Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books Of 2015 (So Far)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is top ten books I’ve read so far this year. Numbers 1, 2, and 3 are actually rereads, but I’m counting them.

Best of 2015 (So Far)

10. Vicious – V.E. Schwab

A masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, betrayal, and superpowers, set in a near-future world. 
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end? 
In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

9. 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—trickier than they hoped.

8. The Narrow Road To The Deep North – Richard Flanagan

Richard Flanagan's story of Dorrigo Evans, an Australian doctor haunted by a love affair with his uncle's wife, journeys from the caves of Tasmanian trappers in the early twentieth century to a crumbling pre-war beachside hotel, from a Thai jungle prison to a Japanese snow festival, from the Changi gallows to a chance meeting of lovers on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  
Taking its title from 17th-century haiku poet Basho's travel journal, The Narrow Road To The Deep North is about the impossibility of love. At its heart is one day in a Japanese slave labour camp in August 1943. As the day builds to its horrific climax, Dorrigo Evans battles and fails in his quest to save the lives of his fellow POWs, a man is killed for no reason, and a love story unfolds.

7. St. Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised By Wolves – Karen Russell

In these ten glittering stories, debut author Karen Russell takes us to the ghostly and magical swamps of the Florida Everglades. Here wolf-like girls are reformed by nuns, a family makes their living wrestling alligators in a theme park, and little girls sail away on crab shells. Filled with stunning inventiveness and heart, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves introduces a radiant new writer.

6. Not A Drop To Drink – Mindy McGinnis

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all. 
Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand. 
But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it . . . . 
With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

5. Wizard And Glass – Stephen King

Roland and his band of followers have narrowly escaped one world and slipped into the next. There Roland tells them a tale of long-ago love and adventure involving a beautiful and quixotic woman named Susan Delgado. And there they will be drawn into an ancient mystery of spellbinding magic and supreme menace.

4. Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

A coming-of-age tale of fanfiction, family and first love. 
Cath is a Simon Snow fan. 
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan... 
But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. 
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. 
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to. 
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone. 
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? 
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? 
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

3, 2, 1. The MaddAddam Trilogy – Margaret Atwood

These novels, set in a post-apocalyptic future, follow a group of people attempting to survive in a dangerous world. Over the course of the trilogy, the characters’ involvement with the disease that destroyed everything is slowly revealed.  


  1. Great list! I really loved Fangirl too. I've heard a lot of good things about V.E. Schwab's books and really need to check them out.

    -- Nicola Reads YA

  2. V.E. Schwab has been on my list for a while. I hear good things. And Fangirl ...I really loved that one. Haven't read Not a Drop, but I've wanted to. The other ones, I'm not so familiar with.

  3. Love Fangirl!!! I keep seeing A Darker Shade of Magic and feel like I need to look into this one - Great list!

  4. I've read the first two books in the MaddAddam trilogy and can't wait to finish it up this summer.

  5. Fantastic list!! I've read a bunch of these: Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, Wizard and Glass, St. Lucy's Home for Girls and of course the two V.E. Schwab books. Vicious is still one of my all time favorite books!

  6. I am so glad to see Not A Drop To Drink on your list! I can't wait to read that one :D I own it, so it's just a matter of picking it up. I should have done it already.

  7. ADSOM made my list this week too :D And if I had read Vicious this year instead of last year it would have made the cut as well! Same goes for Fangirl. I still need to read Not A Drop to Drink though but hopefully soon. Awesome picks^^ xx

  8. Great list! A Darker Shade of Magic made my list too and I can't wait to read Vicious. Not a Drop to Drink almost made mine. :)

    Check out my TTT.

  9. Interesting list. I have seen Fangirl a lot, but didn't know what it was about.

    Here's my TTT

  10. I am seeing so many of my favourites on your shelf, it is awesome!!! I'm currently reading The Narrow Road to the Deep North and absolutely loving it. Thanks for sharing!!!

    My TTT

    Obsessive Compulsive Reader

  11. Oh V.E Schwab books!! I've been seeing them around a lot lately, I must look into them :P
    And Not A Drop To Drink!! I have it on my wishlist but have been hearing so many mixed reviews... I still want to read it though and hopefully I'll enjoy it as much as you did :)