It is that time a year again – my 2015 favorite reads.
A few of these may be older books – not released in 2015, but my favorite reads of the year non the less. AND yes, I added multiples from my favorite authors – because sometimes, you can’t pick just one!
Undeniably Chosen (Significance #5) by Shelly Crane
5++++ REVIEW…………. HERE
~ Synopsis ~
Ava has watched her parents, Caleb and Maggie live the perfect fairy tale, the perfect love story, played out in front of her eyes her entire life. Her family is love, life and happiness. The Jacobsons are everything a family should be and Ava is loved and well taken care of. But the one thing that’s missing from her life is the one thing she’s waited for every day, the one thing her kind knows will make them complete, the one thing they thought was gone and lost forever; her significant.
Seth has lived with the Watsons his entire life. They’re the only family he knows, but he knows that there are things they keep from him. He knows that they lie and they do unspeakable evil, things from when he was a child that he can barely remember that cling to the edges of his memory. He barely remembers his real mother and all he knows is what he’s told. He doesn’t know what to trust. He wants to believe that the Watsons love and care for him, have his best interests at heart, but he isn’t so sure of that anymore when he finally – after a lifetime of waiting for her – meets his soulmate, and the Watson’s first act is to try to take her away from him.
The Virtuoso worlds collide, hearts are exposed, humans are endangered and the lives of Seth and Ava are changed forever. They’ll have to love without judgement or reservation, they’ll have to be wise and accepting beyond their years, they’ll have to forgive for things before they’ve even happened, they’ll have to trust without seeing, have faith without knowing and they’ll have to light their own way int he dark when everyone else is blind to show them the way. And more than anything…. they’ll fight like hell to keep each other.
It felt like I was waiting a VERY long time for this book – after everything that Maggie and Caleb went through in the Significance Series – to be able to see what they’re up to now was awesome, and to see their daughter Ava go through the chaos with Seth was very reminiscent of the first four books – I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Gus (Bright Side #2) by, Kim Holden
5+++ REVIEW …………….. HERE
~ Synopsis ~
The journey that began in top-rated, best-selling Bright Side, continues …
This is the story of Gus.
And healing along the way.
“ … but the honest-to-God truth is I don’t even know how to function anymore. Bright Side wasn’t only my best friend; she was like my other half … the other half of my brain, the other half of my conscience, the other half of my sense of humor, the other half of my creativity, the other half of my heart. How do you go back to doing what you did before, when half of you is gone forever?”
Gus….. good God. This book gutted me. I started at a point this year where I was suffering from one of my worst reading slumps. I had to stop and pick it back up when I could appreciate it. And i’m so glad I did. Apparently I needed a vacation and while I was running around Wales this summer with my husband I picked Gus back up and couldn’t put it down until I was finished with it. It reminded me of how much I missed Kate, and how much I loved Bright Side.
Fangirl & Eleanor & Park by, Rainbow Rowell
5+++ REVIEW of Fangirl ………. HERE
~ Synopsis ~
From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.
A coming-of-age take of fan fiction, family and first love.
Cath is a Simon Snow Fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan.
But for Cath, being a fan is her life – and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Reading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t leg go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words…. And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
5++++ REVIEW of Eleanor & Park …….. HERE
~ Synopsis ~
Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.
I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.
These two books blew me away this year and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve re-read them via Audible. Fangirl – Cather…. everything about this story was sweet and beautiful. Eleanor & Park, everything everyone says about it is true. It will remind you what it was like to connect with someone at an age where you don’t think anyone could possibly understand you. The music is pretty bad ass to boot!
Obviously both of these books weren’t published in 2015 – but they were new to me this year.
The Original Sinners Series , by Tiffany Reisz
I have been living in a perpetual state of Tiffany Reisz for many months now – how I’ve not picked these books up until now is beyond me. I grabbed a few paperbacks sifting through thrift stores in Wales and the second I picked up The Siren – not even 1/4 through the book I was downloading book 2 and 4 onto my Kindle. The one thing I can be thankful for is that all books were released by the time I picked up the first. Because this woman LOVES a cliffhanger –
These books – these characters – these stories are so intertwined through each book, I was mesmerized by them. I still refer to them as real people when I try to explain the stories to friends. Because they were – and still are very real to me. I feel for them – I feel their pain, their love…. all of it.
Beautiful Bastard Series & The Wild Seasons Series, by Christina Lauren
There will never be a favorites list that doesn’t include Christina Lauren for me – they’re to of my absolute favorites. Their stories and characters are both sexy and hilarious. Their sense of humor is fantastic – the banter, the sex – everything. Beautiful Beloved we got to see a peek at Sara & Max and their family life now – and dredge deeper into Max’s brother’s life….. Niall Stella in Beautiful Secret. Move over Max, Niall just kicked you out of my favorite brit spot. Good god.
And as much as I loved the two new installments in their Beautiful Bastard series – I was sooooo excited for Lola & Oliver’s story and they did NOT disappoint!
2015 Novels by Alessandra Torre
2015 was a fantastic year for Alessandra Torre and an even better year for her readers as we got not one but FOUR books from her! This year she took a darker turn with the continuation of her Deanna Madden series, and then she brought us something different with Tight and Hollywood Dirt. Tight being something dark and sinister – and Hollywood Dirt a more contemporary story for her. All four books I loved equally for different reasons and there was no way I couldn’t add all of them.
I make these lists this way, otherwise it would be nothing but Alessandra Torre and CD Reiss
CLEAR: A Death Trippers Novel by, Jessica Park
5 Star REVIEW………. HERE
~ Synopsis ~
CLEAR: A Death Trippers Novel
Stella Ford’s grasp on reality is already loose, and it’s about to come undone.
When the college junior flees Chicago and leaves her toxic family behind, she heads to coastal Maine to find the one person who brought her peace years ago: Sam Bishop. But the Sam she once knew now has painful secrets.
Stella is determined to heal them both. Healing, however, is a challenge when the walls of her everyday existence collapse. And when Sam’s best friend is his worst enemy.
When the lines between life and death blurs.
When and end is just a beginning.
When lust and rage rule.
Yet during extraordinary chaos, there can be extraordinary love, even if that love comes with a twist.
Welcome to death tripping.
A triller, a paranormal, and a passionate romance, CLEAR crosses genres and breaks boundaries.
Clear is STILL one of the most original stories I’ve read in the last three or four years. It’s everything like the synopsis says – a thriller…. a paranormal and a passionate romance. But above all else, you get that biting narration of Jessica Park – an author that writes a story for you to live in. Not just read – but really live in while you’re experiencing it. And Clear did just that – I felt every single thing about it – the relationships between Stella, Sam and Costa? Do yourself a favor and pick this gem up – if you’re not into paranormal novels? You’re in luck – because this is not your average paranormal. It’s a story unlike anything you’ve read before and you will not be disappointed.
The ending of her Cocktail Series & The Beginning of her Hudson Valley Series – Alice Clayton
Anyone whose read my blog knows I’m a lover of all things Alice Clayton. Last Call – the ending to her Cocktail Series was bittersweet – bitter because it was the end, and sweet because it was the best possible ending of a series I’ve ever read. When I heard she was writing a new series called Hudson Valley? Of course I was on board – but I had no idea how fast and hard I’d fall for her new characters.
Roxie and Leo are not Caroline and Simon – they’re the best kind of humor all on their own – a totally different world and new characters I can’t WAIT to meet!
The Bellator Saga by, Cecilia London
The Bellator Saga by Cecilia London has been one of my favorite series of 2915 and looks to be one of my favorites to continue on into 2016 with her upcoming release of Phoenix. This is a series is raw – thrilling and leaves you reading as fast as you can to see what’s going to happen next. A drama – a political thriller and yes, a romance. Caroline and Jack will suck you in and leave you desperate to find out what happens next.
The characters are three dimensional, the humor – the depth – the feelings…. oh Jesus, the range of emotions Cecilia London has put me through in just the first three books? I’ve cursed her, I’ve laughed at the inside jokes and I’ve shed more tears than I thought possible. This is a six part series and I’m desperate to find out what happens next!
2015 Novels by C.D. Reiss
What an I say? CD Reiss blew me away this year in so many ways. She gave me an ending to three very different stories. Jonathan & Monica, Fiona and of course, Antonio and Theresa. But, she also gave us a new story – something very different from her Drazen family – Shuttergirl, a contemporary romance that hooked it’s fingers in and didn’t let go until the very end. There was no way in hell I could have made a decision on which of these books to pick as number one – although, Fiona has always been my favorite – and the last and final book in the series probably one of the most brutal yet beautiful stories I’ve read all year, there was no way for me to pick just one. I loved them all – all of these stories have stayed with me and will continue to.
Here’s to 2016 and the stories to be told!