My Favorite Books from 2015 (So Far…)
So these are not guaranteed to be clean teen reads. This list is made up of the stories and characters which most captured me, deprived me of sleep or free thought until I’d finished the very last page or beyond. Read my reviews (click the book title) for more information on content of each novel. Enjoy!
1. Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman – I loved that Shusterman took us on this journey through mental illness and it felt so authentic. At the same time the metaphorical structure made it easy to follow the story and added to its complexity.
2. When You Leave by Monica Ropal – This was one of those books that I read in one sitting and thought about for weeks afterward. I loved the characters and the way Ropal explores the unanswered questions left behind when we lose someone.
3. Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas – I was a little bit torn between this book and Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon, but the tie breaker for me was the fact that I loved both the boys in Because You’ll Never Meet Me so incredibly much and couldn’t stop rooting for them. I didn’t realize until just now that both books feature boys named Ollie/Olly, but also deal with a person who is unable to be around others for medical reasons. Both were great books, but BYNMM takes top prize for me.
4. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey – I loved the fantastic story world in this book. It definitely reminded me a bit of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but it wasn’t quite so dark, I thought. I loved the romance.
5. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella – This book made me laugh so hard I had tears streaming down my face. The relationships between characters is absolutely great, and the way Audrey’s illness affects each family member is really well-explored. I think it takes a truly amazing writer to take a hard topic like mental illness and yet relate events to us in such a way that we can still laugh. Kinsella definitely has the knack for it.
6. The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow – Right from the very beginning, I was completely hooked on this story. Such high stakes! And I loved that they AI character(s) didn’t follow all the stereotypes about how AI would behave, etc.
7. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Are you tired of hearing about how much I like this book yet? I feel like it’s all I’m talking about right now. Totally immersive story world. Characters that I just can’t stop thinking about. And an impossible heist to keep me on the edge of my seat.
8. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – This book is like World War Z meets 2001: A Space Oddyssey. Some nights I could not go to sleep for thinking about this book. The dialogue and the unique presentation are definitely among the book’s strengths. I would definitely pick up a follow-up story to this one.
9. These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly – If you’ve been around TSS much lately, you know I LOVE me some books by Jennifer Donnelly. This book really scratched an itch for me. It’s a historical set in the 1890s and touches on some feminist themes about that time. It’s also a murder-mystery and has a really intense (but not explicit) romance. Loved it!
What’s your favorite?
Have you read any of the above books? What are your favorites so far this year?