Saturday, January 9, 2016

2015 Releases That Actually Lived Up To The Hype

Part #5 of my giant 2015 wrap-up

Don’t you hate it when a new release gets a ton of hype, and you’re super-excited to read it, and then you do, and it turns out that the book kind of . . . sucks? That happens to me pretty often. So, here are four hyped 2015 releases that actually lived up to my expectations.


2015 Releases That Actually Lived Up To The Hype





Carry On – Rainbow Rowell


Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen. 
That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right. 
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up. 
Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery, and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

Why I loved it: The hilarious way that the author plays with common fantasy tropes.




The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly – Stephanie Oakes


The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust. And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too. 
Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it's clear that Minnow knows something—but she's not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

Why I loved it: It’s creepy, well-written, and has a great message about asking questions and thinking for yourself rather than just accepting what you’ve been told.




Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli


Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised. 
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Why I loved it: It’s funny and has a compelling mystery.




A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab


Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.
Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now. 
Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure.' 
But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive.

Why I loved it: Parallel Londons. How awesome is that?




Which 2015 releases lived up to your expectations?



14 comments:

  1. I really need to read A Darker Shade of Magic. It sound so good. The Sacred Lie of Minnow Bly looks good too. I read some pretty great books in 2015. Most of my favorites were series installments. I did think Uprooted really lived up to the hype.

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    1. I’ve seen a lot of great reviews for Uprooted. I’ll have to check it out.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. I 100% agree with ADSoM^^ Man that book was amazing! I still need to read Carry On and Minnow Bly but both are on my wish list/tbr shelf! Lots of good books in 2015 and 2016 is looking even better eeep! :D

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    1. Yeah, 2016 is looking like a great reading year. I’ve been finding some really interesting books that are coming out this year.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. I was so happy with Carry On. I wasn't so sure bout it when I heard she was writing it but I loved it! Simon was another I was so happy that lived up to the hype! Great list!

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  4. I didn't fully love Carry On, but the others were really good!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. Sorry you didn’t love Carry On, but I’m glad you liked the others.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. I have The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly on my TBR and and looking forward to getting to it. I agree that Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda was a fantastic read, although I did take issue with a small portion of it.

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    1. I also had issues with some parts of Simon vs, but overall I think it’s a very good book.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. I haven't read any from your list yet as I slacked on reading for 2015. :( I'm definitely aiming to read all these for 2016! I'm starting with Carry On. :)

    Love, Richel. | Richel Goes Places

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  7. Ooh, I really want to read Carry On and A Darker Shade of Magic, they've been on my TBR list for ages!

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  8. I actually just finished ADSOM yesterday after having been reading it since July and I didn't like it at all :( I found the writing so incredibly dry and lifeless that I just couldn't pay attention. That was disappointing because I really wanted to love it as much as the majority!

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