Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015: A Baker's Dozen of Favorite Reads! :)

Buh-Bye, 2015!! 
Don't let the door hit you on the way out. xD

Another year over, guys. And while I can't say I'm sad to see this one go (it's been a rough one), I'm still pretty flabbergasted just how ridiculously fast it went by.  Personal stuff aside, it was a pretty incredible year in my reading world! I feel like I read sort of off the grid this year, reveled in the glory of some seriously good "quiet YA" as it's now being called. Still, so many really popular books just sort of slid by me this year. Will 2016 be the year I catch them all up?  :D

Anyhow, as I always do, I'm recapping my favorites of the year---a sweet baker's dozen (because I don't know how anyone pares a list down to 5 or 10!! LOL)  These are books I read this year, regardless of their publication date ;)  Shown below in no particular order and  with an excerpt from my review, off we go! 

Each revelation was unexpected to me and spine-chilling, but in the end I just found the whole story beautiful. It's a story about finding comfort in the ugliness of the world and about love and how it can make us see things clearly (and sometimes not so clearly). The inclusion of fantastic playlist of music is one of my favorite things about this story. And as someone who has always loved the incredible jazz music of the 40s,  its the most unique and entirely wonderful depiction of heaven and the afterlife Cat Winters could have given me.
(read full review)

The two characters are developed in a way that makes you care for them and not trust them and so curious about what will happen to them all at once. The story in unrelenting in its intensity, told in line after line of beautifully crafted prose that sear themselves into your mind. There are scenes in this story that I don’t think I will ever forget. And it’s all in the way they are written---the truth seeps out in almost abstract ways that sneak up on you, then suddenly it’s crystal clear and knocking you sideways. 
(read full review)

There is a little bit of a ghostly vibe going on, as Alexis starts to see Ty everywhere, but is it real or is it her mind playing tricks? Cynthia Hand somehow manages to tackle this sensitive and all-too-real subject, while magically not giving us a story that feels all-out depressing.  With that said, I will admit that the last 20 pages, along with the author’s note at the end, had me crying buckets
(read full review)

It encompassed issues of race, privilege, sacrifice, and love in all its complicated forms.  I was so wrapped up in these characters that I didn’t want it to end, but when it did, it took my breath away. I don’t cry often at books, but with this touching and beautiful end, there was no escaping it.
 (read full review)

It’s fun to watch Miles and Alex come together and slowly start to understand each other. Alex and Miles melt the ice ( and yes, I do mean ICY) on their relationship slowly and with lots of friction and emotional hesitation and stand-offishness, but their feelings finally show through what is undoubtedly the swooniest game of 20 questions I’ve ever seen!
(read full review)

This world has mesmerized me. Gorgeous writing, at times raw and edgy and even a bit gory, and at others so lyrical that it reads like poetry.  With emotions that are expressed in wild storms, friendships that will absolutely capture your heart, and a slow simmering and dangerous romance,Storm Siren is irresistible.
(read full review)

This was such a fun read!  I was completely surprised by the amount of magical realism here as I admit I was expecting something a little more straight-forward contemporary.  The writing style was a little hard to get used to at first, but once I settled in, I loved the unique and quirky style and found it suited the story and its characters so well. 
(read full review)

Love the worldbuilding in this. What I initially thought was our own world in the 20s turned out to be something  similar but slightly more magical, two lands run by two stubborn kings and torn apart by the a war over fuel.  When Pen and Morgan make an important discovery about the precious substance, Morgan must decide if that discovery is a bargaining chip that could get them all home, or a secret that could bring their whole floating city crashing down.
 (read full review) 

*Sigh* please let there be at least a dozen more Jackaby adventures before we see the end. This is just the kind of series I adore---wonderful characters, great fun plots, and each book has its own story arc that stands on it's own.  In this second story, William Ritter has given us another wild and entertaining mystery to unfold alongside Jackaby and his assistant, Abigail.  With curious creatures, grim killings, and one bafflingly hideous knit hat, this series brings on another tale of fast-paced, laugh out loud fun. (read full review)

I have a pretty good inkling that this book will not be for everyone.  It's a strange premise. It's a bizarre atmosphere that runs through it, it's a completely mixed bag of characters...and for me, it was absolutely perfect. There are two heart-pounding romances, both of which the characters will have to work through their own doubts and hesitations to get to.  There are secrets that blow everything wide open and haunting truths that none of them will be able to hide again. (read full review)

From the very first page, we’re taken into Kymera’s world.  The storytelling feels like reading her daily journal, starting with the day she wakes up from the dead and going day by day as she rediscovers the world around her.  She’s been reanimated by her father from her own head and bits and pieces of other dead girls, along with a long barbed tail, inky black wings, and the eyes of a cat---all things she will need to carry out the mission he has intended her for.
(read full review)

I haven't reviewed these two yet, but they were both absolutely stunning and incredible reads---both easily win a spot on my favorite books that I read in 2015!!

So that wraps it up! My best-of reading for the year.
What were your favorite reads of 2015? Do we have any in common? :)



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