Michael’s Favourites of 2015

I don’t know how it happened, but here we are at the end of the year.

2015 has been such a good reading year for me — according to Goodreads, I’ve read a personal best of 51 books this year! Thinking back, I can’t even remember half of the books I read, but there were so many that stood out to me that I constantly think about.

Below is a list of my seven favourite books that I read in 2015

The only rule I had for this list was to only pick one book per author–which turned out to be quite difficult for a few!

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WARM BODIES by Isaac Marion

Up until I had to read this book for University, I never really haWarmBodiesd any intention to read it. Seeing it on my reading list was pretty cool, but it was the last on my reading list, so I never actually got round to reading it until months after I bought it. I’d heard a lot about the movie being great, but I’d never really heard that much about the book. When I finally got to reading it, I was completely absorbed by it. I fell in love with the characters, and with the really dark depressing state of the world that Isaac Marion created. Everything comes together in this book to craft a story that’s just really smart, and highly enjoyable to read.

BONUS: The prequel novella THE NEW HUNGER was also a stand-out!

BONUS BONUS: I’m so excited for the sequels that have finally been announced!

SOUNDS LIKE ME by Sara Bareilles

I started to branch out a bit this year and read some non-fictSounds Like Meion books for a change, and was captivated by Sara Bareilles’s autobiography. It’s written in the form of eight essays about different parts of her life, each essay centred around one of her songs–either the essay explores the song and how it came to be, or the song acts as a framework for the part of her life that Sara talks about. I’ve been a fan of Bareilles’s music for a while, so this book was so much fun to read, and Sara’s hilarious personality falls perfectly into the narrative.

THE FIRE WISH by Amber Lough

ReviewTheFireWish

THE FIRE WISH was a book that took me by complete surprise. I’d been following Amber on Twitter for a while when I decided to buy this book, and always meant to get to it but never actually found myself reading it. When I did, I couldn’t have been happier with it. It explores a mythology that I’ve never really been exposed to a lot, it has some fantastic characters, there are some  really intriguing fantasy elements, and some masterful writing! Overall it’s just got everything that I love in it. Definitely pick this one up if you ever get the chance, it’s truly a gem!

THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO by Patrick Ness

Review

KnifeI had such an experience with this book. It was the kind of book that I’d known about for years before I ever bought it, that I had friends who constantly tried to get me to read it, and when I finally did start reading it I just felt completely… underwhelmed. I got through the first 70 or 80 pages feeling like the book was just a massive disappointment, and then… it got really insanely awesome. I finally clicked with it, and re-read a lot of the beginning. I flew through the rest of it and couldn’t understand why I had ever thought I didn’t like it. It lived up to every expectation I had for it, and I can finally see why people love Patrick Ness so much. THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO is definitely one of the most phenomenal books I read all year.

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir

ReviewEmber

I wasn’t on the hype-train for this book. At all. I saw everyone go on and on and on and on about this book in the lead-up to it coming out, so much so that I just decided to give it a miss. To this day, I still don’t remember what changed. On a whim one day I bought the book — probably because the hardback is one of the most glorious hardbacks I’ve ever owned — and decided to read it. Guys. Guys. This might be the best debut book I’ve ever read–Sabaa Tahir is such a talented writer, and I can’t wait to read more from her in the future!

QUEEN OF SHADOWS by Sarah J. Maas

QoSOkay. Sarah J. Maas’s fourth instalment in the Throne of Glass series. Book 1 was fantastic. Book 2 was spectacular. Book 3 was just great. Book 4 was EVERYTHING. I’ll never fail to be amazed by how well Sarah J. Maas can write a story. How she can write characters who are good and bad and everything in between, who are frustrating and sympathetic. How she can continue to develop this world into this fully realised place that I genuinely believe with every page. QUEEN OF SHADOWS is Sarah’s crowning (geddit?) glory so far, and it topped every expectation I had for it.

VENGEANCE ROAD by Erin Bowman

VengeanceRoad_CoverRevealReview

You all should have seen this coming. I spent a huge part of the middle of 2015 helping with the promotion of this book as part of the Vengeance Road Posse (once a posse, always a posse!), and managed to snag an ARC of it a few months before it came out. I’ve written a few posts this year about how much I loved Erin’s Taken Trilogy, so VENGEANCE ROAD was always going to be one of my most highly anticipated books of the year, and when I finally got to read it early, I can’t even describe my feelings on it. It’s just so good on so many levels — the story is great (and based on a really interesting legend), the characters are phenomenal (they are all fully developed and feel like they could easily be real people), and the writing is just my favourite! One of the big things about VENGEANCE ROAD that you realise within the first few pages is that it’s written in a true western dialect, and it’s just really fun to read! This book, for a number of reasons, will always have a special place on my bookshelf, and is without doubt my favourite of the year!


Really, what a year it’s been. I really struggled to pick a top 7, because there are so many more books that I read and loved this year. I can’t wait to see what kind of reading experience 2016 brings; if it’s anything like 2015 I’m going to be very happy!

MichaelSig

Let me know what your favourite book of 2015 was!

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