With only a few weeks left in 2015, ’tis the season to choose our favorite books of the year! So, even though I haven’t been blogging much these days, I figured this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is the perfect excuse to jump back in! Here are my top 10 favorite books of the year:
1. Naomi Novik, Uprooted — Every once in a while, you come across a book that feels like it was written especially for you. For me, Uprooted is one of those books. From the plucky heroine to the gorgeous setting to the romance to the wonderfully nuanced depiction of female friendship, I loved basically everything about this book. My review is here.
2. Zen Cho, Sorcerer to the Crown — It’s probably obvious by now that I will read anything that can be described as “Georgette Heyer plus magic.” This book is a fantastic addition to the genre and features two underdog protagonists: a Sorcerer Royal who is ostracized for his African descent and a woman whose magical abilities are much greater than is socially acceptable for young ladies. I haven’t gotten around to reviewing this one yet, but trust me, it is an utter delight!
3. Mary Doria Russell, Epitaph — Although I don’t usually read Westerns, I absolutely loved Doc when it came out, so naturally I had to check out the sequel as well. Russell has a gift for making the legendary figures of the Old West seem like living, breathing people. My review is here.
4. Jandy Nelson, I’ll Give You the Sun — This is a stunningly written contemporary YA about art and guilt and family relationships. While there are multiple romances, the heart of the book is the relationship between twin siblings Noah and Jude and how it changes as they both grow up. My review is here.
5. Genevieve Valentine, The Girls at the Kingfisher Club — This is one of the most unique fairy tale retellings I’ve ever read, setting “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” in the jazz clubs and speakeasies of 1920s Manhattan. Lovers of historical fiction and/or fairy tales should definitely check it out! My review is here.
6. Jean Webster, Dear Enemy — If you enjoy epistolary novels and old-fashioned romance, you’ll be absolutely charmed by this book about frivolous Sallie McBride and how she comes into her own by becoming an orphanage administrator. My review is here.
7. Lauren Willig, The Other Daughter — I’m a big Lauren Willig fan, and this is my favorite of her standalone books, set in England in the 1920s. My review is here.
8. Heather Demetrios, I’ll Meet You There — Another excellent YA contemporary novel about a girl and a boy who are both trying to escape life in their dead-end small town. Additionally, the hero has lost a leg in Afghanistan and is struggling with both physical and emotional scars. My review is here.
9. Sarah Addison Allen, First Frost — Let’s face it: any Sarah Addison Allen book is probably going to end up on my best-of-the-year list. This wasn’t my favorite of hers — I don’t think Garden Spells particularly needed a sequel — but it was still a lovely, magical read. My review is here.
10. Ellie Marney, Every Breath — I couldn’t resist this Aussie take on Sherlock Holmes! James Mycroft is a volatile genius with a penchant for getting into trouble; Rachel Watts is his best friend (and maybe more), who becomes his voice of reason and his partner in solving a murder. I’ve already got the second book in the series on my shelves! My review is here.