Monday, 12 December 2016

My Top Ten Reads 2016

by Andrea Grigg

I often wonder how many books I read in a year. I don’t think it would be 150, like Iola does, but it’d be fairly close. Therefore, if a book has made it into my Top Ten, it must be a great book!

Here they are, in no particular order. And please, don't forget, I'm a romance writer. So guess what I like to read ...? 

On the Edge - Theresa Santy 

A brilliant story from a debut author. Theresa Santy has managed to capture the essence of what it's like to be on the run from everyone and everything. Written in first person, the realism is at times intense, but that's what I loved about this women's fiction/romance. A powerful story of love and redemption.

The Thirteenth Chance - Amy Matayo
Amy Matayo is one of my all-time favourite authors. Her writing style always draws me in and makes me feel I'm actually the character I'm reading about. In this story, baseball star and bad boy Will Vandergriff comes up against neurotic, goody-goody school teacher Olivia Pratt. Their love story is full of conflict, the ride to their HEA both poignant and humorous. Hats off to Amy Matayo yet again. 

Intermission - Serena Chase
A beautiful YA novel. I'll let Amazon say it for me: 
Intermission is a heart-wrenching, contemporary YA romance, set against a backdrop of musical theatre and family drama. With coming-of-age themes that honestly explore the gray areas of the moral dilemmas the characters face, this novel traces the path of one talented teen girl as she crosses painful thresholds of first love, faith and betrayal, to take the necessary steps toward adulthood, independence, and the dreams that set her heart of fire. 
I'm by no means a teenager, but I loved this book!

My Hope Next Door - Tammy L Gray.
Definitely the best to date of Tammy's work, imho. Katie, a newly redeemed bad girl, comes back to town to try and make amends with her parents and former friends. What she doesn't bargain on is falling for Asher, the struggling son of a pastor as well as the boy next door. A realistic and heart-warming romance.

Miracle in a Dry Season - Sarah Loudin Thomas
This delightful romance has a special flavour all of its own. Set in 1954 in West Viriginia, you can hear the characters twangy speech as you read, and instantly adore their quirks and perks. A story different to anything I've read before. I'll be reading more from this author, that's for sure. 

Critical Condition - Nicki Edwards
Okay, so I'm a little biased, being one of Nicki's critique partners! But, I truly loved this book. It's general market not CBA, but falls in the 'sweet' romance category. I'd been waiting for Liam the Irishman to have his day in the sun, and it was well worth the wait. Add in Poppy with all her relationship problems, and you have a romance with depth and intrigue. My favourite out of all of Nicki's books so far. 

Keep Holding On - Melissa Tagg
I love Melissa Tagg's books. All of them. I love her Walker family series, how I get to catch up with the characters from her other books, and find out what they've been up to. Even if I hadn't been anticipating reading Beckett Walker's story, the first paragraph would've reeled me in regardless: 
"He'd tell his family tonight. After the wedding. Before he turned himself into the police."
See? Now don't you want to know what's happening? Highly recommended. 

There You'll Find Me - Jenny B Jones
Jenny B Jones would have to be one of the best Christian YA authors around. Her characters are always fun to read, yet multi-layered. In this one, we meet Finlay, a grieving American girl on a quest to find peace in Ireland after losing her brother. She then meets Beckett, a teen heart throb and Hollywood bad boy. Reading back over this, There You'll Find Me sounds cheesy, but I can assure you it isn't. There are far too many things going on for there to be an ounce of cheese. I will read anything by Jenny B Jones. Enough said. 

Me Before You - Jojo Moyes
Nothing like a bit of controversy, is there? And that's why I included this general market book in my list. A lot of people gave this book scathing reviews. A whole lot more gave it glowing ones. I liked Me Before You because it made me think about how to answer the naysayers, as well as got me thinking about a whole bunch of issues related to this book. Okay, it's a love story rather than a romance, but the characterisation was fabulous. I'm up for a robust discussion on this one anytime. 

Story Genius: How to Outline Your Novel Using the Secrets of Brain Science - Lisa Cron
The best writing craft book I've read to date. It has revolutionised how I think about my stories and inspired me to write better and deeper. Go on, treat yourself to an early Christmas present. 

Well, I hope you've enjoyed my take on my ten fave books for 2016. I'm already looking forward to what I can share with you this time next year. Happy reading!

Andrea Grigg lives on the Gold Coast, Queensland, and is a writer of two contemporary Christian romance novels, ‘A Simple Mistake’ and ‘Too Pretty’. Her Christmas novella, 'All is Bright', was released September 27 in a boxset along with five other authors, entitled, 'An Aussie Summer Christmas'.  She would love to connect with you via: 
Twitter: @andreagrigg



  1. Thanks, Andrea for sharing your top reads. Yep, there's romance and … more romance. Love it. Oh, and Story Genius. I'm about to dive into that one for some inspiration. I'm also quite intrigued by the first one on your list.

    1. Hi Ian - I think you'd LOVE the first one. It's the first fiction novel to come out of Breath of Fresh Air Press. Looking forward to hearing what you think of Story Genius.

    2. It's now downloaded. I saw Iola's review on Amazon and since both of you are glowing about it I reckon I'll like it. Sounds gutsy and real. Bit like your stories, AG.

    3. I hope you enjoy On the Edge!

  2. Weeeeeell, we clearly share a love of the same books! Although I've read half of these, I don't dive into YA very often. You've given me a reason to. Thanks Andrea!

    1. HI Cat - yes, we do have very similar tastes, that's for sure. You'd love anything by Jenny B Jones. Check out 'In Between'. It's perma free :)

  3. Great list, Andrea. I've got On the Edge on my to-do pile (somewhere near the top). I've reading Story Genuis atm but finding it a bit frustrating (waiting for it to say something new) but maybe I've just not got far enough into it yet.

    1. HI Jeanette. Hope you enjoy On the Edge as much as I did. As far as Story Genius is concerned, I loved it because it affirmed a LOT of things for me, as well as gave me a different way to plot, one that made complete sense to me. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Wow, Andrea. I haven't read any of these, and except for Nicki Edwards (whose books this old nurse really enjoys),all are by "new" writer to get to know. So many books will have to add to my already out of control To Be Read pile.

    1. HI Mary - I know what you mean about the out of control TBR pile. My niece is staying with us at the moment. She looked at my pile in the loungeroom, and the ones on top of the bookshelves upstairs, and asked, "Are you really going to read ALL those?" I didn't tell her about the ones on my Kindle app, haha.

  5. Andrea, your list has a lot of similarities with my list (which will post on Friday). But you've also got a few I haven't read ... and now think I should!

    1. Oh dear - that TBR of yours will topple! Looking forward to reading yours :)

  6. Honoured to be included in your top ten!