Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Favorite YA Novels of 2015

I know the time for talking about 2015 favorites has long been over, but I still wanted to share these books with you. These are the ones that have touched my heart, made me cry, placed me in panic mode, and/or caused me to be giddy. Basically all the emotions. I hope you've loved some of these too (and if you haven't read one or two, I hope this gives you a reason to!)

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Sean Kendrick, returning champion, and Puck Connelly, first girl racer, compete on dangerous water horses in the Scorpio Races for more than just the prize money.

It took a while for me to really be invested in this story (I almost gave up on it!) but man, this is one for the books. Right from the start, I knew Stiefvater's form of storytelling was going to be PHENOMENAL. The Scorpio Races is really a simple tale, but the way the world is written and the details of all the characters transforms it all.

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Kestrel, the general's daughter, buys a slave on instinct and ends up falling in love with him.

This is another book with a slow start, but it is very well worth it. Our main character, Kestrel, is smart + tactical + headstrong = everything I love in a heroine. Her slave, Arin, is the same in some ways, so it makes for a very interesting story. But it's not something you'll want to read if you're looking for action. It has more to do with plans and schemes, I think. No one is who they say they are.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Kady and Ezra's planet has been attacked, so they're forced to climb aboard an evacuating fleet. And if they thought they were lucky enough to survive — an enemy warship has them locked as their target.

The hype is real with this one, y'all. Illuminae was on everyone's radar last fall, and for good reason. This is the book I am recommending to everyone who says "I HATE READING" because the mix of formatting + intense plot will appeal to anyone. It's really a quick read, and the story gives your heart no time to rest.

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

Two years after Paige's boyfriend dies in an accident, Paige writes a to-do list to start over.

An excellent book about friendship, family, dealing with loss, and falling in love. Although I love nerdy/quirky Max Watson, I appreciate the fact that The Start of Me and You wasn't about Paige's life being renewed by another romantic relationship. Everyone in her life played a part in her healing process. This ended up on my favorites list because it's something I know I'll want to re-read over and over again!

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

The last book in a dystopian/romance trilogy following a girl named Juliette, whose touch causes death.

I will admit I flew through this only because I was desperate to find out what happens to Juliette and Warner. BE STILL, MY HEART. The best things about this trilogy are the characters (each one is well-developed and has a distinct voice) and Mafi's poetic writing style. The plot helps in moving the story along, but is more of a backdrop to everything else that's happening.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Ravka has been split by the Shadow Fold, a sea of darkness and monsters, where Alina discovers she can yield something powerful.

Foreign concepts in fantasy have always intimidated me, but this one was the perfect read to ease into the genre. While the world Bardugo created is unique and very descriptive, it's not complicated to follow. What made it captivating for me was all the details, like the chilling description of the Shadow Fold. Everything I read felt like watching a movie. (Note: I still don't know why everyone loves the Darkling.)
Out of all the books you read in 2015, which ones were your favorites? Did you love any of the ones I mentioned? And since it's already February — have you read anything this year (2016) that you'd put on your favorites list?

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