Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2015

I look forward to this list every year.
Except maybe this year. I don't know why but I feel like nothing I've read has "wowed" me. I've had a few favorites but nothing that has made me look forward to this list since February like past years.

While I've yet to be "wowed" this year, I did recently complete my Goodreads challenge of reading 50 books this year, so there's plenty to mention.

1) Royal Wedding (The Princess Diaries, #11)Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
But of course.

There are no words.

It was so hard for me to start reading; I could not bring myself back into a world I thought I had said goodbye to five years ago.
It was about as hard as it is now trying to explain how I felt about going back into a world I thought I said goodbye to five years ago.

When I finished reading Forever Princess I said it was the first time I didn't finish a book in the series within three days. It took me a whole week.
Well this time around, I spent a month with this book. Now to be fair I probably finished it in a week (spring break) but stared it a month before and kept putting it down.
It kind of scared me that I was able to put it down so easily. That I was able to get to a point and think that I had read enough for the day. As opposed to the first ten where even when I got to the end it still wasn't enough.

I didn't want to get to the end of this book. Which is probably why it was so easy for me to stop. I wanted to prolong it, savor it. I knew what was coming, the same thing that comes at the end of all Meg Cabot books.

That feeling that leaves you both fulfilled and a little bit hollow. That feeling that makes you want to cry because it's over but still be happy that it happened.

I love and am so happy with this book, that Mia might as well be a close friend. (And as I've mentioned in previous post for a while she was.) We grew up together, sometimes one of us faster than the other. When I first "met" Mia she was 15 and I was 13, a ninth grader and the seventh grader. The last time I "saw" Mia she was 18 and graduating high school and I was just turning 20 and maybe still not over high school. Now she's just turning 26 and getting married, moving on to the next stage of her life and me, I'm 25 and still trying to figure out what stage I'm in.

It was nice getting back into a world that is practically a second home to me, and seeing what's become of characters I was obsessed with. I especially loved that I was able to spend my last spring break with characters and the author that I spent so many breaks before. (Plus I Dream of Jeannine and Bewitched which were a part of my favorite things list at the time.)

So to find a word to describe this book and to explain how it feels to be back in it's world: Like I said above Absolute Perfection. If I could jump into this book and live in it I already would be there.

2) It's Just a Jump to the LeftIt's Just a Jump to the Left by Libba Bray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is so much right with this story.

3) MindersMinders by Michele Jaffe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is its own genre.

It's so different.
Although the new show Stichers kind of reminded me of it.

4) Dark SparklerDark Sparkler by Amber Tamblyn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Emotionally draining.

5) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Despite someone totally killing my mood when I was about to finish it.

The 100 (The Hundred, #1)6) The 100 by Kass Morgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Better than the show.
I liked the dual time frames, showing where they are and how/why they got there. It really gives more to the characters.

That goes for the entire trilogy.

Fallen Idol (Love and Music in Texas, #4)7) Fallen Idol by Nikki Lynn Barrett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to a lot of country music while reading this. I just felt like sharing that.
And really "a lot" isn't more than usual since I listen to the genre regularly. Which is why this book caught my attention in the first place.

My attention isn't all this story caught though but my heart too. From the start it was an instant love affair that so few books manage to achieve (even by the end). I felt like I already knew these characters and was just revisiting a favorite place.

It felt like such a comfort read that it might as well been like going home.

It's a great mix of romance and mystery; and both are so perfect that I don't even think there's a word to describe them when combined.

As someone who is constantly looking for characters who are fighters and non-stop action, Fallen Idol was a great change of pace. It's nice to step away from what I usually read and turn to something that gives you non-stop emotions and makes you stop to think on different levels.

It's definitely a new favorite that I won't be forgetting anytime soon.
Whispers from the Dead (Serenity's Plain Secrets, #2)8) Whispers from the Dead by Karen Ann Hopkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the first chapter I was reminded how much I loved the two main characters. I also realized how much I'd missed them.
So much so that in hindsight I'm kind of surprised they didn't make it in any of my 2014 lists.

This time around we only get the story from Serenity's point of view, as opposed to the first where we even hear from the victim. As much as I did like jumping around from character to character, it was much more interesting staying in Serenity's head. Especially since she had so much going through it. We get to see more of her emotions and regrets. And also what drives and motivates her.

I love the portrayal of the Amish communities; they're like different worlds. The Amish characters themselves are greatly written, it feels like so much thought went to even the simplest of characters.
From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess (From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess, #1)9) From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I started reading this book May 1st to be exact, I mentioned that it was an appropriate date to start reading since it was not only Princess Mia's birthday, but also 12 years to the day that I first discovered The Princess Diaries.

And then as I started reading it hit me. Olivia is 12.

That messed with my mind a little.
I was just a year older than Olivia when I first "met" Mia, myself. I was probably going on about being a "middle school princess" at the time!

Olivia is so different from anybody I could mention. (Mia.) Starting the book I'm sure I'm not the only one who thought, "Here we go again with the Me? A Princess? stuff." I can't wait!

And then we get to that point, and she just goes with it. Which made me think, "Wait, Mia not only freaked out, but she ran off to hide with the penguins!"
This girl is not Mia.

That's not to say that she doesn't have the charm and sass that we get with all Meg Cabot characters. It's all there; plus the instant likability and connection that has always attracted readers to all these characters for years.

And speaking of Meg Cabot characters; I loved seeing the royal family from a different point of view. Having to refer to Grandmère as "Grandma" was one of the hardest, strangest things for me. Especially after considering how long it took me to figure out how to even pronounce Grandmère.

And Mia! Mia outside of Mia's head! If possible she's even greater than I originally thought. I can't wait to see more interactions between them in future books.

A Letter to My Mom10) A Letter to My Mom by Lisa Erspamer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was in the mood for a book to break me. 


  1. I know Meg Cabot is a very popular writer, but I have yet to read any of her books!! I would like to read one of her novels... Which one would suggest starting with first?

    Here's a link to my TTT post for this week: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2015/06/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-books-ive-read.html#comment-form

    1. Well it depends on what you prefer YA, adult, paranormal, chick-lit. I've always suggested people start with her standalone novels like Teen Idol or Avalon High just "to get their feet wet" and see how they feel about the characters.
      Although some should probably come with the disclaimer of a lot of pop culture references that might have dated over time.

  2. haven't read any of these! Mine is The Ravens, by Tomas Bannerhed

    1. Don't think I've heard of that one. I'll have to try and check it out.

  3. I'm a Meg Cabot fan as well. Can't wait to read Royal Wedding, but I'd like to re-read the entire series first. Nice list. I hope that you will discover some "wow" worthy books in the months to come.

    1. I wanted to reread the series but the same week I was considering it I got my ARC of Royal Wedding so didn't happen.