Shadows (Victoria Schwab)
Jenna: Crooked Kingdom (Leigh Bardugo)
Maria: Dark Matter (Blake Crouch)
Ambur: The Raven King (Maggie Stiefvater)
Jesse: Morning Star (Pierce Brown)
Patty: The Star-Touched Queen (Roshani Chokshi)


Best Novella/Short Story:

Joey: N/A
Jenna: Iron to Iron (Ryan Graudin)
Maria: N/A
Ambur: Cainsville Tales (Kelley Armstrong)
Jesse: Night Flower (Kate Elliot)
Patty: Wenjack (Joseph Boyden)

Best Overall:

Joey: A Gathering of Shadows (Victoria Schwab)
Jenna: Crooked Kingdom (Leigh Bardugo)
Maria: A Little Life (Hanya Yanigahara)
Ambur: A Gathering of Shadows (Victoria Schwab)
Jesse: Frozen Tides (Morgan Rhodes)
Patty: The Star-Touched Queen (Roshani Chokshi)


If you’ve managed to make your way to the end of this post — ahoy! — give yourself a pat on the back.

But more importantly: let me know which book you herald as your absolute favourite (“best overall”) of 2016!


afterthoughtAn // twitter
anotherafterthought // goodreads
picturevomit // instagram


26 thoughts on “The Thinker Awards: 2016 Edition (Best in 2016 Fiction)”

  1. Wow! This was so much fun to read! I loved seeing where you guys were the same and where you differed. I also loved seeing a few contemporaries that I love mixed in.
    It’s so hard to pick a favorite. If I had to pick one book that was released in 2016, I would go with The Hard Count by Ginger Scott because it was filled with a ton of important themes and beautiful writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As always, thank you for your kind words Dea! I definitely tried to get a variety of voices in the community around me that I could ask for their answers! Surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly), I have seen some buzz for The Hard Count on twitter from fellow NA readers; which isn’t to say that I’m interested in reading it but who knows!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Hard Count is one you might like. It’s definitely more YA than NA and has a high school setting. It’s a romance, but what it encompasses is so much more than that. I haven’t heard of anyone who doesn’t like it yet.


  2. I really like hat you guys put together here – so many I still need to read. 🙂

    I’ve read so many great books this year – but The Girl From Everywhere, Ink and Bone, The Raven King, You, and The Lies of Locke Lamora have been some of my favorites!

    Check out my TTT and my current giveaway.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your kind words! I actually had a friend spoil me the plot/ending to The Girl from Everywhere as I had doubts that I would be able to find time to read it. I’ve also heard rave reviews for Locke Lamora and that’s definitely a fantasy world I want to dive into!


  3. This is such a cool way to share favorites! It’s also awesome to see different people’s opinions in one post, makes it much more interactive. I haven’t made my top books list but I’m pretty sure that my best overall will be A Gathering of Shadows 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I just bought Vassa in the Night and pretty stoked to read it! I did not like the Great American Whatever that much. It was actually hard for me to even rate it. Lily from Lily & the Octopus…yes! Books about dogs are always so sad though. I cried the entire time hahah. For me I would go with Angharrad; I finally finished Chaos Walking! 😀 Jasper and Howie…YESSSSSSSS! I love the Serpent King so much. It’s probably my favorite of the year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Two things: Vassa in the Night, while arguably beautiful in world building (I found), it can also be quite daunting in confusion! Sorry to hear about your dislike for Great American Whatever, but at least we can agree on the enjoyment in TSK.

      Also: you prize Angharrad over Manchee? I must now evaluate our friendship, Ashley!

      I LOVED the dynamics between Howie and Jasper; just the thought of Howie’s medical condition meeting with Jasper’s escapades is hilarious!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, no, no! Not over Manchee! I read The Knife in 2015…so I didn’t count it toward 2016 relationships. Never over Manchee. I swear every time Todd mentioned Manchee in Monsters of Men I started to cry all over again. I did grow to really love Angharrad though and was happy that Todd had him.


    1. You have been missed, Migsy! I hope you return back to your glory days circa 2015 (ish). Also: I’m not saying my titles are the best on this list (but I’m definitely saying you should check them out). But hey, we both liked The Great American Whatever so how’s that for a vote of confidence for you?

      Liked by 1 person

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