Top 5 Wednesday

Top 15 of 2015: Part 2 – Countdown of books #5-#1, plus Honorable Mentions | Top 5 Wednesday [#9]

Top 5 Wednesday is hosted by Lainey @ Ginger Reads Lainey.

Here’s Part 2 of my top 15 of 2015! I previously listed my favorite books of the year in my Top Ten Tuesday Part 1 post, and now I’m wrapping it up with the best of the best, plus honorable mentions. Did anyone guess what my favorites are?

Without further ado, let’s begin! I know you want to find out! (Click on a title to read my review.)

The Top 5:

#5. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Favorite contemporary of the year, guys. Simon is romantic and fluffy and funny and adorable and sweet and heartfelt and perfect. Before reading it I’d heard nothing but amazing things, and after reading it, I’ve still heard nothing but amazing things. It’s LGBTQ+ and everything is handled flawlessly. The writing is great, the characters are great, the romance is great. *Squee.* I tweeted Becky Albertalli once, thanking her for writing this book and she replied back to me and it just made my day, haha. Guys, go read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. You won’t regret it!

#4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater is queen. The Scorpio Races remains my favorite book of hers, but The Raven Boys, which I FINALLY got around to reading, was spectacular, too. Maggie is a brilliant writer and her characters are real, so fleshed-out. I love the paranormal aspect of this book, which I suspect is going to get much larger in the later books. 2016 goal of mine is to finish the quartet, since the fourth and final book, The Raven King (which has the most beautiful cover I’ve seen in a very long time), is coming out next spring!

#3. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

From chapter 1 I knew I was going to love A Darker Shade of Magic. And I did. I loved it tremendously. V.E. Schwab is a brilliant writer. I didn’t love The Archived, her Young Adult novel, but her adult fantasy I was obsessed with. She’s won me over and now I want to read all her books. I also cannot wait for the sequel to ADSOM, A Gathering of Shadows! Give it to me already!

#2. Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Did anyone guess that Vengeance Road would be my second favorite book of the year? It’s historical fiction, a Western, and it absolutely blew me away. The writing is fabulous, the characters are fabulous, the plot is action-packed and full of tension. I have so much respect for Erin Bowman as a writer now. I didn’t really like her dystopia Taken, but Vengeance Road — holy ravioli, I couldn’t get enough of it. I know a lot of people had mixed feelings about this one, but I personally adored it.

#1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Did this come as a surprise? Probably not. Sarah J. Maas is one of the hottest authors these days, and she has a huge dedicated fandom. I love her Throne of Glass series (I still haven’t read Queen of Shadows, though, eep) but A Court of Thorns and Roses captivated me and tore my heart out and ripped it in two and ate it and then spat it back up. I was an emotional wreck, I sobbed my eyes out. Beauty and the Beast mixed with the lesser-known Tam Lin — this was genius. Sarah J. Maas knows how to write romance and strong heroines and thrilling fantasy like a boss. ACOTAR is one my favorite book of the year. And I’m really excited for A Court of Mist and Fury, which is going to be a Hades/Persephone retelling! (My only fear is that there’s going to be a love triangle introduced… Sigh. Feyre + Tamlin FOREVER. ❤

Honorable Mentions:

Click on a title to read my review.

  1. Stay with Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Calla and Jax’s story. My favorite of Jennifer’s NA books, this one had the best chemistry between the leads and I liked how it had the thriller sub-plot going on.
  2. Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty. What a marvelous middle grade book! Serafina was such a great protagonist, and I liked the magic and even was cool with the big twist/reveal at the end.
  3. George by Alex Gino. A middle grade book about a transgender girl. This was so sweet, and I’m so glad middle grade is finally becoming more diverse!
  4. None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio. A YA book about a girl who is intersex. Up until reading this, I’d never heard of the term intersex. This was eyeopening and really great. Definitely an important book about sexuality.
  5. Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge. I loved Cruel Beauty last year, this year I loved Crimson Bound, a Little Red Riding Hood mixed with The Girl with No Hands retelling. Crimson Bound is a book that really grew on me. I wrote a long Musings post about why.
  6. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. The second Mara Dyer book is, for me, the creepiest of them all. It’s a pure psychological thriller, and seeing Mara unravel so much was fascinating and difficult. It’s my favorite in the series.
  7. A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston. Stop comparing this to The Wrath and the Dawn, people. While both books are a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights/The Arabian Nights, they are utterly different stories. A Thousand Nights is a very faithful retelling. It is slow-paced, detailed, melancholy, and has beautiful writing. I didn’t mind the flaws others have criticized, I think they make the story unique and perfect. A Thousand Nights is another book that’s really grown on me. There’s no romance, there’s no action. It’s just a story about a girl who makes a choice, and it chronicles what her life becomes due to making that choice. This is a beautiful book.
  8. Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee. Such an original sci-fi sports novel! I was so pleasantly surprised by Zeroboxer. I really loved it. Guys will like it, too. It’s so unique and so cool and I just had to mention it.
  9. Magnus Chase: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan. NORSE MYTHOLOGY, YAAAAAS! It’s not my favorite of Rick’s books, but it was hella fun and absolutely hilarious and I’m just so glad we get a series about Norse mythology now.
  10. Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan. Pam Munoz Ryan is a terrific middle grade author. I’ve read a bunch of her books, but Echo might be my favorite. It’s historical, and weaves together three different narratives. It’s really sweet but also very layered.
  11. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed. This was a really heavy book about forced marriage. It was so good, but really difficult to get through. It was eyeopening and tackles a really tough, diverse topic. After reading this dark story I picked up Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda which was the perfect cute and fluffy book to get my head in a better place.
  12. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. Nimona is a terrific graphic novel about a villain and his new sidekick, a shape-shifting girl named Nimona. It’s fabulous and I’m eagerly awaiting the next book.
  13. The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters. This is a really unique historical fiction about the suffragist movement mixed with hypnotism. Cat Winters is an amazing author and this book really wowed me.

Have you read any of the books I listed?
What is your favorite book you read this year?
Any surprises on your list?
Comment below letting me know!

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12 thoughts on “Top 15 of 2015: Part 2 – Countdown of books #5-#1, plus Honorable Mentions | Top 5 Wednesday [#9]

    1. I mostly can’t stand contemporary or historical, heh. As for fantasy, well, put it this way: As of Jan 1, I’m no longer accepting fantasy submissions from Indie Authors. ‘Cause, ARGH! Everyone wants to submit fantasy to me and I barely like that genre! LOL.


    2. Aw no! For the longest time I couldn’t read contemporary, and it’s still a genre I’m super picky about — contemporaries are either real hit or real miss for me. I think it’s because I just can’t relate to any of the characters and would rather read about grand, daring adventures and hero’s journeys. I do enjoy sci-fi a lot and hope to read a lot more of it this coming year.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sooo many books!! I JUST WANNA SCREECH WITH LOVE OVER ALL OF THEM WITH YOU. :’) Although I haven’t read a bunch, but I want to!! I really want to read ADSOM…it’s basically high priority for January, before the sequel comes out!! (At least I’ll be able to read them close together and not forget details, right?! :P) Vengeance Road is another one that’s super high on my need-to-read-or-explode-list. nods sagely Definitely going to find myself a copy this year because NEED.


    1. WE CAN TOTALLY SCREECH TOGETHER!!! You MUST read A Darker Shade of Magic, I feel like you’d really love it. And I highly recommend Vengeance Road. It turned out not to be a book that is universally loved, but people either loved it or hated it, and so I hope you’ll be in the “loved it” camp. 😀


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