Top 15 Books of 2015


Welcome to 2016! I had high book aspirations for 2015 and, while I didn’t accomplish both of my goals, I came close enough.

In my 2015 Reading Challenge, I missed 7 books of the 52. Here’s the complete list of all the book tasks I completed.

I set my Goodreads challenge for the year at 75 and read 70.


10: Carlow's Anniversary MFA Anthology 10: Carlow University’s MFA Anniversary Anthology
(anthology by multiple authors)

Didn’t rate this one since I have a story in it.

1 Star = I didn’t like it

Kill Me Now!
by Lawrence Fisher

Unfortunately, not as funny, well-written, or interesting as I wanted it to be.

2 Stars = It was okay

These are books that I couldn’t say I didn’t like, but I really didn’t find much to like. They left me with a rather “meh” type of feeling.

American Sniper
by Chris Kyle

The Wonder Bread Summer
by Jessica Anya Blau

Everything Is Illuminated
by Jonathan Safran Foer

Catering to Nobody
by Diane Mott Davidson

3 Stars = I liked it

A 3-star rating for me means that I liked the book. For whatever reason, it was good enough that I enjoyed it, but had something that bugged me enough to not like it more. Worth the read, but not my top picks.
Since You’ve Been Gone
by Morgan Matson
by Roald Dahl
by Neal Shusterman
Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls
by David Sedaris
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
by William Shakespeare
Destroy Me
by Tahereh Mafi
Fracture Me
by Tahereh Mafi
by Ally Condie
The Complete Persepolis
by Marjane Satrapi

James and the Giant Peach
by Roald Dahl
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
by Jonas Jonasson
by James Joyce

Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams
Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
Then We Came to the End
by Joshua Ferris

4 Stars = I really liked it

A 4-star book is a book I really, really liked. It kept me turning the pages, was highly enjoyable, but fell just short of that final thing that would bump it into a 5-star rating. These are all books I’d easily recommend to others.
by Stephen King
Life and Death
by Stephenie Meyer
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
by Roald Dahl
Go Set a Watchman
by Harper Lee
Paper Towns
by John Green
Odd Thomas
by Dean Koontz
Small Apartments
by Chris Millis
The Nightingale
by Kristin Hannah
The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
We Should Hang Out Sometime
by Josh Sundquist
Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn
Positioning Yourself to Receive Healing
by Doug Jones
The Darkest Part of the Forest
by Holly Black
Ignite Me
by Tahereh Mafi
The Westing Game
by Ellen Raskin
Shatter Me
by Tahereh Mafi
The Darkest Minds
by Alexandra Bracken
Beautiful Ruins
by Jess Walter
Daughter of the Forest
by Juliet Marillier
The Power of Habit
by Charles Duhigg
Days of Blood & Starlight
by Laini Taylor
Unravel Me
by Tahereh Mafi
by Marissa Meyer
Dreams of Gods & Monsters
by Laini Taylor
All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
by Lysa TerKeurst
Storm Front
by Jim Butcher
The Martian
by Andy Weir
Bird Box
by Josh Malerman
The Kiss of Deception
by Mary E. Pearson
by Scott Westerfeld
Looking for Alaska
by John Green
by Roald Dahl

Check out my video of my top 15 books of 2015!

5 Stars = It was amazing!

I am super uber picky with my 5-star ratings. A book not only has to be amazing, but I have to have some kind of deep emotional response to it. Crying, laughing, or just a desperate need to read the book. The characters must become real, and there’s usually a book hangover involved. But mostly, it’s a book that I just can’t stop thinking about. It has to rock my world in a huge way to get 5 stars.

I did a partial reread of Harry Potter this year (and got to share it with my daughter for the first time!). I’ve put those books in position 11 – 15 simply to keep them together and because they’re a reread. The other 10 are in my order, with #1 being my favorite for the year.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
by J.K. Rowling

I love beginnings, so this is one of my favs in the series. I love seeing Harry’s life with the Dursleys compared with his new life at Hogwarts as he starts to become who he really is and discover this magical world that he didn’t know he was a huge part of.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
by J.K. Rowling

I love the mystery aspect of this one and the way the ending unfolds. Plus, we get to meet Ginny for real in this book as she joins the crew at Hogwarts for the first time.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
by J.K. Rowling

Finally, Harry gets a family member. I love seeing him make that connection and the way this whole book ends up being one big twist.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
by J.K. Rowling

I love watching Harry figure out each task and going through the maze. This book, too, is interesting because it’s the first real fight between Harry and Ron, leaving them not talking for a good part of the book. Harry does a lot of growing up in this one!

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
by J.K. Rowling

I love the way we see the Harry and the rest of the crew grow up through the books. In this one, Harry is realy struggling and things get a bit dark. This series gets better as it goes for me.

Good or God?
by John Bevere

I’d loved many John Bevere books, but this one really challenged me to look at my spiritual life. He’s really good at breaking things down in a practical way. This is one I’ll have to reread a bunch of times over the next few years!

Daughter of Smoke & Bone
by Laini Taylor

The first book in an awesome series. I love Karou and Akiva and this book left me crazy to read the next one!

Drums of Autumn
by Diana Gabaldon

Book 4 in the Outlander series and I loved this one no less! Much more of Bri and her story in this one.

Pretty Little Liars
by Sara Shepard

To be honest, I didn’t have the highest expectations for this book, but I was very pleaseantly surprised! Just enough mystery, just enough Mean Girls, and just enough majoe life issues to make for a wonderful mix of fun and drama.

Yes Please
by Amy Poehler

Exactly the right book at the perfect time. Often felt much like a theory session, but no less funny. If you just need a good laught at life, this is the book. And! The audiobook is read by Amy herself, which always makes it that much beter.

Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline

Part The Westing Game, part The Matrix. For lovers of video games and the 80s, it doesn’t get any better than this. And an extra bonus, the audiobook is read by the awesome Will Wheaton!

Red Queen
by Victoria Aveyard

Can’t wait to read the next book in the series. This book ended with such a huge twist that I need to find out what’s going on with all the characters.

Big Little Lies
by Liane Moriarty

The characters were so much of what made this book amazing. So unique and interseting. I also loved the way the stroy was told slowly, with interjections from people in town that gave different perspectives.

The Handmaid’s Tale
by Margaret Atwood

Atwood is pure brilliance. This is a dystopian, but done in a rare way–where it fell very real and possible. Which also made it kinda scary.

Before I Fall
by Lauren Oliver

My fav for the year! So much that I love about this book. The way the main character changed, the whole premise and plotline. It reminded me a lot of Groundhog Day, which is a movie I love. All around fun and heartbreaking at the same time.

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