Looking Back: My 2015 Reads

I can’t believe it’s already 2016. A new year of new reads, yeah? 2015 was good to me. Not only did I manage to reach my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 200 books, I went over it by about 4 books. Granted I had quite a few graphic novels included in my Read list, but hey, a book is a book is a book. Besides, graphic novels are AWESOME! I love Art, and I love words. Graphic novels marry these two loves, which makes me a very, very happy girl. ❤

I also discovered audiobooks. Running and listening to audiobooks at the same time is therapeutic…to me, anyway.

Someone once asked me whether I prefer e-books or print, and I answered: Both. My Kindle Fire took a plunge down the stairs (courtesy of 3-year-old) sometime last year, so I didn’t read as many e-books as I wanted, but Santa gifted me an iPad mini this Christmas. Helloooo, e-books! Seriously, I don’t care whether it’s a paperback, a hardcover, an audiobook, or an e-book. To me, a book is a book is a book.

(Warning: This is a long list, but will not include all of the books I’ve read in 2015)

FAVORITE YA READS I WILL HAPPILY RECOMMEND TO MY FRIENDS:

  • A MURDER OF MAGPIES by Sarah Bromley
  • THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE by Patrick Ness
  • TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson
  • JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta
  • SMALL DAMAGES by Beth Kephart
  • ELEANOR AND PARK by Rainbow Rowell
  • LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green
  • SKINNY by Donna Cooner
  • SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY by Julie Murphy
  • INLAND by Kat Rosenfield
  • SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie

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BOOKS WRITTEN BY MY FRIENDS THAT YOU SHOULD TOTALLY CHECK OUT (because they’re awesome!):

  • DARE ME by Eric Devine (realistic, lots of swearing LOL! But it makes you think)
  • INTO A MILLION PIECES by Angela V. Cook (edgy as in succubi edgy, you get?, mysterious, a little heartbreaking)
  • ENSNARED (#3) by A.G. Howard (this ends the Splintered trilogy; a fab fantasy series!)
  • REMAKE by Ilima Todd (if you can choose who to be, would you?, sci-fi)
  • THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE by Shallee McArthur (cool sci-fi about memories)
  • STITCHING SNOW by R.C. Lewis (a kickass Snow White in space!)
  • KILLING RUBY ROSE by Jessie Humphries (a vigilante Veronica Mars with super cool shoes)
  • DATE WITH A ROCKSTAR by Sarah Gagnon (dystopian, reality tv, sweet romance)
  • HOLLY HEARTS HOLLYWOOD by Kenley Conrad (charming main character)
  • LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE by Gina Ciocca (teen angst, teen romance, make-your-heart-flutter)
  • I AM HER REVENGE by Meredith Moore (psycho mom)
  • THE SUMMER I FOUND YOU by Jolene Perry (sweet NA Romance)
  • FOR SURE AND CERTAIN by Anya Monroe (NA, Amish, Romance)
  • EXTRACTION by Stephanie Diaz (cool sci-fi/dystopian)

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COOL/QUIRKY/SPECULATIVE FIC/FANTASY/SCI-FI/PARANORMAL:

  • NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE by Amy K.Nichols (cool parallel-world-type sci-fi)
  • THE WALLS AROUND US by Nova Ren Suma
  • PAPER MAGICIAN by Charlie N. Holmberg (loved this!)
  • JACKABY by William Ritter (Sherlock Holmes paranormal-style)
  • COMPULSION by Martina Boone
  • HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER by Lish McBride
  • RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard
  • (DON’T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME by Kate Karyus Quinn (strange and quirky, but I liked it)
  • EVERY DAY by David Levithan
  • ALPHA GODDESS by Amalie Howard
  • THE BODY ELECTRIC by Beth Revis

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DYSTOPIAN/APOCALYPTIC/END-OF-WORLD:

  • VIVIAN APPLE AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Katie Coyle (cults)
  • MORE THAN THIS by Patrick Ness
  • ASHFALL by Mike Mullin (volcanoes)
  • THE GIVER by Lois Lowry
  • ALL WE HAVE IS NOW by Lisa Schroeder
  • THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner
  • THE PROGRAM by Suzanne Young
  • GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE by Andrew Smith (weird alien end-of-world story)

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HISTORICAL FIC:

  • A NIGHT DIVIDED by Jennifer A. Nielsen (a wonderful story of a young girl’s bravery at the time of the Berlin Wall dividing east and west Germany)
  • THE WALLED CITY by Ryan Graudin (based on Kowloon city in Hong Kong)

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THRILLERS/HORROR:

  • KILLER INSTINCT by S. E. Green (messed-up vigilante teen who’s after serial killers)
  • KILLER WITHIN by S.E. Green
  • IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS by Cat Winters (ghosts! yay!)
  • WHITE SPACE by Ilsa J. Bick
  • 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil (sci-fi and horror combined, really)
  • INSOMNIA by J.R. Johansson
  • CONVERSION by Katherine Howe

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CONTEMPORARY/REALISTIC:

  • CRANK by Ellen Hopkins (drug addiction)
  • SCHIZO by Nic Sheff (schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, mental illness)
  • CAN’T LOOK AWAY by Donna Cooner
  • 100 SIDEWAYS MILES by Andrew Smith (epilepsy, seizures)
  • STICK by Andrew Smith (lgbt, deformity, abuse, physical abuse, bullying)
  • GEORGE by Alex Gino (trans)
  • COMPLICIT by Stephanie Kuehn
  • GET EVEN by Gretchen McNeil (bullying, thriller)
  • CATALYST by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • THE HALF-LIFE OF MOLLY PIERCE by Katrina Leno (mental illness)
  • ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE by Benjamin Alire Saenz (lgbt)
  • BEHIND THE SCENES by Dahlia Adler (Hollywood, romance)

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SERIES I LOVED:

  • The HUNGER GAMES trilogy by Suzanne Collins (this was a re-read, and I loved the series even more the second time around)
  • The THRONE OF GLASS series by Sarah J. Maas (so good!)
  • The RAZORLAND series by Ann Aguirre (zombies! But not your typical zombies…)

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  • I HUNT KILLERS trilogy by Barry Lyga (so disturbing, and yet I couldn’t put it down)
  • The RAVEN BOYS series by Maggie Stiefvater (I cannot wait for the last book!)

SEQUELS TO SERIES I’VE ALREADY STARTED BUT HAVEN’T FINISHED:

  • IN THE END (#2) by Demitria Lunetta (fast-paced read, suspenseful)
  • PRODIGY (#2) by Marie Lu
  • MONSTERS OF MEN (#3) by Patrick Ness (great ending to this trilogy)
  • INSURGENT #2) by Veronica Roth
  • ALLEGIANT (#3) by Veronica Roth
  • THE LAST APPRENTICE by Joseph Delaney; books #9, #12, and #13

MIDDLE GRADE:

  • HOLES by Louis Sachar (such a clever book)
  • BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson (beautiful! this is a novel-in-verse)
  • SPINDLERS by Lauren Oliver
  • A YEAR OF SHADOWS by Claire Legrand
  • FORTUNATELY, THE MILK by Neil Gaiman (charming!)
  • Roald Dahl’s books:

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  • BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA by Katherine Paterson
  • NUMBER THE STARS by Lois Lowry (a beautiful story about courage during the Nazi era)
  • BUD, NOT BUDDY by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • EARWIG AND THE WITCH by Diana Wynne Jones (I love Diana Wynne Jones’s books!)
  • SADAKO AND THE THOUSAND PAPER CRANES by Eleanor Coerr (this got me started on origami)
  • THE HYPNOTISTS by Gordon Korman (a fun, quirky adventure!)
  • BREAKING THE ICE by Gail Nall (one of my absolute favorite reads! And my daughter loves this, too!)

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NONFICTION:

  • A THOUSAND MILES TO FREEDOM: My Escape from North Korea by Eunsun Kim with Sebastien Falletti (a compelling and harrowing account)
  • HOLD STILL: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann
  • BRAIN ON FIRE: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan (I am always fascinated with books that have a medical slant to them–it’s the Science geek in me resurfacing)
  • ON WRITING: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
  • IMPRISONED: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans during World War II by Martin W. Sandler
  • WHAT I TALK ABOUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT RUNNING by Haruki Murakami (Relatable because I like running–though I don’t do long distance the way Murakami does–and writing)
  • AMERICAN GYPSY by Oksana Marafioti (I love reading about other cultures. This one enthralled me)
  • PEOPLE I WANT TO PUNCH IN THE THROAT by Jen Mann
  • MAUDE by Donna Mabry

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CLASSICS:

  • FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD by Thomas Hardy
  • A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens (bah! humbug!)
  • THE WAR OF THE WORLDS by H.G. Wells
  • THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO NEST by Ken Kesey
  • THE YELLOW WALLPAPER AND OTHER STORIES by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
  • WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE by Shirley Jackson (delightfully creepy)
  • THE LOTTERY AND OTHER STORIES by Shirley Jackson
  • PETER PAN by J.M. Barrie
  • THE LITTLE PRINCE by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (love!)
  • THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA series by C.S. Lewis

ADULT FICTION:

  • THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt (complex and brilliant)
  • THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins
  • THE HISTORY OF LOVE by Nicole Krauss (beautiful. I may have cried a little while reading this)
  • THE BONE CLOCKS by David Mitchell
  • WICKED: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
  • PRACTICAL MAGIC by Alice Hoffman
  • THE GOOD GIRL by Mary Kubica (reminded me of Gone Girl though the plot is entirely different. I guess it’s the vibe or tone of the story that feels similar)
  • THE SILENT WIFE by A.S.A. Harrison
  • I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson
  • LIKE FAMILY by Paolo Giordano
  • AFTER DARK by Haruki Murakami (Murakami’s writing is so atmospheric)
  • COLORLESS TSUKURU TAZAKI AND HIS YEARS OF PILGRIMAGE by Haruki Murakami
  • ALEX by Pierre Lemaitre (a page-turner!)
  • A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab (I love the different Londons)
  • Stieg Larsson’s trilogy:

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  • ROOMS by Lauren Oliver
  • GARDEN SPELLS by Sarah Addison Allen (so sweet and charming!)

GRAPHIC NOVELS:

  • AMULET series (1-6 books) by Kazu Kibuishi (Loooove! And what’s even better is that my 7-year-old loves this series too. We can’t wait for book 7, which comes out next month, btw)

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  • THROUGH THE WOODS by Emily Carroll (lovely illustrations! And I love Carroll’s brand of horror. Subtle but effective) 
  • EL DEAFO by Cece Bell (you cannot NOT love this)
  • NIMONA by Nicole Stevenson (a favorite! Multidimensional characters and a story that has a lot of depth)
  • MANGA MAN by Barry Lyga
  • MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (split into 4 books) by Hayao Miyazaki
  • THE DUMBEST IDEA EVER by Jimmy Gownley
  • SMILE by Raina Telgemeier
  • THIS ONE SUMMER bym Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
  • WONDERSTRUCK by Brian Selznick
  • THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET by Brian Selznick
  • THE GRAVEYARD BOOK Vol 1 & 2 by Neil Gaiman
  • DEATH (deluxe edition) by Neil Gaiman
  • CORALINE by Neil Gaiman
  • CITY OF LIGHT, CITY OF DARK by Avi
  • THE CITY OF EMBER (book 1) by Jeanne DuPrau
  • LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES by Laini Taylor (A re-read because I love Laini Taylor’s prose, and I love the artwork in this book–which is done by her husband, who is a talented illustrator)
  • I AM PRINCESS X by Cherie Priest (I’m a new fan of this author)

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SHORT STORIES/ANTHOLOGIES:

  • DOUBLE CROSSED by Ally Carter
  • THE GIRL AND THE MACHINE by Beth Revis
  • THE STRANGE LIBRARY by Haruki Murakami
  • HOW THEY MET AND OTHER STORIES by David Levithan
  • HORRORS: REAL, IMAGINED, AND DEADLY edited by Matt Sinclair (My short story is included in this anthology! So you should go check it out <3)

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