Wednesday, December 2, 2015

My Personal Top 10 Reads of 2015

Well, it's that time of year again where I give a wrap up of my favorite reads.

This has been a crazy year and I have not read nearly as much as I would have liked to. However, there have been some exceptional books that have really stood out for me.

Please note that this list is in no particular order.

10. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
This is a noteworthy read because of the kick-ass heroine and fast-paced plot.
ToG is the first in a six book series, of which the first four have been published. There is also a bind up of novellas which serves as a prequel. It follows Celaena, an infamous assassin, as she gets wrapped up in political intrigue while trying to save her own life. There is romance and plenty of action for both guys and girls to enjoy.

9. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
A touching contemporary read with more focus on family and less on romance.
I adored this book on so many levels and this is probably one the top books of 2015. It is told from alternating viewpoints of two siblings as they struggle with their individual hurdles. This is one grab if you are looking to get into YA but question whether it has the emotional depth of more "mature" reads".

8. The Novice by Taran Matharu
This is sort of like Pokemon meets Harry Potter.
I loved how, while parts of the story could be called out for being unoriginal, the story as a whole is very refreshing and packed with action. This is one of those books that can easily be read by both girls and boys. Tons of fun!

7. Sanctuary by Jennifer McKissack
An intriguing Gothic mystery with vibes of Jane Eyre.
I admit to not expecting much when I get a review copy of this book. And I was totally blown away by the atmosphere and  plot of Sanctuary. This is a must-read if you are wanting something a little off the beaten track.

6. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
A modern, twisted tale with romance and faeries.
More mature than her ToG series, I really recommend this for anyone looking to get into fantasy. I am not normally a fan of books dealing with faeries, but this manages to avoid all the tropes that normally annoy me. And the romance is super hot!

5. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Six awesome characters and one impossible heist.
This was a complete binge purchase on Raru and I am so glad I bought this particular edition. Not only is the book gorgeous to look at, the content is awesome too. Packed with adventure, humor and characters so rich you will have a hard time picking a favorite. This is a must read!

4. Smiler's Fair by Rebecca Levene
A rich fantasy set in a unique, dark world.
I do, on occasion, read adult books and this is one of those books I am thankful I picked up. The writing is gorgeous and the cast of characters twisted and compelling. A good read for all lovers of fantasy, but certainly not what I would recommend to delve into this genre for the first time, as the story can be complex to follow.

3. Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
A girl straddles two worlds in this rich fantasy with a touch of sci-fi,
Lauded for the quality of the writing, this novel is also something a little different for the YA fans out there. It merges our current world as we know it with a rich fantasy world set in the very sky above our heads. I really enjoyed this and was pleased to see the bold steps authors are taking with breaking free of current YA trends.

2. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
A sci-fi tale of mystery and deceit told through transcripts and documentation.
I will admit that, at the time of this post, I am only halfway through this book. But I am putting it here anyway. This is an amazing read where I am still trying to figure out what exactly is going on. I love having to build the story to different pieces of evidence, some unreliable. It's awesome and addictive.

1. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
An urban fantasy revolving around conflict between two races and the human girl who gets in the way.
Yet another quality fantasy with a compelling story. While some might find it similar to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I found this to actually be a better story in a lot of ways. And the romance is much more well done.

And there it is. A nice selection of stocking-fillers for the YA fan in your life.