In 2015 I read a total of 81 books! It was difficult to rank my top 10 favourite, but I have tried. Obviously I didn’t include any re-reads, and I’ve put series together, while mentioning which book was my favourite.
So let’s do this!
I really enjoyed all the books in this series, but the first was by far the best! It was a super cute, realistic romance novel, which ticked the box I apparently have for sports related romances. I don’t read a lot of straight up romance novels, but I flew through this series real quick. I think it just had a really nice balance of humanity, realism, and romance. I definitely recommend them if you’re into romance novels!
“He could have written hundreds of words, but he’d packed a world of emotion into four.”
Anne of Green Gables by L M. Montgomery.
I had been wanting to read this book for years, and I’m so glad that I finally got around to it. It was incredible, and Anne Shirley is just a gorgeous character. Her enthusiasm for everything, and how she describes the most mundane of things, are just amazing.
“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
In 2015 I finally discovered Rick Riordan, and I love him. I can’t believe it took me so long to read one of his books. The ‘Heroes of Olympus’ series is awesome, and while I loved each of the books, I chose ‘The Mark of Athena’ as my overall favourite. That’s because it’s the book where all the characters, introduced and explored in the first two novels, finally get together on the Argo II. And also because my favourite character, Annabeth Chase, plays an enormous role. She kicks some serious ass.
“’Hercules, huh?’ Percy frowned. ‘That guy was like the Starbucks of Ancient Greece. Everywhere you turn–there he is.’”
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Another classic I’ve been wanting to read for years, I loved ‘A Little Princess’ even more than I thought I would. It’s just a great story, and a really interesting look into the early 1900s. The movie (which I’ve always loved) does diverge from the story line a little, but regardless I love both.
And seriously, look at that cover! It’s gorgeous! (I’ll be honest with you, I started collecting this one too…)
“’Whatever comes,’ she said, ‘cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.’”
The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick.
One of my favourite Young Adult novels of all time. It’s a follow up to ‘My Life Next Door‘, and focuses on the story of Tim and Alice. It was so gripping and emotional, but really captured the realities of life. Tim goes through a lot, but he really develops as a person as a consequence. It was also really nice to see Alice as her own person, not just as Jace’s older sister. Basically, this book told the story I’d been wanting to hear since finishing ‘MLND’, and I was so satisfied.
It’s also a really pretty hard cover…
“You can choose where your feet take you, man. That’s Dominic again, who’s like my own little Jiminy Cricket, Portuguese fisherman style.”
The Tournament at Gorlan by John Flanagan.
A great addition to the ‘Ranger’s Apprentice‘ series, I was so happy with this book! Flanagan did it again! The book we’ve all been waiting for ever since Flanagan teased at Halt and Crowley’s past in one of the short stories in ‘The Lost Stories‘. In fact the book picks up from where the short story, ‘The Hibernian’, finishes off. I loved this story so much, because I love the Ranger’s Apprentice world, and I love Halt and Crowley. Getting to see more of them, but also follow how they thwart Lord Morgarath’s plans (who appears in the first two RA novels) and rebuild the Ranger Corps, was simply wonderful.
“I like the idea of ‘Renegade Rangers’. It appeals to my natural sense of rebellion against authority.”
I mentioned previously that I finally got around to reading Rick Riordan’s books this year, and I very sensibly started with his ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ series (that’s where they all start really). I really enjoyed the first three books, but I loved the fourth and fifth. The stories matured a lot as they went along (as the characters did also), and became more complex with each quest. The mythology is interwoven wonderfully, and I think they’re a great way to introduce children to the concept.
The last book was quite epic, and a wonderful ending to a great series; which is why it’s my favourite of the lot!
“Well . . . sure good to be together again. Arguing. Almost dying. Abject terror. Oh, look. It’s our floor.”
In 2014 I read ‘Seven Ancient Wonders‘, which is the first of the ‘The Jack West Jr’ series. Then at the beginning of 2015 I got my own copies of the trilogy for my birthday (thanks Erin!). Before getting to the second book, ‘The Six Sacred Stones’, I actually listened to the audiobook of ‘Ancient Wonders’, and really enjoyed it.
I then read the second and third books over the next two days (while our floors were being re-done). I literally couldn’t put them down and read them in a morning each. Some seriously intense reading. The second, however, is my favourite. I think it has a lot to do with the ending (because really I love them all equally). Massive cliffhanger. All I’m saying is that I’m glad I had the third book to start straight away.
“The power of Tartarus has been nullified. Someone has the other capstone. The game is back on.”
I love Shane Schofield. And I think I love him more than Jack West Jr, which is saying something (trust me). I read ‘Ice Station’, the first ‘Scarecrow’ novel, in a night. I couldn’t put it down, because I just needed to know what was going to happen next. How were Scarecrow and his team going to get out of it all alive?
The action is so well written, and I was on the edge of my seat (metaphorically, I was reading in bed) for the majority of the story. Yes, I had to suspend my disbelief a little throughout, but it played out like an action adventure movie in my head. And that in it of itself is incredible.
“If you do not lay down your defenses before our arrival, we will be forced to make an offensive entry. Such an entry, ladies and gentlemen, will be painful.”
- Wrong about the Guy by Claire LaZebnick
This is the third book I’ve read by LaZebnick, and it retells Jane Austen’s ‘Emma‘ in a modern setting. It’s done so well, and I really enjoyed it. If you want modern retellings of Austen’s work then definitely check out her books!
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Anthony and I read this for our book club, The Book Corner. I love the story, which I already knew, and I’m really glad I finally got around to reading it. I probably won’t ever read it again, rather I’ll watch the BBC mini-series, which is spot on.
- The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien
It took me ages to finish this, simply because I didn’t want to read the second half. The first half was amazing, and consisted entirely of the Battle for Helm’s Deep. It was awesome. However, the second part, which I finally got around to reading 6 months later, is basically just Sam and Frodo trudging to Mordor.
- American Sniper by Chris Kyle
Completely different to all the other books on this list, I really enjoyed this book. I found it because of the recently made movie starring Bradley Cooper. I thought it was incredibly interesting, particularly in the way that Chris Kyle states that it is all his recollection and ideas, not anyone else’s. If you enjoy military biographies that I would definitely recommend it.
And the taker of the top spot is…
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.
This is another book which I stayed up late reading (if 3 AM is technically late…). I was so enthralled in the world that Rainbow Rowell created. I almost felt like she was channelling me when she wrote Cath, a young woman starting college and struggling to write. She’s a fangirl, obsessing over books, suffering from anxiety and really not the best in social situations. I also loved Levi, and his interactions with Cath. It all felt so genuine and realistic. I think that I love it so much because I can relate to a lot of the things that Cath goes through. I suppose if I had to pick a fictional character who I was most like, it would be Cath.
“Sometimes writing is running downhill, your fingers jerking behind you on the keyboard the way your legs do when they can’t quite keep up with gravity.”
I already have a few books on the go for 2016, and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store! What would you top 10 books be for 2015? Any recommendations?