2015 is drawing to an end, so I wanted to share some of the best books I read this year. Sadly, since October I haven’t had as much time to read; I entered my final year of university and my workload has been massive. I read most of these books during the summer and I loved all of them, so here are some mini-reviews of my five favourite books of 2015.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier | Classics, gothic, mystery
This was required reading for my gothic class at university and I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. The writing is absolutely beautiful and although the book is quite slow to begin with, it’s engaging and I couldn’t put it down. I did guess one of the major plot twists, but it didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the book at all. Also, I know there are some people who hated the relationship between Maxim and his new wife, but I loved it. I understood all the character’s motivations and they all felt so real to me. It’s a fantastic read and I’ve decided I now want to read everything that Daphne du Maurier has ever written.
A Curuous Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano | Middle grade, supernatural
I love YA, but I haven’t read much middle grade. At least, not since I was in primary school. I loved all of Lauren’s YA books, though, so I knew I had to pick this one up, and I adored it. It’s a gorgeous book with some amazing themes. As soon as I finished reading it, I wanted to read it again. You can read my full review of A Curious Tale of the In-Between here.
Okay, technically this is four books, but it’s impossible to pick one favourite. The series consists of A Taste of Blood Wine, A Dance in Blood Velvet, The Dark Blood of Poppies, and the long-awaited sequel to the original trilogy The Dark Arts of Blood. I was a late-comer to this series – the first three were published in the early 90s, back when I was still reading picture books. Luckily, they were published again by Titan in 2013. I know vampires have become cliché as of late, but these books are phenomenal. I wrote some spoiler-free reviews of books three and four on World Hopping. I highly recommend this series, even if you’re sceptical about vampires. You won’t be disappointed. Just keep in mind that there are scenes of violence and sex, so they aren’t really suitable for a younger audience.
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon | Adult fiction, dystopian, supernatural
I attended Edge Lit in Derby when I was about two chapters into this book. I already knew I was enjoying it, so I popped into a Q&A with the author, which was really fascinating – Samantha’s dedication to writing is inspirational. Shortly afterwards, I finished The Bone Season. I found the whole concept interesting and unique, and the setting (an alternative version of London) really came to life. I also loved Warden. Being twenty-five, it’s not often that a book character can make me swoon, but it happened here!
Bird Box by Josh Malerman | Adult fiction, horror
I don’t usually read horror, but the premise of Bird Box was intriguing, so I had to give it a try. I picked it up from the library and I was hooked from chapter one! I took the book everywhere with me, reading whenever I got a spare moment. I stayed up until 2am reading it – which was probably a bad idea as it gave me nightmares! I’ve never been scared by a book, but this one got to me. It was fantastic, though, and I thought Malerman tackled themes of motherhood really well.