Top 10 Favorite Books of 2015!

2015 has been the BIGGEST reading year for me yet! This year I fell in love with reading even more than ever before. I’ve also had so many bookish opportunities. But most of all, I fell in love with so many books. I read almost all of my current favorite books this year. So, in no particular order, here’s 10 of my favorite books that I read this year.

Deluge (River of Time #5) by Lisa T. Bergren

Season of Fire (The Remnants #2) by Lisa T. Bergren

All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1) by Ally Carter

Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1) by Kasie West

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch

Vendetta (The Nikki Boyd Files #1) by Lisa Harris

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

See How They Run (Embassy Row #2) by Ally Carter

Son (The Giver #4) by Lois Lowry

I did reviews for most of these books! Just click on the book title above and I should direct you to my review of that particular book.

-Lilian-

 

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Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

 

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

 

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

 

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

 

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

 

Illuminae is a lot of people’s favorite book of 2015. I saw so many people RAVING about this book, so, of course, I had to buy it to see what the hype is all about. I must admit, the size is intimidating. With a whopping 599 pages of words, files, and documents, I was hesitant to start it. So it took me over a month to finally pick up. But, when I did pick it up, I was instantly caught up in the sci-fi world.

 

I thought this book would be hard to read since it isn’t straight-forward writing, but I was wrong. It was super easy to read and get through. All the characters, major and minor, were lovable and amazing. The world-building was fantastic. I totally understand why so many other people love this book, and I’m right there with them.

 

Ezra and Kady. They were so lovable and strong and human in a hard time. Their relationship was cute, er, as cute as can be when they broke up right before the story starts. But they were amazing characters. I also grew a love for the secondary characters Byron Zhang, James Mcnulty, and (especially) Aidan. I won’t go into any detail about these characters for risk of spoilers, but I bonded with all 3 of them.

 

The graphics in this book are beautiful. From the cover to the inner art, it is amazing itself. Some scenes are hard to read because of how its written with the graphics, but it is beautiful nonetheless.

 

This book isn’t for the faint of heart. A virus, which resembles The Flare from The Maze Runner series, is released on the ships and turns some people into zombie-like creatures who kill and do unspeakable things. It wasn’t very scary for me to read it, but I did want to warn any potential readers. I had no idea about that aspect going into the book, honestly, so it’s just a warning.

 

Also, this book is not clean. Not near clean. A majority of profanity is covered with a black line, as it instructs in the beginning of the book, but that doesn’t stop the mind from easily telling what word are under those lines. Plus, it does have a few sexual references, but nothing graphic. Some bantering and teasing between friends and such, but it’s nothing graphic. I marked that area off in my copy of the book so, in case I ever want to re-read it, I can skip past it. But, in the end, you aren’t explicitly reading the words. But they’re still there and you know it. Oh, and there is mention of one gay relationship. It doesn’t go into any detail except mentioning the man had a husband.

 

In the end, I’m SUPER pumped for the next book, Gemina, slated to come out in 2016! Plus, this book is already being made into a movie!! I’m so excited for the development in the series. I read an article on Jay Kristoff’s (one of the author’s) blog earlier about the new book and it made me even more excited! I’m really hoping the new book has less profanity… *fingers crossed*

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

 

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

 

I’ve been trying for weeks to get a review together about this book, but I’ve been procrastinating. I’ve since read 2 other books (making me 3 book reviews behind) and I desperately need to write this. So, without further ado, here’s my thoughts on Thirteen Reasons Why.

 

This books is about 288 pages of whining, forced emotion, and horrible situations.

 

I must admit, I feel horrible calling a suicidal girl whiney. It feels messed up. But, this is a fictional girl, so bear with me here. Oh, Hannah. You had such an opportunity to move all of our hearts and put into perspective that how you treat others really does matter. Instead, you decided to rattle off 13 different reasons (most that are easily avoidable if you would stop for a minute and THINK about the stupid choices you were making) why you committed suicide. I mean, some you could have avoided. DON’T go to the party. CLOSE your window. TALK to your parents. I’m sorry, but I don’t feel like you should make stupid decisions than record them and send them to the people to blame them and tell everyone how horrible they are when you also played a role in the situation. Do I believe the other people should have done what they did? Absolutely not. They were out of line. But so were you, Hannah. So were you.

 

I must add that I have never been in the situations like Hannah, so I can’t honestly say that I’ve felt her emotions or gone through what she has.

 

Clay Jensen is a very likable character when he isn’t unnatural and full of forced emotion. He is a nerdy kid who has a long-time crush on the now dead Hannah Baker. But he also made some stupid decisions, like lying to your mom and stealing from your friend.

 

The plot had SO much potential to be absolutely amazing. Seriously, this could have been phenomenal. Sadly, it just didn’t hit the mark with me. Maybe my expectations were just too high. I wasn’t looking for a fun, easy read. I was looking for an emotional, thoughtful one. So maybe it was me who was wrong about the book.

 

I honestly believe the good morals and messages were present in the book, but faintly. They were watered down with stupid decisions and unanswered questions.

 

As for the content, it did have a fair amount of profanity. Plus the reasons had a variety of tough topics, including rape, drinking, partying, groping, and the like. They weren’t heavily described at all, but they were there.

 

Overall, I now have a beautiful autographed copy of the book, but I probably won’t be reading it again for a long time. At least I am prepared for the new TV show miniseries based off the book that comes out in early 2016.

 

-Lilian-

She is not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

The feeling that coincidences give us tells us they mean something… But what? What do they mean?

 

LAURETH PEAK’S father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers – a skill at which she’s remarkably talented. When he goes missing while researching coincidence for a new book, Laureth and her younger brother fly from London to New York and must unravel a series of cryptic messages to find him. The complication: Laureth is blind. Reliant on her other senses and on her brother to survive, Laureth finds that rescuing her father will take all her skill at spotting the extraordinary, and sometimes dangerous, connections in a world full of darkness.

 

From acclaimed storyteller Marcus Sedgwick, She Is Not Invisible is a gripping contemporary thriller threaded with unsettling coincidence and a vivid and convincing portrayal of a young woman living without sight.

 

This book was a major cover buy for me. I saw the cover on Book Outlet while I was browsing through and I fell in love with it. So I soon placed an order including this book.

 

So I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy and dystopian books with heavy action and plot lines lately, and I really wanted a fun, short, light contemporary, so I could have a break from the heavy stuff. So, I picked this one up since it seemed to meet all my requirements. Boy, was I totally wrong.

 

I just have to say that this is one of the most confusing books I’ve ever read. I don’t even get the point of this book. I’m trying to grasp the concept of everything that was mentioned, but it’s just so different and random that I’m afraid I can’t get a hold of this books purpose.

 

I must say, the book was intriguing enough to get me to finish it all the way through, but it was a fairly small book. Plus, it was full of quotes that are perfect for your Instagram photo of the outdoors, when you want to sound artsy and philosophical.

 

But the book went all over the place and I was constantly confused as to where the author was leading the book and what he was trying to say.

 

But, again, I must give the author props because writing a book with a blind protagonist must have been tough. It was definitely an eye-opener (no pun intended) for me. I never really imagined what being blind would be like and the difficulties that come with it.

 

With all the confusion and drama that happened, you’d think, in the end, it would all tie together and have a big, mind-blowing ending, right?

 

Wrong.

 

The ending was short and abrupt, with no real meaning. It didn’t answer all my questions and it was bland. I was expecting more from this book. I was expecting answers and finality. But I guess my questions will forever be unanswered.

 

As for cleanliness, this book did have some swearing, especially towards the end of it. It had few uses until the end, which it then came with a couple uses per chapter. It had no inappropriate scenes. A few men in a bar made some rude comments, but nothing graphic.

 

-Lilian-