Favorite Books of 2015

I was planning to make a top ten list, but was having too much trouble narrowing it down in a way that didn’t make just about every book fall into a particular category written by a particular author. Instead I will be listing my favorite in each category.

Note that this is a list of favorite books I read in 2015. Not all were published in 2015.

Young Adult Fantasy

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Picking a book for this category was hard. It was a close call between this book and several others especially the Seven Realms series and later too books in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.

In the end I chose Six of Crows because it has so many different elements that were well executed as discussed in my review.

Adult Fantasy

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Words of Radiance is the second book in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series which is part of the Cosmere, which is the larger fictional universe in which Sanderson’s adult fantasy novels take place.

I read just about all of Sanderson’s currently published Cosmere works this year, and I am now a huge fan. It was hard to chose only one, but this is my favorite Cosmere book so far.

I would not, however, recommend readers start with Words of Radiance, not just because its the second book in a series, but also because it’s hard to get through books in the Stormlight Archive for readers not used to long books. Starting with Mistborn: The Final Empire or Warbreaker might make Sanderson’s work easier to get into.

I have not yet reviewed Words of Radiance, but I have reviewed the first book, The Way of Kings.

Middle Grade Fantasy

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I have always loved books about dragons, and look for novels with nonhuman narrators. For these reasons, this book written from the perspective of a young dragon was almost exactly what I was looking for.

If I had read this book while I was part of the intended age group it would probably have become one of my favorite books ever. As it was, I still enjoyed it enough to make it my favorite for this category, and I plan to continue with this series.

Young Adult Sci-Fi

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Choosing a favorite for this category was hard. In the end I chose Illuminae in spite of the fact that I had a little trouble getting used to the formatting at the beginning because the second half makes up for the first. I have not yet written a review, but hope to soon.

Adult Sci-Fi

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Really enjoyed this book. Have read it around three times now. Golden Son is the second book in the Red Rising Trilogy. I have reviewed both Golden Son and Red Rising in which I express my enjoyment.

Middle Grade Sci-Fi

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This book is in the hazy area between YA and MG, but for the purpose of this list I will consider it middle grade. This book was very thought provoking, and I think it would be a great novel for discussion in a book club or classroom. It’s also the only book I’ve read set in Mexico, even if it is called something else in this novel.

Contemporary

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This book is unlike anything else I’ve read. So different that I haven’t been able to compose my thoughts into a review. It’s hard to adjust to the disjointed way the story is told at first, but once I adjusted this book was heartbreaking and thought provoking.

Classic

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I’ll admit that I don’t enjoy classics as much as some people seem to, but I really enjoyed reading and learning about the symbolism involved in this one. The fact that a large canvas painting/picture of myself I’d forgotten about arrived soon after I’d finished was a coincidence that finalized making this one of my favorite classics.

Non-Fiction

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This book was shocking for me because I had no idea any of what it discussed was taking place in the medical community. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks explores the ethical questions of who owns body parts after they have been removed for medical reasons though the true story of Henrietta Lacks and her decedents.

Reading Wrap-up: April 2015

I didn’t read as much this month as I normally do because I spent so much time in April participating in Camp NaNoWrimo. Then at the end of the month I got incredibly busy. Camp NaNoWriMo went well and I ended April having written 32,716 words which is over 10,000 words more than the 20K goal I started with.

Instinct by Sherrilyn KenyonShort Synopsis: The sixth book in a series about a boy who discovers a world of dark hunters and demons he never knew existed but is suddenly out to get him for reasons not revealed until later in the series.

Thoughts: This book was the shortest in the series too far, and I feel it was too short. The author didn’t go into her usual depth with character interactions and events. Everything felt rushed. None the less, this was still a fun read, and I find the fact that Sherrilyn Kenyon manages to write so many books in the same fictional universe (around 30 and counting) is extremely impressive. Especially when a fore mentioned books contain only minor inconsistencies. Someone I know who has read most of the Dark Hunter Universe books pointed the inconsistencies out to me. I never noticed.

4 blue jays

 

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeShort Synopsis: Dorian Gray makes a wish on a painting to be young and beautiful forever while the painting ages. Unfortunately, Dorian’s wish is at the cost of his soul.

Thoughts: I don’t usually rate classics, but I really enjoyed this one. It is much easier to read than most classics, and I enjoyed the overall plot. I also read this book at the perfect time because around the day I finished it I found a large picture of myself had arrived at my house.

five blue jays

 

Fire in the Woods by Jennifer M. EatonShort Synopsis: A teenage girl living on a military camp finds her “dream boy” in the woods the night after a mysterious plane crash.

Thoughts: This novel involves aliens. I read it as research for my current writing project which also involves space aliens. It is very much a paranormal romance novel with aliens and there were many times it had me rolling my eyes and needing to suspend my disbelief, but I appreciated that the romance progresses slower in this novel than most of similar varieties I’ve read. This book was also well paced and therefore hard to put down.

3.5 blue jays

The Young Elites by Marie LuShort Synopsis: Teenagers who survived a plague get super-powers.

Thoughts: I’ve noticed Marie Lu likes to write about plagues. This book felt like it followed a formula, and there were aspects I really liked, and others that didn’t work for me. I’m very conflicted in my feelings towards this book, but will probably read the sequel.

 

3 blue jays

 

Currently Reading:

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