Top Ten Books Published In 2015

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone! This past year was pretty crazy and full of lots of great books, and looking back I think that 2015 was one the best years for my favorite series ending well and others commencing. I was very excited to look at my goodreads ‘read’ list and see that I had accomplished my 2015 goal of reading more than 55 books, and if you are interesting in seeing that list, follow this link: https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2015/10577582. I In lieu of all of the amazing books that I’ve had the chance to read this year, I definitely do have favorites that were published in 2015, so here’s my top ten.

1.

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“The Winner’s Crime” by Marie Rutkoski.

2.

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“The Wrath and the Dawn” by Renée Ahdieh.

3.

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“Rook” by Sharon Cameron.

4.

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“A Cold Legacy” by Megan Shepherd.

5.

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“A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas.

6.

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“The Fill-In Boyfriend” by Kasie West.

 

7.

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“Nowhere But Here” by Katie McGarry.

8.

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“Sweet Temptation” by Wendy Higgins.

9.book Leigh Bardugo Six of Crows

“Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo.

10.

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“Their Fractured Light” by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.

Thank you so much for all of your comments and visits and for sticking with me this year, and I hope that you all have a Happy New Year!

I Hope You Had a Lovely Christmas…

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Well, Christmas is over. It’s a little bit sad as well as lovely, all of the memories that are now stored up after time with family and friends, I just wish it lasted a bit longer. Christmas is a little bittersweet in the fact that it has a beginning and an end, but I love it because it will eventually come back around even after the goodbyes are said.

Sorry for the late Christmas wishes, but I hope you all had a wonderful day that gave you lots of wonderful memories and (hopefully) some well needed books to spend reading during your vacation. 😉 Merry Christmas, everyone, and have a Happy New Year!

Winter by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #4)

Winter by Marissa Meyer

“Winter” by Marissa Meyer

4 out of 5 stars.

Everyone thinks that Winter is crazy, and they might be partly right because of her refusal to use her Lunar gift to manipulate people. Despite that, though, Winter is loved by the people of Luna because of her kindness and beauty, and Levana can’t stand the fact that the Lunars respond better to their mad princess than her, their queen. With a step-mother who is constantly aiming her cruelty at Winter, the young and kind princess has no one to turn to for solace except her childhood friend, Jacin. But with her guard and friend gone for so long from Luna and no word from him, and Winter fears for his safety. Then, as if the stars smiled on her, Jacin has returned and Winter has hopes that everything can return to normal, but what the young princess doesn’t know is that nothing on Luna will ever be the same. Cinder is on her way.

Cinder worries for the safety of her friends as they plan the rescue of Scarlet and how to unseat Levana, but all of them have come so far that there is no stopping what they started and no going back to who they used to be. Everyone in Cinder’s group is up for the fight, no matter what their ends they might meet on the unforgiving planet, and the lost princess wonders if maybe her team is just enough to save Earth and Luna from Levana’s terrible reign.

Okay, so I enjoyed reading “Winter” by Marissa Meyer, and despite its huge size *cough* 827 pages *cough,* it was also a quick read. Marissa Meyer definitely has a simple and addictive writing style that made the pages fly by, even when your out of practice with reading. It was about three weeks since I’d had enough time to sit down and enjoy a fun book when I picked “Winter” up, so it was awesome to take the time to read it despite the busyness of school during that time. “Winter” was the perfect book to get me back into reading for fun and I enjoyed Marissa’s last installment in “The Lunar Chronicles” series. Alright, let’s begin this review by talking about Marissa’s newest heroine, Princess Winter.

I loved Winter as a character. I liked how differently she read than all of the other heroines of this series, and I thought that it was interesting seeing Winter “interact” with her step-mother Levana. Levana was despicable, but despite her cruelty towards her step-daughter, Winter turned out to be a compassionate and kind individual, and I loved getting to know her. I personally think that, out of all of Marissa’s female characters, Winter had the most compelling back story and present circumstance in this series, especially since Winter suffered from the Lunar sickness, and that in itself only added to Winter’s dynamic character. Cress was, and still is, my favorite female character from “The Lunar Chronicles,” but Winter is a close second. Winter was definitely a heroine I cheered for during this book, and I enjoyed all the sections of this book where she was present. Another thing that I really loved about Winter’s character was the connection she had with her best friend and guard, Jacin.

I had really liked Jacin in “Cress” and was curious about his back story while I read the third Lunar book, but I never got to see enough of who Jacin was in it to fully understand his motivations. Waiting nearly two years for “Winter” to come out was pure torture, so finally getting to really know Jacin (and Winter) ended up being exciting, and I’m happy to say that his character did not disappoint.

Jacin appeared to be a more closed off character in “Cress” and it was great to see him around Winter who was the only person to get past his armor. Everything about his job and the environment of Luna had taught Jacin to protect himself and those he loved by acting detached and uncaring. Despite how Jacin pushed everyone he loved away, Winter became his one exception, but in this book, it was evident that he was beginning to feel the need to distance himself a little bit because of Levana’s skill at using love and compassion against people. I thought that it was really interesting who Jacin “became” due the environment that he was subjected to because of how wicked and cruel Levana was, and I found the measures he took to protect those he loved to be sad but also understandable. Another thing I enjoyed about this character was that he did not necessarily side with Cinder and her revolution; Jacin obviously despised Levana and the current Lunar government for all of the torment they had put him through, the threats towards his family, and his fear that Winter would be hurt or killed, but he also didn’t just jump blindly onto the lost Princess Selene’s side just because she was the true heir of Luna. That intrigued me as well as made me like his character even more, but the cherry on top that made me love Jacin as a strong male lead was his and Winter’s relationship.

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Jacin and Winter made me smile and my heart happy. I shipped them a lot and loved the parts of this book where they were together or just working towards protecting and helping one another. They weren’t an icky lovey-dovey couple, but their relationship was still super sweet, and I loved that they had a long history as friends before their romance began in “Winter.”

Although I really enjoyed “Winter” as a book and a conclusion to a good series, I didn’t quite fall in love with it in its entirety; I adored anything and everything that involved Jacin, Winter, Cress, and Thorne, but sadly, there was not that much of them in this book, which was disappointing to me. I was sad at times while reading “Winter” because the majority of it was about Cinder and her revolution rather than Winter for which the book is titled; I expected a lot more of the girl it was named after than I actually got and that was a bit frustrating at times. Don’t get me wrong, Cinder was a good character, but both her and Kai are a little bit, I don’t know, flatlinery? They are great people, but I don’t feel like they are the most compelling characters like Winter and Jacin were, or adorable and fun like Cress and Thorne had been in this series, and the amount of Cinder overtook all of the other characters who were far more interesting and dynamic. I get that “The Lunar Chronicles” started with Cinder and was building up to this revolution, but the sheer amount of it took away from some of the fun of this series because other characters that I wanted to see more of got neglected. At times I wanted to (immaturely) stomp my foot and demand more Winter and Jacin or Cress and Thorne, and although “Winter” was a fairly fast and light read, I felt a bit disconnected because the characters that had drawn me into the story took the backseat. If a 100 pages of Cinder and her rebellion had been removed and exchanged for more Winter and Jacin or Cress and Thorne, I would have gladly thrown five stars at this book, but alas, it was not to be…Okay, since I believe that the other characters of this series deserved time in the center stage, I am only going to graze over Cinder and Kai.

Cinder and Kai were sweet, good-hearted individuals, but I haven’t ever found them to be very interesting or dynamic characters. I don’t dislike them, but I also didn’t get that feeling of cheering them on when I read their sections of “Winter,” and I just kind of kept reading so I could get to the small snippets of the characters that I did love. I do feel that Marissa Meyer did a good job of helping both Cinder and Kai to remain true to themselves while still growing as individuals, and that was nice to see as a reader. I did find it interesting, though, that Scarlet got nearly as much page time as Cinder, and I definitely did not expect that in “Winter.”

I think after hundreds of pages of barely getting any Cress or Thorne time that reading so much from Scarlet’s perspective started to irritate me towards the end of this book. I was not particularly fond of Scarlet in her own book, so I was quite happy to move onto more Thorne and lots of Cress in the third book of “The Lunar Chronicles,” but then it switched back to Scarlet and Cinder during “Winter.” This bother me a bit because, once again, I wanted the person for which the book was named to take up the most page time and to have the largest presence, yet it was Scarlet and Cinder who dominated most of this book. I’m happy for the fans who adored Cinder and Scarlet from the start of this series and that they got their epic finale, but I was a little sad that I didn’t get as much of my beloved Cress and Thorne.

Thorne…*sighs* I just loved this character so much throughout this entire series, and my only problem was that there just wasn’t enough of him in “Winter”! While reading this book, I just fell in love with Thorne all over again, and I was happy to see him grow as a person while still staying very much himself. One of the things I was sad about, though, with my time spent with Carswell Thorne was that he and Cress were apart for a long time in “Winter.” I adored the fact that he played a large role in coming up with some of the plans for Cinder and that he was being brave and courageous, but I just REALLY wanted more time with him and Cress together in this book!

I do have to appreciate that the time she and Thorne spent apart allowed Cress to really grow into herself as a character. This girl was just the cutest, sweetest character in “The Lunar Chronicles,” and she was so brave to put her life on the line repeatedly to save her friends. I loved that Cress had no powers, yet she figured out ways to help those she loved and bravely walked into the line of fire to help Cinder in her revolution. All I’ve got to say is, never underestimate the power of a fangirl who knows how to work a computer!

In the end, I enjoyed “Winter” despite the lack of Thorne and Cress and Winter and Jacin, and that the moments I did get with these characters were fabulous. I really appreciate as a fan how well Marissa Meyer tied up her story of Luna and Earth, the revolution, and how each of the characters evolved throughout this series. “Winter” by Marissa Meyer was a really sweet, well-wrapped up conclusion to an equally sweet series.

Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Starbound #3)

13138736 their fractured light amie kaufman and meagan spooner

“Their Fractured Light” by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

4 out of 5 stars.

A year ago, Flynn Cormac’s broadcast about the “whispers” swept across the galaxy, revealing the reason for the Fury that had claimed so many on Avon. Now, Sofia Quinn is far away from the cloud covered planet that was the only true home she had ever known, and she is out for revenge. Sofia is on the trail of Roderick LaRoux, the man she holds responsible for the whispers that caused her father’s death, and she is the closest she has ever been to getting the information she needs to destroy LaRoux when a stranger suddenly ruins all of her carefully laid plans.

Gideon Merchant is the faceless hacker known as the Knave of Hearts, and he’s out to destroy LRI and the man behind the company. Gideon has been tracking a woman who was close enough to LaRoux to know what has really been happening within the company, and the closer he gets to her, the closer he is to having real proof of the crimes that the creator of LaRoux Industries has committed. But when the hacker and the con artist get trapped in one of LaRoux’s buildings on Corinth, they both find themselves suddenly in need of a partner in crime to get out of LRI’s grasp alive.

With LaRoux Industries out to destroy them, Sofia and Gideon team up, combining their skills and using lies to survive a deadly game that started long before they ever cared about who LaRoux was. As their search for revenge goes on, Sofia and Gideon begin to realize that there is so much more at stake now than just their desire for justice, but the lies that are building up between them could stop them both from getting what they want. Can Gideon and Sofia learn to work together by putting their differences aside before it’s too late or will LaRoux’s whispers be the end of the world as they know it?

“Their Fractured Light” was quite the roller coaster ride of a book! Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner created another fantastic book together, and I am so happy that this writing duo succeeded in giving their amazing “Starbound” trilogy a complete and satisfying ending! I loved reading their books set in the star-swept world of Tarver and Lilac, Jubilee and Flynn, and now Gideon and Sofia. Although I enjoyed reading “Their Fractured Light” a lot, I do have mixed feelings about certain aspects of it, one of them being Sofia.

I don’t know what it was, but for some odd reason, I could not connect with Sofia. It’s not that I didn’t like her or that she wasn’t a well-developed character, but I just felt a bit distant from her. I don’t know whether it was just the time in my life when I read “Their Fractured Light” and if that somehow stopped me from liking her character more, but I just wasn’t able to feel invested in her back story despite how heart wrenching it truly was and her past connection to Flynn Cormac. I was, however, really grateful for the dual perspectives that Amie and Meagan chose to do for their books because I ended up really liking their other character, Gideon.

I found Gideon to be extremely interesting from the very start of “Their Fractured Light,” and he continued to be so throughout this book. I felt like Gideon had a lot of layers to his character and it took until about a third of the way through for most of his secrets to get brought into the light, and although those secrets were fairly easy to guess, I liked that they added a lot of substance to him and helped to make him a very interesting character. Beyond finding Gideon’s background very compelling and extremely heartbreaking, I also really liked reading from his perspective and getting to “hear” his voice. For me, I think that the only thing that didn’t make me like this character more was the “romance” that happened between him and Sofia.

This was the one romance in Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s “Starbound” trilogy that didn’t draw me in or make me root for its survival. In “These Broken Stars,” I bought into the romance that blossomed between Tarver and Lilac. I know that they may have fallen in love a little bit fast, but the pacing and circumstance of that book helped their romance to seem plausible and, at moments, magical. I liked those two characters and their romance a lot, and then when I read “This Shatter World” last December, I just fell head-over-my-shipper-heels in love with the romance between Jubilee and Flynn. I adored the fact that they had a few gloriously beautiful moments filled with tension that never felt forced while not letting it overtake their mission to save Avon and its people. The romance developed slowly between Jubilee and Flynn due to their personalities and their strenuous circumstances, and I loved that there wasn’t insta-love between the two of them. I don’t think either of them ever thought or said that four-lettered word out loud, but I could tell as a reader that, if the two of them were given the chance, they would be amazing together. I loved both Flynn and Jubilee separately as well as together, and “This Shattered World” and its characters really left their mark on my heart; Amie and Meagan’s words from that book really stuck with me and remain some of my favorites that I have had the chance to read. Everything about “This Shattered World” still makes me smile and my heart soar, but the romance in “Their Fractured Light” didn’t make sense to me the way Amie and Meagan’s other two romances had.

I felt like the situations that Gideon and Sofia were placed in for this story’s purpose did not provide the right kind of moments to create genuine tension beyond the mounting lies or a plausible reason other than attraction to make these two form an attachment, especially considering how little time they spent together. I would have been okay with the romance if it had blossomed slowly over time, but their “moment” happened early on in “Their Fractured Light” and only a few days after they had first met. It just felt a little forced and like it happened too soon, especially since all of the massive drama started to go down right afterwards.

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I would have been okay if they had known each other for longer (more than three or four days) and then started to have a developing romance, but alas, that was not to be! Sorry, I just felt like it escalated a little too quickly for my taste. I know that the other romances were quick too, but the pacing, situations, and writing in “These Broken Stars” and “This Shattered World” caused the relationships to feel more organic, and personally, I just liked them better.

Besides the romance, though, I really liked “Their Fractured Light.” I really admire and appreciate how Amie and Meagan seem to work together so flawlessly, like they’re one person, and how they are able to create such different atmospheres within each of their books while deliberately and flawlessly connecting them. This epic duo definitely knows how to write very cohesive and complex books while giving their readers new and thrilling adventures! I also love the little Easter Eggs that they toss into each of their books that tie all of their characters together, and “Their Fractured Light” didn’t just have Easter Eggs, it was the freaking awesome moment where all of the separate threads finally intersected to make sense and blow your mind!

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I think that one of the many things that I really liked about “Their Fractured Light” was that it made me love the previous two books even more than I already did. At the half way point, about 200 pages, I was not sure if I loved this book because of the romance and the type of drama that was going on between Gideon and Sofia, but then Tarver and Lilac showed up, and I got really excited to see how much of them Amie and Meagan would write into their final book. Oh, and then Flynn and Jubilee arrived in the best way possible, and this fangirl decided to love “Their Fractured Light”!

Seeing Tarver and Lilac and Jubilee and Flynn together again just made my heart so happy, and when you-know-what wasn’t hitting the fan, I would just start to smile because I was SO happy to see them all together! Tarver was as amazing as ever and I was so happy to see Lilac; those two are a great couple, and I am so glad that they never give up on each other.  Oh, and be still my shipper heart, whenever Flynn got some page time…

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I don’t know what it was, but I just LOVED the words that Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner wrote for him in these books! It was also beyond fantastic to see Jubilee, and I just love that female character. She was so great in “This Shattered World” and that didn’t change one bit in “Their Fractured Light.” P.S. Flynn + Jubilee = 1 happy fangirl.
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As happy as the reappearance of these beloved characters made me, “Their Fractured Light” was definitely a very emotionally tormenting book. Amie and Meagan did not choose to go easy on their characters and that combined with all of the crazy alien stuff made for a very fast paced and stress second half of the book. The project that Roderick LaRoux had started before this trilogy began was coming to a head, and it seemed like there was no solution to the horrible thing that he had “created.” On top of that, something quite unexpected happened, and I was unsure of how Amie and Meagan were going to resolve it.

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Thankfully for us readers, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner wrote a great end to their trilogy. The death toll and emotional torment was definitely high in this book, but they did tie up the loose ends that had been strung throughout the “Starbound” books, and “Their Fractured Light” felt like a complete ending.

Overall, “Their Fractured Light” was a great finale to a fantastic trilogy. I loved that all of my favorite characters came back into play and that Amie and Meagan so skillfully brought every little piece together so I could see what their connections were to the whispers. I also felt like the pages that Amie and Meagan had before each new chapter helped to make the story within these books more complex and dynamic, especially the ones from “Their Fractured Light,” and they were one of my favorite things to read in this book. All of those little details in addition to Amie and Meagan’s amazing cast of characters made for a pretty epic trilogy, and I’m so happy that these books and the adventures they have taken me on had a well resolved ending! “Their Fractured Light” is definitely a must read!

Oh, Sweet Freedom!

Soooo, sorry about the radio silence for the last month/month and a half! My classes got the better of me and trying to find extra brainpower to read for fun and write reviews was definitely lacking during this semester, but I am super happy to announce that I made it through finals week! It felt a little bit like this,

 

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but I survived, and I’m so happy to be officially done with this semester!!! I am just so excited that I will finally have time to read and review some books!

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Although I have a lot more time and energy to read and review some books, I don’t know how often I will actually post during December and early January. I want to read and review as many books as I can, but I also want to build up enough reviews so that I can begin scheduling them for more consistency during my spring semester, and now I am at an impasse: to post or not to post? I’m still deciding what to do, but in the meantime I have a couple of books that I’ve read and written reviews for, so I will try to post them soon. I really appreciate you all hanging in there with me, and here’s to seeing you guys around (hopefully) soon!

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