The Bookshelves and Biros Blog Awards 2016

As 2016 draws to a close and we wait excitedly to see what gifts and adventures 2017 will bring, it only seems right that I do my bit to celebrate the community that’s been so welcoming and to be honest, just plain brilliant since I discovered it existed back in February!

From High Fae to Grisha, my first taste of a Patrick Ness book to a long-awaited return to Hogwarts, it’s been a magical little year in the world of paper and bookmarks and there’s no one I’d rather celebrate with than you.

So, without further ado, let me introduce to you the first ever Bookshelves & Biros blog awards!

*drum roll*

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The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

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This book will always have a special place in my heart because it was the first ever ARC that I got approved for on NetGalley. Ah, memories! Square is such a unique book, combining sparkly summer romance with sci-fi elements seamlessly. It’s a wonderfully balanced story, with darkness tempered by patches of wry humour and utterly loveable characters. I fully credit it with changing my opinion on sci-fi, which used to just make me think of Star Trek.


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The Deviants by C.J. Skuse

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Of all the books I’ve read this year, this is one of the few that I’ll definitely re-read (this is a compliment; I’m not usually big on re-reads unless we’re talking about Potter). An incredible book across the board; I loved the characterisation, the super sharp writing, the diversity, the way C.J. Skuse handled some very emotional topics and the whopping great twist which hit me in the gut with all of the force of a Muhammad Ali sucker punch.


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What’s A Girl Gotta Do by Holly Bourne

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God I love Holly Bourne books. They’re just so real. I read the whole of the Spinster Club trilogy this year; a groundbreaking UKYA series about three friends who take on mental health, relationships, feminism and sexism. What’s A Girl Gotta Do is the third and final book in the series and it blew me away. It focuses on the complications of being a young feminist in the 21st century and it’s one of the most heartfelt, funny, honest and inspiring books I’ve ever read. I can’t say enough good things about it.


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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

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I’ve read some stunning fantasy books this year that have whisked me away to worlds near and far, but I didn’t devour any with as much near-obsessive fervour as I did A Court of Mist and Fury. The second installment in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, it did that rare thing whereby it totally knocked the first book out of the park. The detail is immense, the world building is dazzling in its beauty and depth and the characters are brilliantly formed, witty and seductive. There’s action, romance, mystery and peril and I never wanted it to end.


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A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sarah Barnard

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Just when I didn’t think my 2016 reading list could get any better, along came A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard. This book is everything a contemporary YA book should be and more. It’s stunningly written, with a fantastically authentic depiction of both anxiety and disability, as well as a straight-up awesome cast of diverse characters AND a well-constructed plot with a touching underlying message about relationships and the limitations we place on ourselves and others. I know, I’m gushing, but DAMN. Please, do yourselves a favour and get your 2017 off to an incredible start by reading it when its released.


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Rhysand and Feyre –A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

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I just can’t even. I am OBSESSED with these two, to the point that even find it embarrassing. To say that Maas has created a tantalising, slow-burning, devilishly flirtatious romance would be to do this relationship an injustice. Rhys and Feyre are all of those things, but their relationship is also depicted with so much complexity, poignancy, fierceness and depth. In Rhys we finally have a male protagonist who sees the woman he loves as an equal in every single way and I adore him for it.


Special mentions 

I also have to give a huge shout-out to the amazing books that I read in 2016 that weren’t actually published this year, including the indomitably incredible Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness (5*), heartbreaking-ly gorgeous I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson (*5), the eye-opening and poignant The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson (*5) and the powerful and utterly terrifying Asking For It by Louise O’Neill (*4.5), all of which would have been included in the awards had they been released this year.

My bookish moment of the year (I could have created an award header for this but it turns out I’m really, really lazy) was getting to return to the Wizarding World on the stage, the big screen, my kindle screen and the page. It’s literally been like a dream year for Potterheads, amiright?! Mine was made even more magical by being lucky enough to see Harry Potter and The Cursed Child on stage. It’s an experience that I’ll never, ever forget and I’ll be eternally grateful that I got to experience that wonder in all of it’s intended glory.

I also want to share the love with some of my amazingly talented and eternally humble fellow bloggers, who despite being based all over the world have become some brilliant friends, advice givers and partners-in-blogging. Thank you all so much for reading my posts and making me so welcome in the book blogosphere, but special mentions go to Lauren, Beth, Azia, Stephanie, Jess, Melissa, Jill, Amanda, Marie, Naz, CaseyKai and the Orang-utan Librarian. You’re not only seriously swish bloggers with insane content, beautifully written reviews and tons of creative ideas, but you also work so hard to get others involved in the community and are always positive, funny and helpful. So many of you have made this blogging year great for me. BIG LOVE AND HUGS.


What have been your high (and low) points of the year? Which books have smacked you in the face with their brilliance or utter rubbish-ness? What have I missed and what should I be on the lookout for in 2017? TELL ME ALL.

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46 thoughts on “The Bookshelves and Biros Blog Awards 2016

  1. Aww thanks so much for the mention and kind words – you’ve been amazingly supportive and wonderful this year, and your blog is fabulous/one of my favourites too 🙂 I agree with so many of your picks here, and I’m definitely interested in the ones I haven’t read. I actually picked up The Deviants in Blackwells the other day, and very nearly bought it, but I was worried it might not have the re-readability factor, so I thought I might just get it on Kindle instead. But you saying that has convinced me I will need a physical copy. I do really love the cover too! And now I’m really excited about A Quiet Kind of Thunder too! x

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    • You’re more than welcome, Jess! Aw thank you so much – it makes me so happy to hear that. 🙂 Likewise to you, with everything you’ve said. ❤ Yay! I really hope you enjoy it now I've convinced you haha. I think I'll pick it up again a little later in 2017. The cover is really unusual, right? A great addition to any real bookcase as well as a virtual one. 😉 Eeek, now that I think you will definitely love! Such great representation and a really sweet, realistic romance to boot. 🙂 Happy New Year (nearly)!

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      • I’m sure I will, we do have a twin-like taste in books after all 🙂 Can’t wait for A Quiet Kind of Thunder to come out! Did you go to Sara Barnard’s panel at YALC? I can’t remember which day it was on. It was with Holly Bourne too. Was probably my favourite panel 🙂 Hope you have a fabulous New Year’s Eve! Which reminds me, I never picked up And a Happy New Year! Clearly I need to download it asap so I can read it tomorrow!!

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      • Haha, this is true! 🙂 Yes I did – the one about female friendship? I loved that panel, too! It’s crazy that we were in that small audience and didn’t see each other haha. Thank you so much – it was very low key and sleep but lovely! I hope you had a fun one too, whatever you got up to. Omg I haven’t either – I very nearly bought it when I was in Waterstones the other day but in the end I resisted. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it if you’ve started/finished it already! 🙂

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      • I know!! But then to be fair, there were a crazy number of people wandering around, and we were just looking out for each other’s bags haha. This year we will have a proper meet up! Haha I’m glad I’m not the only one who enjoys a sleep on new year! I went out for a meal, but came back before midnight and was in bed by 12.30 – it was glorious. Nooo I completely forgot to buy it too! I keep forgetting. I only have the trilogy on kindle, so I guess I’ll just get it on kindle, but the cover for this one is especially pretty… 🙂

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      • Hahaha! This is very true. I wasn’t in bed too long after that to be fair – cooked a Chinese feast with my Mum and then rolled into bed after a good cup of tea haha! Rock and roooooll. This is very true….it would make a lovely addition to any bookcase. 😉

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  2. This is a great post Sammie, and thanks so so much for the mention as well. It means a lot that you thoughts of me for this and I’m glad I could help make you feel welcome in the blogosphere as well! 😀 ❤
    I haven't read many of these books myself but oh I loved A Court of Mist and Fury. That's one of my ultimate favourites of this year too, and god I am so excited to get my hands on the next book now! Also I loved The Knife of Never Letting Go and I'll Give You the Sun as well from your honourable mentions, they're both favourites of mine from this year as well.
    Most of the rest are on my to-read list, hopefully I'll enjoy them as much as you did! 😀

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  3. Aww thank you so much for the mention!!! Big love and hugs to you too!!! I agree that the blogging community is so amazing!!! Everyone makes this experience so incredible! Thank you for being one of the awesome bloggers that makes it all so much fun!! 😀 Also love this post- Deviants sounds so good! And I still need to read Court of Mist and Fury!

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    • You’re more than welcome! 🙂 ❤ It really is – it would be nowhere near as fun without any of you guys. In fact it would probably be pretty pointless haha. Awww it's my pleasure! 😀 Deviants is AMAZING – I think you'd really like it. There are some great twists in there and the plot is so well handled. Yes you really should! How did you feel about ACOTAR?

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  4. LOVE this post Sammie! I cannot believe I haven’t read any of these books… What am I doing with my life? Most are already on the ol’ TBR, but you gave me a few new ones to add! I am so honored to be one of the fellow bloggers you mentioned. It has been a pleasure “meeting” you this year and becoming blogging buddies. Cheers to another great blogging year in 2017!

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    • Thank youuu! Oh I don’t know…being Super Mum (sorry, Mom) 😉 and an awesome blogger at the same time lol?! That’s always good news. 🙂 Likewise – I’m so glad we’ve been able to become blogging buddies! Thanks, I hope you have a great start to 2017 and get stuck right in to all of those gorgeous new books. 🙂 x

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  5. Love this post, Sammie!!! A Quiet Kind of Thunder was amazing! I was a little hesitant because I don’t normally do contemporaries, but you’re so right in saying it’s everything one should be. It was such a refreshing change and there was such great representation.

    And, aww, thank you for the shout out and kind words! You’re the sweetest ♥ I’m so glad I found you and your blog this year!!

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    • Thanks so much, Lauren! 🙂 ❤ Absolutely. Refreshing is the perfect word for that book – it really chucked all the standard contemporary cliches and tropes out of the window and it was SO much better off for it. You're so massively welcome! ❤ Likewise! Hope you have an amazing start to 2017. ❤

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  6. Awwww I love this post! Thank you so much for the shoutout and kinds words. I’m glad I stumbled across your blog ♥. A lot of the people you mentioned are also ones who helped me feel so welcome when I first joined back in March so they’re definitely all incredible bloggers as are you. 😊
    I so need to read The Square Root of Summer and A Quiet Kind of Thunder! They’re on my ever growing list for next year that I’ll hopefully get around to. Also, YES ACOMAF and Rhys and Feyre! I actually just reread that and I will never be over it or that ship haha. I hope you’re reading and blogging year in 2017 is fantastic. 💕

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  7. This is an awesome post, Sammie! Thanks so much for the shout out 😀 You were one of the first blogs I stumbled across in August and I was inspired by your amazing content! You’re an incredible blogger who has made me and countless others feel welcome as well ❤

    And you know me. I support all things ACOMAF, so YAS to it being the best YA fantasy of this year and YAS to Rhys and Feyre being the ultimate ship to end all ships. I can't wait to reread that book haha. And I've definitely got to get my hands on The Deviants. I'll Give You the Sun, too! I hope your reading year goes just as well in 2017! ❤ 😀

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    • Thank you so much! ❤ Ahhhh it really makes me happy that you've said that – especially because I feel like I'm in such an 'original content' slump at the moment. Hopefully I'll be able to start getting back to devising some new posts soon! 🙂 I'm glad I made you feel welcome – the best thing about blogging is meeting new people and discovering new content and I'm so happy to have found your blog! Hahaha YES! So swoony. Every time I think about ACOWAR I get so excited. Can't wait to fangirl about it with you and everyone else when it finally comes out. Thanks! I hope you've had a great start to 2017 and your reading year goes just as well, too! ❤ 🙂

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      • Ah I think you’re doing just fine, my friend! I’ll be looking out for those new posts 😀 And I can’t wait to fangirl about ACOWAR with you and so many other bloggers, too! It’s going to be fantastic. And thanks so much, Sammie! ❤

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  8. Loved all your answers! Admittedly, I haven’t read most of these BUT KNOW THAT THIS WILL CHANGE AND IT WILL CHANGE SOON. ACOMAF was such beauty and greatness and now there is a hole in my heart that will never be filled until all the members of the Night Court come to my door and live with me in my room forever. Love your speical members and how much you loved the Wizarding World events! To the bloggers that I know from that list, they are definitely so deserving of greatness and I must go and check out all the amazing rest of them! ❤ ❤

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  9. Creative content! Talk about yourself girl this award wrap up post is amazing 🙂 There are so many books on here that are on my TBR and I can’t wait to read them XD My high point is when I decided to create my blog and met you and everyone else in this amazing community, seriously this community has deepened my love for books and reading. Being able to read reviews and bookish content and discussions is one of the funnest things about being a blogger asides from talking and making friends from all around the world. Thank you so much for mentioning me in your post! Here’s to an even better 2017 xoxo

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  10. This is what happens when things get ridiculous during the holidays & you fall into a blogging slump. I am just NOW seeing this post???? Gahh!!! I’m sorry I’m so late, but thank you so so much for the kind words! I’m so glad I found your blog & that we’re all becoming friends on here. Your blog is so absolutely wonderful & I wish I could be as creative as you. This post is awesome & you should be proud. A great way to wrap up 2016! Bravo!!! ❤

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