Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Books in 2015

Reading is one of my top pastimes, it's up there with sleep and eating out with my husband!  In 2015 I read many books, not all of them were stellar, but some were awesome!  I've complied my list here along with my unbiased comments!  Apologies in advance if the ones on my most hated list are your favorites!

Thumbs up aka best books ever and I didn't want them to end!

Fiction:
Tourist Trap Mysteries, by Lyn Cahoon.  These simple mysteries really caught my heart!  Jill owns a bookstore/coffee shop in a small California town.  Her boyfriend is the local police chief.  Together they solve murder mysteries.  That summary sounds pretty cheesy, but the author really brings together a perfect balance of romance, mystery, intrigue, and happy endings!  As one reviewer put it this is pure relaxing escapism!  

Junior Fiction:
Jinx's Fire, by Sage Blackwood.  This is the conclusion to the trilogy and I loved it as much as I loved the first book!  Jinx is a lovable character that is trying to save the forest and keep peace between all the people who use the forest, magical and non-magical alike.  He makes mistakes and is foolishly courageous and so I found myself cheering for him the entire way.  I read the first book a few years ago and so I was very excited to see how the author ended his adventures.  I'm happy to say it was a satisfying ending!

Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick.  This is the first in the Mother-Daughter Book Club series and one I have been meaning to read for quite some time.  It didn't disappoint.  These girls, so different from each other, yet thrown together in a book club with their drastically different mothers made a very fun read.  I loved how the book they were reading--Little Women--was a part of their story.  A great book for aspiring young readers and writers!

Teen Fiction:
Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger.  This is the third book in the Finishing School series.  It's a steampunk novel and I listened to it as I drove to Cody and back.  I don't normally like to listen to audio books, but this narrator was great!  All the characters in this book are described perfectly and I felt like their adventures were very believable in a unbelievable world.  

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson.  This takes place in the wild homesteads of Montana.  Hattie inherits a homestead at age 16 and has a year to make it successful so she can call it her own.  She has lots of pluck and spirit amidst many setbacks.  The descriptions of the Montana winters hit home as I was experiencing my own Wyoming winters.  My respect for those earlier settlers increased dramatically.  They were true heroes!

Books that I liked, but didn't love.  There is a lot of these so I'll just list their title and author with some genres at the end.

Fiction:
Freefall by Traci Hunter Abramson, Saint Squad #1 (contemporary, LDS, spy)
Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs, Alpha and Omega #1 (fantasy, werewolf, LDS author)
Dawn Comes Early by Margaret Brownely, Brides of the Last Chance Ranch #1 (historical, romance)
Longing for Home by Sarah M. Eden (historical, romance)

Junior Fiction:
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander.  2015 Newbery Award Winner. (contemporary, basketball)
Unlocking the Spell by E.D. Baker.  A Tale of the Wide Awake Princess series.  (fantasy, fairy tale)
The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black. Magisterium #2.  Read aloud to my kids. (fantasy)
The Girl Who Could Not Dream by Sarah Beth Dunst. (fantasy)
Savvy and Scumble both by Ingrid Law.  Read aloud to my kids. (contemporary fantasy)
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicolas Flamel by Michael Scott.  6 books in the series.  (fantasy)
Stormbreaker and Point Blanc by Anthony Horowitz, first two books in the Alex Rider series. Read aloud to Peter who absolutely loves these James Bondish books for young people!  (contemporary, spy, intrigue)

Teen Fiction:
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. (contemporary)
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen (contemporary)
The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson (fantasy)
Buzz Kill by Beth Fantaskey (contemporary)
Forgiven by Janet Fox (historical)
The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson (fantasy, steampunk)
Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier.  Shadowfell #1. (fantasy)
The Shadow Throne by Jennifer Nielsen. Ascendance #3. (fantasy)
Deliverance by C.J. Redwine. Courier's Daughter #3. (fantasy)
Aos Si, Under Hill, and Midnight all by Rebecca Lyn Shelley.  Aos Si series.  (fantasy)
Fractured and Shattered by Teri Terry.  Slated series 2 and 3. (post-apocalyptic) 

Non-Fiction:
Assisted: An Autobiography by John Stockton (biography)

The following books didn't make my hate pile, but were just lukewarm.

Teen Fiction:
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting.  (fantasy)
The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson. (fantasy, fairy tale)
Dangerous by Shannon Hale. (contemporary, mystery)
Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty by Jenni James.  (fantasy, fairy tale)
The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban.  (contemporary)
Defy by Sara Larson. Defy series #1. (fantasy)
The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt (contemporary, romance)
Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont  (science fiction, time travel)

Here they are!!  I really didn't like these at all.

Fiction:
Until We Touch by Susan Mallory.  This is a contemporary romance, but had too many sexual situations and I couldn't read some of it.

Steadfast Heart by Tracie Peterson.  Brides of Seattle #1.  Historical romance that was just badly written and frankly boring.

Junior Fiction:
Alek by Bodil Bredsdorff. This is in the Children of Crow Cove series that takes place in Denmark 100 years ago or so.  I had read some of the other ones and like them so I read this aloud to my kids.  It was just too boring!  Thankfully it was short. 

House of Secrets by Chris Columbus.  This is a very popular series--House of Secrets, but I really didn't like it.  Andy asked me to read it because he loved it, but there were just 18 too many over the top bad things happening to these kids.  I mean I know in fantasy novels bad things happen, but really this was just too much.  The plot felt very forced.  

The Book of Storms by Ruth Hatfield.  I only have one word for this book--weird.  It was just too weird for me.  Fantasy books can border on the weirdness level, but this was a little too far fetched.  Plus the bad guy was really creepy.

Teen Fiction:
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier.  This is a nightmare inducing novel.  I really didn't like it at all!  The evil presence was very menacing and even the resolved ending didn't help.  Very dark fantasy.

The Naturals by Jennifer Lyn Barnes.  My daughter will not like to see this title on my hate list. It was a well written book and the plot and characters were great.  It was just too violent for me, a little too much blood and talk of serial killers put the nail in this one's coffin.  Contemporary mystery.  


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