This year I’ve read a lot of great books. I’ve also read a lot of mediocre books, and even books I really didn’t enjoy. But in between that all I found a few stellar faves. There’s nothing quite like being able to mark a book 5 stars on Goodreads when you put it down, and even though I gave some of these 4 or 4.5 stars they are still my most cherished reads of 2015. I hope the year to come offers up just as many, if not more, amazing books.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
- ★★★★★ 5 stars
I adored this book so much that I read and finished it within a few hours, staying up until the wee hours of the morning. By the end I was sobbing into my pillow. Although the characters aren’t relatable to me and are very much spoilt, rich white kids, the twists and turns of the novel are heart-breaking all the same.
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
- ★★★★★ 5 stars
- I have no idea why I didn’t write a review for this book
Another heart-breaking, heart-wrenching, horribly emotional book that will just about destroy any and all happiness you once had. This is equal parts a recovery story as it is a damning spiral into depression; a book that has romance but doesn’t romanticise and never once lets you forget how horrible mental illness is.
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
- ★★★★ 4.5 stars
The third part to one of the most incredible fantasy series I’ve ever read, this series tells the tale of an assassin who begins to battle with morals, love, and the secrets she’s repressed from childhood. The world building in the Throne of Glass series will blow you away with the intricate attention to detail and the well developed, well rounded, good and bad and everything in between characters Maas has created.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
- ★★★★ 4 stars
- I haven’t wrote a review for this either sorry
Okay, okay, anyone who knows me probably knows that I despise reading classics, most of the time. Whilst I appreciate most of their for their place in the literary canon I don’t think they’re particularly joyous reads. Jane Eyre though… I don’t know what’s happened with me and Jane Eyre but I am 100%, wholly, irrevocably in love with it. The only reason I gave it four stars is because I don’t think much of the beginning chapters of Jane’s childhood really needed to be there. It’s a shame that I missed the seminar talking about this book in university because I would have probably enjoyed it.
Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne
- ★★★★★ 5 stars
- I have no idea why I didn’t write reviews for my favourite books
Another delve into mental illness in YA, OCD is at the forefront of this novel. A particularly important decision given the misunderstanding of what having OCD entails by most of the population, and one that is handled masterfully. Alongside this, Bourne tackles feminism and its place in teen girls’ lives. The lead of Am I Normal Yet? may well be a bit boy-obsessed but the situations she finds herself in ring very true to reality.
The Next Together by Lauren James
- ★★★★★ 5 stars
A melding of historical and futuristic, multiple timelines are interwoven within this novel, following the reincarnation of Matthew and Kate across time for one very important reason: they’ve been changing history. Again and again they come together but again and again they are torn apart. With government conspiracy theories, omniscient computer programmes, relatives that look suspiciously like the lead characters, sieges and great battles, The Next Together has something for everyone.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater
- ★★★★★ 5 stars
A recent read for me, The Raven Boys captures the atmospheric beauty of a paranormal story and the shimmering pureness of friendship. Again, the rich white kids don’t seem relatable at first, but that is soon forgot. They are as fractured and broken and hiding as many things as anybody else. Their quest to find Glendower, an ancient dead Welsh king, leads the plot of the story, taking the characters to surprising places along the way. I’ve never seen both setting, atmosphere, and characters captured so perfectly at once as they are in here.
ANTICIPATED FOR 2016
In 2016, there are a number of books I can’t wait to read! Hopefully they will live up to my expectations but only time will tell, I suppose.
How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne
- expected release 1st february
I recently saw on Goodreads that Am I Normal Yet? had been added to a series as “Normal #1” – confused, I clicked on, and discovered Bourne’s newest book to be released. Whilst it’s not a continuation of the first book I would assume it’s along the same veins so I’ll definitely be giving it a read!
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
- expected release 26th february
I adore everything Alice Oseman does and Radio Silence has been on my radar for a very long time indeed. I think I’m going to enjoy that it is grittier than Solitaire was whilst still retaining that charming Oseman humour. And plenty of pop culture references of course: the creme de la creme.
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
- expected release 26th april
Even if I am only one-and-a-bit books into The Raven Cycle I can’t wait for the fourth and final book to hit the shelves. Thankfully it’s not too long to wait! That gives me time to finish The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue in the meantime.
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
- expected release 3rd may
I haven’t actually read A Court of Thornes and Roses yet but, providing I enjoy it as I have Maas’s other work, I’ll be very glad to have the sequel in my hands next year. The blurb looks very interesting! And possibly a bit spoiler-y for the first book, oops…
The Last Beginning by Lauren James
- expected release november
If I’m right about a few theories I have, The Last Beginning will answer a lot of questions I had at the end of The Next Together. The sequel sounds like it will be another reincarnation romance but this time with a welcome surprise – the romance is between too girls! I’m excited to find out more when the blurb is released.
Throne of Glass #5 by Sarah J. Maas
- expected release 2016
The fifth instalment to the Throne of Glass series doesn’t even have a name yet but it should hopefully be released this year! I’ll be first in line to read it, which I know is a bit rich since I haven’t even read Queen of Shadows yet but you get my gist. The more Throne of Glass there is in the world the happier I will be.
I’m trying to read as much as possible before the new year. I know I won’t reach my 2015 Reading Challenge of 40 books but I should at least match last year’s of 34. Hopefully.
What are some of your favourite reads from this year? Anything you’re desperate to read in the coming year?