End of the Year Recap: Best Books of 2015

end of the year awards                    best of 2015

Welcome to 2016!  It's crazy that it's here already.  I can't believe I've been blogging for SIX WHOLE YEARS now!  Holy crap.  As the new year begins, let's take some time to give the books of 2015 one last look before 2016 releases take over everyone's feeds.  

Feeling nostalgic?  Check out 2013's end of the year recap.  ...2014 was a rough year, apparently.  

Want one of these for your own?  Click the covers!  A bit of the proceeds go to Sarcasm & Lemons to help out with giveaways and swag! 

Best Book of 2015 

to a book published in 2015 

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
I'm a fantasy girl, but I do love a good contemporary.  Niven's young adult debut was one of the first books I read in 2015 and it crushed me.  I've already reread it in bits so many times, I could practically recite it.  Before the movie hits screens, do yourself a favor and experience this gorgeous, poignant book.

Best Book Read in 2015 

to a book read in 2015 but published earlier 

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkowski
This book is one of the most lyrically written, intricately plotted fantasies I've ever read, with sharp characters and a swoonworthy romance. 

Best Fantasy 

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott
This was nearly impossible.  I read so many fantasies this year, and most of them were phenomenal.  But Elliott's young adult debut edged the rest out with its unique world and luscious writing.

Best Romance 

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
I'm in love with this book.  Well, okay, I'm in love with Max.  This is another book that, as soon as I finished, I went back and reread all the scenes I dog-tagged, because I wasn't ready for it to end.

Best Science-Fiction 

Golden Son by Pierce Brown
This sequel to Red Rising was just as explosive as the first book and perhaps even more thrilling.  The writing and plotting is just as good, but the stakes are higher, the twists twistier, the ending mind blowing. 

Best Historical 

The Uninvited by Cat Winters
No one can touch Cat Winters, with her particular brand of historical paranormals that are always evocative, atmospheric, and absolutely authentic.  Her first new adult novel is no exception.

Best Mystery / Thriller 

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle
Doyle's debut is startling, a masterpiece of mystery and magical realism that combines wit, elegance, and breathtaking prose.

Best Horror 

Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
Kurtagich takes what could be a tired dissociative identity disorder plot and turns it into an existential found-object murder mystery that demands to be noticed.

Best Contemporary

This Raging Light by Estelle Laure
I flew through this book in a day.  It's a heartbreaking, gut-punching romance that tackles tough stuff with poetic flair.

Best New Series 

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
It's a twisty heist with a lovably sociopathic main character, and it brings us back to the beloved Grisha world, expanding the universe with style.

Best Continuing Series 

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
The long wait for the sequel to The Diviners is well worth it.  This sequel has all the same historical richness, breathtaking fantasy, and intricacy as the original.  Ah, Sam!

Best Debut 

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Ahdieh comes on the scene with true force and style.  This fantasy reads like a veteran's, beautifully written, lush, and sweeping.

share your picks in the comments!   


  1. The only two of these I read was The Wrath & The Dawn and The Winner's Curse, both of which I really enjoyed! I have Six of Crows, but I haven't read it yet! My favorite two books of the year were Lois Lane Fallout and Winter!

    1. I haven't read Lois Lane yet but I'm halfway through Winter and it probably would have made the list if I'd finished it. :P You must read Six of Crows asap!

  2. AHH. So many fabulous books CJ! :) Six of Crows and The Dead House were two of my favorite books of the year too! And OMG The Winner's Curse! SO, SO beautiful. <3 Thanks for sharing and, as always, fantastic choices! ♥

    1. We are reading twins!!! <3 Thanks for your lovely comments. They cheer me up every time.

  3. Yes! All the Bright Places, Six of Crows, The Wrath of Dawn - all so good! I really need to read The Accident Season
    New follower :)
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings Enter my 2nd Annual Blogoversary Giveaway

    1. Yes, you do! It's severely underrated. <3 Thanks!

  4. I could not agree with you more on Wrath & Dawn! Such an amazing debut ♥ I still need to read Court of Fives, Six of Crows, Red Rising, The Diviners and Winner's Curse but I own ALL of them so I WILL be making that happen in 2016 ;) Happy New Year CJ!!

    1. YES YOU DO HOLY CRAP. Ha, I can't talk, though. I have a thousand books I NEED to read. Happy new year to you too! <3

  5. Winner's Curse... YES!! I cannot wait for the next one! Also, All the Bright Places, that one just tore me apart. I am currently listening to Six Of Crows and am enjoying it so far. I do wish I read her other series first though. Happy New Year :)

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

    1. Me neither! Except that then it'll be over and I'll be despondent. I think Six of Crows was a lot easier to understand having read the Grisha first. There's a lot of info they just throw around. Happy new year!

  6. I love the way you did this. Sometimes when I do my best of list it seems like the same book over and over again and splitting it by genre showcases more amazing books. Like The Dead Hous which I loved! So many great books in this list.
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

    1. Thanks! That's exactly what I wanted to avoid, because I wanted to highlight as many books as possible. Even picking one per category was SO tough. Dead House. <3