The Best 15 Books of 2015

Because 2015 has almost come to an end, I thought I would make a list with the best books I have read in 2015. They’re in no particular order. I have categorized them by genre, so it would be easier to read and a lot clearer. So let’s find out what my favourite reads of 2015 are!


 

Contemporary

  • Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe by Benjamin Alire Saénz. ★★★★★
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. ★★★★★
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio. ★★★★★
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. ★★★★

Fantasy

  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. ★★★★★
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. ★★★★★
  • Half a King by Joe Abercrombie. ★★★★★
  • Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. ★★★★★
  • The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. ★★★★1/2
  • The Young Elites by Marie Lu. ★★★★
  • Angelfall by Susan Ee. ★★★★

 Historical Fiction

  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. ★★★★

 

 Thriller

  • The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey. ★★★★

 

Dystopian/Science Fiction

  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner. ★★★★★
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. ★★★★

 

 

Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

“I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.”

Wonder is a very uplifting, feel-good story about a boy called August. It isn’t dark or gritty what you may expect before reading it. The book is split up in several parts and every part is being told from the perspective of another character. So we don’t only get to see the perspective of August himself, but also from the people who are close to him. Which I totally loved! You get their background, you get to know their feelings and what they think about certain things too. It makes the book even more interesting.

The writing style is easy to read, the chapters are short, but yet it is so stunning.

I felt that the main characters in the book were very real. Everybody makes mistakes, the kids really acted like kids and in the way I had expected kids would. The things that are happening in the school are familiar, because it really went like that in middle school in real life. We all have experienced it, maybe not in the way August and his classmates did, but still it is familiar.

23302416

Source: Goodreads

Our main character August is a ten year old boy. On the inside he feels like he is ordinary, but the truth is, August is far from ordinary. He has got a facial abnormality and now has to go to a real school for the first time in his life. And he is dreading it. He worries about being accepted, making new friends and if they would see that he is just like him underneath it all.

August’s sister Olivia, or Via, has to cope with her own problems, like friends growing apart, going to a new school and the ‘problem’ of having a brother like August.

We also get to see the perspective of two of August’s friends, Summer and Jack. Which is very interesting too, because than you get to know why they did the things they have done. What their motives are. How they feel about August.

There was only one perspective of a person that felt a little unnecessary, but still it was interesting to see how a person from the outside thinks of August’s family. How they experience it.

In wonder we follow the first year of August on a real school. There is not really a plot, just a lot of interesting, sad, fun and happy things happening in that certain part of August’s life. The book never lacked interest and I never got bored with it. It made a lot of emotions and feelings free in me. And not even the story of August himself got me almost in tears, it was something unexpected.

I totally loved the attachments in the end. They were funny and they gave me hope. Just like the whole book gave me hope. It was pure perfection. If I would let my future children read a book, Wonder is definitely one of them. It is so much more than just a story. It contains good lifelessons, that there is more to a person than we can see on the outside, that it’s the inside that counts and not the outside. One of my favourite books for sure. I think everyone should read this book.

“You really are a wonder, Auggie. You are a wonder.”

RATING: ★★★★★

Wonder / R.J. Palacio / Corgi Childrens / 2012 / 315 pages / ISBN  9780552565974

The Reader Problems Book Tag

I was tagged by two fantastic bloggers to do this tag, thank you Mariana @fireheartbooks and The Orang-Utan Librarian! I have already done this one, it was the first tag I ever did, but it’s been a while and I can assure you that not many people have seen it. That’s why I decided to ‘repost’ it. Hereby The Reader Problems Book Tag.


 

  1. You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?

Most of the time I go and visit Goodreads to look what my friends and the people I follow are thinking of a certain book. Their meaning and mostly just how much the story appeals to me myself make me decide which book I want to read next. When I have started a new series that I really liked, the choice is much easier; I read the next instalment. It sounds as if I haven’t got any problems with this, but you have to know that it takes me a whole lot of time to finally decide.

  1. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?

I have to admit that I’m not always committed. When I really don’t like a book, for example allegiant, by Veronica Roth, I tend to quit and sometimes do. But I haven’t come across many books that I totally didn’t like. What I sometimes try to do is put the book down and go read another book first and then come back to it later. It helps.

3. The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?

This year is actually the first time I did a Goodreads reading challenge. I came across it like halfway through the year, unfortunately. So my reading challenge isn’t that high and I already made it. So we’ll see how it goes next year, when I get to set my goal higher than I did this year.

4. The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?

I don’t. When it’s a series I totally love, I want them to match. When they’re not the same height, it isn’t really a big problem, I can see through that after a while. But I like matching covers. It also makes a difference whether I like the covers or not. When they’re not that pretty, It’s not a must have, but when they are, it surely is.

5. Everyone and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?

I really don’t care. It’s my personal opinion. I don’t see the problem in thinking differently. It’s the same as loving a book everyone hates. It won’t make me hate the book too instead. So I would probably still post about it on my blog and put my review on goodreads, to share it with you guys. There will surely be people who agree with me. I hope.

  1. You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?

I have never cried over a book. I think I’m not really a crier. I do have read some books that made me really sad, angry or very happy. So I felt the emotions on the inside, but it never made me cry. So I have never dealt with this problem.

  1. A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book?

I have never done that before. Maybe because of the fact that from most of the series I have read, every book had already been published. I also don’t forget that much, and most of the time when I start reading the sequel the things that I did forget will come back to me.

  1. You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?

I have lent my books to people before and when I got them back, they weren’t the same anymore.. and I did not like that at all. So I just tell them honestly why I don’t do that anymore. To some people I trust, I still do, but I tell them to be careful. And when they don’t understand, they won’t get a book from me.

  1. Reading ADD. You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?

I would just not read for a while. Do other things that I like, such as watching tv shows or movies, writing, or some other stuff. Eventually I will come back to reading and I will be able to read all 5 of the books I had put down earlier. Rereading one of my favourite books will help too.

  1. There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?

I can’t really tell. If I have got enough money and I am feeling like it, I will buy as many of them as possible. When I don’t feel like it, I will only buy a few. The one’s that I am eager to read and to own.

11. After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?

Just as long as it takes me to read them one after the other. I will choose one and when I’m finished, I will pick up the next one in line.


 

I know a lot of you guys have already done this tag, but if you haven’t, I’m tagging you!

Day 4, 12 Days of Christmas Blogging

Day 4 : Share a Christmas story or write one of your own

I was nominated by Deanna from a novel glimpse to do this lovely challenge! You should definitely check out her blog! The challenge was originally created by StephJ.

The Rules:

  • Include the photo below in each blog post
  • You may start at any point in December
  • Use the topic supplied for the post of that day
  • Make sure all posts are in December, but they don’t have to be posted consecutively (lets face it it’s a busy time)
  • Nominate 3 people after each blog to start the challenge
  • Have fun!

12 days of christmas blogging


Christmas stories:

So I’m going to cheat a little bit on this one, by showing my favourite christmas books, or books I like to read around Christmas time.

Every Harry Potter book is good for Christmas!

I have read wonder recently and I loved it! I included it in this list, because it shows how important family and friends are. I think that theme suits the Christmas spirit. Besides that, these three books are all heart-warming. That’s why I like to read them around Christmas time. Even though they can be sad too, sometimes.

(All the images are found on goodreads)

Review: The wise man’s fear by Patrick Rothfuss

“It’s the questions we can’t answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he’ll look for his own answers.”

I did it guys! I can finally say that I finished this huge book. I’m proud of myself. It took me a little longer than I had hoped, but here we are. And although there were some things that bothered me and I didn’t love this book as much as the first one, it was still epic.

The wise man’s fear picks up the story where The name of the wind (my review) has left it. Again we follow the young Kvothe and his adventures. But in this book you really see Kvothe change from a boy into a man. Which brings me to the first thing that bothered me a bit. I found it hard imagining that Kvothe was only fifteen/sixteen years old throughout the book. He spoke and acted like he was way older and people also treated him like that. It didn’t feel right.

I was also very glad that the story took a turn and we got to see something else than the life Kvothe was having at the university. I got a little bored with that eventually and it felt like I was reading things over and over again. But just when I was fed up with that, a new adventure started. It was perfectly timed.

A major plus for this book is that it goes places we haven’t seen before. We get to know the world Patrick Rothfuss has created a little better, we get introduced to new cultures (maybe even new worlds), how people live, how things work there and we also get introduced to a lot of new and very interesting characters. I still like Kvothe a lot, although he makes it more and more difficult for me to like him along the way. About some of the other characters:

  • Denna, I still don’t know what you want.
  • Simmon, I want you t0 be my friend!
  • Although you’re crazy master Elodin, you’re still fantabulous.
  • Auri you’re so cute!
  • Fela and Devi, I like you two.
  • I thought I didn’t like you at first, then I started to like you Maer Alveron and now after everything that happened, I just don’t know how I think about you.
  • Bast, you just got very interesting.. and dark.
  • And last but not least, Tempi, you’re hilarious and I like you a lot.

This book was about a 1000 pages long.. I think that wasn’t necessary. In the middle there was a part of the book that really dragged on. Which made it hard to keep on reading. My favourite part of the book were the last 1/3 pages or so. That was when things got really interesting and we got to see another side of our young Kvothe.

I still love the little verses in the book. Kvothe is a musician and he sings songs, and I love reading those lines. The same goes for the stories that are being told by different people. They are so unique and most of the time contain a good life lesson and still are related to the story of the book in general. One of them almost got me teared up..

And in this book again I’m amazed by how the magic works. It’s so complicated, but yet it feels so realistic. Every part of it makes sense.

Patrick Rothfuss was also on a roll with his humor. Although it’s not always my kind of humor, I still laughed a lot. He already had me on page 56..

“People don’t like being toyed with”, Stanchion replied. “They resent it, in fact. Nobody likes having a joke played on them.”  “Technically”, Simmon interjected, grinning, “he played the joke on the lute.” Everyone turned to look at him and his grin faded a bit. “You see? He actually played a joke. On a lute.” He looked down at the table, his grin fading as his faced flushed a sudden embaressed red. “Sorry.”

This is so me! I always make ‘jokes’ like that and then I’m the only one who thinks they’re funny. So maybe that’s why I liked this one.

Another aspect I love about the books are the returning proloques and epiloques. I can’t really tell much about that, because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I think Patrick Rothfuss really did some magical things with them. It’s simple, but very effective.

And now I will have to wait untill the third and last book in the series will be released. Unfortunately the only thing we know of the book is the name, Doors of Stone. The release date is not yet set. And we know Patrick Rothfuss will only release a book he thinks is perfect, so it will take a lot of time before it’s here, but I’ll be waiting, ’cause I’m eager to know how this story continues and how it will end!

RATING: ★★★★½

* wondering how many pages the last book will be having*

The wise man’s fear / Patrick Rothfuss / Gollancz / 2012 / 1008 pages / ISBN 9780575081437

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Synopsis from Goodreads:

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

So it’s been a while since I read this book but I remember Angelfall as a quick and very good read. I didn’t really know what I could expect, because I didn’t know that much about the book. I also hadn’t read a book about angels before (except for the infernal devices, but those are very different, and you can’t really compare them.) But I liked it a lot!

I loved our main character Penrynn. She really kicks ass. She is brave, still very realistic and imperfect. Her actions aren’t always the right ones and she’s aware of this. Although her mother is mentally unstable and talks to demons, Penrynn loves her and her little sister very much. And she is determined to safe her sister, no matter the cost.

Than we have got Raffe, what do I say. He was likeable too. Raffe is stuck between helping Penrynn safe her sister, because he knows he is the best shot she’s got, and solving his own problems.

Something I have to say is that I really loved the conversations the two of them were sharing. It got me laughing almost everytime.

““Here, I’ll show you how to use it. Let me see your foot.”
“That’s a pretty intimate demand in the angel world. It usually takes dinner, some wine, and sparkling conversation for me to give up my feet.””

In the beginning I had the feeling that the book wasn’t that original. It felt like a typical surviving-got-to-find-someone- story, like I read or saw it somewhere else before. Yes, this is a typical storyline that you see a lot, but I’m talking about the things that were happening too. They felt familiar as well, although I never lost interest. The action kept going and I was turning the pages very fast. Fortunately the storyline got way better throughout the book. And what happens near the end.. holy crap! It was perfect. I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Angelfall+I have read some thrillers, such as the girl with all the gifts, because I love being creeped out, but this book creeped me out even more than they did. It is very graphic and there are some cruel and nasty things going on in the book.

The ending of the book itself gives you some closure and does, in my case, not desperately makes me want to pick up the sequel. But I know that eventually I will. I can tell you that.

RATING: ★★★★

Angelfall / Susan Ee / Hodder and Stoughton / 2011 / 326 pages / ISBN 9781444778519

Dashing Through The Snow B0ok Tag

I want to thank loreva @labookdreamer for tagging me to do this lovely book tag! The tag was originally created by Astra @ a stranger’s guide to novels.

These are the rules:

  • Thank the curator
  • Tag 5 people to spread the Christmas joy
  • Have fun!

 

Name a book you would like to see under your Christmas tree…  

The final empire by Brandon Sanderson. I really want to read this book, because it sounds so great and it was on my wishlist, so fingers crossed! I love fantasy books, but I haven’t read any of his books, still everyone recommends them, so I’m excited.

A Book you will be reading during the Christmas season!  

I hope I will receive we all looked up by Tommy Wallach for Christmas and then I can read it. I don’t really know why, but I just feel like reading it during the holidays. And otherwise I’m planning on rereading harry potter, because it’s Harry Potter and Harry potter is good for everytime of the year. But I will probably change my mind anyway.

Favorite Christmas movie!

Ooh this is a hard one. I loved Arthur Christmas, but I’m going with the polar express. I have watched this movie a lot of times now and I really loved it when I was younger. And the songs are just so cute! I hope it will be on TV again this year, so I can go on with my tradition of watching it every year. Although I am not loving it as much after all those years..

Do you like snow?

Depends.. I love snow when it’s Christmas, but otherwise not that much haha. I always fall of my bike when there is snow. I also love ice skating and when there is snow, the ice won’t be thick enough or totally covered in snow, so I won’t be able to go ice skating, unfortunately.

Name a character that you would like to spend your Christmas with!

Auri from the name of the wind. Yes she is weird, but she is so loving and she seems fun to hang with. Just two friends sitting on a roof, making up stories about the things we give each other and appreciating the music. Sounds good to me.

To give or to receive?

Both. I love to give other people something to show them appreciation and to make them happy. But I also like to get things, because it is a surprise and I love surprises.

What fictional place would you like to spend Christmas at?    

I very much agree with Loreva on this question! Hogwarts for sure. With so many people and all those magical things! That would be amazing.

Fondest Christmas memory! 

When the topper from our Christmas tree was broken, My mum and I made our own and it was very lovely. We both love to be creative and it was so much fun. It wasn’t the most beautiful one and not everything went as planned, but in the end, we got so much more.

Can you say Christmas tree ten times FAST  in a row (pronouncing it correctly)!  

Yes I can, apparently. I am always talking very fast, so maybe that’s why.


 

I definitely had much fun doing this tag! It really got me in the christmas spirit! So to spread the love and joy, I am tagging:

Mariana @fireheartbooks

Georgia @booksandothermiracles

Jet @Rabbitbookz

Maria @bookglobe

Cherry @readforevermore