It’s hard to believe this year is already coming to a close… its seems like just yesterday I was picking up my first read of the year! I managed to read 47 books this year amidst ACT testing, college applications, and a hectic, fun-filled senior year, so I am definitely content with that. Out of all that I read this year, the following seven books and series have easily elevated to the top of my list and shine above the rest! Here they are:
1.) The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles is a quartet of sci-fi fairytale retellings of the stories of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White. Although I am not an avid sci-fi reader, I love fairytales, and decided to read this series after hearing so much hype about it. I marathoned the first three books, Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress as my first read of the year. I am beyond happy I decided to to give them a try!
My favorite thing about the Lunar Chronicles is the camaraderie of the incredible cast of characters. I love the unique personalities of each of the characters and their hilarious banter. This is especially evident in Winter, the most recent addition to the series! This is also a series that definitely improves with each book. I found myself enjoying each book more and more as I read! And of course, all the couples are so cute! Especially Thorne & Cress, one of my new OTPs… *heart eye emoji* I highly recommend this series!
2.) The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski
The Winner’s Curse was a complete cover buy for me during Book Outlet’s Black Friday sale last year, because the *original* covers are absolutely gorgeous! I had no idea I would fall in love with the story inside as much as I did after reading it last January.
The Winner’s Curse is a high fantasy novel that is filled with political intrigue, strategy, an angsty romance, and BEAUTIFUL writing. Truly, the writing is poetic and gorgeous and made me fall in love with Ms. Rutkoski as an author. The Winner’s Crime, the sequel released last March, is even better than its predecessor and is filled with MORE angst, politics, and heartbreak. The Winner’s Crime left us on a massive cliffhanger, so it is an understatement to say I am looking forward to the release The Winner’s Kiss this upcoming year!
3.) The Distance Between Us (and other novels) by Kasie West
I am beyond picky when it comes to YA contemporary novels, so it is always a pleasant surprise when I come across a contemporary author that leaves me feeling fulfilled at the conclusion of each of their books. Kasie West managed to give me this feeling THREE times this year, once for each of her books! The Distance Between Us, however, was definitely my favorite. West writes clean, adorable contemporaries that give readers what they want… the romance! The love interest is always introduced within the first few pages and the endings are never rushed. The dialogue is beyond adorable and I flew through each of her books in a day. Kasie West has easily turned into one of my auto-buy authors, and I know I can turn to her books whenever I am in need of a cutesy romance!
4.) The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
The question always seems to present itself… “If you could only pick ONE favorite book or series from this past year, which would it be?” This one, my friends. Definitely this one.
Marathoning these books over the summer was one of the best choices I have ever made. I absolutely fell in love with the plot, characters, and complex fantasy world Maas has created. Each book expands the scope of the plot and introduces even more characters to adore. This series is easily one of my all-time favorites! Celaena is one of my favorite female protagonists and I admire her strength and vulnerability. I can’t gush about this series enough. It will make you laugh, cry, gasp, and scream… at least I definitely did!
5.) Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
My favorite contemporary read of the year, among the lovely stories of Kasie West! It was difficult for me to review this book because it was highly emotional for me on a personal level. This book is told from the perspective of the best friend of a country music superstar who goes on tour with her for the summer. When I was younger, I wanted to be a country music singer. In addition, this book really hit me in the feels as a Taylor Swift fan. It’s basically like reading from the perspective of being Taylor’s best friend which was the young Brittany’s dream.
In addition to satisfying my Taylor Swift feels, this road-trip book is also filled with humor, a swoon-worthy romance, and a strong female friendship. I don’t think this book is right for everyone, and might be a mediocre read for some, but for me, it was truly the perfect contemporary read! If you would like to read my review (which I think covers the book pretty well), it is on my Goodreads!
6.) The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson
The Kiss of Deception was one of my last reads over summer break and The Heart of Betrayal was one of my last reads of the year. This fantasy trilogy is absolutely incredible! The world building is absolutely spectacular and I love the main character, Lia. The series is written to allow the reader to figure out a lot of the plot points before the protagonist. There is a love triangle, which usually I am not a fan of, but this one is done extremely well. The love triangle is actually important to carry on the story as a whole. I have liked both Rafe and Kaden, the two love interests, at different points in the series and am looking forward to seeing how things resolve in the third book, The Beauty of Darkness. There are so many ways this series can go! If you are a Throne of Glass fan and have not yet picked this up, definitely do so! I have a review of The Kiss of Deception posted to my Goodreads and a full review for The Heart of Betrayal on the blog.
7.) Sekret by Lindsey Smith
Sekret is one of the books I read this year that truly took me by surprise. I met Lindsey Smith at a book signing earlier this spring and picked up a copy of her book as soon as I heard the synopsis. I am a big fan of historical fiction, so a psychic espionage novel set in the Soviet Union during the Cold War completely captured my interest. Secret did not disappoint!
I mentioned in my review (see previous blog posts) that Sekret is written like a puzzle. All the pieces are given to you in the beginning, and as the novel progresses, everything starts to come together in the cohesive picture. I appreciated that Sekret was written for an intelligent audience, and Smith didn’t feel the need to “dumb down” the historical aspects of the novel. I was able to follow well, but if there was something I didn’t know, I was able to research it.
Yulia is an awesome female protagonist and is extremely perceptive, which makes reading from her perspective interesting. The love interest, Valentin, is absolutely swoon-worthy and SO interesting. I would recommend this book to any historical fiction lover, especially if you are a fan of espionage and Russian history! The second book in the duality, Skandal, is also interesting, but Sekret is by far my favorite!
That concludes my list of favorite books from 2015! What is the best book you read in 2015? Thanks so much for reading!