Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Best of 2015

Guys, how is 2015 almost over? I feel like it was just New Years Eve 2014! 

2015 has been a really mixed year for me. I had some amazing experiences (including a bunch of bookish ones!) and some really rough times. I'm looking forward to a fresh start in 2016 and, hopefully, a more positive year!

As for books, well, I didn't read a lot this year. In fact, I'm pretty sure this is the least I've read in YEARS. But, I did read some incredible books. So many I was having a lot of difficulty narrowing it down! There were so many I wanted to talk about! I decided to add two categories to this list, as well as an overall best of. So, here's what 2015 looked like to me!

I read so many incredible debuts this year! I'm so excited to see what these authors have in store for us in the future.
*These books are in no particular order!
1) Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
- I know this one will be on a LOT of lists this year, and for good reason. It was a heartfelt, hilarious, and touching novel that I can't wait to read over and over again.

2) Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca
- This one really took me by surprise! I became invested in the characters so quickly, I just didn't want to let them go!

3) The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
- This book felt like jumping right back to my last year of high school. It was so poignant and wonderful. I will treasure this book for years to come.

4) Like It Never Happened by Emily Adrian
- I. Loved. This. Book. Plain and simple. It was such an unexpected gut-punch in the very best way (more on it later in this post!)

5) The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle
- Reading this book was like diving into old Irish folklore. Enchanting and engrossing, a book that should not be missed.

6) Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
- I JUST read this book last week and it was wonderful. I'll talk more about it in my review next week but read this book, if you haven't already.

Backlist Reads
- I didn't read as many backlist titles as I would've liked, but the ones I did read were AWESOME. Here are five of them!
*Also in no particular order

1) The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
- A slow burn read with an ending that blew me away. Definitely a book to bump up on your TBR.

2) Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
- I have been meaning to read this book for YEARS and I'm so happy I did this year. Cried so hard I couldn't see the book and I think my heart is still broken over it.

3) Through the Ever Night & Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
- Another one I meant to read forever and ended up marathoning in a weekend. Aria and Perry = OTP FOR LIFE.

4) Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt
- I sat down one summer afternoon and fell in love with this book. It was so sweet and beautiful. Tiffany Schmidt is a gem.

5) Yes Please by Amy Poehler
- I've recently gotten into reading smart ladies non-fiction, and Amy Poehler's memoir was hilarious and empowering.

Best 15 of 2015
- Honest, this list was so hard to put in any sort of order. I was just staring at the books like BUT I LOVE YOU ALL. So, take a lot of the numbers with a grain of salt. Because these 15 books are all incredible in their own ways.

15) The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead
- Although I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book as a whole, it made my heart so so happy. Particularly all the Romitri and Sydrian scenes.

14) Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt
- My first Tiffany Schmidt book (why did it take me so long?!) was stellar. I don't think this book gets nearly as much love as it deserves because it deserves A LOT. It was sweet and fun and a little heartbreaking. I don't normally like books that take place in a single night, but I loved everything about this book.
13) The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
- Kasie West just keeps writing better and better contemporary books. I sat down one summer day and refused to get up until I was done. I laughed out loud more times than I can count and had the most giddy smile on my face. I loved this book so hard. I can't wait to read it again next year.
12) All Fall Down & See How They Run by Ally Carter
- Had to put both books on here because I can't pick between the two of them. Embassy Row is Ally Carter at her finest. I love Grace with my whole heart and I love these books just as much. They are thrilling and interesting and funny and brave. If you're not on the Ally Carter train yet, what are you waiting for?
11) Rules for Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu
- My first Corey Ann Haydu book (I KNOW) and it broke me into tiny little pieces. This book was enchanting and magical but also so powerful. Corey tackles such a difficult subject with grace and hope. Her words are beautiful and her characters settled right into my heart. Pick this one up, guys. It's pure magic.

10) Through the Ever Night & Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
- I haven't fallen in love with a series this hard in a long time. I am so sad it's over, because I miss Perry and Aria so much.

9) Like It Never Happened by Emily Adrian
- This book was more than I could have hoped for. I thought it would be a light, fun book but it was so much more than that. I don't want to give too much away, so just go ahead and read this book. You won't regret it.

8) The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
- Nova Ren Suma is, quite simply, one of the best writers out there. Her prose is gorgeous, her stories are enchanting, and her characters are twisted and realistic. Honestly, it's hard to describe her books simply because they are just so incredible. The Walls Around Us tore apart my VERY high expectations and stunned me. I felt so immersed in the world she had created, I couldn't find my way out. Please, read this book. Then go out and buy all of Nova's other books. 

7) The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
- Jodi Meadows strikes again! I don't know how to properly express my love of this book. It was just SO GOOD. Wil was a stand out character, and Black Knife stole my heart. I need The Mirror King to be in my hands this very second because I simply need MORE. 

6) Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
-  I had heard spectacular praise for this one before I read this book, and it truly deserves every word of it. It was witty and smart, two things I love in a book. It made me re-evaulate how I see the world, and that's a pretty powerful thing to do. I cannot wait for more incredible books from Becky Albertalli!

5) Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
- There's a lot of reason to love this book. It could be because of Sophie Kinsella's signature humor, or Audrey's lovable family. But, for me, what made this book and stand out was its honest portray of anxiety. It was beautifully realistic account of what it's like to suffer from anxiety. As someone who does suffer from severe anxiety, reading a book like this hit so close to home. So, thank you Sophie Kinsella. Please write more YA for us! (But like, don't stop writing about Becky and Luke cause I also need more about them always).
4) A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz
- Another book that is so hard to put into words. I think this book will be tough for some, but it is so worth the read. It's unlike anything I've ever read before. It took me so long to find the right words to describe this book, and I'm failing again. Just read this book. And if you need more convincing from me, read my review of this book.

3) Saga, Vol. 1-5 by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
 - Saga blew my ever lovin' mind. I went into it excepting a good read and came out with my heart in pieces and a love so fierce for these characters. I was reading one volume then going to work the next day and getting the next one. As weird and odd as the world of these novels are, it's really a story about two people who love each other fiercely and the beautiful family they created. I need the next volume as soon as humanly possible, please and thank you.

2) The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
- This was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and it was better than I could have wished for. It made me laugh out loud and cry pretty dang hard. I just want to hug this book because it means so much to me. Patrick Ness, you are a rock star.

1) All the Rage by Courtney Summers
- I don't know what I can say about this book that hasn't already been said. I spent an entire month here on the blog just talking about it, and I would do it all over again. Because Courtney's books are stunning. And All the Rage is so desperately needed. If I'll I've accomplished on my blog this year is to get one more person to read this book, I'll be happy with that. I hope you all read it. I know I will again and again.

And, there you have it! My top reads for the year! What were yours?

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)