Julie’s Top Reads for 2015

In alphabetical order:

THE ARCHIVED

THE CHOCOLATE WAR

THE EVOLUTION OF MARA DYER

JONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL

THE NIGHT CIRCUS

THE RAVEN BOYS

THE SCHWA WAS HERE

THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER

 

Breakdown by age group:

Middle Grade: 1

Young Adult: 5

Adult: 2

 

Awards:

Most Enchanting – THIS IS SO HARD to choose just one for because at least four of the above books contend! If pressed, I would choose THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern. The premise is original, the magic dazzling. Morgenstern has a gift for spinning magic in an exquisite yet minimal way, so that we seamlessly accept the arts without needing much of any explanation for them. There are also rules at work that even the protagonists don’t understand, which puts the reader right there with them.

Best Discovery – THE SCHWA WAS HERE by Neal Shusterman. This is the one book on this list that was not recommended to me by a friend, Tumblr, Goodreads, or a bookstore display; I pulled it down off a shelf at random. And I am so glad I did, because the antics of Anthony “Antsy” Bonano and his “functionally-invisible” friend Calvin Schwa made me laugh out loud, even when they broke my heart.

Most Loved – You may have noticed a similarity in two titles listed. That’s because I devoured THE UNBECOMING and then THE EVOLUTION OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin. The lone survivor in the collapse of an old asylum, life is one creepy episode after another for Mara when she wakes up in the hospital with no memory of the night that killed her friends. PTSD and hallucinations make it impossible for her to distinguish between what’s real and what isn’t—especially when a string of violent deaths come to pass exactly as she imagines them. This series may be the BEST crossroads of dark, spooky, supernatural, and dreamlike I’ve yet encountered, and has some of the best relationships—close siblings, worried parents, a snarky friend and a seductive ally—I’ve found between any two covers.

 

What were your favorite books this year?

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6 thoughts on “Julie’s Top Reads for 2015

  1. The Night Circus is so good! i read it shortly after it came out and keep waiting for Erin to write more stuff and waiting and waiting… Everything Neal Shusterman touches is gold! Did you see the BBC miniseries they did for Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell? if not check it out, so awesome!

    My favorite book this year is by and large, The Library at Mount Char, by Scott Hawkins. It’s a debut novel: fantasy, horror, mystery mash-up and actually made it to the finals in best debut novel on Goodreads as a write in! The author is also really nice. I’ve had a rapport going on with him for several months, even prior to the novel publishing because of some short stories he wrote for suvudu cage matches (female fantasy was the category, two stories) that I thought were amazing so i reached out to him on Facebook.

    you can check out the short story that grabbed me at this link and if you like it, then you can read his book. and I realize how much I sound like a commercial, but word of mouth gets books read and I love to help the authors i think deserve it as much as I can!

    http://suvudu.com/2015/03/cage-match-2015-round-2-lyra-belacqua-vs-death.html

    • Gasp! No, I had no idea the BBC did a mini series, I am DEFINITELY checking that out! As I plan to read more Neal Shusterman (was very impressed by his diverse canon when I first looked him up) and go check out The Library at Mount Char right now! Thanks for the recs, Betsy 🙂

  2. Ooh, ooh, all of these sound so great. The Shwa Was Here looks fantastic – and I love that you chose it randomly. I love going into bookshops and pulling a random book off the shelf that catches my eye – and it’s hard, because almost eVERY book I read has been recommended to me in form form of the internet or my friends. Sometimes it turns out to be pricey if the book isn’t as good as I expected, sometimes it pays off! Loved the post, Julie ❤

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