30 Jun 2015

#TTT: Top 10 Books I've Read So Far in 2015

2015 Releases
 
  •  A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: Holy amazeballs, Batman! I went into this one basically blind - I didn't know anything about it and bought it basically because Sarah J. Maas had written it. I loved it! This book proves how exciting the emerging New Adult genre is - talented authors have the opportunity to write coming-of-age stories with a bit more freedom due to writing for an older audience, and the results can be STUNNING.
  • The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski: This was one of my anticipated releases of 2015, and I was definitely not let down - Rutkoski upped her game with this one. I think my favourite thing about it is that Kestrel is a character that's morally grey; she's able to make hard decisions that the reader doesn't necessarily agree with. You definitely see the full extent of her intelligence and cunning, and I loved her for it. The ending definitely made me want to get my hands on the next book ASAP!
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: This is most probably my favourite book of 2015 so far. Albertalli is able to address some serious themes in this book, yet somehow manages to keep the fluffy factor of the story throughout. It's a realistic portrayal of friendships and family and relationships in general. A fun, quick read that definitely stayed with me!
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard:Sometimes you need a light book that doesn't make you think too hard, and Red Queen was that for me. Then the surprise ending came along and punched me in the face, and I'm excited to see what happens next! There were a lot of strategic plays, a lot of political plays happening in the book, which I enjoyed.

Rereads
 
 

I read Emma & Jane Eyre as part of the Reread Challenge 2015 + Brain Soup Goes Gilmore (admittedly, Jane Eyre was also partly read because I had an audition for Jane Eyre but also because BSGG was reading the Time Traveller's Wife as its February read and I couldn't stomach reading that book again, so I read Jane Eyre as it was the group's second choice for the month).
  • Emma by Jane Austen: Austen is my favourite author, and Emma is my favourite Austen novel. I love everything about it: I love Emma in all her stubborn, narrow-sighted glory; I love her relationship with Knightley; I love the way the clues planted throughout the book as to what the final outcome will be. I love the way Highbury becomes a character in its own right, brought to life with the gossip of its inhabitants and the ways in which they relate to each other. In short: I believe that Emma is Austen at her best, it demonstrates the care that she put into her craft. Her novels are finely crafted masterpieces; social commentary on the class and time period that Austen grew up in. Read ALL the Austen!
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: Who doesn't love Jane Eyre? I think that Jane is an interesting heroine, and definitely a character before her time. I love Jane for her quiet strength and passionate nature, and her refusal to yield to others and compromise her beliefs.
  • Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery: I think that Rilla of Ingleside is now my favourite in the series after Anne of Green Gables. I read it once, about ten years ago, and didn't really give it that much of a chance because Anne wasn't the main character, even though it technically is her series. This time around, I found Rilla to be just as much of a delight as her mother was, even though she's more vain/self-centred, and quite a bit more serious. I loved it! It captured the feeling of a country at war in a realistic fashion, and it was truly quite heart-breaking.
First-time Reads of Older Releases
 
 

  • Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal: I didn't know what to expect with this one. While I think it's more of a new adult than young adult title, it was utterly fascinating, unique and engrossing. A mix of historical fiction and fantasy, and I appreciated the show of female empowerment. While the book is unrelentingly depressing and dark, it does end on a (relatively) happy note, which is nice for our heroines (and the reader).
  • Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery: I had never read the Emily of New Moon trilogy by L.M. Montgomery, and I found it to be a wonderful little series. Although it's premise is quite similar to Anne of Green Gables, it's a lot more serious and darker in tone than Montgomery's most famous work. I have a feeling that it's the most autobiographical of Montgomery's work, which made it all the more heartbreaking. The second book was my favourite - we got to see Emily mature as both a writer and as a person. Although the character of Dean horrified me, I loved this book for its strong female characters and the wonderful friendships that formed between them. Emily Starr is a gem!
  • Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente: When I finished Deathless, I was speechless. It's a wonderful story - layered, complex, poignant, painful, humorous. It is strange and beautiful and brutal. Although I'm not very familiar with Russian folk lore, I think it manages to capture it wonderfully, the story peppered with references to and appearances from rusalkas and leshy, firebirds and domovye, and manages to weave a story about life and death, war and loss. Valente's writing is lush, gorgeous and a joy to read!

4 comments:

  1. I like how you divided your TTT into new releases, old releases and re-reads. And I also admire your appreciation of classics. I'm currently in the middle of reading Jane Eyre and am struggling a little bit. Great list! :)

    My TTT

    Obsessive Compulsive Reader

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  2. Thank you for sharing your favorite reads so far this year with us. I look forward to exploring some of the book titles you've listed in your TTT post this week. I have the feeling I'll be adding more book titles this week to my ever growing reading wishlist.

    Here's a link to my TTT for this week: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2015/06/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-books-ive-read.html

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  3. I really enjoyed Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda. One of these days I intend to get to The Red Queen! Thanks for sharing.
    ~Megan
    http://wp.me/pzUn5-2lW

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  4. Awesome list! I really want to check out Red Queen because everyone seems to love it so much! :)
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

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