Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Top 15 books of 2015

TOP 15 BOOKS OF 2015 

 I'm aware we're almost a month in to 2016, but it's never too late for this post.
So 2015 was not the best reading year for me, I read a total of 43 books, which I guess with school and moving going on is understandable but I'm hoping to read way more this year.
Also quick note that my top 15 of last year were not books that came out last year, just ones that I read.

15. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

My rating: 3 stars
I read this book at the start of last year, when I just wanted to read something all fluffy and cute and contemporary. And while this book was all of these things, it was a lot more too. 
I still remember the characters and tiny little details from the story. 

14. The Beasts of Clawstone Castle by Eva Ibbotson 

My rating: 3.5 stars
Now, yes I am aware this is a children's book, and I'm meant to talk about Young Adult books BUT I picked this book up as a way to move my reading challenge along. 
As a kid I adored Eva Ibbotson's writing, mostly her books: Journey To The River Sea and The Star Of Kazan (highly recommend those books by the way) but this was one of the books she had written for an even younger audience, and I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did.
It's just such a fun read! It's about two siblings who are sent off to live with their uncle for the summer, in this huge castle which is  sort of a museum as well, and there are secrets and ghosts and it's just a very enjoyable read. 

13. Holes by Louis Sachar 

My rating: 4 stars 
Funnily enough, I had not heard of this book at all when I borrowed it from the library. I know it's won a lot of awards and it's very popular with a movie and everything. But I know all this NOW. After I had finished the book. 
I read this during the April Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon, and I flew right through it. Not just because of the readathon, it  was honestly a surprising read.
I hardly had any real expectations for the book, if any, but it was honestly such a heartwarming read. I found it very interesting, both the setting and the character were very different from those I had read about before. And seeing the friendship develop between Stanley and Zero, just made me so happy.

12. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

My rating: 4 stars 
I almost forgot I first read this book last year but it was actually the first book I read in 2015, and I read this book TWICE last year. 
I knew this was going to be a sad read when I first picked it up, but I didn't know the extent of emotions this book would make me go through. To say it made me cry is an understatement. 
I cried happy tears, at parts I would be reading and I'd feel a tear roll down my cheek, and at one point I had to put the book down and actually sob (if you've read this book already then you know what I'm talking about), and other than crying there were plenty of parts where I just genuinely smiled while reading it.
It was absolutely beautiful, and the relationships between the characters was brilliant. I read the sequel, Where She Went soon after I read this but it wasn't as good, in my opinion, but enjoyable all the same. 

11. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

 My rating: 4 stars  
I don't really read books about war so this was not really like anything I'd read before, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I mean, it's a highly acclaimed novel, that won the Printz award too so I should've known it was gonna be good.
If you don't know what this is about, it's about world war III but it is a young adult contemporary novel, and that's all I'm going to tell you because I think it's better if you go in to this book not knowing anything. 

 10. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

My rating: 4.5 stars
I'd been meaning to start this series for years and I finally picked up the first book last year and I loved every minute of it. I finished this book in a day. That rarely happens for me and I was just so fascinated by the world. 
I'm usually very interested in dystopian novels just because there are so many possibilities and the world of uglies and pretties was definitely one of my favorites. 

9. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare 

My rating: 4.5 stars
This is going to be quite a controversial statement but... .I did not enjoy The Mortal Instruments. Now a lot of people have told me that it gets better as the series progresses but I'd forced my way through City of Bones and City of Ashes and I just couldn't really connect with the characters. But that's for another post...
What I'm saying is that I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book AT ALL. I picked it up on a whim. And I was blown away. I adored the characters and the world (which is weird because the world of the shadowhunters is the same as The Mortal Instruments, I know, I know). I think the reason I enjoyed this so much is the fact that it takes place in the Victorian era and I thought that was really entertaining. Of course, Will Herondale plays a part in my interest...eheh heh. 

8. The Battle Of The Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

My rating: 4.5 stars
Well actually, this entire series is incredible and I read the whole series last year. I'm just listing The Battle Of The Labyrinth here because that was my favorite from all five books (it was an extremely difficult choice to pick just one though).
Now there was obviously a bit of skepticism because it's a middle grade book and he's twelve and "Will I be able to relate to this book because I'm more used to young adult?" and all that stuff. 
But this is just as well loved a series to some people as Harry Potter is to me and I understand why. It's hilarious and the adventures are so much fun. And I just love Percy, I think he's one of the wittiest characters I have ever read about. I highly recommend this series! (Also the movies though.....huge let down honestly) 

7. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 4.6 stars
And yet another series that I probably should have picked up years ago but didn't for stupid reasons. *sigh* 
And as always the book has made me regret not picking it up sooner. I don't know how exactly to describe this book but it's about assassins. And it has a badass female protagonist. And I don't mean Katniss Everdeen-badass (nothing against Katniss of course, she's amazing) but honestly Celaena Sardothien is SUCH A STRONG CHARACTER. 
And Sarah J. Maas' writing is beautiful and I love the fact that she intertwined faes and a very high fantasy element in to this book too. Honestly I need to get started on the rest of this series asap!
(Also I know Chaol is like, a fan favorite but I honestly really liked Dorian)

6. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

 My rating: 4.8 stars
MY FIRST EVER RAINBOW ROWELL BOOK! Yes, it finally happened. Last year, I picked up my first ever Rainbow Rowell book and it broke my heart. But in a good way, of course. 
This. Book. Was. So. Cute. 
It was funny, and sweet, and heartwarming and heart breaking all at the same time. I feel like Rainbow Rowell portrayed a very realistic take on high school romances, which you don't normally see in young adult literature. The only reason this book didn't get a 5 star rating from me is because it felt a little insta-lovey at parts, but maybe that's just me. 
But disregard that, because I loved both Park and Eleanor so much, I didn't want the book to end just because I got so attached to the characters. And of course, this book made me cry, as expected. 

5. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

My rating: 4.9 stars (so close, so very close)
Ah yes, Seraphina, the very last book I read last year, and it made it in to the top 5. 
This was the very first dragon book I read and the reason I think I enjoyed it well was because, we all associate dragons with high fantasy but this book was more political, actually.
It shows the dragons as foreigners of sorts and the humans learning to get over past beliefs and get through life among dragons. 
Seraphina, our protagonist, is a musician. And I loved the aspect of music being brought in to this. 
Also Lucian Kiggs is just perfect. Just thought I'd put that point out there. 

4. Me and Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

My rating: 5 stars
I'd heard so many people talk about how brilliant and funny this book is, but the reason I finally decided it was something I HAD to read was because there was a movie coming out starring Thomas Mann (I absolutely adore Thomas Mann by the way, I think he's given really likable characters to play most of the time) and the trailer made me laugh a lot.
There's a blurb on the back of my copy that says "This is the funniest book you will ever read about death" and that's just what it is. I hardly ever actually laugh out loud while reading and this book made me. Multiple times. 

Okay now we're heading in to the top three and I would honestly give all three of these next books first place but that's not how this works so after hours of careful contemplation, I've finally arranged all three of them in order.

3. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

My rating: 5 stars
Do NOT let the fact that this book is third in my list, fool you in to thinking it isn't worth reading. I cannot stress enough on how mind blowingly awesome this book is. 
I don't even play video games. I know literally nothing about them and yet, this book remains one of my favorite books OF ALL TIME. I love the characters, Parzival and Art3mis and Aech (especially Aech) are just so much fun. And the world building and the thought that the author clearly put in to every tiny detail of the Oasis is incredible. 
I don't care what your preferred genre is, this book definitely deserves at least a try. It does not disappoint.

2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

My rating: 5 stars (obviously)
If you haven't read this book yet I don't want to give away anything about it because I think it's best if you go in to it completely clueless. All I will say is, it's about angels and demons. But NOT in a Mortal Instruments kind of way!!
Laini Taylor's writing is breathtaking. Literally breathtaking. Her descriptions of the setting and the characters just entranced me. I have never read a book quite like this one. 
And just..what more is there to say? Just, please give this series a try I highly recommend it to anyone who is even remotely interested in fantasy.

 Aaaaaaand finally, my number one favorite book of 2015 is.....*drumroll*

1. I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

My rating: 6 stars (is this rating even possible? I don't know but this book definitely doesn't deserve an average rating) 
There is an ever growing list of reasons why this book is AMAZING. 
For one, Jandy Nelson's writing is marvelous and breathtaking and (enter all other amazing words here) but you get the idea. 
The characters, oh my goodness, the characters. Noah was and still remains one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. He was just so real and the way his mind works and every experience he went through was so entertaining. And not just Noah, all the characters were just very real, and that's something I always enjoyed. 
The book itself is gorgeous. I mean it's a beautiful book. If you have seen a physical copy of it you will understand. And other than the physical appearance, the dual POV was really interesting too. And just *sigh* so so good. I loved every minute of it. It made me cry and laugh and just left me with this really weird nostalgic feeling. 

So there we have it, my top 15 books of 2015. If you have read any of these books, please do tell me what you thought of them! 




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