It’s that time of the year again! This list is in no particular order, but they are definitely my top ten favourite from all the books I’ve read in the past twelve months… at least so far. Hey, I still have some books to read in December, after all. 🙂
1) Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson
Read in July | ★★★★★
This book is the book that got me out of my three-year reading funk. The premise probably isn’t anything terribly special, but told in classic Sanderson style, it’s fast-paced, action-packed, and re-ignited my long-lost love of reading. The characters are funny and flawed, the fantasy setting is catchy, and the story is really, really easy to get into. The third (and last?) final instalment is coming next year and I CANNOT WAIT.
“Never throw the first punch. If you have to throw the second, try to make sure they don’t get up for a third.”
2) The Wrath and The Dawn – Renee Ahdieh
Read in December | ★★★★★
This book is simply beautiful. Honestly one of the best books I’ve read of all time, let alone this year. Maybe it’s just me but I absolutely love the fairytale it re-tells, the characters, the conflicts, the drama, and also the writing—it’s all just so elegant and uuuunf, I just want to wrap this book in my arms and cuddle with it all the while sipping a cup of tea.
“I love you, a thousand times over. And I will never apologize for it.”
3) How to Repair A Mechanical Heart – J. C. Lillis
Read in November | ★★★★★
Add a gay boy suffering from the worst kind of Catholic guilt to a road trip to a week-long fan convention, and you get How to Repair A Mechanical Heart. This book is my first ever LGBT YA fiction and I absolutely loved it. It reminded me of my fandom days, made me laugh out loud a couple of times, and wrapped me up in a warm, happy blanket when I finished it. Highly, highly recommended.
“I mean, if no one knows for sure what God’s like, then why don’t you just believe the people who think he’s all rainbows and sunshine and loves you no matter what?”
4) Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
Read in December | ★★★★☆
I haven’t yet gotten the chance to write a review for this book, but I’m definitely rating it five stars! Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is sweet, with realistic characters, realistic relationships and realistic conflicts. It’s the kind of book that, if I have to compare it to a sweet delicacy, would be a fresh-out-of-the-oven, chewy chocolate chip cookie for me. Heck, it might even be the cookie dough itself!
“The way I feel about him is like a heartbeat—soft and persistent, underlying everything.”
5) First and Then – Emma Mills
Read in November | ★★★★★
When I started reading First and Then, I thought it was going to be another of those contemporary YA literature that I’d enjoy but would find unmemorable. Boy, was I wrong. This book reminds me of Sarah Dessen at her best: realistic yet heart-warming, where character development is key. There is romance, of course, but it is the salt and the pepper instead of the main flavour, if that makes sense.
“When you love something, you can’t be happy all the time, can you? Like, that’s why you love it. It makes you feel all kinds of things, not just happy. It can hurt, it can make you fucking mad, but… it makes you feel something, you know?”
6) Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
Read in July | ★★★★★
This is a reread from 2014, but I think it deserves a spot in this list anyway. Flynn’s novels are usually out of my ‘typical’ genres and I’ve only read another one of her books (Dark Places), but I think Gone Girl beats it out of the water. It’s just so fun, so unpredictable, so suspenseful, so chilling, and so… crazy in the best possible way. I’ve watched the movie and I loved that too; I think the actors were perfect for their particular parts, and it was brilliantly shot.
“Friends see most of each other’s flaws. Spouses see every awful last bit.”
7) All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven
Read in October | ★★★★★
Two teenagers who are hurting find each other and bond over a dead literary figure. Sounds like a John Green novel? Well, perhaps, but for me, All The Bright Places is even better (although to be fair, I’m not a fan of Green’s writing). The plot engaged me right off the bat, Finch stuck to me like (welcome) glue, and Violet made me want to hug her really, really tightly.
“You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.”
8) Blue-Eyed Devil – Lisa Kleypas
Read in June | ★★★★☆
Blue-Eyed Devil is the second in Kleypas’s Travis Family series, and I reread it this year because she released the fourth and the final book, Brown-Eyed Girl, in September. Yet Blue-Eyed Devil still remains my favourite contemporary of hers—it’s a romance, yes, and it has its light-hearted, happy moments, but it also deals with the darker side of domestic violence and marriage troubles. It’s heart-rending and absolutely gripping, and I love the main characters.
“I no longer believed in the idea of soul mates, or love at first sight. But I was beginning to believe that a very few times in your life, if you were lucky, you might meet someone who was exactly right for you. Not because he was perfect, or because you were, but because your combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together.”
9) Little Peach – Peggy Kern
Read in November | ★★★★☆
Little Peach is one of those books I can envision people thinking as a fluffy, cute book because of its title. Well, the reality is worlds away from that—this book deals with the heavier themes of abandonment and child prostitution, and it’s really quite heartbreaking, especially when you realise that the main character, the titular ‘Little Peach’, is only fourteen years old.
“Unlike a bag of heroin, a girl can be sold again and again.”
10) To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han
Read in September | ★★★★☆
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is definitely one of the lighter, happier books I’ve read this year. The main character, Lara Jean, is not without her problems and issues, but her life is definitely easier than some of the other main characters I’ve had the pleasure to get acquainted with in 2015. This book also includes the pretend-couple trope, which happens to be one of my all-time favourite cliches ever.
“When someone’s been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it’s like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you’re just clutching air and grit.”
What’s on your Top Ten Tuesday list this week? Let me know in the comments or link me to your post! ❤