Sunday, 27 December 2015

My Favourite Books Read In 2015

At the end of every year, I like to look back on the books I've read and pick out the ones that really stood out for me. This year there are so many that I'm limiting myself to ten, and it has been really hard to decide which books will make the cut. But, after much deliberation, this is the final list; my top ten favourite books read in 2015! 

"The Bear" by Claire Cameron

Such a moving, emotional read that had me, never usually one to be moved to tears, close to tears at points. I have so much love for this book; I can see myself re-reading this one again in the not-too-distant future!

"Second Life" by SJ Watson 

Whilst everyone was raving about "The Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins, I was reading, and raving about, this psychological thriller which, like Paula Hawkins' novel, has a strong female lead. "The Girl on the Train" really couldn't compete against "Second Life" by SJ Watson, though.

"In The Unlikely Event" by Judy Blume

I'm inclined to say that this is the first ever Judy Blume novel I've read. But I have vague recollections of reading "Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret" when I was much, much younger. This is the first adult novel of Judy Blume's I've read, though, and the first Judy Blume I've read in many, many years. And I loved it! Emotional, gripping, intense, exciting. Everything a good book should be, and more.

"The Girl in the Spider's Web" by David Lagercrantz

Ohmygosh, I waited so long for this book, and it did not disappoint! I remember feeling so empty when I finished the Millennium trilogy, by Stieg Larsson; knowing there would be no more. But David Lagercrantz has picked up the baton, and I'm so hopeful for another instalment from him next year, maybe? 

"I Am The Messenger" by Markus Zusak

This is the most unexpected favourite book of 2015. I was very vocal in my dislike of Zusak's bestselling novel, "The Book Thief." So when I picked up "I Am The Messenger" I never expected to like it. But I didn't just like it, I loved it. And here it is, in my top ten favourite books of 2015!

"The Casual Vacancy" by J.K. Rowling

Everyone told me not to waste my time with this book, so I didn't. I was considering buying it, instead I borrowed it from my local library. And then devoured it. Seriously, it's so good; why did you all tell me not to bother with it?! I'm going to have to buy my own copy because I recently watched the mini-series on TV and now I want to read the book again! Gah! So good!

"Garden of Shadows" by Virginia Andrews

Last year I read all of the books in the Dollanganger series by Virginia Andrews. I'm always reluctant to say I enjoyed the series; it's so dark, so taboo. But I did enjoy the series, although I felt the books got steadily worse as the series went on. It was "Garden of Shadows," the prequel which, yes, I read last, that turned the series around for me. This book explained everything perfectly, made the previous books make so much sense, and gave a completely different viewpoint to the ones given previously. A brilliant book - the best in the series!

"The Sudden Departure of the Frasers" by Louise Candlish

One of those books you pick up on a whim because it's half-price in a supermarket. This whim paid off, because "The Sudden Departure of the Frasers" is one the best books I read this year. I sat down to read it one morning and put off everything else until I'd reached the end; it was just that good. I could not put it down! 

"Royal Wedding" by Meg Cabot

Hands up if, like me, you grew up with "The Princess Diaries" series by Meg Cabot? When I heard she was releasing another book in the series, I knew I'd be getting my hands on a copy as soon as possible. "Royal Wedding" is aimed at the adult readers; the, I presume, adult readers who spent their teenage years reading "The Princess Diaries" series! Because if you hadn't read the previous books in the series, you'd struggle to enjoy, or make sense of, this book. But if you did, you'll love this. So many "OMG" and "LOL" moments! 

"The Girl On The Train" by Paula Hawkins

It didn't make the top five, but "The Girl On The Train" clawed it's way into the top ten. I made the mistake, of course, of buying into all the hype about this book when it was first released so, naturally, I had too high hopes for it. I was left feeling a little disappointed, but it is a fantastic debut novel, and I did really enjoy it. It's worth reading, if you've been considering it! 

So many good books in 2015. Some new releases, others books that have been on my to-read list for some time. I can't wait to see what literary delights 2016 has in store for me! 

What books did you love this year? Have you read any of the books on my list? What did you think? Let me know in the comments! 

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