Hello lovelies! Today I have a very special post to share. Since 2015 is over and I’ve had some time to digest all of the books I have read this year, I’m going to be sharing some of my favorites for the year. Instead of doing a “Top 15 for 2015” though, I’m going to be doing it a little different. I’m not sure how many of you follow Booktube, but Kat from Katytastic, she is amazing, you should go watch some of her videos, but she did a video like this (you can see it here)! I thought it was such a good idea, and since I just couldn’t decide on a regular favorites video, this seemed to be a great idea.
*Disclaimer: Instead of only doing books published in 2015, I’m going to do books a mixture of new releases and books I happened to read in 2015. With this I’ll have more wiggle room, and I’ll be able to make sure I pick books that really are my favorites!*
BEST NEW SERIES: This is going to have to go to Katie McGarry’s Thunder Road series! This year Nowhere but Here came out, and I absolutely adored it. The book was cute and adorable, but it had a certain edge to it that I really loved. The characters were real and unique, and they really worked for what they wanted which was really great to see. Both had to work through life in this novel, and while doing that, you see them slowly begin to rely on one another, which was just so wonderful. This was actually my first Katie Mcgarry book, and after it, I immediately had to pick up some of the books from her Pushing the Limits series. All in all, I have really high hopes for the next book, which comes out in May, following a different set of characters that we met in the first book.
Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.
Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re the good guys. They protect people. They’re…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member—is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.
No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.
BEST SEQUEL/ADDITION IN A SERIES: My favorite sequel this year truthfully isn’t a sequel, its more so a companion novel, but I’m using it anyway. Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge was the second book in the Cruel Beauty series, and I absolutely thought it was phenomenal. The characters were awesome and witty, and the whole retelling of Little Red Ridinghood was extremely well done. The plot line in this book was so well thought out and totally crazy, and it continued to impress and surprise me the entire way though. I’m not sure if there is going to be a third installment in this series, and at the moment there isn’t one listed on Goodreads, but if another one is released, you better believe it’s going to end up in my hands.
When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.
Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?
Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.
BEST SERIES FINALE: I completed a lot of series this year, so this particular question was really hard for me to decide on, but after some consideration, I just couldn’t give it to any other book. Winter, the final installment in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles totally rocked my socks off. The book was really long, but we were able to spend a lot of time with every character, and the entire book was spent wrapping up all of the little storylines that had been created through the first three books. I read the entire series this year, and I am so happy I decided to pick it up. The characters were all great to read about, I loved the amazing story Marissa weaved, and I definitely don’t regret picking it up at all.
*SPOILERS* IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE OTHER ONES DON’T READ THE SYNOPSIS, INSTEAD GO PICK UP CINDER, SCARLET, AND CRESS, THEN COME BACK. 🙂
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?
BEST CONTEMPORARY NOVEL: I know I said picking my favorite series was hard, but I lied, this was way harder. This year, I took my first major plunge into contemporary, and let me tell ya, I read SO many amazing contemporary novels. For me to talk about a lot of them, I would have to do a separate post, which I may totally do now that I think about it. After arguing with myself for a solid thirty minutes, I finally decided to give this category to Confess, by Colleen Hoover. Confess was one of the most beautiful, wonderful, amazing books I’ve read, maybe ever. The story was so great and I absolutely adored the main two characters. This is a book that I finished, and immediately wanted to pick up and dive into again, like right then. Colleen Hoover has quickly become one of my favorite, if not my favorite author, and to be honest, this category was going to go to one of her books no matter what, it was mainly the issue of deciding which one.
Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.
For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.
The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…
BEST FANTASY NOVEL: SO MANY HARD QUESTIONS. I read a ton of fantasy this year, most of which was really good. I have such a soft side for fantasy, and I find myself always returning to it. The best fantasy novel that I picked up this year definitely goes to Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas though! Everyone raves about this series, and I’m so mad at myself for waiting so long to pick this book up, because it is absolutely amazing! I loved all of the characters and the entire story was just so wonderful, I just can’t. After reading this, I’m definitely convinced that this year I’m going to catch myself up so I can pick up the latest installment in September.
In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.
BEST NOT YA BOOK: The book I selected for this topic is a New Adult book, which has become one of my favorite genres. Since I am in college, I don’t always have time to sit down and read a book that requires a lot of dedication, and I’ve found that new adult contemporaries, specifically ones with romance seem to fit the ticket. The best one I read this year was more so on the heavy side of the spectrum, but it was wonderful all the same. A Lover’s Lament, by K.L. Grayson and B.T. Urruela was a book that absolutely moved me. It follows a set of characters that reconnect years later, and try to figure out how to get through life. This novel also deals with a main character in the military, and the constant struggle he goes through daily with his work. I found this book to be so poignant and beautiful, and to be honest I cried multiple times through the book because it was just so emotional.
In a matter of seconds my entire world changed, and it was in that moment that I stopped living and simply began to exist.
In my grief, I sent a letter to the first boy I ever loved. I hoped in writing it I’d find some peace from the nightmare I was living, some solace in my anger.
I didn’t expect him to write back. I wasn’t prepared for his words, and I certainly wasn’t ready for the impact this soldier would have on my life. A deep-rooted hate transformed into friendship, and then molded into a love like I’d never known before.
Sergeant Devin Ulysses Clay did what I couldn’t: he put the shattered pieces of my heart back together, restoring my faith in humanity and teaching me how to live again.
But now that I’m whole, I have a decision to make. Do I return to my life as I knew it and the fiancé I left behind, or do I walk away from it all for the only man to ever break my heart?
I’ve been living in hell, but you won’t hear me complain.
These men depend on me, as I do them, and this brotherhood is the only family I’ve ever known.
The Army saved me from a callous mother and a life on the wrong side of the tracks that was quickly spiraling out of control. So unlike most of the men in my platoon, going home wasn’t something I longed for.
I was content overseas, spending my days defending this country that gave me my life back. Fighting became my new normal … until her.
A letter from Katie Devora—a letter that I almost didn’t open. Her words put a fire back inside of me that I didn’t know I’d lost. She gave me hope during a time when I was fighting every day just to stay alive, and now it’s time I fight for her.
BEST DEBUT NOVEL: The Wrath and the Dawn definitely wins this category. Retellings always seem to appeal to me, and this one was no different! I absolutely adored this book, and this story just made my heart so so happy. The entire story was so brilliant, and on top of that, the characters developed so beautifully. The romance in this book was so adorable, and the way it ended killed me a little on the inside. It was also a really unique spin on the original story, and it was just so well executed, which made me really happy especially since its a debut!
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
MOST BEAUTIFUL COVER: One of the most beautiful covers I saw this year definitely belonged to First & Then by Emma Mills. This book was a Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights story, and I LOVED IT. It was so adorable, and the characters were all so unique and special. There was a lot of development going on in such a short span of time, and the plot line of this book definitely scored a touchdown in my book. (See what I did there?) On the actually subject of cover, this one is so stunning. The colors are so vibrant, and there is definitely a special surprise hidden under the dust jacket which I always really love.
Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.
Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.
MOST DISAPPOINTING BOOK: I read a lot of good books, but there were also some that I really had high hopes for, and they just ended up falling a little short. The one that seems to stick out to me the most is Catching Jordan, by Miranda Kenneally. This book had a really awesome premise, and I loved that the main girl character played football and was really a nontraditional female heroine, but the main thing that I struggled with was the way certain things were handled by the characters. There were multiple times were I found myself shaking my head at the main characters because of some of the choices they made. That being said though, I did find this book entertaining and there were some good underly messages that I enjoyed.
ONE OF THE BOYS
What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.
But everything she’s ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he’s also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan’s feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart’s on the line?
RUNNER-UP: When deciding on my favorite, I was able to narrow it down to two, but I didn’t want to leave one out because they were so very close. The authors of both are already on this list once, but I just enjoyed them so much I had to mention it. My second favorite book of 2015 has to go to Colleen Hoover’s November 9. I absolutely fell in love with this book, and if you want to hear some more details, I definitely did a review on it. The book was just so heart wrenching and beautiful and great, and AH. You really really just need to pick it up so you can understand all the feelings.
Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.
Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.
FAVORITE BOOK OF 2015: So the book that wins this category has an author that has already been mentioned, but this book is just too great to not get recognition. A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas, was my favorite book of the year, and maybe one of my favorite books ever. There was honestly not a thing about this book that I didn’t love, and I seriously couldn’t put it down. Its such a slow wait for the next one, and May needs to hustle up!
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beastwith faerie lore.
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
That’s all I have for you today! I have read some really wonderful books recently, and I would love to hear what you guys thought about some of the ones I mentioned. You should also tell me about your answers to some of these topics! I hope you have a really wonderful weekend, I’ll be back in a few days with an equally exciting, at least for me, post so if your interested stay tuned!