2015 Wrap-Up and 2016 Preview Part 1 - My Favorite Reads + Giveaway

So many things have happened this year, in fact it's been kind of crazy around my house, and I do want to say I'm sorry for disappearing so much.  While I have been getting some reading done I haven't been getting nearly as many reviews posted (in fact  I don't think I've gotten any posted since September, whoops) and I've been kinda horrible at getting prizes out in a timely manner as well, so for that I want to give you all my deepest apologies.  I recently decided my college major and thus have signed up for entirely new and challenging classes at my community college which seem to be taking up so much of my time.  One of my goals in this coming year is to post here more regularly, both reviews and interviews alike although I will also be continuing my education (which is my first priority), working, and attempting to write a novel, so I suppose I'll have to take everything one day at a time.

Anyway, now that that's out of the way let's get on to the 2016 wrap-up!  I read a total of 52 books this year [actually it was probably more than that, seeing as I read some NA books that I decided not to count] and now the time has come for me to pick my favorites.  I won't bother listing all of the book that I read, but for those of you who are curious here's a little statistical breakdown (seeing as I am actually majoring in statistics) so you can get a little glimpse into what my year of reading looked like.

52+ books read (actual count more like 61)
6 books not finished
192 pages; shortest book read
842 pages; longest book read
9 2015 debuts
12 books not published in 2015
2 Middle Grade novels
2 Adult novels
19 YA contmep novels

Now that you've seen some of my reading stats for this year let's get on with the list.  I've chosen 10 of my favorite reads, all of which came out this year, that have little blurbs as to why I chose them, and below that there are 5 additional titles that I enjoyed that didn't have to come out this year, or that did and just weren't in my top 10.  Here they are in (roughly) the order I read them!

1. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
This was actually the first book I read in 2015 and even though I had a feeling I knew what was going to happen it still tore me apart when it did.  There was so much emotion in this book, along with such an important message, and its help shed some light onto the dark spot in our society that is mental illness.

2. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
Nova has such an amazing way with words and every book of hers that I've read I've found myself spellbound not only by the story she's written but by the words themselves as well.  Something about her writing is so poetic, and this story was so haunting it's hard to forget.

3. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
This is a fantastic graphic novel (that apparently started out as a webcomic) about a young girl who can shapeshift into whatever she wants and she ends up helping a super villain!  Basically hilarity ensues. The art style wasn't exactly my thing, but I was so amused by the story that I kept going, and I found that I was sad at how soon it was over. 

4. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
I think one of the biggest things I loved about this book was the moral complexities of it, along with the characters.  It was action-packed and full of heart, but unlike so many YA novels the main female character was a coward, and although you might not think so I really enjoyed that about it, because not every person is brave and thus not all characters should be.

5. Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
I'm not sure that it's actually possible for this book to be any cuter than it already is.  I don't think I've enjoyed a YA with a gay main character this much since Will Gryason, Will Grayson and I can't tell you how glad I am that I gave this book a chance.  Even if you're not attracted to members of the same sex I suggest you check this book out, because I think it has something to teach everyone.

6. Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway
This is another book that just has to much cute in it for me to stand. Despite being about a boy who is abducted by his father when he's young and finally returned years later it's such a sweet story and the focus is on life and figuring out who you are.  

7. Damage Done by Amanda Panitch
This is the only horror/thriller on my list, which is surprising, seeing as I read quite a few of them this year, but this one really left an impression.  I had my suspicions about it from about halfway through and despite the fact that I was right I was still so shocked that I didn't even care. Not everyone will enjoy this one, but man did I ever.

8. Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amiee Kaufman
This is the longest book on the list but it didn't really take me all that long to read.  Another book that won't be for everyone but I can pretty much guarantee that if you don't mind the format of mostly IMs, emails, and "interview" dictations you'll find something you've never read before between the pages of this book.

9. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
I actually read this book because I intended to give it as a Christmas present to my best friend, who is in love with all things WWII, and I'm so glad I did.  This book probably takes the cake for most inventive story along with having the most amazing writing.  Who would have thought a novel set in a world where Hitler won WWII would have writing that's so gosh-darn pretty?

10. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
Even though, in my mind, this book didn't have a concrete plot until over 100 pages in I found I didn't care because the world Schwab had created was so fascinating and her writing was so lyrical.  When the action finally did start I couldn't put the book down.  It's exactly the kind of adventure fantasy novel I was hoping for, and I'm pretty mad at myself that it took me so long to get to.  It's one of the two "adult" novels I read this year, and I'll for sure be reading the sequel when it comes out!

So there's my top 10 of the year, with an extra 5 added on.  There were also more books that I would have loved to put on the list, but let's be honest, I would probably end up including half of the books I read this year on that list.  I didn't include any NA novels just because I mostly read those for my own amusement, although do let me know if you want any recommendations.  Tomorrow I'll be posting a list of books that I was hoping to get to this year but didn't, but in the meantime check out the two giveaways I have going on below. 

Giveaway #1:
I have a whole bunch of book and book-related things to give away and I decided the best time to do so would be during the holiday season! Unfortunately Christmas (and Hanukkah and every other holiday out there) has come and gone, so what better time to give it away than while I'm celebrating all the fantastic books out this year and the ones I'm looking forward to next year?  I'm pretty sure there is no better time.  But you're probably wondering what you can win, so here's a little list;

Your choice of one of my favorite 2015 reads

Your choice of one of the books I didn't get to in 2015

A pre-order of your choice of one of my 2016 picks OR a $20 gift card to the bookstore of your choice (or Amazon)

Your choice of two 2016 ARCs 
Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace
- Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

A copy of Secret Garden by Johanna Basford

Your choice of three of the following movies made from books
- The Hunger Games
- Catching Fire
- Mockingjay Part 1
- Divergent
- The Fault in our Stars
- The DUFF
- The Maze Runner
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower

A bunch of swag from various authors/books

A handmade book pendant of your design

A $15 Starbucks giftcard

A pair of fuzzy socks to read in

A set of my favorite chocolates from around the holiday season (I've been told they're exclusive to the area I live in)

That's upward of $200 of book-ish things, and goodness knows I'll probably end up tossing a few other things in there as well, so that's a HUGE prize!  This one is US/Canada only, just because shipping will be so expensive outside of the US, although if you live outside the US and have family or a friends who would mail the prize to you feel free to enter.  All you have to do is enter using the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #2:
This giveaway is nowhere near as huge as the previous one BUT it's open ONLY to those of you who live OUTSIDE the US/Canada. Here's what you can win;

Your choice of ANY book I feature over the next four days (aka it can be out now or it can be a pre-order) OR $20 to the book depository 

For those of you who fall into this category all you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter below and you're entered to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This post is just full of awesomeness! Wolf by Wolf looks amazing as does A Darker Shade of Magic! Your blog posts are always amazing and now I'm even more excited for my 2016 reads! Thanks for the AWESOME giveaway! I love how you made the special giveaway for international! You're super sweet! Keep reading and reviewing! :)

  2. Dare to Dissapoint by Ozge Samanci, a graphic memoir (of her childhood & young adulthood) growing up in Turkey. I like the storyline, the artwork is okay. I am starting to like graphic memoirs so that's why it's one of my favorites. :)

  3. All the Bright Places was one of my favorite reads, too. So much so, that I read it twice in a month! The writing was so beautiful and it crushed me in the best way possible.

  4. I read so many fantastic books this year! Namely, Illuminae, Wolf by Wolf, Frozen Tides, My Heart and Other Black Holes, 6 of Crows, and,although it didn't come out this year, All the Truth that's in me.

  5. I read and loved "The Scent of Rain and Lightning". I wish I would've gotten to "Why Not Me?" by Mindy Kaling. The 2016 read I'm most looking forward to is "The Confidence Effect" by Grace Killelea. And for the 2016 veteran author I'm looking forward to ""My Name Is Lucy Barton" by Elizabeth Strout" :)

  6. One of my favorites was The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, though I also liked many others such as Red Queen, Falling Kingdoms, Throne of Glass, Truthwitch, and so many others. Great post! I'll have to check out Illuminae sometime. I've heard nothing but praise for that book, though I seem to be in the minority regarding Emmy & Oliver. I didn't really like it, but maybe I'll pick it up again sometime since almost everyone seems to like it a lot. Happy New Year!

  7. Queen of Shadows and The Wrath and the Dawn were both just AMAZING!!! I love the list you compiled though- you've included most of my top picks! :)

  8. I wish I had gotten to Illuminae- everyone has been raving about it, but by the time I finally had time to read it, I was at the bottom of the hold list at the library!
    I'm super excited for Blackhearts, and the Crown's Game. Both look so interesting!
    As far as veteran authors go, I can't wait for The Rose and the Dagger, The Winner's Kiss, Frost like Night, and the 5th Throne of Glass book. So many great books on the horizon :)

  9. My favorite book this year would have to be Red queen the world building just drew me in and learning about it and its inhabitants was incredible. I cant wait for my next great read of 2016!!

  10. It's definitely a tie between The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh and The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett, amazing reads!
    Love that your list includes some of my faves as well. :)
    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  11. Always such a tough question! My favorite read was probably either Carry On, Illuminae, or Queen of Shadows. But shoutout to Wolf by Wolf too because I also loved that one. :)
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  12. My favourite reads were An Ember In The Ashes, Winter, The Wrath and the Dawn and The Song of Achilles! Such amazing books! Thank you for the giveaway! :))

  13. Illuminae was such a surprise but Queen of Shadows and Frozen Tides were awesome as well.

  14. I cannot wait to read The Winner's Kiss

  15. My favourite read of the year was Queen of Shadows. Thank you for th giveaway!
    Rafflecopter name: Megan S.

  16. One of my favorite reads of 2015 was A Court of Thorns and Roses! I am anxious to get the next one and see what happens :) Thank you for the amazing opportunity to win!

  17. One of my favorite reads of 2015 was Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. It was brilliant and epic. And I'm really looking forward Firefight!
    Thanks for the giveaway and happy new year!

  18. One of my favorite books of 2015 is The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson. I read this book and immediately wanted to pick it up and read it all over again.

  19. I wish I had read Everything, Everything

  20. One of my favorite reads of the year was An Ember in the Ashes and To All the Boys I've Loved Before!

  21. Winter for sure, I love the Lunar Chronicles!

  22. I've been dying to read nimona she also writes LUMBERJANES which is my favorite comic read so far

  23. I wish I could've read Simon Vs.I'm dying for the winners kiss or the sequel to read the sequel to the wrath and the dawn. I can't wait for a crowns game!

  24. My favorite read last 2015 was Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen. :)

  25. I loved An Ember in the Ashes too; I can't wait for the sequel.
    Ann S

  26. My favorite read was Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas. Thank you for this amazing chance! :)

  27. Most defintely on top of my Favorites of 2015 List are An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Soooo good!
    Thanks for the chance!

  28. I read so many amazing books, but if I had to pick a favorite, I think I would go with Angelfall by Susan Ee. Thanks for this awesome giveaway! :D

  29. Unfortunately, I'm way behind when it comes to books that came out in 2015. That said, I would have to say that the Frozen novelization, A Frozen Heart, was a book I enjoyed.

  30. Definitely Winter by Marissa Meyer :D