On her blog today, Janet Reid has given us her top ten (plus one) reads of the year, and has invited us to do the same. I could have just commented on her site, but there may be some of you who don’t follow Ms. Reid (hoo boy, are you missing out!) and might be interested, so I decided to post them on the blog. So, here they are, my top fiction reads of 2015:
Even though I don’t review every book I read in Goodreads (I used to, but it became way too time consuming), I maintain a spreadsheet of books I’ve read, and I rate them by the Goodreads 5-star system. These are the novels I read this year to which I gave 5 stars. Most of the other books I’ve read received 4, and there were some 3s. Thankfully, no 2s or 1s this year!
I’ve linked to my review of the book on the blog where one exists:
FAIREST by Marissa Meyer: This was a novella Marissa released at the beginning of the year to tie in with the release of WINTER, the fourth and final installment of her “Lunar Chronicles” series. Such wonderful storytelling. More below.
THE WRATH AND THE DAWN by Renée Ahdieh: Renee’s debut novel is a re-telling of the famous Arabian Nights tale, Scheherazade. Beautifully written–an effortless, page-turning read.
DEATH EX MACHINA by Gary Corby: I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m a big fan of Gary’s “Athenian Mysteries” series. Set in Ancient Greece, the protagonist is Nicolaos, Athens’s only private detective, employed by the famous Pericles to investigate various crimes that affect him, or the well-being of the state. Meticulously researched, but written in an entertaining first-person narrative that never feels like a textbook, despite the fact you end up learning so much about the classical world.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee: My only fiction re-read of the year, I read this after reading GO SET A WATCHMAN, for comparison purposes. After re-reading it, I stand by my assessment that TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is the best novel ever written. A masterpiece. GO SET A WATCHMAN… not so much.
A PRISONER IN MALTA by Phillip DePoy: I received an Advance Reader’s Copy of this and really enjoyed it. Set in Elizabethan England with playwrite Christopher Marlowe as the spy/sleuth for the crown, this is a page-turner, and, like Gary’s novels, packed with historical detail without being stuffy.
WATCHED by C.J. Lyons: The premise to this novel sounds a little too creepy for comfort since it deals with an online pedophile predator, but it is very sensitively written for a YA audence. A difficult subject handled in a compelling and empowering way.
WINTER by Marissa Meyer: The final 800-page part of Marissa’s “Lunar Chronicles” series. Given it’s part four of four, it’s hard to review without giving away spoilers for those who haven’t read books one, two, or three. Suffice to say, if you enjoyed the previous novels, this doesn’t disappoint. A great story, well-told, with extremely engaging characters. What I particularly appreciate is that Marissa managed to write for a YA audience without profanity, sex (though there is romance), or excessive violence. Some parts of WINTER are not pleasant, and the body count is high. But I think this series is suitable for anyone middle grade and older.
What are some of your favorite reads this year?