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: 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

 

The Bookish Scenarios tag

Thanks a lot to Mariana @ fireheartbooks for tagging me to do the Bookish Scenarios tag!

1.) You have to get rid of all your books and you can only keep one from each of these genres – contemporary, fantasy, non-fiction and one other genre of your choosing. What books do you keep?

Contemporary – Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe for sure. I have mentioned this book a lot lately, but I just have too. It’s amazing.

You can find my review of Aristotle and Dante by clicking here

Fantasy – The name of the wind by Patrick Rothfuss. A book I mentioned a lot too.

You can find my review of the name of the wind by clicking here

Non-fiction – ooh I don’t read much non-fiction, but I’m going with the diary of a young girl, because that’s the only non-fiction book I remember reading.

Thriller: The girl with all the gifts, because this book is very unique and it really surprised me.

You can find my review of the girl with all the gifts by clicking here

2.) You’re at the bookstore and you hear a teenager telling their mom they don’t like to read, but their mom insists they pick something. You walk over and recommend a book you think is great for people who aren’t big on reading – what book is it?

Probably Percy Jackson, because it’s easy to read, action-packed throughout the whole book, it’s about gods and demi-gods, which is very interesting and every book in the series is just so much fun to read!

3.) You’re not feeling yourself and need a pick me up. Which book do you read to put yourself in a great mood?

I’m about to say Aristotle and Dante again, but I will pick another one for the change. Let’s go with a book I have read this year too and that’s Me and Earl and the dying girl. It was the first book that had me laughing out loud and it was a fun read. Although I almost shed a tear at some point too.

You can find my review of Me and Earl and the dying girl by clicking here

4.) You go back in time for a day to your child-hood years. What book would you most likely have caught yourself reading?
Any book in the ranger’s apprentice series!

You can find some thoughts I have about the series by clicking here

5.) Your friend surprises you with a 4 day trip and you have 1 hour to pack. Which book do you bring to read on the way?

The wise man’s fear by Patrick Rothfuss. This book is huge! I’m telling you. So I will have a lot of pages to turn and I won’t be without a good story to read.

6.) Your house has been robbed! Don’t worry – everyone is safe, but your bookshelf has been raided. What’s the book you really hope is safe?

I can’t chose just one! That’s not fair. I hope all of them, but especially the ones I already mentioned above. Like Aristotle and Dante, I’m sorry. My books by Patrick Rothfuss and my beautiful editions of the Harry Potter series too, of course.

7.) Your friend borrows a book and returns it in awful condition. Do you a) Just pretend you haven’t noticed b) Ask them to repurchase it or c) Secretly do the same to something of theirs?

C is not an option to me, because my friends don’t really own books. Not that I would have done it if they had. That’s just something I wouldn’t do. I’m going with option A. I’m not going to ask them to repurchase it for me, that’s too much to ask in my opinion, but I will tell them to be careful the next time.

 

 


 

 

I’m tagging everyone who sees this and wants to do this!

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

“Sometimes, the wicked will tell us things just to confuse us–to haunt our thoughts long after we’ve faced them.”

This was actually the book I was most looking forward to read this month. The synopsis looked very intriguing and there was a lot of hype around it. So I had high expectations for this one. Unfortunately, the book couldn’t live up to my expactations entirely.

Throne of glass is about Adarlan’s most notorious assassin; Celaena Sardothien. She has served for a year, as a punishment, in the salt mines of Endovier. Known as a death camp. But then one day the crown prince of Adarlan offers her her freedom, under one condition: She must act as his Champion in a competition to become the king’s assassin. The story continues when the competition has started and Celeana has to beat the others in a series of eliminations. But the story gets a twist when one of her opponents turns out dead, and more will follow.

I already said it, but I really liked the idea of the story. An assassin who has to compete in a competition against other assassins, thieves etc. I pictured a lot of action and gruesome scenes, but that was, unfortunately, not the case. It was more of a romantic story and Celaena wasn’t really a cold and deadly assassin as I had pictured her. She came across to me as just a girl with some skills. In the first three quarter of the book it felt like I was reading the same thing over and over again. She was training, she had passed some tests, another champion was found dead. That was almost the only thing going on. And the tests weren’t even described. It literally went like this: two weeks later, she had passed three tests. I was really disappointed. So it took me a while to read the book and I actually picked up another book, because I just couldn’t do it at first. But I’m glad I continued with the book, because I really enjoyed the last quarter of the book

Now let’s talk about the characters. I didn’t like them at all in the beginning. I thought Celaena was annoying and way too perfect, she didn’t feel like a realistic character, Dorian was annoying too and then Choal. I didn’t get him. But I have to say that later in the book, much later, I started to like them a little. Dorian and Celaena turned out to be a little funny and I actually enjoyed some conversations they were having. And I have to admit that I started to actually like Coal. He turned out to be a very interesting person after all and I also liked the relationship he had with Celaena.

“My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name’s Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I’d still beat you, no matter what you call me.”

I have liked Princess Nehemia since she got introduced in the book. She was brave, determined, smart and likeable. And I loved the relationship she shared with Celaena.

And I think lady Kaltain was a good addition to all the characters too. She and the things that happened to her really showed how selfish, greedy and cruel people could be.

Further I have to say that it was a rather mild fantasy book. But what I did like about the book was the idea of the wyrdmarks and everything behind it. It’s a good thing to start with, I hope Sarah J. Maas will expand it in the other books. Although it wasn’t really original in my opinion, it was still very interesting. And the connection with Celaena, yes it was predictable but I forgive her for that, I really want to know more about it.

So even though this wasn’t a perfect book, I eventually enjoyed it and got to connect with the characters. And after reading the reviews of Crown of midnight, I think I will be picking up the next book in the series, because it looks very promising.

RATING: ★★★½

Throne of Glass /  Sarah J. Maas / Bloomsbury / 2012 / 404 pages / ISBN 9781408832332

My favourite TV series #1: Sleepy Hollow

Besides reading books, I also enjoy watching TV series and movies. I literally watch anything, from thrillers to feel-good-movies and series. I thought making a list of my favourite TV series as a start would be a fun idea, so I can share my opinions and feelings about them and maybe get you guys out there hooked on a new TV series. And the other way around of course, so tell me if you have got any recommendations.

Sleepy Hollow (season one)

Airing on: FOX

sleepyhollow

Source: IMDB

Episodes: 13

Length episode: 45 min.

Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Drama

Stars: Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, Lyndie Greenwood, John Noble

IMDB

My Rating: 9/10

Tagline: Evil takes hold

One of my favourite TV series is Sleepy Hollow. It is based on the novel by Washington Irving, first published in 1820. So it’s a classic. This series has got everything! “Time travelling”, witchcraft, demons, legends, such as the four horseman and many more very exciting things.

Sleepy hollow follows a man called Ichabod Crane (isn’t that the most beautiful name you have ever heard?). He is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers. And now Ichabod Crane has to fight the headless horseman once again as it endangers the people of today’s sleepy hollow.

Sleepy Hollow is mysterious, thrilling, exciting and even funny. Because Ichabod Crane is from the past, he doesn’t know how to behave and dress the way the people do today and how new devices, such as phones and cars, work. And he can be a stubborn man at some times. Which all makes for a lot of funny situations. The series is also really mysterious and you have to make sure you keep your attention to the story, because it can be very complicated sometimes. But that’s what makes the series also very interesting. So I’m saying that it is a positive thing. I love stories with more layers, so that it won’t become superficial. All the things happening in the TV series are in some way connected to each other, while at first sight they don’t seem to be. But it all will become clearer while the TV series continues.

Note;  At some points Sleepy Hollow can be creepy and eerie. But I like that, though.

Sleepy Hollow also has some very interesting characters. To begin with Ichabod Crane himself. Little by little you get to know him better and what his life was like in the past. He is a humorous guy, but also very determined and brave. Not only is Ichabod Crane a very interesting character, the other main characters, agent Abbie Mills whom Ichabod teams up with and her sister Jenny Mills are very interesting. Mostly due to what happened to them. It has changed their relationship and attitude towards each other and it has connected them to everything that is happening in Sleepy Hollow.

So I’m hoping Netflix will release the next season soon, because I have waited long enough and season one ends with a cliff-hanger,  so I need season two now. Especially when season three has already started yet!