Thursday, December 31, 2015

Favorite Books of 2015



2015 was a really good reading year for me, I met my goal of reading 120 books. A majority of those books are ones that I loved and just three books of them were books that I hated. If you're interested in the books that I've read this year, I've blogged about all of the books and I've added them all to my Goodreads account. So here are the top 10 books I read this year:

1. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz - This books is a coming of age story that revolves around best friends Aristotle (Ari for short) and Dante. This book is just absolutely beautiful and I have a hard time putting into words how much I love it. The writing is so beautiful and the story develops to a perfect ending, I was sobbing by the time it was over. This is a book that I knew I was going to love as soon as I picked it up, the story just called to me so much and it is one of my favorite books of all time.

2. Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas - This is a fantasy series following Celaena, a captured assassin, who is trying to regain her freedom. I cheated a little bit on this one and had to include the whole series, because it rekindled my love for fantasy books. I love everything about this series, from the characters to the world building. I have developed such a strong emotional attachment to the stories and the characters. Everything about the story is so vast, and I can't wait to see how this series continues.

3 & 4. For Darkness Shows the Stars and Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund - This is a dystopian series, that is the hardest series to describe because the world is so unique and more complex than anything I've ever read. These books are inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion and Emma Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernickle, neither of which I've read but I fully intend to because I'm interested in how these books separate from their source material. Peterfreund's writing in these books is beautiful, and the story development was crafted so well. I really fell in love with the story, and the two female protagonist are high on my list of all time favorite female characters.

5. Vicious by V.E. Schwab - This book follows two friends, Victor and Eli, after they discover how to give themselves supernatural abilities. This book is very different from what I usually read, and I absolutely was blown away by the story. It's got an amazing cast of characters, the story is incredible and just drew me in and I really loved it. But really the main reason why this book is on this list is the lasting affects that it has had on me. I read this book in May, and I still think about some of the ideals of human society that the author raises in this book.

6. The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson - This book is the second in the Remnant Chronicles. I enjoyed the first book in the series, but this books was so much better and I absolutely loved it. The development and the writing was so well done in this book, and everything is building up into a climax that I can't wait to read when the last book comes out in August. One of the things that I really love about this series (and this book) is that it has the potential for a love triangle, but the author ignores it. I highly, highly recommend this series because it has some of the best plot twists that I've read, and the main character is one of the strongest/coolest female characters.

7. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - This book is a collection of files that documents a colonization after their planet is invaded and they are forced to escape. I really love how the story is told entirely through emails, transcripts, and documents, and how it challenges way that stories can be told. The story, political intrigue, and the characters are so well written and the story telling didn't hinder my ability to form an emotional attachment to the characters. This is the first book in a trilogy and I can't wait for the next two books to be released.

8. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson - This book is told between twins, Noah and Jude, over three years as they have had a falling out and each hold a half of their story. I absolutely love how this book was written in alternating perspectives and how the each of the twins side of the story intertwined perfectly with the other. The ending came together so well, and I will admit that it came together a little to perfectly, but I absolutely loved it.

9. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell - This story follows Simon Snow, who is enrolled in a wizard school meant to echo the Harry Potter series. I had high hopes for this book, when I learned that Rowell was writing about the characters that she had introduced in her novel Fangirl, and I was not disappointed in the slightest. I loved the world and the characters that Rowell developed and that I was able to separate them from their source materials. I absolutely love Simon and Baz's relationship, Rowell had me fangirling so much over those two. I have loved everything that Rainbow Rowell has written, but this one is my absolute favorite.

10. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - This book follows Taylor and her family, as they learn that her father has one last summer to live, and she has to confront the mistakes that she made in the past. This book surprised me so much, because I usually don't expect contemporary novels to affect me as much as this one did. I don't know what I expected from the pretty, summery cover, but I did not expect to be sobbing by the end of it. I really loved the family elements and the journey that Taylor went through from the beginning of the book to the end.

And those are my top 10 favorite books that I read this year. I previously blogged about my top five books that I had read in the first half of the year back in August, and it's interested to see how these two lists compare.  And it's interesting to see how my reading tastes have changed from the beginning of the year, I started off reading a lot of contemporary and my tastes have shifted over to primarily fantasy. I have a lot of high hopes for 2016 in terms of reading, there's so many books that I have not read on my shelf, there's a ton of books that I'm looking forward to being published, and so many books that I have yet to discover yet. Next year is going to be a busy one between school and work but I hope to read at least 75 books (so fingers crossed!) - Jessica

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