I’ve had about a week to recover from the start of the New Year, but I still can’t get over some of the great books I read in 2015. I figured since I didn’t post all my reviews here for those books that I could do a small round up of my favorite books from the past year. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t like the other 34 books I read–on the contrary, I read some amazing stories and I’ve been taken to wild, thrilling worlds. I read more this year than any other year in my life, and consequently I think I learned more about the world–and about myself–this year. Some of the books that might have made this list are actually 2016 releases, so it felt unfair to include them. These are the absolute BEST books I read, in no particular order.
A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab
Okay, I know I said these books were in no particular order. But ADSoM is easily my favorite book published in 2015, and it’s the only 2015 release on this list. I love the worldbuilding the most. A Darker Shade of Magic encompasses four parallel Londons–although we only see three of them, they each have such definitive and beautifully crafted character that I was so enthralled with every detail of them.
The magic in this novel follows a set of rules that are simple but make perfect sense. By the time we get to the climax, it is believable and exciting because the magic system is so solid.
Schwab is also a master at crafting a compelling plot. The characters get into trouble, make a plan, but then everything goes wrong. Super wrong. The worst things that can happen DO happen. I was constantly excited and honestly scared, because there is so much mystery entwined with the worlds. I felt on the edge of my seat to the very last page.
CINDER by Marissa Meyer
Cinder completely blew me away. I’ve been hearing about this book both online and through word-of-mouth from some friends, and it absolutely met the high expectations.
Cinder is a strong, caring, and relatable character, and I love that she uses her skills and her wit to get her out of (and in to) perilous situations. She’s not afraid to do what’s right, even when faced with crazy challenges and an abusive family. In fact, Cinder impressed me time and again with her strength even when her “family” mentally and physically abused her.
I thought the love story was trite at first, but it really does develop to be believable and honest. I love the mishmash of Cinderella and Anastasia and CYBORGS!
While there were some plot points I totally saw coming, the ride getting to them was such a thrill.
THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE by Neil Gaiman
I’ve been citing THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE as my “favorite novel ever” for a while now. It’s always my go-to recommendation for someone that likes fantasy but wants something thoughtful and different. It’s short and sweet and absolutely brilliant. Neil Gaiman knows how to craft an emotional and meaningful story. A beautiful, magical journey that really captures the contrast between childhood and adulthood and the way our memories can play tricks on us. It’s a very uncomplicated story, almost like a fairy tale, but it sticks with you.