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.
Divergent by Veronica Roth (Divergent #1) – Paperback
Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Divergent #2) – Paperback
Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Divergent #3) – Paperback
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.
Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson (Ultraviolet #1) – Paperback
Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson (Quicksilver #2) – Paperback
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.
Splintered by A.G. Howard (Splintered #1) – Paperback, 377 pages – Published January 1st 2013 by Amulet Books
Unhinged by A.G. Howard – Paperback, 387 pages – Published December 17th 2013 by Scholastic Australia
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 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 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.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – Paperback (Film Tie-In Edition), 323 pages – Published April 1st 2005 by Pan Publishing
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
Life, The Universe and Everything (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #3) by Douglas Adams – Paperback, 199 pages – Published September 1st 2009 by Pan Books
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.