Anna’s Favorites of 2015
I have compiled a list of my favorite reads of 2015. My main genre that I normally read is fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal, so I surprised myself this past year by having two of my top reads end up being realistic fiction. I included a few titles that have been talked about previously, either by myself or another blogger, but since these are my favorites, I had to include them in this post as well. I hope other readers find these fiction titles just as enjoyable as I did.
Zoe has just moved to a small town with her Mom after her parents divorce. She has her plan already figured out. She is working with her Dad on applying to an elite private school back in New York to get away from this small town that her Mom has forced her to live in. When Digby shows up on her porch asking for her selfies which she has been taking every day he begins to peek her interest in the mystery of a missing girl which Digby has taken on. Any fan of Sherlock Holmes (whom Digby is very similar to) will enjoy this mystery and will continue to flip the pages, not only to find out what happened to the missing girl but to see what Digby has up his sleeve next. I really enjoyed this book, even though it is realistic and not my typical genre, and found it very charming in a quirky sort of way.
Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly. 9780525428404. Aug 2015. Gr 9-12.
Willowdean Dickerson has always been comfortable in her fat body (which she doesn’t have a problem with saying) and is enjoying life with her best friend, Ellen. Willowdean works at a local fast food joint with a cute private school guy named, Bo, who she has had a crush on for as long as she has worked there with him. Much to her surprise it seems like Bo has started to like her back. When this happens Willowdean begins to doubt herself and her size and to snap herself out of it, she enrolls in the Miss Clover City beauty pageant. Her former beauty queen Mother is shocked when she enters and Willowdean is determined to compete in it with all of the skinny girls. This is a great body positive book and encourages readers that they don’t have to change anything about themselves to be loved or be beautiful. I really enjoyed this title and it really stood out from the crowd of books that feature a “normal” sized girl and a romance. Willowdean has no apologies for her size and confidence and I loved that about her.
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy. 9780062327185. Sept 2015. Gr 9-12.
This title dumps readers into a high fantasy world in which an evil Wood is threatening to take over an entire valley full of villages. The Dragon (not your typical kind) holds back the Wood from his remote tower and requires one sacrifice, a girl to come live in his tower with him for ten years. Agnieska is the girl that the Dragon chooses, much to everyone’s surprise, and she begins to discover through lessons by the Dragon that she has an equally powerful magic inside of her. I love how, as a reader, you can really immerse yourself into a story and some books requiring you to “wake yourself up” from a story when you step away. This was one of those types of books for me and was definitely one of my favorites of 2015. This was also on Tracey’s Favorite Fiction.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik. 9780804179034. Jan 2015. Gr 10-12.
I wrote a more in-depth blog post about this book that you can read here, but I also wanted to briefly mention it in my favorites of 2015. Nina discovers that she is an exorcist living in a dystopian world full of demons. She joins a group of renegade exorcists when the demons try to punish her sister, Melanie for getting an unapproved pregnancy. This book is full of action and a strong, independent heroine with a romance to keep readers turning the page (it certainly did that for me).
The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent. 9780385744171. June 2015. Gr 9-12.
This is another book that was on Tracey’s Favorite Fiction and I also wrote an earlier Alternate Formats post that this book fit into well. I wanted to include it in my favorite of 2015, also, for how much it has stood out this past year. I think one of the major reasons it stood out was because of it’s unique formatting and how the story of Kady and Ezra’s struggle to survive against a rogue AI and a horde of infected passengers. As I mentioned in my earlier blog post about this book I was skeptical about how this formatting could really tell the story about two teenagers and their survival in space, but the authors really do make you care about the characters (even the “bad guy”) through emails and chat logs.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. 9780553499117. Oct 2015. Gr 7-12.
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