Top 15 Books of 2015

Mittwoch, 30. Dezember 2015

   Today, as the title suggests, I'll be showing you my favorite 15 books of 2015. These are not necessarily books that have been published in 2015, although many have been, but rather ones that I've simply read over the course of 2015. While putting together this list I've noticed that I've not read that many good books this year, even though I read more then last year. That is not to say that I've not read quite the number of extraordinary books, enough of them to fill this list and give me a hard time while trying to put them into a list.
   To be honest, I'm still unsure about the order of some parts of this list, but it's the best that I can do. Basically, all those 15 books are amazing, no matter at which place it is. All the clickable titles will take you to either the interview I had with the author or to their review. If I have both I will probably still link you to the review, so if you're interested in finding out more, follow the links!
   Without further ado, here are my favorite 15 books of 2015:

   #15 - The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
   This is the only adult book that can be found on this list, which isn't a huge surprise seeing as I mainly read YA, with the occasional NA thrown in there. I've actually not read this one, but rather listened to the audio book in the car with my mom while we were on something like a road trip, one could say. The story was amazing, entertaining,  and immensely funny in so many ways. The narrator was kind of a dysfunctional one, seeing as he had a very science based mind and loved routines, he didn't even understand why someone would want to look at a the sunset every evening since, essentially, you just see the same thing you saw the previous day. I mean, what? But that's what made him incredibly lovable and seeing him change over the course of the book was brilliant. I had a great time listening to the audio book, thanks to the nice German narrator.

   This one was a really, really cute contemporary that I enjoyed so much whilst reading it. It was told through a dual POV where on one side we had a girl who wants to become and architect and on the side side a boy who was in a band. I loved the both of them, alone and together. Following Jesse, the male protagonist, to band meetings and just seeing him interact with his friends was a lot of fun and made me laugh out loud a good couple of times. I also enjoyed Madison's point of few, the way she interacted with her friends and her mom was really great. This book is just one of those contemporary ones that you can slip between "heavier" books to get a break, and by heavy I mean something like sci-fi or books dealing with mental health or something along those lines.

   This one was a really interesting and different story. Essentially it's 'just' a YA murder mystery story, but what makes it special is the setting. In this story we step away from the places we are familiar with, being big cities like NYC or LA, or small towns somewhere in the middle of nowhere where 'nothing ever happens' but instead places us on archeological digging grounds, which in itself is already really cool. This book has quite the diverse cast and features quite a bit of Native American history, seeing as some of the characters, like the love interest, are Native Americans. I've never read a book before that featured them, though I'm sure Western type stories do have them, so it was really interesting to see them represented and properly introduced instead of just used at cheap punch line or background feature. I enjoyed this book a lot!

   And here we are, the first hard topic book of this list, and believe me, there are more to come, because how could it be any different since this is a list of mine. In this book we follow Madeline who has a rare condition which basically makes her allergic to everything. This of course means that she's spent her entire life inside of her house, a special one, together with her mother and nurse. But one day a new family moves in next door and they happen to have a son in her age. Things happen and many things are discussed. I really enjoyed this book a lot, I really did. Sure, many people say they've seen the ending coming from a mile away, I might have too, but that didn't change the fact that the story was very well written and I enjoyed reading nonetheless.

   This is another one of those heavy topic books on this list, just like the one above. In this one we are presented with a reality in which tuberculosis appears in a total-drug resistant version and we follow a boy called Lane who goes to a camp made for kids that have it, just like we used to do with people decades ago when tuberculosis was something our medicine wasn't quite so well versed in curing yet. Knowing that this is a deadly disease we can immediately prepare ourselves for the fact that this isn't just some happy, cute, fluffy contemporary, but one that, as previously mentioned, is dealing with hard topics. I really liked the way the author handled the topic, the way the plot went along and I loved the characters. They were all different, all very interesting and fleshed out. Seeing bad things happen to them really made me sad, but following Lane's journey to coming to terms with having this disease and changing as character, it was really great. 

   Now this one was a giant surprise, the fact that I picked it up and got addicted to it, no one, including me, thought that would ever happen. As you may or may not know I strongly dislike angel books because all the ones I've tried before Angelfall were absolutely horrible and I could never finish them. This one wasn't like them, this one was actually really, really good. It had many things I really like in books like action, an ongoing apocalypse, the lack of a forced love story, and amazing characters that can kick ass and be incredibly sassy. Once I was going toward the end of this book I found myself panicking that I wouldn't be able to continue since I didn't have book two. Of course I ordered it asap and continued on. In short, if you hate angel books, give Angelfall a try because it's an amazing book with evil angels which is all sorts of cool. This book is how one does angel books right.

   This was another one of those books where, the second I saw an e-mail about the ARC being available, I had to get it immediately. The book was really, really good with an intriguing plot, I mean a world where at 17 (right?) you receive a memory from your future self that shows you who you'll become, how crazy is that? Even crazier when you receive a memory that shows you killing your own sister. Now if that doesn't hook you, make you want to read it right now, I don't know what will. I had an amazing time reading this book and the author is a really lovely person, which is always a great plus. Also, food plays a role in this story seeing as the protagonist wants to become a manual chef when she grows up, which is another reason for me to love it because, I mean, who doesn't love food?

   This was one of my most anticipated books of 2015, and Francesca Zappia was the first author I've ever interviewed, meaning that this book definitely has a special meaning for me. Besides, it came out on my birthday which only made it that much more awesome. It's another one of those hard topic books since this story features the ultimate unreliable narrator, one who definitely matches Mara Dyer, because she has a mental illness, paranoid schizophrenia to be exact, meaning that she sometimes struggles to distinguish between what's real and what isn't. Alex is a wonderful narrator and a character I loved a lot. Her story was extraordinary and captivating and it didn't let me go for weeks after I finished reading it. It's definitely one of those books that will stick around with you even after you finish it. And of course it looks absolutely beautiful on your shelf because, I mean, just look at that gorgeous cover!

   Out of all the books to be found on this list, this one is probably the most important one, dealing with a topic I think we should talk about way more, seeing as I'm sure there is quite the number of people out there who have no idea it even exists. What I'm talking about is being intersex. This book does an amazing job at introducing the reader to it and showing us the protagonists struggles of dealing with it, of having to come to terms with it and how it changes her life. I think these types of books are incredibly important in today world and I so wish more people would read them, maybe even discuss them in class. Personally, I wish we would discuss books like this one during English instead of, taking an example from my school reading, The Awakening by Kate Chopin which might be a valuable piece of literature but didn't teach us anything that would be remotely useful in our world and time. 

   This one was absolutely addicting and brilliant, despite the fact that it's basically one complete novel cut up into three novellas, the third one not being out yet, leaving me sitting over here just craving for it way too badly. Each novella ends on a killer cliffhanger that will make you go and buy the next one asap because you'll definitely want to know how it continues. This book combines many different aspects, for example, amnesia, in that the two protagonists wake up and don't remember who they are, what they are doing or anything, with mystery and also paranormal elements which is absolutely brilliant. Then again, looking at who wrote this I wasn't surprised at all. These two know exactly what they are doing and how to hook a reader. I cannot wait to get the final novella into my hands and see how it will all end!

   This one was a truly heavy one dealing with grief after the tragic death of someone who meant a lot to you. Of course I couldn't resists picking it up and reading it, because I'm drawn to sad stories like that. Thankfully I wasn't disappointed, but enjoyed it a whole lot, enough to contact the author and ask her for an interview. This story, as I mentioned, is really heavy, really slow paced, but portrays grief beautifully, just the way it is, the protagonists, Wren, never breaking character or acting as if her grief is just something that comes up in the story occasionally. No, her grief was always there, just the way it is in reality. Amy McNamara did an amazing job with this story, with shaping her characters and leading the story, her writing style gorgeous, allowing the reader to truly feel what Wren was feeling and picture the scenery easily. I feel very strongly about this book and I think you should definitely give it a read if you've not done so just yet.

   This book was absolutely hilarious! To be honest, I don't remember how I found it but the second it arrived in my house I couldn't stop reading it while laughing out loud. I've not read many humorous books like this one before, but hell was it fun. In this story we follow our main character whose dream girl gets kidnapped by aliens and so he embarks on a rescue mission along with a alien band who just so happen to be on tour through the galaxy. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? Well, it definitely is, but it's also the most entertaining thing ever. All the characters in this story were so funny, sassy, and just on point with unique personalities and quirks and seemed like the people you'd like to have as friends, one with whom you'd never get bored, like, ever. I loved this book and I'm pretty sure I'll be rereading it soon. If you're into space and humor and laughing until your stomach hurts then I definitely recommend picking this one up asap!

   Upon first coming across this book over on lovely goodreads I immediately jumped onto my e-mail account and sent a ARC request to the publisher. Luckily, I got an eARC pretty early on and dove right into it. I was not disappointed in any way, rather the contrary. In For the Record we get a look into the world of being a rockstar, of being on the road in a tour bus and how hard being famous can sometimes be. This book was incredible. The writing style amazing, the characters well rounded and entertaining, all different with their own little flaws and quirks. This book is basically perfect for anyone who ever dreamed of becoming a rockstar when you grow up, I'm totally included in that group of people. You can really see that this author knows what she s writing about, seeing as she has contacts in the busieess and knows awesome people, like for example Fall Out Boy, one of my absolute favorite bands. I have so much love for this book! Go read it now, will you?

   This book completes the list of books dealing with hard topics that can be found on this list. What can I say, I just love me my hard topic books, the really well written ones. This one deals with suicide and the pressure to excel in school to live up to your parents expectations, and also your own. I've not seen many books before that tackled this topic so I was very happen to have picked it up. Thankfully this book turned out to be amazing in so many ways. The way the author handled the hard topic was extremely well done and felt realistic. The characters were well rounded, three dimensional ones with actions that made sense and never broke character to fit into a certain plot line or to make a scene cuter or anything. I love the protagonist, Paige, and enjoyed reading from her POV immensely.

   I had no doubt about this book being my absolute favorite of 2015. ever since I first heard about it early on in the year over on YouTube, more specifically, from LittleBookOwl, I knew I simply had to read it. I love sci-fi, I love space, and I love action. Illuminae has all of that and so much more. Besides that, the formatting is brilliant and unlike anything I've seen in any book before. The story isn't told through first or third person, but through a series of documents, transcripts and amazing illustrations, and it features AIDEN, the most insane AI I've ever seen in a sci-fi novel, whom you both hate passionately but somehow, weirdly, still like at the end. I have so many feeling and thoughts about this book that I could go on for the next three hours but that isn't quite why we are here today. If you want to know more of my thoughts and love for this book, check out my review.


   Of course I felt the need to mention this book, but seeing as it wasn't a classical novel in that sense I didn't think it should be on my list, since it's reserved for the best of the best reads, not to say that this book isn't good. Whatever, you get my point, right? So, this book. As someone who really likes Dan and Phil, who has been watching their videos for quite some time and sees them as huge inspiration, because they are just really relatable memes, well, at least Dan is, I was looking forward to their book ever since I heard of it coming. Of course, as anyone else I would have wished for it to be a little more like Binge by Typer Oakely, in that it would have features more stories from their past, growing up and many of the times their fans don't get to see, but I fully understand their decision against it. Either way, their book was a hell of a lot of fun to read and I did learn quite a few things I hadn't known before. And let's face it, it was already worth it even if only to read The Urge. If you read the book or are part of the Phandom, you'll know what I mean.

   #2 - Petty Little Lives by Alice Reeds
   This is totally my book, but I thought I'll mention it anyways since having a book published by an actual publisher and everything, that's a big deal, right? I had so much fun while writing this book, exploring all sorts of different themes and see my characters evolve and change, fun times. So far it received many book reviews which of course makes me happy, like it would make any other author, let's be real. This is a summer book and deals with the importance of family, overcoming differences and, of course, finding love in the most unexpected places. You know me, even if I write a contemporary it's highly unlikely that it'll just be fluffy and cute, because it's me who writes it. Anyways, this book is my first traditionally published book and, of course, I hope others will follow. 

   And this is it. This was my list of my favorite books of the year 2015, which passed really quickly, didn't it? I can't believe it's almost 2016 already, somehow that thought makes me feel old even though I'm not. Either way, I hope you enjoyed this post and have a great day or evening, depending on when you read this!

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