I can’t believe it’s been another year. Another cartload of books read, though not as many as I wanted to read. My Goodreads target was 80, but I lowered it to 70 when it got to December and I clearly wasn’t going to make 80.
I’ve read some great things this year, and I’m looking forwards to continuing to read from my shelves as well as doing the odd review here and there next year. So many things I’ve wanted to get round to reading this year and haven’t!!
But, of everything I’ve read, these are my picks for top ten best books of 2015:
I read this expecting a cheesy but fun ‘opposites attract’ romance and got plenty of romance and fun, but also some thoughtful exploration of immigration, fear of the ‘other’ and internet trolling. It’s a very modern story – real life issues wrapped in sci-fi dressing, and I loved it for it.
9. Them: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson
I thought I’d try to read some non-fiction this year, as I rarely read any, and chose this gem from my shelf. Told in a series of stories about different fringe groups, this exploration of paranoia, conspiracy and the weird things that go on in the world walks a clever line between buying into the paranoia and dismissing it completely, leaving the reader with the difficult task of making their own mind up about who they believe. Clever and interesting.
More YA sci-fi. This one wasn’t as thought provoking as Alienated, but for some reason I just enjoyed it more. It was terribly romantic, and I think it just caught me in the right mood. There were some interesting sci-fi concepts beyond the basics like space travel, and I really liked the characters and their relationship with each other.
7. Lips Touch by Laini Taylor
I’m not normally the biggest fan of short stories, but these three novella length short stories, steeped in myth and magic, were really good reads. All about first love and the magic of kisses, I loved all three tales and this book kept me reading at a time when my attention span was only marginally longer than a goldfish’s.
I’ve read a few LGBT YA books this year in an attempt to broaden my reading horizons a little, and Simon Vs. was my favourite. It was just a really good, feel good story – although it didn’t skirt the challenges faced by LGBT teenagers. I really liked Simon and his awkward adorableness and I really wanted him to get his happy ending. No disappointment there.
5. Before I Go To Sleep by
Leaving aside the obvious issues with hospital security and the technicalities of memory loss, this was a taught, tense thriller that I couldn’t put down. An honourable mention goes to The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins, which was very similar to this in a lot of ways, but had the downside that I guessed who the killer was straight away. Before I Go to Sleep managed to keep me guessing almost until the very end, craftily swinging my opinion about the characters back and forth until I was as confused as the main character about the motivations they had.
Full of clever observation about humanity – as every good story about robots should have – this thriller about a man chasing after the body parts of the woman/robot he loves ought to have been really daft. Instead it was thought provoking, insightful, with some great world building, and a main character who lives up to your expectations in the best (and worst) way.
3. The Copper Promise / The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams
This was one of those ‘oops I accidentally ordered book 2 for review’ moments which turned out to be the one of the happiest accidents of the year. I LOVED these books. They were epic and fantastical, but they were also riotously funny, with great characters, fabulous worlds, interesting magic and romance and everything that I love. I hope there is a book three coming out next year because I would love to spend some more time with the characters and their world.
After having the pleasure of meeting Neil Gibson at Comic Con Birmingham, I’ve since read four volumes of his work. Twisted Dark is a series of short stories in Graphic Novel form that explore the dark side of human nature. Some of them have twists, some of them are just twisted, and they all interconnect in the subtle sort of way that makes rereading them as much of a joy as the first reading. Really recommend these for any fan of horror or the macabre.
It took me so long to get round to reading this, it was pretty embarrassing. I borrowed it from Mr T when he got it for Christmas and didn’t read it until summer. But it was well worth the wait. A book I wish I’d written – clever, fun and making superheroes cool and gritty and realistic. I am SO excited to read book two, and I definitely need to read more of Sanderson’s work.