Top Ten Tuesday (7): Top Ten Books of 2015 (So Far)

June 29, 2015 discussion post, Kim, Top Ten Tuesday 64

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the theme is “Top Ten Books of 2015 (So Far)” and we’re happy to be participating!

 

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Golden Son by Pierce Brown

The second installment in this sci-fi series upped the ante from its predecessor smartly moving the majority of the action from Mars into space. The first book is all world building and war games in a future-dystopia. Golden Son is war and space, political intrigue and betrayals, and perhaps a smidgen of romance. And if you like wham!bam! endings that’s likely to leave you with your jaw somewhere past the floor then this is definitely a book for you.

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

Another 2015 second in a series that dramatically improved upon the first. Whereas the The Bone Season was a sort of jailbreak story, The Mime Order is a murder mystery replete with a psuedo-Victorian (it’s actually the future; an old time-y future) flair. Plus, it has one of my favorite ships. I’m a sucker for any sort of paranormal romantic pairing. Alien + human? Sure! All that smoldering tension, just delicious. Give me more please. Like, yesterday.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

This book is such fun fantasy with hidden depths of dark and creepy. Parallel Londons, a stolid hero, a deliciously wicked, cross dressing, fierce wanna-be female pirate, and a bisexual prince round out the awesomeness. No romance but hints of maybe something (…or things) to come.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

I adore this strange combination of contemporary, fairy tale, and magical realism. The characters are so beautifully drawn and the story is spun so compellingly. There is a surreality to the entire story where you’re not quite sure what is or isn’t real. It somehow doesn’t matter. It’s all just lovely and powerful. It is also fiercely feminist.

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

2015 has been a really great year for Book 2’s! Shadow Scale expanded upon the world and already strong cast of characters, taking us on a cross-continental journey in search of half-dragons and gods. Dearly missed, though, were adorable princely (and captain of the guard) love interest Kiggs, and Phina’s beloved uncle Orma. Layla said this is one of the most queer-friendly fantasy books she’s ready in years and I agree!

 

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The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

This lyrically written historical novel follows Love and Death personified as they bring their ancient game to 1930’s Seattle. Racial tension, class privilege, and queer identities are all explored in this beautiful and heart wrenching story.

Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace

I love this weird little book so much and it is so underrated and I just want to shout from the rooftops and make everyone read it. A bleak post-apocalyptic setting sets the stage and our Wasp, a ghost hunter, and her ghost (you just have to read it) are on the search to find his long dead partner. It’s beautiful and spare and a poignant commentary on the bonds of friendship and love.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Only Sarah J. Maas could get me to enjoy a fae story so much. Romantic, darkly magical, and so, so steamy. Sarah knows how to create wonderfully flawed female heroines and the swoony guys to complement them. Plus it has that trademark slam-packed, jaw dropping Maas ending. Do not pass Go!

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

My favorite book of 2015 so far and by far! BLOODTHIRSTY TREES. I can’t stress it enough. Plus: bad-ass magic wielding heroine, realistically complex female friendship, and the most wonderfully wonderful hate-to-love full of mutual respect and admiration. Five million stars.

The Awesome by Eva Darrows

Here’s another underrated gem. Maggie is a hunter-in-training, learning all to take down all manner of paranormal bad guys. One wrong step in the messy land of vampire politics and–you see where this is going. This book is feminist, funny, sexy as all get out, and one of the freshest paranormal YA novels I’ve read in years.

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I (weirdly?) decided to just order these by release date. They range from 4-5 stars in rating. I haven’t read anything past July releases (yet) so they are truly my favorite books of this first hald of 2015. There are a few I haven’t gotten to yet that probably would’ve made this list. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and An Ember in the Ashes are likely culprits for this list that I just haven’t gotten to yet! Is there anything else I’m missing out on? What’s on your lists? I’d especially love to know your under the radar recs!

 

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64 Responses to “Top Ten Tuesday (7): Top Ten Books of 2015 (So Far)”

  1. Run Q

    Nice list, I absolutely LOVE ACOTAR, and any of Sarah J. Maas books!

  2. Valentina Markasović

    Currently reading A Court of Thorns and Roses, and it definitely deserves to be on this list! I’m going to have to add the other books to my ever growing TBR pile :)

  3. Jocelyne T

    Omgggg yessss UPROOTED!! I just finished reading it and I loveeeee it so much (from the world, to the characters, down to the title!). An added plus in my opinion is that it is a stand alone book and it ended nicely with no cliffhangers. Too many times have I gone into a book without realizing it was part of a series and the next book still in the works :(

    I do hope Naomi Novik returns to that world one day, but I am very satisfied nonetheless with Uprooted as it is.

    Next on my list is Shadow Scale, but I might need to reread Seraphina first. You’ve gotten me interested in Archivist Wasp and A Darker Shade of Magic – adding to my TBR now. Thanks!

  4. Patti (@TheLoveJunkee)

    I keep hearing good things about A Court of Thorns and Roses. I haven’t read anything by her yet but I think I need to start that series.

  5. Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    I HAVE READ SO FEW OF THESE. What even.

    Okay, so I read The Mime Order, but I didn’t really like it. I’m hoping I just wasn’t in the mood. I think when the series is nearing the end, I might try again on audio because British accents for the win. The parts with the ship were really good but there was so little ship!

    BISEXUAL PRINCE. OMG. GUH.

    Bone Gap: I’m planning to try this one at some point. I have an ARC that I was going to give away but then kept because of your review but I’ve not had time to read it so in my collection it sits.

    SHADOW SCALE IS SO QUEER FRIENDLY. LAYLA IS RIGHT. I WAS FLAILING.

    Oooh, for some reason I had a bad feeling about The Game of Love and Death, but that may have just been my dislike for the cover. Oops. I’ll have to put it on my list!

    HELL YEAH ACOTAR. Sarah J. Maas can write all the ships forever.

    Uprooted has been recommended to me approximately 85 billion times. SOMEDAY.

    I just got The Awesome and I am MOST EXCITED.
    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted…Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

  6. Nethmini

    A COURT OF THRONE AND ROSES YES YES YES thank god it’s there…

  7. Jennifer

    I liked Crimson Bound and Ready player one. I’m looking forward to read Uprooted though I know I could read the other Temeraire books before getting the newer book. I am hesitating to put The Game of Love and Death on my TBR list or the maybe a bit priority-higher list.

  8. Jolina

    I agree to Uprooted! Loved that one. So good that I couldn’t put it down.

  9. Lia

    I loooooooooved ACOTAR and am being bullied by friends to read ADSOM. Crimson Bound, Illuminae, Poison Study,My Heart and Other Black Holes and the entire Falling Kingdoms series that is out would make my top 10 of 2015. Adding all your rec’s to the TBR.

  10. Jamie Welch

    The mime order and a darker shade of magic were sooooo good! I haven’t started the Red Rising series yet but I have heard good things!!

  11. Thomas

    Love this list, thank you for sharing! Lots of fantasy/science-fiction on here, which I should read more of it seems. One standout YA I read this year was More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera; I felt like it packed a bit more punch and voice and realism and diversity than Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, though I enjoyed the latter as well. Great work keeping the posts current at The Midnight Garden this summer! :)
    Thomas recently posted…Car Accidents, Self-Compassion, and Other Summer Adventures

  12. Maryssa L.

    Oh man I’ve only read ACOTAR from this list (which I adored beyond measure and want to reread a million times), and only like 3 of the other books are on my TBR list! I’m going to be adding my TBR list asap. I’m even more excited for Uprooted now (and can we talk about how amazing both this cover and the UK cover are!? beautiful books <3)

  13. TANYA

    I ABSOLUTELY ADORED A COURT OF THRONES AND ROSES! I CANNOT WAIT TO CHECK OUT THE REST.

  14. Kierra

    Ahh! A lot of these are books I’m looking forward to reading! That is, ADSoM, Bone Gap, Shadow Scale, and A Game of Love and Death. And I’m reading Uprooted right now and am LOVING IT.

    Awesome picks! :)

  15. Erin @ The Book Archive

    AH I NEED to read A Darker Shade of Magic!!!!!! I LOVE Victoria Schwab’s Archived series and seriously need to read her other books. But I HAVE read ACOTAR, thankfully. I found it a bit slow in the middle, but it was ultimately satisfying–at least enough to make my TTT list!
    Erin @ The Book Archive recently posted…June Wrap Up!

  16. J. Oh

    We have a lot of the same books on our list. ;) I’ll be trying The Bone Season too, time willing. Took on an internship at a literary agency this summer, which is a lot of fun, but also a pretty huge time commitment.

  17. Valerie

    Uprooted is calling my name! It just sounds so amazing and definitely my type of book! I might just have to spend that $1 and put it on hold at my library hahah. Or buy it. :)
    Valerie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #61

  18. Alexa S.

    All of the love for The Mime Order and A Court of Thorns and Roses! I loved those two as much as you did <3 Also, I'm still looking forward to reading Uprooted (which is in my possession) and you'll definitely be hearing from me when I do ;)
    Alexa S. recently posted…June 2015

  19. Morgan @ Gone with the Words

    Yesss Simon is so wonderful!!!! It’s in my top list for sure. I really loved ACOTAR and am hoping to get Uprooted for my birthday! It sounds absolutely fantastic. A few of my other favorites: The Start of Me and You, Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel (REALLY fabulous worldbuilding and characters; it’s very emotionally complex for middle grade and has such whimsy and charm!), Rook, Every Word. A book that I really enjoyed that comes out soon is Serafina and the Black Cloak; it’s a MG historical that has a lot of atmosphere and flavorful writing for lack of a better term. Plus it’s creepy!

  20. Layla

    Here is my list for 2015:
    Uprooted x 10.

    Thank you.

    (I still haven’t read Archivist Wasp but I am going to, I promise.)

  21. Carina Olsen

    Gorgeous list Kim :D Yay for so many awesome books that you loved this year. <3 Two of these are on my list too :) (A Darker Shade of Magic + Shadow Scale.) I also really loved Bone Gap, though four stars from me for that one :) I hope you'll love lots more books this year sweetie. <3 Happy reading :)
    Carina Olsen recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #24

    • Kim

      Yayyy! I loved this TTT for getting me to pause and appreciate all the great books I’ve read so far this year. We read so many books as bloggers and sometimes it feels like the vast majority are underwhelming. But when you stop and take stock it’s so reassuring and gratifying to see such great reads. Hooray for books!
      Kim recently posted…The Awesome: Review

  22. Brenda

    I haven’t started Uprooted yet, but will get to it soon. It’s one that I’m still very intrigued about. And I loved A Darker Shade, so glad you all recommended! Bone Gap sounds interesting too, ahhh to many books, want all the books :)
    Brenda recently posted…Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far In 2015

    • Kim

      Brendaaaaaaaa. First TOG and now UPROOTED. Must Layla and I stare you down even more intently until you read our favorite books??? :p So glad you’ve loved ADSOM, though! At least you listen to us sometimes… :p
      Kim recently posted…The Awesome: Review

    • Kim

      Oh, ACOTAR is great. Very different from TOG but in a good way. You wouldn’t want to just be reading a re-hash of the same story, right?
      Kim recently posted…The Awesome: Review

    • Kim

      I didn’t get my copy from Edelweiss, actually. I got it from the library since I’m always on the look out for smaller titles that need some love and attention. I reviewed it here a week or so back. Glad it’s on your radar now, though! It deserves all the attention it can get.
      Kim recently posted…The Awesome: Review

  23. Ashlie

    I’ve been hearing amazing things about Bone Gap and Uprooted. The Awesome is next to me at my desk as I speak- I’m trying to hold out for a plane ride next weekend, but I’m not sure I’ll last!
    Ashlie recently posted…Summer Syllabus 2015

    • Kim

      Oh I’m so glad you’ve heard good things about BONE GAP. UPROOTED has been getting a lot of love in the blogosphere, but I’d like to see them of these lesser loved titles get some well deserved attention! Including THE AWESOME which I am soooooo glad you have on your desk. It got me through a day of truly hellish jury duty and I am forever grateful to it. Totally absorbing!
      Kim recently posted…The Awesome: Review

  24. jazmen

    I can’t wait to read the rest of ACOTAR. I’ve heard fantastic things. Great list!

    • Kim

      Yes, and those fantastic things are spot on! The ending of ACOTAR really kicks things up plot-wise and guarantees that Book 2 is bound to be a very intriguing ride. I hope you enjoy!
      Kim recently posted…The Awesome: Review

  25. Aentee @ Read at Midnight

    Awesome list! I bought Archivist Wasp based on the review you wrote already. I will certainly be checking out the others as well. Glad to hear that The Mime Order improves on Bone Season, I really want to check out the series but the bad press for the first book has steered me clear.
    Aentee @ Read at Midnight recently posted…Book Review: The 5th Wave

    • Kim

      Omg! You bought ARCHIVIST WASP on my recommendation?? I want to hug you!! You seriously just made my day! :D

      And I hope you do give BONE SEASON a chance. I really enjoyed it, despite the mixed reviews. Especially for a debut novel any bumps in the storytelling were understandable. I think Shannon is clearly only getting stronger as a story teller and I am happy to be along for the ride!
      Kim recently posted…The Awesome: Review

    • Kim

      GAME is such a lovingly written and explored story. I would love to see it added to some TBR’s and get more attention than it’s had so far! Glad I can count you among that number!
      Kim recently posted…The Awesome: Review

    • Kim

      You have so much wonderful reading ahead of you then! I have just finally nagged my cousin (and reading buddy) into reading ADSOM and she’s loving it. If you like fantasy and parallel universes (alternate Londons! What’s not to love?) then I cannot recommend it enough!
      Kim recently posted…The Awesome: Review

    • Kim

      Yess! I have been very fortunate with sequels this year. I hope this trend continues…um, forever. :p That would be appreciated!! I’m so glad you already have such quality books on your TBR! SERAPHINA is required reading for anyone who even remotely likes dragons and also beautifully understated and forbidden romance. If that is you, Jess, you must read ASAP.
      Kim recently posted…The Awesome: Review

    • Kim

      I juuust finished GOLDEN SON a few days ago and it is clear Pierce Brown learned a few things from the GRRM school of twists! Love it. I did read the Demetrios book earlier this year and, sadly, I’m a bit of a black sheep there. I liked it fine enough but there were some problematic elements that made it hard for me to buy into the romance. I’m so glad you loved it, though! I wish I could have.
      Kim recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (7): Top Ten Books of 2015 (So Far)

    • Kim

      Yaaaaass *high five!* All of the SJM love forever! Have you read ToG also? It is my sworn duty in life to make sure all people everywhere have read TOG.

      And yes! UPROOTED is going to be a movie! I’m so glad to see the genius of this story was so swiftly recognized. I cannot wait to see that evil forest on the big screen!
      Kim recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (7): Top Ten Books of 2015 (So Far)

  26. Priscilla and her Books

    Wow, another great review on Uprooted! I just started reading Naomi Novik’s His Majesty’s Dragon, and it’s fantastic. I wonder why I haven’t heard of her works before until recently. I have to thank io9!
    Priscilla and her Books recently posted…Sampan: Review

    • Kim

      There should be a million great reviews for UPROOTED. A MILLION. Not even a little bit joking. I, however, am the one who needs to get on her earlier series so I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying TEMERAIRE. Lovely Layla gifted the first two books to me for my birthday and they are calling to me. io9 really must be commended for their recs! I found The Fifth Wave through them, which is how I then found Wendy on Goodreads, and the rest is history. :p
      Kim recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (7): Top Ten Books of 2015 (So Far)

    • Kim

      Yes! *slaps forehead* How did I forget to mention the mythical roots? Totally a modern take on the story of Persephone. And, sure, there were definitely some flaws in GAME but I thought the writing was so beautiful and the story made me feel so many things I was happy to (mostly) overlook them.
      Kim recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (7): Top Ten Books of 2015 (So Far)

    • Kim

      Oh yes, I suppose I wasn’t perhaps to be so literal? But there’s a sort of satisfying “neatness” to only counting books that were released so far in 2015 in this list. Like a true counting of the first half of the 2015 crop. But I’m certain it’s meant to be literally just anything you’ve read this year no matter the publication year! I’m just particular. :p I should do like you, though, and have a catch up year. Or three…
      Kim recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (7): Top Ten Books of 2015 (So Far)