As of today, I’ve read 116 books in 2015. I’ll probably finish one more before the end of the year, but it’s an adult book, so it wouldn’t apply for my favorite reads list anyway :). So here are my top middle grade and young adult reads of the year, not necessarily published in 2015. In fact, one comes out next year!
I didn’t read as much MG this year, but the few I read were real stand-outs and deserve to be called out again. Also, I should mention that my kids have reached an age where I’ve started reading some MG books out loud to them, so that also affects a couple of these rankings.
5. YOU’RE INVITED by Jen Malone & Gail Nall – I loved the humor, the themed parties, and the unique voices in this book, which is the start of a new series. I will definitely be checking out the others!
4. SEABORNE: THE LOST PRINCE by Matt Myklusch – I’ve been a fan of Matt Myklusch since his Jack Blank series, so I was anxious to pick up SEABORNE, and it fully met my expectations. Pirates, a lost prince, adventure–what’s not to love?
3. THE SOUND OF LIFE AND EVERYTHING by Krista Van Dolzer – You might think a book about bringing a Japanese man to life in the 1950s has little relevance for today’s kids, but this book–I can’t stress how pertinent this story is for today. And it’s also just gorgeously written. Note: I’d also like to give an honorable mention to Krista’s other 2015 release, DON’T VOTE FOR ME, which I also loved and am now reading aloud to my son. Completely different tone as it’s a contemporary but equally as good.
2. Whatever After series by Sarah Mlynowski – I read the first two books in this series myself in 2014 but re-read them aloud to my kids this year and they were hooked. We have now read the first six books, and my 7-year-old was so hooked on book six he absconded with it to finished it more quickly on his own even though the 5-year-old had spent her money on it at the book fair. That alone puts these books on my list. The covers might appeal more to girls, but the characters are boy-friendly, too. (If you’re reading this, Ms. Mlynowski, my son would like a story from Jonah’s point of view.)
1. NEVERSEEN by Shannon Messenger – So, I didn’t review the fourth book in Shannon Messenger’s Keeper of the Lost Cities series, but only because there’s not much new for me to say–and maybe I was a little bitter about the ending :). I loved the book; it definitely was my favorite MG read of the year, and I can’t wait for book five. Actually, Shannon needs to write a lot faster! (And check out my reviews for KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES, EXILE, and EVERBLAZE.)
Also, I would like to give an Honorable Mention to STAR WARS: JEDI ACADEMY by Jeffrey Brown. I haven’t read it myself, but this book was the first ever that my son didn’t want to put down, so it deserves a special mention. It flipped a switch for him and now he loves to read. Thank you, Jeffrey Brown!
I read a ton of YA this year, and there were many books I loved or thought were especially gorgeous, but these five rise to the top of the list as books I simply could not put down.
5. WANDERLOST by Jen Malone – I just reviewed this book last week and it edged out another one I had planned to include on this list but for good reason. How can you not love a book that takes you through Europe AND has a snappy romance with a ton of tension on every page? Besides, that other book is the second in a trilogy concluding next year, so I’m sure it will be on my 2016 list :).
4. THE IMMORTAL HEIGHTS by Sherry Thomas – A satisfying end to a thrilling series. The first two books were my top reads of 2014, so I highly recommend you check out this series now that it’s finished. Make sure you start with THE BURNING SKY!
3. PIVOT POINT and SPLIT SECOND by Kasie West – PIVOT POINT was the second book I read in 2015, and I knew even then that it would be in my top five for the year. That’s how engrossed I was in this dual timeline sci-fi, and the sequel was equally as good. Note: I’d like to give an honorable mention to THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, which I could not. put. down. I mean, I would have listed it in my top five, but it didn’t seem fair to list two from the same author, and PIVOT POINT edged it out.
2. ALL FALL DOWN by Ally Carter – Basically I love anything Ally Carter writes. She’s a genius, and this new series set on Embassy Row in a fictional country with an unreliable narrator had me second-guessing every theory I devised. Just brilliant.
1. WINTER by Marissa Meyer – Oh. My. Stars. This conclusion was so amazing. I both wanted to devour it and for it to never end. I’m sort of sad that it did, although there’s a short story collection coming out this spring, so it’s not totally over. Lunartics rejoice!
I have to do one more Honorable Mention because last year I read a whole series–Gennifer Albin’s Crewel World series–during the final week of 2014, and it totally would have made my list if I hadn’t posted early. So, I started THE SELECTION series by Kiera Cass over the weekend, and I can already tell it will be a favorite. (Yes, I know I’m way behind on this one :)). However, I’m only giving it an honorable mention because I haven’t read the whole series yet. I’m sure I’ll do a review in the next week or two once I finish it. Anyway, loved the first book!
So what were your favorite reads of 2015? Do we share any of the same?