Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly original feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish that combines the fun of making lists with our love of books.
This week’s prompt was Top Ten Best Books I Read In 2015 and because I also read a lot of great graphic novels and trades, I chose to compile this list with only novels in mind.
As per usual, my annual best of the year list — which is much more comprehensive — will be up in late 2015/early 2016 complete with my favorite short stories and comic books.
1. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
It really is no competition, The Wrath and the Dawn is hands down my favorite book of the year. A beautifully written debut, Renee Ahdieh’s novel had me hooked from page one. Chock full of magic, romance, court intrigue and diversity, I couldn’t put down this retelling of The Arabian Nights. Here’s hoping its sequel The Rose and the Dagger is just as amazing!
2. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
In a close second (but not by much) is Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On — a spin-off of her book Fangirl — which tells the story of boy wizards Baz and Simon and their last year at the magical boarding school the Watford School of Magicks. Think a more adult Harry Potter, but if Draco were a vampire and he and Harry spent their time fighting and kissing each other.
3. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
I finally started the Throne of Glass series this year, and while I fell in love with the first book, I will admit that I found its sequel Crown of Midnight to be far superior. In addition to the much more enthralling plot, the stakes were higher and so was the body count — not to mention the various ways in which it broke my heart.
4. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Set in not one but three different Londons, Victoria Schwab’s latest adult novel is her best yet! The first book in the series follows blood magician Kell and his multiple-sided coat and cross-dressing pirate thief Lila as they fight to save magic-deprived Grey London, flourishing Red London and withering White London from power that originated in long lost Black London.
5. Slade House by David Mitchell
My first foray into the trippy work of David Mitchell, Slade House tells the tale of doomed visitors to the dangerous Slade House. Written in interwoven short stories set nine years apart, Slade House is a horrifying and very modern haunted house tale that features nods to Mitchell’s other work The Bone Clocks.
6. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Unlike her other famous full-length work The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson’s gothic horror novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle explores how houses can become haunted over time by their human inhabitants. Exquisitely written, the final novel by Jackson tells the haunting story of a family poisoned by arsenic and each other.
7. Fairest and Winter: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
It may seem like cheating, but in addition to The Lunar Chronicles prequel Fairest, I also have to include Winter, the explosive end to Marissa Meyer’s series which I discussed more in-depth in the latest Spines with Wines book club. Both served as perfect book ends to the series, with Fairest giving us a look at our antagonist and Winter tying a lovely bow around the sci-fi fractured fairy tales.
8. Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas chose to continue his television show turned movie in a series of mystery novels, the second of which is the engrossing Mr. Kiss and Tell. Not a Marshmallow? While you won’t appreciate how Thomas is able to perfectly replicate his characters in prose, the mystery is strong and intriguing enough to hold its own.
9. The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
I have been talking about this book every chance I get but I still cannot properly describe it. It follows a group of orphans turned Librarians who were raised in a place without time called the Library by a mysterious man known simply as Father. Funny, horrifying, bizarre and absurd, you won’t be able to get The Library at Mount Char out of your head.
10. The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan
Set in a post-apocalyptic planet covered mostly by water live two girls who long for a better world: sea-faring dampling North who works on a circus ship with her pet bear and landlocker Callanish, who performs burials at sea. Beautifully written and atmospheric, this novel is a must for lovers of circuses, fantasy worlds and mermaids.