Hello everyone! It’s that time of the week again! Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Basically, you get a different bookish topic every Tuesday, and you comprise a list of ten (or however many you’re able to list) relating to said topic.
Today’s topic is ‘Top Ten Books You Read in 2015.’ Now, this year has been amazing in terms of reading. I read some great books, and I can’t wait to share them all with you! Just to clarify: these books have not, necessarily, been released in 2015. These are just books I read in 2015. Also, I’m not going to include two books from the same series so…
I’ll try to put these in order. Psst, you can click the ‘full review’ link in the title of each book to read my spoiler-free thoughts!
10. One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin | 4.25 stars | Full Review
I’m going to be honest here. When I requested this book on NetGalley, I wasn’t expecting to like it. I just wanted to review my first ever e-ARC so I was desperate to get my hands on something. When I got approved, I put this off for a while. But as the archive date approached, I took a deep breath and picked it up. I don’t usually like contemporaries, but this one took me by surprise. It was such a cutesy, warm, fun read. It was just what I needed at the time, and I didn’t want to pick up anything but warm vanilla reads after I finished this. Now, I wouldn’t say this is the most meaningful thing in the world, nor is it some sort of a literary masterpiece. But it’s a book that doesn’t get the love and attention it deserves. It is the perfect cute vanilla read you’ve been needing in your life.
9. Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare | 4.25 stars | Full Review
I went into this with supremely high expectations. I enjoyed the first two books, and I had heard nothing but brilliant things about the final installment. And I’m usually always disappointed when I go into a book with such high expectations, but not this one. This lived up to each one of my expectations and more. It’s the perfect ending to this series, and is perhaps one of my favorite endings ever. It was bittersweet, and Clare made some difficult decisions and she didn’t shy away from them. The ending wasn’t too neat and clean – it had just the right amount of bitter to its sweet. I laughed, I cried, but most importantly, I enjoyed every second of it. If you haven’t yet picked up this series, do so now, if only for the majestic ending it promises.
8. The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) by Samantha Shannon | 4.5 stars | Full Review
I feel like I talk about this series a lot, but I also feel like not enough people talk about it. So I talk about it enough to make up for the general lack of conversation surrounding this series. When this book came out in February, I trekked 10 blocks through Manhattan snow and sludge to buy a copy. The stores were about to close due to the threat of a storm, and taxi drivers were being nastier than usual, so I walked. And I got this book, and I read in 2 days because it was fan-freaking-tastic. So much shit goes down in this. Shannon took the series into directions I was never expecting it to go. The cliff-hanger at the end still has me going nuts. The slow-burning romance, the new characters, the politics and the complex dystopian society and Samantha’s delicious writing – ugh, so good!
7. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh | 4.5 stars | Full Review
This is another book I talk a lot about, but this is one that you’ve probably already heard of. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, in which case, that’s kind of awesome, how do you do that? Excuse my dorkiness. Anyways, the Wrath and the Dawn took me by surprise. I knew what I was getting into when I was going in, but I didn’t expect to pull me in from the first 10 pages! It was fast-paced, it was sexy, it was tense, it was everything that I wanted it to be. Not to mention that the culture was so similar to Pakistani culture – the food, the clothing, the names (I know people with those names and that was so fun and so different!) The sense of familiarity added another layer to the book and made me enjoy it even more. And Shazi and Khalid – ugh. Just read my review because I’ll go on forever.
6. A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns & Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas | 4.75 stars | Full Review
To be frank, I wasn’t interested in this book until I found out Sarah J. Maas was having a signing for it near me, and so I had to buy it and go and get it signed. So I thought I might as well read it. AND I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I finished this beast (I think it’s over 500 pages) in just over twenty four hours. That is insane for me. It started off a little slow, but I was okay with it because Maas built such an entrancing world. The tension between Feyre and Tamlin was tangible from the very beginning. Their romance was the death of me. The side characters were all wonderful. The action was amazing, the pacing was brilliant. Oh, who am I kidding? It was mostly just Feyre and Tamlin. Mainly Tamlin *drools* I feel like Maas is going to ruin their relationship because apparently, that’s what she does, but we’ll see. I’m fully prepared to treat this as a stand-alone though.
5. Six of Crows (The Dregs #1) by Leigh Bardugo | 5 stars | Full Review
Guys. This book. Guys. This book was fucking insane, it was that good. I knew Bardugo was a good writer because the skill was evident in her Grisha trilogy, but I didn’t know she was that good of a storyteller as well. It takes a lot of guts to pull off a story that revolves around six violent anti-heroes. It takes a lot of guts to form an ensemble cast, give each character the attention and detail they need and still manage to pull off a fast-paced, intriguing, thrilling read. And not only that, but it’s a fucking heist book. This book is the perfect recipe for a disaster because it is doing so much, but Bardugo manages to pull ALL OF THAT together into a cohesive, brilliant read. Oh my God. Fangirling over.
4. The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski | 5 stars | Full Review
*Takes a deep breath* I’m still angry about the cover change (you can read my thoughts here), but I’m going to put that aside and talk about the sheer brilliance of this book. Now, I liked the first book a lot, and I mean a lot. But this one topped it, which was something I didn’t think was possible. It’s a different setting, there’s a different dynamic between the characters, our two protagonists are all over the place in their relationship. There are rebellions and schemes, there’s politics and strategizing, there’s a wickedly intelligent heroine and a brooding yet absolutely lovely hero. Fiery, slow-burning romance full of angst (but in the best way, I swear) and a cliff-hanger that will stab you in the heart. It’s phenomenal. READ IT.
3. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas | 5 stars | Full Review
Aimal, how can an author who disappointed you so hard be on this list twice? I don’t know. Probably because the things Maas did right were so fucking right. Because there is no denying that Maas is a brilliant, addictive writer. And while I definitely enjoyed the first book, the sequel took this series to a whole new level. Now, you may know by now that I have very non-fictional feelings for Mr. Chaol Westfall, and I’m not going to pretend like he doesn’t play a part (a pretty big part) in this ranking, but this book is more than him. This book is crazy. It is fast-paced, it is entertaining, it is humorous but it’s also dark and twisted and violent. New layers are added to the characters, Celaena undergoes so much development, and the relationships that form between the ‘original trio’ as I call them (Chaol-Celaena-Dorian) are to die for. Also… *whispers* maas may have forgotten about chaol and celaena, but i certainly haven’t #neverforget.
2. Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3) by Robert Galbraith aka J.K. Rowling | 5 stars | Full Review
Now, you may be rolling your eyes, being all, “oh she just included this because she is borderline obsessed with Rowling,” and while the obsessed part may be true, I assure you, it is not why this book made it on this list. Because oh. my. God. This book was amazing. I knew I’d like it when I went into it, but it blew me away. The mystery was dark and compelling, and I read it near Halloween and it was perfect. The villain was sadistic and disgusting, and some of the things he would say would send chills down my spine and make the hair on my body stand up. Apart from the mystery, the characters. Oh, Jo, your characters are what I live for. They are so well-constructed. They feel real, they feel like my friends, like I’ve known them all my life. I love them so much, and I’m so invested in their stories and their relationships. Probably more than I’m invested in my own! And that ending… oh… *tears hair out*
and drumroll please…
1. Monsters of Men (The Chaos Walking trilogy #3) by Patrick Ness | 1012501258 stars | Full Review/essay
*makes undecipherable noises* *says something about Patrick Ness being a writing god* *cries over ending* *stuffs face with chocolate and chants ‘Todd’ constantly* *does not react to nudges and pinches and punches* BECAUSE MONSTERS OF MEN.
Okay, I’m sorry. This is, by far, the best ending to a series I have EVER READ. It tops the ending for Harry Potter. It tops everything, because it’s magnificent. It’s complex and crazy and intelligent through and through. It’ll give you hope but then it’ll reach inside your ribcage, tear out your heart, take a bite out of it and chuck it out the window. This book left me in pieces. I was a mess when I finished it, and I couldn’t pick up anything else for at least four weeks. Because this book is a literary masterpiece, and it needs to be read by everyone everywhere.