MY TOP FICTION READS OF 2015
My reading started off with a bang and any young adult book I would read the rest of the year would of course be compared to The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I’ll admit I was a little late to the Hunger Games hype but once I started reading book one which I had received as a birthday present I quickly finished the entire series in about a week. It was a week because each time I had to run out an grab the next book in the series. My husband was upset because he thought he would get book 2 for Mother’s Day. Yeah right, like I could wait that long. Once I had read the books I quickly found the movies and well, I quickly watched those as well, and then of course I had to sit in suspense until this November when part 2 of the MockingJay movie was released. I just saw the movie the other night on a rare date night with my husband. You know your husband loves you when he agrees to see MockingJay Finale over the Stars Wars: The Force Awakens movie.
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I thought I would continue with a young adult trend. I often just wander around the book store looking for book covers that catch my attention. That is exactly how I discovered my next read. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard has a front cover of a crown dripping of red blood on a silver backdrop. Simple yet intriguing. So I picked it up and read the jacket.
Here is a glimpse at what the book jacket says:
Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood – those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly reds, destined to serve the silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own – an ability she didn’t know she had. Except… her blood is Red.
That was enough to hook my attention and I wasn’t disappointed. The plot and story line was intriguing as the main character Mare Barrow wants justice and a better life for those born with red blood. The twist of her having an ability adds an interesting element and she has to work with the prince in order to escape. The sequel to Red Queen, Glass Sword (Red Queen)comes out the spring of 2016. I’ll be snatching that up right away and trying not to burn through it too fast. It will be on my 2016 TBR list.
Next was Rook by Sharon Cameron. Again I found myself wandering the book store in the young adult section and pulled this one from the shelf. The book jacket description of the novel immediately triggered Scarlet Pimpernel similarities. As a former high school Social Studies teacher and having taught French Revolution countless times, I was intrigued at how this book might take a fresh perspective on this period in history but then was pleasantly surprised how the author also incorporated a future based on our world after a slight shift in the polar ice caps causing our digital world to be wiped out and parts of the world to suffer deadly solar radiation bursts. The author states she was fascinated with the idea of the cultural upheaval that occurred post-Roman Britain where those in dark ages appeared to have forgotten the advancements made in the previous era. Would the survivors of a polar shift do the same? It is in this world we find this story. Humanity repeating the same mistakes as before. It is a very thought provoking young adult book. It is also another young adult novel with a strong female main character and a love triangle to keep the tension. I found this novel to move a bit a slow in the beginning but gradually picking up speed as the plot progressed but definitely worth a read.
The last young adult book I read this year was Winterkill by Kate. A Boorman. I picked this one up for two reasons. The first one is that it is by a local writer in Alberta, Canada and second, the main character’s name Emmeline would have been the name of a second daughter if I were to have another one. So I just had to read it. Another strong female character and a story of a people destroyed by a powerful enemy generations ago where the residents are confined to their settlement where they must abide by the strict rules to keep the settlement safe. Emmeline questions those rules and rituals of the settlement and is being closely watched for what her settlement calls waywardness which her grandmother was convicted of and sent to her death because of it. There is also the added element of who she should love. Childhood friend, boy from another part of the settlement or tribal leader who asks for her hand. Who should she trust? Who does she dare trust? Who must she trust? You should add it to your young adult list to read, as well as, the next book in the series Darkthaw: A Winterkill novel. This will be on my 2016 TBR list.
One of my historical fiction favourites this year was Mademoiselle Chanel: A Novel by C.W. Gortner. Based on the life of the famous self-created woman Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel who would change and influence women’s fashion and design for generations. Her story is captivating as we get a somewhat front row seat to a rag to riches story that spans decades, lovers, and world wars.
My last pick for 2015 is The Book Of Negroes: A Novel by Lawrence Hill. Again I didn’t read it when it was originally released but with all the hype this summer I picked it up and enjoyed it a lot. The story follows main character, Aminata Diallo, from her kidnap at age of eleven from her West African village to become a slave in South Carolina eventually following her to sign her name in the historic ledger ‘Book of Negros’ which gave her passage from Manhattan to Nova Scotia. She eventually finds her way back to Africa and then on to London where she is brought to tell her story in the British parliament in hopes of convincing parliament to abolish slavery. Rich in detail and spellbinding to the end. So glad I read it and now I can look forward to adding Lawrence Hill’s new book on my TBR 2016 list, The Illegal.
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So what did you read this year that you loved? What is on your TBR list for 2016? I love book recommendations for my reading list so if you think you have one I might enjoy just leave me note in the comments.
Cheers and Happy Reading,
Educator, Writer, Blogger, Mom
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