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Favorite Fiction of 2015

Putting together my favorites of the year posts always makes me feel so grateful to be a reader. Even in years, like 2015, when it felt like my mojo was a little off, I still managed to put a ton of great books into my brain. Today, I’ve got fiction. Next Tuesday, I’ll do a separate post with nonfiction favorites.

favorite fiction of 2015

A couple of things things about this list. First, it doesn’t include just books published in 2015, it’s pulled from all the books I read this year (although it looks like seven of the 10 were front list books). Second, I don’t think these books are necessarily the best books of the year, they’re just the books that I loved most. And third, they’re listed in no particular order — I loved each of them nearly equally as much. With all those caveats off the table, on to the list!

Euphoria by Lily King – If I had to choose, Euphoria might be my top pick. I flew through this beautiful little book, about a trio of young anthropologists based loosely on the life of Margaret Mead. It’s so good.

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon – A girl who has spent her life locked away, protected from the outside world because of life-threatening allergies, falls for the new boy across the street. This book was just a treat… all the feels.

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan – This is another charming book that snuck up on me, a fictionalized account of William and Kate’s courtship that was surprisingly smart and funny.

The Rook by Daniel O’MalleyGhostbusters meets James Bond, if James Bond were a lady spy who is also a kickass administrative genius. This was the most weirdly delightful book I read all year.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – I still can’t get over what beautiful sentences Lauren Groff writes. Couple that with a story about love, ambition, and the secrets we keep and you’ve got a winner.

Charmed Particles by Chrissy Kolaya – Full disclosure, Chrissy is a friend of mine. But that didn’t change the fact that this book is excellent and you all should read it. 

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – I am going to read everything that Leigh Bardugo writes. This is a classic heist story, but with the added bonus of being set in the same imaginative, addicting world as a previous series I adored, the Grisha Trilogy.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho – This is the book I’m saddest I never wrote about because it’s so fun. It’s got magic and feminism and stuffy British dudes and a lovely, stilted British romance. And just so funny. I hope there’s more to come with these characters.

Re Jane by Patricia Park – This is a retelling a Jane Eyre starring a half Korean, half American orphan living in Queens. Park plays wonderfully with the plot of Jane Eyre, but also makes the story new with a new setting and characters. 

The Lunar Chronicles by Marisa Meyer – Technically, I’m not totally finished with all four books in this series – Cinder, Cress, Scarlet, and Winter – but I’m confident this will be a favorite of the year. It’s hitting all of my audiobook weaknesses, without falling into the traps that doom a lot of dystopian YA. And, bonus, the series is finished so you can binge all of it ASAP.

The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara – Unsettling, beautiful, strange, layered, and so entertaining… this book was so, so good.

And finally, a few books that would have made the list if it were longer than 10 books long:

Honorable Mentions: Sweetland by Michael Crummey, Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Bergman, Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma, The Lost Boys Symphony by Mark Andrew Ferguson.

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  • Diane December 15, 2015, 7:42 am

    I need to try Fates and Furies as it seems to be making lots of readers TOP list for 2015. Thanks for sharing your favorites with us book lovers.

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) December 15, 2015, 8:17 am

    I haven’t written about Everything, Everything yet but I loved it too. I haven’t read any of the other books on your list.

    • Kim December 19, 2015, 4:37 pm

      Everything Everything was just the most charming book. It’s one I’m going to re-read when I need something cheerful.

  • Jeanne December 15, 2015, 10:05 am

    As you probably know, I also like The Rook and Charmed Particles. I marvel at your ability to “like” The People In the Trees. The author did such a good job making the character repellent that the whole book is repellent to me.

    • Kim December 19, 2015, 4:38 pm

      Oh yes, definitely grossed out by the main characters of this book… deeply unpleasant, unethical people. But I am such a sucker for unreliable narrators and the nested narrative style of the book that I kept turning pages.

  • Lory @ Emerald City Book Review December 15, 2015, 12:19 pm

    Very intrigued by the idea of Re Jane! I am such a sucker for retellings of classic novels, though often I’m disappointed. Sounds like this one won’t let me down.

    • Kim December 19, 2015, 4:39 pm

      I hope not! Most other people I’ve read have liked it, but adaptations can be such a challenge it’s hard to know.

  • Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf December 15, 2015, 4:30 pm

    Fates and Furies is the only one up there I’ve read, but it’s definitely one of my favorites of the year!
    I have a piano student who keeps trying to get me to read The Lunar Chronicles. Glado to know you’re enjoying the audiobooks.

    • Kim December 19, 2015, 4:40 pm

      The only thing I don’t like about Lunar Chronicles on audio is that you can pick up on some writing repetitions — it seems like everyone, everywhere is constantly fighting off a headache! That’s a little thing I might not have noticed in print. Otherwise, addictive audio books.

  • Deb December 15, 2015, 6:29 pm

    I haven’t read any of the books on your list, but a few of these are on my TBR list: Fates and Furies, Cinder, and Sorcerer to the Crown.

  • nikki @bookpunks December 16, 2015, 1:56 am

    Great list! I have now seen Six of Crows on so many top lists this year that I am ready to run out into the rain and search every bookstore until I find a copy. It sounds awesome and has received so much love, it is now inevitable. Anticipation squee!

    I can’t wait to see what your nonfiction picks are. Happy reading…

    • Kim December 19, 2015, 4:41 pm

      Six of Crows was so fun. It’s just a classic heist novel, but it’s in a world I love from the Grisha trilogy and has just enough magic and mystery to make it even more fun.

  • Shannon @ River City Reading December 16, 2015, 6:13 am

    The Royal We was so close to my top ten, too…such a fun book. It definitely did the sneaky thing with me.

  • Sarah's Book Shelves December 16, 2015, 1:44 pm

    I loved The Royal We as well and have recommended it to so many people in my real life! And – Sweetland made my list at the last possible second…I finished it right as I was putting my post together!

  • Rachel Bishop December 16, 2015, 2:14 pm

    I was just saying the same thing, that this year has been brilliant for great books, and I am very lucky to be a reader! I am finishing off my year with a great memoir, Red Blood, Yellow Skin by a Vietnamese woman and her life there before the wars and after. Linda Baer is the author, what a story she has to tell. Great year for books!!! Bring on 2016!!

  • Jenny @ Reading the End December 16, 2015, 7:45 pm

    Oh hey, The Rook! My sister recommended it to me a while ago in passing, and I’ve been meaning to read it ever since. She said that she liked it a lot and she thought that I would like it even more. It sounds great!

    • Kim December 19, 2015, 4:42 pm

      I think you will like it, I hope anyway. It’s weird and wonderful and was such an unexpected surprise.

  • Beth F December 18, 2015, 4:44 am

    So many books on my list that I MUST get to! Great list

    • Beth F December 18, 2015, 4:45 am

      On *your* list I must get to … sigh.

  • Hillary Roberts December 18, 2015, 7:43 am

    I have heard so much about fates and furies. I will have to put it on hold once I get back to Ohio next week.

  • Julie @ Smiling Shelves December 19, 2015, 3:58 pm

    The Rook sounds most intriguing!

  • susan December 20, 2015, 5:25 pm

    I liked Euphoria too. I’m on the waiting list at the library for the Nicola Yoon book. It looks good. Cheers.

    • Kim January 3, 2016, 1:24 pm

      That one is so great! It’s on my mental list of books to reread when I need cheering up.

  • Lisa January 2, 2016, 11:48 pm

    Adding so many books to my wish list with every one of the best-of lists I read!