Amber Morrell

writer, reader, librarian

2015 Favorite Reads

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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 final for IreneA 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.

11235712CINDER 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.

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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.

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6 Comments

  1. I LOVE THESE SO SO MUCH TOO!! Excellent picks. 😀 Particularly Cinder. I’m sooo addicted to that series and Marissa Meyer’s writing I just cannot even. CANNOT EVEN. And technically I can’t say I love ADSOM yet because I haven’t read it, but it’s soo high on my TBR and I loved Vicious so I’m like 99% sure I’m going to love ADSOM too. ;D I hope you find tons of favourites in 2016 too!!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

  2. I absolutely adored Cinder and am so glad to hear you did too! (I’m curious to see what you think of the sequels if you decide to read them because, in my opinion, each book just gets better and better!) And I recently read VE Schwab’s Vicious and loved it, so I am glad to hear that A Darker Shade of Magic is just as amazing. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous choices! ♥

    • amber

      I read SCARLET and I loved it! I can’t wait to move on to Cress. I have heard nothing but good things about the entire series. I am also really looking forward to reading Vicious!

  3. Very nice choices! I really enjoyed ADSOM too! And I read CInder this year for this first time as well- and Scarlet. Now I just have to finish the rest of the series 😉 I did see the plot points coming, like you said, but it will still good.

    I have never really been attracted to The Ocean at the End of the Lane, but you kind of convinced me that I need to read it. Because first, you say it is your favorite ever, and that is high praise. But also, small. I like short and small books! Yep, added to wishlist 😀

    Hope 2016 is a great reading year for you too!

    • amber

      I’m glad you’re willing to The Ocean at the End of the Lane a chance! It’s definitely one of my all-time favorites, and I just think it’s so beautifully composed. Cheers!

  4. I have ADSOM on my TBR! I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it, so I hope to read it soon! I read Cinder a while ago, but I hope to reread it soon and binge the whole series! 🙂

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