HELLOOOO BOOKISH PEOPLE *waves like a crazy nut* So. July. Half-way through the year. LIKE WHAAAAAAT? I swear it was January just last week. I SWEAR IT ._.
Anyway, today we have a wrap up post for you all! Time to see which books we’ve LOVED (so far) this year…
2015 Releases We Loved
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard ★★★★
Increasingly enough, I’ve become less and less of a fantasy/dystopian reader and now gravitate towards contemporaries so if you don’t read a lot of fantasy, but still wanna give the genre a go, this is certainly one I recommend as it is comparably light on the world building. Red Queen sees a world with a very strict caste system – Red (lower) and Silver (higher) and the stakes grow with every twist and turn. This book is a beautiful, manipulative thing and it was spectacularly written. We also have a movie adaptation coming along too. AHHH. *insert Mel flailing*
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler ★★★★1/2
What can I say? This is one of those books that are perfect to take with you on a summer’s day to the beach. I seriously adored this book and have upped it to 4.5 stars because I still cannot stop thinking about it. This novel is spectacularly diverse with a POC main character and did you know? It’s based of The Little Mermaid except contemporary! DOUBLE WIN (in my opinion, at least). Read this one for the glamorous prose and swoons, guys.
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia ★★★★★
THIS BOOK MAKES ME WANT TO TYPE WITH ALL THE CAPS SO THAT’S WHAT I SHALL DO. READ. THIS. BOOK. NOW. HONESTLY, THIS BOOK HAS IT ALL: EFFED UP BUT BEAUTIFUL CHARACTERS, A BEAUTIFUL ROMANCE, EQUALLY FANTASTIC SIDE-CHARACTERS AND A WELL-RESEARCHED PORTRAYAL OF SCHIZOPHRENIA. I LOVE IT I LOVE IT I FUCKING LOVE IT.
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver ★★★★
In my opinion, this one is Lauren Oliver’s best work yet. As cliche as it sounds, I’m still going to say it anyway because it’s true: Oliver’s writing shines like the stars. No kidding, people. This story is the tale of two sisters, and so much more right beneath the surface. This book will grip onto you and never let you go till you finish it, that’s for sure. Also, if you love twists… THIS ONE HAS ‘EM.
The Flywheel by Erin Gough ★★★★
Lemme throw some Aussie YA pride here! I love my Aussie YA fiction, not just because I’m biased for obvious reasons but also, Aussie YA has it’s distinct feel that it manages to bring to the table each time, and The Flywheel is certainly no exception. I absolutely loved the main character, Del, who is perfectly imperfect. I wanted to dive into the book so many times and give her a huge hug, honestly. If you are looking for a quality LGBTQ themed contemporary that will make you feel, this is the one.
Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee ★★★★★
THIS BOOK. Ahhhh, I loved it so much and it currently is my only 5 star rating for 2015 releases. I can’t express my love for it enough and I recommend it to everybody. It has an awesome historically accurate and atmospheric setting, diverse and multi-faceted main characters, a beautifully done female friendship and even some swoon worthy romance (COWBOYS). I can’t believe that this novel is a debut, and Lee is now an author I most certainly will be keeping my eye out for. I can’t wait to read more of her work!
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes ★★★★
This novel combines a prison setting with the claustrophobic atmosphere of life in a restrictive cult. The main character is hands down (oh my god I’m a horrible human, pun obviously not intended) one of the most strong and well developed I had the pleasure of reading. Her story will undeniably have you captivated into reading during the late hours of the night. Angel is also beyond awesome.
Mosquitoland by David Arnold ★★★★
This novel is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Mim Malone is utterly complex and her inner thoughts resonated with me on such a deep level. She’s got raw humor down to a tee and it perfectly juxtaposes the roller coaster ride of emotions Mosquitoland is. The side characters are just as amazing as Mim and are truly kaleidoscopic. There’s a subtle romance that will slay you. I cried twice reading this one.
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon ★★★★1/2
I loved this one completely. The main character really managed to pull at my heartstrings, as did her circumstances. The romance in Everything, Everything was…. everything. Hah. Really though the love interest was completely adorable and the way their romance carried out was beautiful to see. I loved the details of the e-mails and drawings too. Also…HAWAII and omg that plot twist. That’s all I’m saying.
Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman ★★★★1/2
Another historical western and damn! It blew me away. I’ve read a few revenge books this year and none of them have come close to Vengeance Road. It honestly reminded of a movie, and way the book was written I could definitely picture all of the awesome action scenes. The characters in this one are all so well developed and you see some awesome growth. And the romance…dklfkldsjflkdsj. The cover on this one also killed me.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli ★★★★★
How could I not? Simon is the absolute cutest, fluffiest, happiest-making book I’ve read this year. It subtly deals with important issues like “the default” (aka white/straight) while being INCREDIBLY FUN. Simon is a character I LOVE and I love all his friends and THE SHIP and never mind me being incoherent while Larissa and Mel are so eloquent. But yes. This book is oreos and sunshine and happiness.
Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge ★★★★1/2
I don’t know how Hodge does it but her writing and world building are A+. This book slapped me in the face several times with its amazingness. Seriously, the world building. I’m fawning over it and I usually have nothing to say about world building. But the way Hodge just weaves her stories… Pure beauty. Loved this.
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia ★★★★1/2
What Mel said.
Okay I wasn’t really going to leave you with that. But yes. CHARACTERS. SHIP. AMAZINGNESS. MIIIIIIIIIILES. *coughs* I can’t help it, this book just brings out the caps in people. MEL IS PROOF OF THIS.
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows ★★★★
I just noticed basically all books I’ve read this year are 2014 publications. Seriously I’m having a hard time coming up with 2015 faves because I’ve read almost no 2015 books. Oops! 2015 has been the Year of the Reread for me. Anywayy, I do think TOQ belongs on this list. Fresh fantasy, masked vigilantes, wraith being unpredictable = YEP. This one was just super addictive!
Backlist Books We Loved
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery ★★★★★
So I read this book as a little kid and I’m 99% I didn’t understand it or didn’t read it properly. *shakes head a little Mel* ANYWAY, I read it again as a 15 year old and wow… what a difference! I heart this book so much. I don’t know why it took me so long to give this book another go, but I’m glad that I did in the end because I’ve officially found my new favourite ship (after Percabeth of course though!). Anne and Gilbert are forever <3 Also, the movies are perfect.
Scorch by Gina Damico ★★★★1/2
So multiple people have been pushing me to read this series, namely Ellis, and I’m so glad that I did because this series totally broke me. I did read both Scorch and Rogue (books 2 and 3) this year but I’ve chosen book 2 because I liked it slightly more than the last book. But yes, read this series if you want to be crushed. I mean, who doesn’t want to be crushed? No one. That’s right.
(Celine: WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee ★★★★1/2
This was part of required reading for school and I was so scared that reading this for school would take my enjoyment away, but I think it made me like the book even more, for once! This is one of those books that just need to be analysed and thought over, and that certainly furthered my reading enjoyment. I cannot wait to read Go Set a Watchman eeep!
The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas ★★★★
Any Veronica Mars fan needs to pick up these books. While they’ll never be as fabulous as the TV series, the books are still pretty satisfying. I seriously missed Veronica’s sass after the TV show ended, and I love that the book is still true to Veronica’s voice. I would recommend watching the TV series, then the movie, THEN reading this book to appreciate it fully.
Cress by Melissa Meyer ★★★★★
FINALLY read this series. Cress is my favorite installment out of the series so far, but really all of the books are amazing. The characters are all so amazing, you’ll definitely fall in love with each and every one of them. I do have a particular love for Wolf, Scarlet and Throne though. The retelling elements present in this series are so creative and I can’t wait for Winter to see how the series will come to an end.
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater ★★★★★
Another series I’m now reading. I haven’t read the third one yet, but I completely loved this one. It took me awhile to get into the first installment but once I did…wow. This series is so creative and well written and I can’t get over it. The characters are also ones I just love reading about and seeing them grow further. If anything happens to them (….and we know it will) I will be a sobbing mess. ALSO….Gansey. Oh my god <33 I can’t deal guys.
Hamlet by William Shakespeare ★★★★★
My favorite Shakespeare work I’ve read thus far. You’d think I’d quite dislike the level my school made me hyper-analyze but in this case it actually worked out in the way I realized the utter brilliance of Hamlet. The themes and of course the amazing writing is something you can’t miss. Hamlet really has had an lasting impact on myself.
Paper Towns by John Green ★★★★
Read this one for the upcoming movie and found myself enjoying it quite a bit. I really haven’t read much John Green but managed to find myself identifying with the concept at hand- boy who builds up this dream girl to unbelievable proportions. It is this idolization that drives me off the deep end and I’ve unfortunately experienced it. I think John Green highlighted it in a very honest/true fashion. Some of the metaphors were too hyper extended in my view though.
Alright, so this is a re-read so it maybe doesn’t count but who knows. I think it’s quite underrated and I implore you all to give it a chance this very minute. The setting is 1950s New Orleans and it’s just painted in such a vibrant fashion. You will also have all of the feelings for the characters, whether extreme hate or love. I really do need to read more by this author because Out of the Easy is one of my most favorite historical fiction novels to date.
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley ★★★★1/2
I don’t even know what to say about this. It was beautiful. Crowley got me into this haze and all I could do was read and read and read and love it. Seriously, if you haven’t read this yet – YOU WANT THIS. Amazing Aussie fic = yes.
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater ★★★★★
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta ★★★★★
Marchetta seriously has a way with words. How she manages to capture so many emotions in such simple statements is beyond me. I will worship her as a goddess because SERIOUSLY. Even a five-word sentence, when written by Marchetta, will just hit you. And then she describes depression in multiple forms so beautifully and truthfully and i just c a n n o t. help me. ANYONE.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor ★★★★★
By which I mean the entire series. There is a reason this may be my all-time favourite series (aside from HP of course), which yes is a bold statement to make but I mean it. Something about Taylor’s books is just – wow. Her writing is absolutely GORGEOUS. As in, more beautiful than beautiful. This series is so close to my heart and I just love it so much. Karou. Zuzana. Ziri. LIRAZ. “Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”
Vicious by V. E. Schwab ★★★★
Supervillain story? Um, YES. This was delightfully twisted, deliciously imaginative and compulsively readable. I loved every second of it. You get a look inside of the head of a supervillain and a superhero – but is the villain completely evil? Is the hero actually good? I just devoured this one.
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