Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Best Books of 2015! (So Far)

I have had the privilege of reading quite a few books published this year. Here are twenty-one of my favorites! (That I’ve read so far.)

If you see a book you might be interested in, click on the title to read the full review. Please note: not all of the books listed below have reviews published yet. Also, the books are in no particular order!


Marie Rutkoski, Cynthia Hand, Renée Ahdieh, Nova Ren Suma, Sabaa Tahir, Sally Green, Rosamund Hodge, Stacey Lee, Tommy Wallach, Jasmine Warga, Kody Keplinger, Jennifer Mathieu, Kathryn Holmes, Robin Benway, Sara Taylor, Sophie Kinsella, Rebecca Maizel, Katelyn Detweiler, Courtney Summers, Liesl Shurtliff,
 1. The Winner’s Crime

In this sequel to the fantasy romance bestseller, Kestrel plays a dangerous game with the emperor. The stakes are higher, the romance more sizzling, and the characters as dangerously clever and full of wit as ever. There is a knife-sharp edge to this book that guarantees readers won’t be able to put it down.
Marie Rutkoski, Cynthia Hand, Renée Ahdieh, Nova Ren Suma, Sabaa Tahir, Sally Green, Rosamund Hodge, Stacey Lee, Tommy Wallach, Jasmine Warga, Kody Keplinger, Jennifer Mathieu, Kathryn Holmes, Robin Benway, Sara Taylor, Sophie Kinsella, Rebecca Maizel, Katelyn Detweiler, Courtney Summers, Liesl Shurtliff,
2. The Last Time We Say Goodbye

The author of Unearthly combines a deeply poignant story about suicide with family and love. The emotions are raw and the themes ring true in this heartfelt standalone.
Marie Rutkoski, Cynthia Hand, Renée Ahdieh, Nova Ren Suma, Sabaa Tahir, Sally Green, Rosamund Hodge, Stacey Lee, Tommy Wallach, Jasmine Warga, Kody Keplinger, Jennifer Mathieu, Kathryn Holmes, Robin Benway, Sara Taylor, Sophie Kinsella, Rebecca Maizel, Katelyn Detweiler, Courtney Summers, Liesl Shurtliff,
3. The Wrath & the Dawn

Shahrzad becomes King Khalid’s new bride, but she’s heard the stories—that after marrying them, Khalid kills each of his new brides before dawn. Can she find a way to stop him? This fantasy romance debut is diverse, mesmerizing, gorgeously written, and based on a collection of Arabian tales.
Marie Rutkoski, Cynthia Hand, Renée Ahdieh, Nova Ren Suma, Sabaa Tahir, Sally Green, Rosamund Hodge, Stacey Lee, Tommy Wallach, Jasmine Warga, Kody Keplinger, Jennifer Mathieu, Kathryn Holmes, Robin Benway, Sara Taylor, Sophie Kinsella, Rebecca Maizel, Katelyn Detweiler, Courtney Summers, Liesl Shurtliff,
4. The Walls Around Us

Dark, strange, unsettling, and eerie. But possibly the best thing about this standalone that straddles the genres of contemporary and thriller is the lyrical writing. The Walls Around Us follows ballerina Violet and her ex-best friend Orianna, a juvenile convict sentenced to prison for murder.
Marie Rutkoski, Cynthia Hand, Renée Ahdieh, Nova Ren Suma, Sabaa Tahir, Sally Green, Rosamund Hodge, Stacey Lee, Tommy Wallach, Jasmine Warga, Kody Keplinger, Jennifer Mathieu, Kathryn Holmes, Robin Benway, Sara Taylor, Sophie Kinsella, Rebecca Maizel, Katelyn Detweiler, Courtney Summers, Liesl Shurtliff,
 5. An Ember in the Ashes

Elias and Laia’s lives are full of hardship. One is a soldier, the other a slave. This intense, action-packed, edge-of-your-seat dystopian novel set in a world based on ancient Rome follows the two main characters as they break free of their chains.
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6. Half Wild

Nathan, half Black, half White Witch, is back, but now he has a new, dangerous shapeshifting ability he must control if he wants to save his girlfriend Annalise. This novel is the sequel to Half Bad and is just as gripping, gritty, and violent as the first book.
7. Crimson Bound

Rachelle is a forestborn, an assassin cursed to obey the darkness covering the land. In Rosamund Hodge’s second young adult retelling, this time of Little Red Riding Hood, things are even gorier and more breathtaking.
8. Under a Painted Sky

Sammy and Andy are two Chinese and African girls fleeing prison and slavery. As they make their way across the wild frontier, disguised as boys, they band up with a group of cowboys. This is an exciting and adventurous historical fiction debut.
9. We All Looked Up

Four teens defined by stereotypes get to know each other during their last few weeks on earth before a possible meteor will blow them all sky high. This a realistic apocalypse novel that focuses heavily on character development.
10. My Heart and Other Black Holes

Depression and suicide go hand in hand, and Jasmine Warga explores these two issues deeply and thoughtfully in her darkly emotional debut book. Aysel and Roman are both planning to commit suicide, but they can’t do it alone. When the two meet online they decide to become Suicide Partners, but can they overcome the grief and sadness that haunts them before it’s too late?
11. Lying Out Loud

Sonny has a problem: she’s addicted to telling lies. So when she gets a new boyfriend her bad habit might cause a lot of problems. This is a companion novel to The Duff and is equally engaging, funny, and bittersweet.
12. Devoted

Rachel loves God, but she is beginning to question the ways of the community she lives in, and she starts searching for an escape. Devoted is a coming of age story following Rachel, and it explores religion in a wonderful and respectful way.
13. The Distance Between Lost and Found

Hallie and her two friends get lost in the mountains on a hike with her youth group, and they end up getting lost for days. The three teens have no choice but to survive, but can they make it on their own?
14. Emmy & Oliver

Oliver was kidnapped as a child, but now he’s back in his hometown and Emmy is seeing her childhood best friend for the first time in ten years. This book portrays friendship, quirky personalities, and relationships wonderfully.
15. Boring Girls

Rachel gets into metal music and starts writing her own lyrics for songs. Before she knows it she’s in a band, but Rachel doesn’t care about the fame when a horrible crime is committed. She’s out for one thing: revenge. This is the author’s first published novel and it is ruthless, psychological, and disturbing.
16. Finding Audrey

Audrey lives in a large family and has an anxiety disorder. Is love the cure for her problems? This contemporary standalone is both hysterical and heartwarming.
17. Between Us and the Moon

Sarah loves to watch the stars, but she’s sick of being seen as the nerdy baby in her family, so she starts an experiment to become popular. This contemporary novel explores first love, the consequences of lying, and family.
18. Immaculate

A beautiful, modern retelling of the Virgin Mary. Mina is one hundred percent a virgin—but who’s to believe her now that she’s pregnant? There is no explanation for her condition other than a miracle.
19. All the Rage

In true Courtney Summers fashion, this book is extremely dark, wonderfully written, and full of complex characters. Romy was raped by the sheriff’s son, but no one believes her. Full of hurt and anguish, Romy starts bottling up her emotions until she’s sure she will explode.


20. Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk

This is a delightfully funny and charming middle grade retelling of the classic story. Jack and his little sister must venture into the land of giants to save their papa. If you enjoyed Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin, then you won’t want to miss the author’s second book!

Madeline has deadly allergies that keep her trapped in the house all the time. When Olly moves in next door, Madeline is willing to risk her life so she can be with him. This contemporary debut is sad, funny, and a unique take on young love.

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