Monday, 4 January 2016

Best of 2015

Hello dearest readers of my blog! Since it is the ending of a year and beginning of a new one, I kind of have a tradition on My Words Are Arrows to discuss the very best books I read over the course of the year. And so sure enough, I am here to do just that!

2015 was an odd reading year for me, because not only did I not read more than 72-ish books, I also found that I was in huge reading slumps for long periods of time that seriously detracted from my enjoyment of whatever I was reading. Despite this, I did manage to find some amazing books that I absolutely loved, and you're going to hear about them right here! I would ordinarily have star ratings after each little piece about the book, but literally all these books were easy five stars... Which is not exactly a bad thing! I would recommend all of these books.

And without further ado! Here are my best of 2015.

I'll Give You The Sun, by Jandy Nelson
It probably wouldn't be wrong to call this my favourite book of the year (possibly tying with the next book I will discuss). I've talked about this book multiple times on here, and if you were reading my blog over the course of this year, you've probably established my undying love for it. This book is a contemporary unlike any other you've ever read. It's beautiful, poetic, profound and yet still incredibly down-to-earth and relatable. This book is hard to explain, but it follows the story of these twins, Noah and Jude, over the course of a three year time gap. Noah narrates chapters where they are thirteen, and Jude narrates chapters where they are sixteen. Something has happened between this two snapshots of their lives, but you don't quite know what. There's a bit of mystery weaved into this wonderfully emotional, highly impacting novel. It's one of my favourites of all time. If you'd like to know more about I'll Give You The Sun, you can check out its goodreads page here.
Published: September, 2014

Dangerous Girls, by Abigail Haas
If I'll Give You The Sun doesn't come first as my favourite book of the year, this definitely will. Dangerous Girls was an incredibly shocking, heart-wrenching, and extremely gripping read that rendered me speechless for hours after finishing it. The pages literally just flew away, and the story was so in depth and real. This book is a mystery/psych thriller, following a group of teens who spend their spring break partying in Aruba. However, everything goes downhill when Anna's, our main character, best friend is brutally murdered. Now, whilst having to deal with the pain of losing her best friend, Anna and her boyfriend are also under suspicion by the police for Elise's murder. Anna must now fight for her innocence in a foreign country, and await the judge's verdict. I absolutely loved this book. It's so cleverly written and beautifully put together. It's a thoroughly enjoyable, delightfully messed up novel. You can check it out further here.
Published: July, 2013

The Darkest Part of the Forest, by Holly Black
This book is one of the strangest, most unique reads I've had the pleasure of discovering this year. The Darkest Part of the Forest was the first Holly Black book I've read since reading The Spiderwick Chronicles as a kid, and it was absolutely incredible. This book is a melting pot of different genres and conventions and ideas that all work so well together, it's astounding. It's a bit of a psych thriller, a bit of a mystery, a bit of an urban fantasy, a bit of a high fantasy, a bit fairytale and a bit contemporary. It's such a strange, wonderful book that had me in awe. It follows the story of two siblings, Hazel and Ben, who live in a town called Fairfold, where humans and faeries live side by side. But Hazel knows that there is a darker truth to the faeries' existence in Fairfold. And she knows, somewhere in her, how to stop them. And then, in the middle of the forest, there is a glass coffin with a fae prince locked inside with whom the siblings have fallen in love. They imagine adventures and explorations with the prince. But he's never woken up... Until now. I would highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy something a little odd in their books. You can check it out on goodreads here.
Published: January, 2015

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Sanez
This book isn't as fast-paced and gripping as Dangerous Girls, or as mystical as The Darkest Part of the Forest. It's pensive and poetic and the prose is gorgeous. This book is a contemporary about Ari, an angry teen with a brother in prison, and Dante, a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be. This book is lyrical and special and a really nice story of friendship, love, family and discovering yourself. I would highly, highly recommend this book. It'll make you laugh and cry and feel everything with Ari and Dante. You can look it up on goodreads here.
Published: February, 2012
A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab
There are very few authors who I would trust enough to buy their books without doing any prior research into the book, but V.E. Schwab is one of them. This book was my very first V.E. Schwab book, although her other book, Vicious, was actually released before A Darker Shade of Magic. I absolutely adored both of these books, and especially A Darker Shade of Magic. This book is a fantasy. It has inter-dimensional travel, magic, ancient mystical mythology and incredibly lovable and intricately developed characters. This book is incredibly crafted and utterly enthralling. The prose, the world building — everything about it is beautiful. I absolutely loved this book. I would highly, highly recommend it. You can see its goodreads page here.
Published: February, 2015

Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell
This book isn't like the other books in this list. For those familiar with Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, this title will resonate, as it is, of course, the name of the fanfic Cath is writing. This book is about Simon Snow, the character from the  Fangirl book. It's quite confusing, I know! In Fangirl, there is said to be seven Simon Snow books, and Carry On is a hypothetical eighth book written from Rainbow's interpretation of the characters and story. Snow Snow is a Harry Potter-esque character, and the book is set at Watford School of Magicks. It's quirky, hilarious, emotional and utterly soul-devouring. The book sucks you into its world and doesn't let you go (for days and weeks after finishing it, as well). The characters are beautiful, and it's so sweet and funny picking up on the Harry Potter undertones (clearly Baz is a Draco sort of character, Penelope modeled off Hermione). I'm not generally a huge Rainbow Rowell fan, but this book was so heartwarming and perfect. It's my favourite Rainbow book so far, and easily made the list of my favourite books of this year. You can investigate further right here.
Published: October, 2015

So these have been my favourite books of the year! 2015 had some really amazing books, and I have enjoyed exploring more into new genres and styles. I wish you all the best for the start of 2016, and hope you have a wonderful week! As per usual, if you'd like to let me know what your favourite 2015 books are, you can leave a comment below or contact me via any of my socials. If you'd like to contact me for business, book recs, or just to say hi, my email ( is always open!

Have a wonderful week and I'll see you soon :)

Lily xo

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