Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Faves of 2015 ~ Top Twenty Reads

I'm bringing my fave reads of 2015 to you in January (month of the sleepy and sunny summer holidays!). 

Before i get to the books, here's a few stats from my personal reading for pleasure. I have not included books I read with my kids or books I read for uni.

Books Read: 92
Number of rereads: 15
I don't make numerical reading goals but my reading has been in the 90-100 books per year for the past 3 years, which is just shy of 2 books per week ~ a good amount for managing my bookish life with my other life commitments.

Young Adult: 59
Adult Fiction: 33
Australian authors: 33 (really happy that over a 1/3 of my reading was Australian ~ although I often feel like I am never going to read all the Aussie titles on my TBR ~ there are so many that came out in 2015 that I still have not gotten to...)

I love celebrating the discovery of new favourite books and this year I have 20 new faves (plus many more books I enjoyed my time with).  Some are literary masterpieces, some are brilliantly written and plotted, some are just plain fun or addictive comfort reads. All 20 of these titles have one thing in common: I was hooked and addicted. These books provided my favourite reading experiences of 2015 and I hope you find something here that you might also fall in love with. 

As always, many thanks to these amazing authors, who brought so much goodness to my reading life last year xx

Aussie YA Faves

Brilliant and sexy and addictive and genius end of to an all-time forever fave series of mine. So much love for this one, and yes, I've reread it already! My review.

Absolutely amazing and creative and genius and just completely perfect. This conclusion to the series blew my mind <3

The latest Fiona Wood was a perfect fit for me, all the Fiona Wood Aussie YA goodness we all love plus a gorgeous touch of whimsy and loads of heart. Review for this beauty to come!

Slightly bizzarre and deliciously surreal, this one is a new total fave for me. I loved it so much, I swallowed it whole. My review.

Smart and smiley and refreshing original. Loved so much about this: the premise and the twisty, brilliant and daring way everything some together. Williams is an outstanding author marching along to the beat of her own drum. This one is marketed as YA but with 4 POV's (some young adult age) it's perfect for fans of adult fiction, too. 

This was dazzling and unique and unexpected and wholly enjoyable. This is one underrated Aussie YA gem that I would love to see more people get swept up by this captivating and fun book. Also, really excited for Fornasier's sophomore title coming out in 2016! My review

Contemporary YA Faves

This one is for fans of good, relentlessly addictive books. And for people who are not afraid of heartache (blended just perfectly with the right amount of hope). So so good. I read this on 2 sittings, over one day <3

This book really is a stand-out in contemporary YA -- easy to sink into, heart-felt without ever venturing into melodrama, relate-able, fun and emotionally moving. The pacing is great and, if the mood hits you and you find your groove, you just may read it in one sitting (like I did!). Review to come! :)

Haha, this book was so fun. I loved the UK vibe, the dual POVs. The awkward moments, humour, and so very teen vibe about it all. I couldn't put this one down and finished it at 3am, with a ridiculous grin on my face. 

This book felt fresh and genuine and true and is my favourite brand of contemporary YA. I enjoyed the first half, but LOVED the second half, where I suddenly found myself caring deeply for the characters. What a gorgeous book!

I really enjoyed this one: fun and clever and full of emotional depth. This book broke a reading drought for me and had me smiling and invested the whole way through. My review

The conclusion (maybe? I'm hoping for more!) to a fave contemporary YA series of mine. It was very unexpected, the direction this book went in. It felt brave and sad but true and not without hope. Despite some sorrow, it was still sexy and fun and angsty and so good! I really do love this series and would love for it to keep going, somehow, to revisit the characters in a few years and see how they are doing x

Fave New Adult

I don't actually normally read this genre. Well, I do attempt it (but mostly abandon new adult titles part way in) but for some reason this really worked for me! Look, it was not without it's moments of melodrama (a staple of the genre?) but it also had a lot of heart and soul and characters I was totally rooting for. This was swoony and hot, with loads of tension and slow burn. So, check it out if you're a fan of the New Adult scene and hopefully you'll find this as deliciously addictive as I did :)

Fave Fantasy & Fairy Tale Retellings

I adore this series. Seriously DYING for The Winner's Kiss. This second book did everything right and I loved it. LOVED IT. 

Wow ~ I loved this. So much atmosphere and intrigue and a gorgeous foreign-vibe fantasy setting. The tortured and mysterious hero really worked for me, too, LOL. I've asked for this book for my shelves for my upcoming birthday, along with the sequel ~ it's a duology (April, you feel so far away!). 

 This re-imagined fairy tale is lush and intricate and full of mysteries, sexual tension and unique mythology. This book wins the up-all-night prize, keeping me turning pages into the squeaky hours of the morning, finishing with that rush you get from being completely absorbed by a good tale. I loved it, so much <3 My review.

Bonus book: a tiny short story (I wish it had been a full length novel!) A Cinderella re-imagining that was haunting and swoony and pretty much perfect!

Adult Fiction Faves

Oh my gosh. What an outstanding and haunting and gorgeous Aussie debut. I loved this so much and I have a half written draft review but all the words I say feel inadequate to capture this beauty of a book (so my review has been languishing unread :( ). All Aussies who belong to a library ~ track this one and sink into it <3

I don't know what it is about this book (at times I wasn't even sure what the central plot was), but it was just absorbing and felt so true to life. I loved it and am so glad I read it. My library has all of Anne Tyler's backlist, which is exciting after finding a new author, but I have no idea where to begin, so if there are any fans out there, I'd love to know your fave title of hers!

This had what I now think of as Clarke's signature features: wide open seas, wanderlust, mysteries and secrets, and swoon. It was addictive (so cleverly written, blending two timelines and leaving small timely clues). I am excited for anything Clarke writes! I am not entirely sure, but this may be my fave of hers yet. Really worth your time!

Such a charming, off-beat Irish vibe, a kind of chick-lit magical realism that was just fun and slightly ridiculous (in the best of ways). What  a gorgeous and fun and completely memorable read. Much, much love! My review. 

What a gorgeous looking bunch of brilliant books! 
Have you read and loved any of these? 
I'd love to know a couple of your faves from 2015 (link me up to a blog post if you have one or comment with a recommendation below)

Round-up of my previous end of year faves posts:

2013 Top Ten
2012 Top Ten
2011 Part One (the books) Part Two (characters) Part Three (scenes) Part Four (faves)
2010 Faves  and Aussie YA faves