2015 Favourites

 So it’s time to bid farewell to 2015, and hello to 2016! May the coming year be filled with new favourite books for all of us!

This year has been a great year of reading for me. I haven’t read many books that were published within the year, but I’m going to list the best ones I’ve read over the year, regardless of when they were published.

At the start of the summer I read the Divergent series. This trilogy is the one that got me back into reading!

This dystopian series follows Tris, Four and dozens of other characters stuck in a world of hidden truths. Together, they fight against the society, discovering the truth to their existence.

Divergent is an incredibly popular series, now with movie adaptations. Veronica Roth is the creator of the hugely famous factions – Dauntless, Candor, Amity, Erudite and Abnegation. It’s a massively successful trilogy, and I can see why. There are tons of emotional happenings, not to mention the heartbreaking ending. I gave each of these books five stars, I loved them so much.

My next favourites this year are the Ultraviolet series by R.J. Anderson. I did actually read the first book a while ago, but I reread it this year, followed by the sequel.

I’ve never found anything like Ultraviolet. 16-year-old Alison is in a mental institution, following the disappearance of a girl from school. She thinks she killed her somehow – she watched her disappear, right in front of her. While stuck in the institution, Alison meets Faraday, who’s researching tetrechromacy – a condition where people can see sounds, as well as the ultraviolet spectrum. Alison’s mother has always called her crazy, so the knowledge of this condition is a great relief to Alison. Faraday isn’t who he claims to be, though. In fact, he isn’t what he claims to be, either. He isn’t human.

I loved this book the first time round, and I loved it the second time. The second book isn’t quite as good in my opinion, but it’s still a good book that’s worth reading.

Another series I love is the Splintered series. The first novel is a whimsical twist of the famous novel Alice in Wonderland, where Alyssa must go down the rabbit hole to free her family of the Liddell curse. She meets some amazing, unique creatures on her journey, which she makes with her crush Jeb. But each of them nearly lose their lives in Wonderland, and they have to make some difficult decisions.

Unhinged, the second novel in the series, features Morpheus – the “caterpillar” – venturing into the human realm. But he’s not alone – the Red Queen is on a rampage, and she’s trying to take Jeb and keep him prisoner in Wonderland.

I gave both books five stars, as I simply love anything to do with Wonderland. They’re modern, funky, and just great reads. I’m looking forward to reading the next couple of books. You can read my full review of Splintered and Unhinged.

More Than This by Patrick Ness is another new favourite of mine. A boy awakes in a deserted world, seemingly alone and with no recollection of who or where he is. His memories are slowly restored as he meets with other kids stranded in this lonely world, and they realise what has happened. This is a strange dystopian novel, where people live online rather than in the real world. I really loved this book, and obviously gave it five stars.


More Than This by Patrick Ness – Hardback

Another novel I fell in love with this year is The Girl at Midnight. It was surprising that I fell in love with this novel the way I did, as it’s not usually the sort of book I really like.

Echo has been befriended by the Avicen people, an ancient race of magical, feathered beings. These people are at war, and it’s up to Echo to find the firebird and end the conflict.

I gave this five stars as well, because I just fell in love with it immediately. It’s original, and wonderfully written. A definite favourite of mine this year.


The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey – Paperback, 361 pages – Published April 28th 2015 by ATOM

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson stole my heart this year. It tells the tale of twins Noah and Jude, following the separation of their parents. Noah is in love with another boy, and Jude is struggling to find her place in the world. She falls in love while working with a famous sculptor, and rediscovers the love shared by her and her brother.

I loved everything about this book, from the writing style, the metaphors and the plot to the layout and quotes displayed artistically on certain pages. Five stars for this wonderful novel. My full review is here.

I'll Give You the Sun - Paperback Cover

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson – Paperback, 429 pages – Published April 2nd 2015 by Walker Books

Another novel I discovered this year is Paperweight by Meg Haston. Stevie is struggling to cope with her brother’s death, feeling responsible for the incident. She’s also struggling with an eating disorder, and has been sent to a treatment unit. This is something I could relate with, hence why I like it so much. But this book also talks about abuse, different sexualities and dealing with grief, which I thought was just great. Five stars, I’d definitely recommend this. Read the full review.


Paperweight by Meg Haston – Paperback

Now the next book was quite surprising. It seems like a typical young adult fantasy, but I just loved it. It was emotional, exciting and filled with action. It wasn’t a romance (thank God), and features some unlikely friendships. Not to mention the shock of finding Kali’s mother…

The book I’m talking about is Every Other Day. It’s about Kali, who’s a human every other day, and a supernatural monster hunter in between. When she takes the deadly bite of a chupacabra from popular-bitch Bethany, it has a very different effect on her. After thinking she was alone for so many years, she discovers that “her kind” come in pairs – meaning she’s far less alone than she ever imagined.

You can read my review here. I was really quite surprised by this book, thinking it was going to be just like every other book in this category. But it was unique, and it actually broke my heart at one point. Another five star book here.

Every Other Day - Paperback Cover

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – Paperback, 329 pages – Published February 2nd 2012 by Quercus

This year I finally managed to read some of the famous Hitchhiker series by Douglas Adams. The first two books were absolutely amazing! They’re hilarious, eccentric, and oddly genius. The third book wasn’t quite as good in my opinion, but I’m looking forward to reading the next instalments nonetheless.

I’m not going to try and summarise each novel here as this post is already long enough, but here are the links to my reviews of the first three books: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and Life, the Universe and Everything.

I nearly forgot to mention this last novel. I read Eleanor & Park this year, and although it was good, it wasn’t quite my cup of tea. But then I read another of Rainbow Rowell’s novels, Fangirl, and loved it! It’s a cute, relatable story about sisterly love, separated parents, fiction writing and romance. It contains dozens of very real anxieties and thoughts, and is easy to read. Another book awarded five stars by me! Here’s my review.


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Paperback, 461 pages – Published January 30th 2014 by Pan Macmillan

I’m sorry that was such a long post! This year has been crazy! Feel free to comment on your favourite books you’ve read this year, and please vote on my poll – which is the best book published in 2015? You can access it from the home page of my blog.

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a wonderful new year.


Book Review: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe


The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #2) – Paperback, 200 pages – Published September 1st 2009 by Pan Publishing

This is the second instalment of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, which I’m absolutely in love with.

This novel begins with the Heart of Gold being attacked by the Vogons. You know, as you do. Obviously, nobody on board wants to die (apart from, perhaps, the Paranoid Android). They don’t have much time, so Zaphod Beeblebrox does the first thing that comes to his mind; he summons the ghost of his great-grandfather, Zaphod Beeblebrox the Fourth.

Zaphod suddenly finds himself in the lobby of the office blocks of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, upon the planet Ursor Minor Beta. To his unfortunate luck, he’s accompanied by Marvin, the depressed robot.

Thanks to the locked-off part of his brain (and a few hints from his deceased relative), Zaphod is certain that the reason he is where he is is because he needs to see Zarniwoop – a guy who he is pretty certain he’s never met before. Instead, an entire half of the office block is taken to Frostar World B, home of the Total Perspective Vortex. Being in this vortex is the worst fate anyone can suffer; being shown the true size of the Universe and feeling how very tiny you are to it in comparison.

Zaphod is led to the vortex by a disembodied mind, but surprisingly remains unaffected by what he sees. He then finds Zarniwoop on an abandoned airship, and is told that they are not, in fact, in the real world as such.

Anyway, Zaphod discovers that he has been carrying the Heart of Gold within his coat pocket, his friends safely on board. Zarniwoop revives it to its full size, and the crew ask the computer to send them to the nearest place to eat. It turns out that this would be Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. It’s located on Frogstar Planet B, but a fair while into the future – at the exact time the universe ends, in fact.

Marvin, having been left alone in the past, finally calls to tell his friends that he has been waiting for them in the car park the whole time. No longer interested in the Heart of Gold or the mission he required it for, Zaphod decides to steal a jet-black ship parked beside the limoship of a famous band. (They happen to be famous not due to their talent, but due to the sheer volume of their concerts.) As luck would have it, this ship is actually the stunt ship used in the band’s performances, and as its passengers their fate is to crash into the sun with it.

Using the unfinished transport device on board, the crew are sent safety. Trillian and Zaphod find themselves with Zarniwoop, on their way to interrogate the ruler of the Universe, who happens to live alone in a shack with a cat whom he has dubbed The Lord. Arthur and Ford, however, are aboard a ship full of frozen coffin-like items, which is fleeing a doomed planet and heading for a new home.

Upon this new planet, Ford and Arthur meet the ape-like beings who already live there. With the coming of the new people, these beings begin to die out. Much to Arthur’s dismay, as this planet turns out to be Earth two million years before its destruction. And if these native creatures don’t survive, then that means the human race is evolved from the idiots that crash landed there.

Desperate to help the natives along their revolutionary path, Arthur attempts to teach them the art of Scrabble. Sadly, this doesn’t quite work. All this really achieves is them discovering the Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, which they already knew to be forty-two. What they really want to know is the original Question, which they are certain is not six multiplied by nine.

This sequel is just as fantastically crazy as the first, and I love it just as much! The characters are all very much the same, with their unique personalities and quirks. Arthur’s love for tea also plays a huge part in this story…

It’s clever in the most absurd way, and as subtly hilarious as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the GalaxyI love it so much, it’s definitely in my favourites! Five stars for this book by Douglas Adams.


Book Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – Paperback (Film Tie-In Edition), 323 pages – Published April 1st 2005 by Pan Publishing

I actually read the film tie-in edition of this book, but practically ignored the photos and skipped the interviews and afterword, I’m afraid.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was originally published in 1979 but has remained a favourite of many people throughout the years. A lot of people will probably think of the famous film adaptation upon hearing the title, but I must admit that this book is fabulous and definitely worth a read.

It begins with an ordinary man names Arthur Dent, who’s house is about to be demolished. His friend Ford Prefect – who turns out to be a native not to Earth, but to a planet somewhere around Betelgeuse – abruptly arrives bearing news of the end of the world. The pair hitch a ride on the attacking Vogon airship, surviving the destruction of the planet Earth.

This book is a bit all over the place, but to give you the gist of it: Zaphod Beeblebrox, the President of the Galaxy, steals the Heart of Gold – a one-of-a-kind spaceship named after the Infinite Improbability Drive. After Ford and Arthur are thrown off the Vogon ship, they’re rescued just in the nick of time by Trillian and Zaphod aboard The Heart of Gold. As luck has it, Trillian turns out to be the girl Arthur had tried to win the heart of at a party, and Zaphod the guy who won her instead.

The crew set off toward a legend of a planet – Magrathea, where customised planets were supposedly built. Here, Arthur is told the truth about Earth – and how the mice were in charge – by Slartibartfast and the rodents Trillian brought to space with her attempt to buy Arthur’s brain, due to it having the Ultimate Question to Life, the Universe and Everything, to which the answer is 42 (as determined by the Deep Thought computer).

Arthur is also informed that dolphins are far more intelligent than any human realised, and had made many attempts to warm us of the impending doom. One message of theirs, had we bothered to listen, translates to So long, and thanks for all the fish.

This book is so fantastically eccentric. I absolutely adored it! The characters are just great, and the humour is so subtle. Everything fits together in weird, ingenious ways, and every piece of (seemingly) irrelevant story is so well written, and I loved every bit. Even the bit about the sperm whale, and his thoughts throughout his short lifespan. Poor whale…

And poor Marvin… To be a maniacally depressed robot doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?

This is definitely in my favourites, and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series. (In fact, I’m about to grab the second book right now!) I have to give The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 5 stars out of 5.


Soundtrack to My Life Book Tag

ssssssssWatch the original video here!

A huge thanks to PerfectioninBooks for tagging me to take part in this tag. It looks so fun! Her post is here.

Opening Credits: Favourite Childhood Book

I can’t say I have a particular favourite, but these are a few that I really loved over the years:

Waking Up: A Book That Got You Out of a Reading Slump

Definitely the Divergent series. I had only been reading a couple of books here and there for a while until I read this series and decided to head back down to the library.


School: A Book You Read for School and Ended Up Loving

I didn’t love this book, but I remember really enjoying it and have actually recently purchased a copy so I can read it again.


Falling in Love: An Author You Love So Much You Want to Read All Their Books

Hmmm… I really do like Kathy Reichs at the moment. Her Virals series was just awesome, and I’ve asked for her other books for Christmas!

Fight: Book with the Best Action Sequences

I can’t say anything really stands out to me for this one, but these two are probably as close as it gets.

Break Up: A Book or Series You Did Not and Do Not Intend to Finish

Sorry, but I just couldn’t quite get into these.

Hanging With Friends: Book You Think Everyone Else Should Read


Breakdown: Book That Seriously Affected You/Had You Crying Your Eyes Out

I’m not really a huge crier, but this brought me pretty close to tears at times.


Roadtrip: Your Favourite Series (More Than 3 Books)

Flashback: Your Favourite Book From 5 Years Ago

I think that would be around about the time I discovered these beauties. (I went on to follow each series and still love them now.)

Getting Back Together: What Book Can You Not Stop Rereading?

There’s a few… I think I’m just going to have to say both these series again.

Wedding: A Book That is Really Special to You

Moment of Triumph: Longest Book You’ve Ever Read

I know, it’s not even that long… Embarrassing…


Death Scene: Book or Series You Wish Had Ended Differently

As far as I remember, I really loved this series. And although the ending wasn’t bad, it just really upset me. Everything was just so different… I missed the good ol’ days of the first book!

Funeral: Book with the Best or Worst Epilogue

I’m afraid nothing comes to mind right now. I’m sure there are tons of great ones I’ve read, I just find it hard to remember each one!

End Credits: Who Do You Tag?

If you’ve already been tagged, then I apologise! Also, I know I kinda cheated a couple times by adding multiple answers… Sorry!