Favorite YA Novels of 2015

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

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—they're an enemy warship's 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. (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?


  1. The Winner's Curse!! Love it so much!! Some YA books I also really love are Lois Lane: Fallout, The Girl from Everywhere, and A Darker Shade of Magic.

  2. Ahhh, I'm so glad you liked The Winner's Curse! Have you read the sequel, The Winner's Crime yet? That one killed me. I'm really glad to hear you love those three books btw, because they're all books I hope to read someday.

  3. I LOVED ILLUMINAE SO MUCH. I haven't read any of these other books though, sadly. I definitely want to check out The Winner's Curse.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  4. It really thrills me that I've read most of the novels in this post! I still need to read Illuminae (and I definitely plan on trying to get that done this year). And I think you need to read Six of Crows, because it's PHENOMENAL :D

  5. All of these are so good!! Ignite Me ended the Shatter Me series perfectly. I absolutely LOVE Juliette and Warner. Illuminae was one of the best books I read last year. I definitely agree that's it's a great rec for those that aren't into reading. The schemes in The Winner's Curse are amazing. It doesn't need a bunch of action! All the twists make it exciting enough. :)

  6. I adored the Winner's Curse!!! Are you excited for the winner's crime?

  7. I'm so pleased to be able to say that I've read all except one of your favorites from 2015! They're all such excellent reads, and I seriously love seeing them highlighted in your post. (Have you read The Winner's Crime yet? I adored that one as well, even more than this first one.) As for the one I HAVEN'T read, I've definitely got to make the time to check out Illuminae! It did intrigue me last year, but the hype pretty much guaranteed I'd wait until later to check it out. I hope I do end up enjoying it as much as you did!

  8. I loveeeed Shadow and Bone! I'm constantly on the lookout for fantasy or sci-fi set in different parts of the world, so it's perfect for me. :D I'm currently listening to the audiobook of The Scorpio Races and it's really compelling!