~★~ Top 10 YA Favorites of 2015 ~★~

I wish I had more time to read every YA book that came out this year, but alas, I am only one college student who doesn't have the ability to do so.
I think I did get to quite a few awesome books though, so here are my top 10 favorites in the Young Adult category.

10. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Fellow Fangirl readers will of course be familiar with Simon and Baz, and will most likely have shared my intense need to have their story be told. I'm so glad Rainbow delivered, because this was every fangirl's dream. 
I listened to this on audio because the narrator's voice is essentially perfection. Euan Morton did those voices spot on and it was a treat to hear him bring these characters to life. 
There was mystery, comedy, melodrama, friendship, and above all love. Such a whirlwind of fun magic and adventure. I was sad to see the novel end. Perhaps Rainbow will gives some other Simon & Baz escapade. 

9. Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

I don't read much YA contemporary, because I find it hard to connect with the characters or even stay interested, really. What captured my interest in this novel above all was the plain and simple cover. I'm a book cover fanatic. I can go on and on about the littlest details I love and hate. It's the simple ones that can often times steal my attention. Another thing that interested me was the second chance the two characters Emmy and Oliver get. Sure there's a love story here, but the main focus is Oliver's struggle to acclimate to his lost life and everyone else's effort to do the same. The friendship between Emmy and Oliver is one of the strongest I've ever read in a YA and it blew me away. The patience and adoration that flows between the two throughout the novel is awing. 

8. Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins

Oh my, oh my, oh my! #iSigh4Kai #LasciviousGroupie

Wendy Higgins is such a sweet person and fabulous author. She created a god when she wrote Kaidan Rowe. He is one of my all time favorite characters. He's fun, flirty, dangerous, and basically the epitome of a bad boy. In fact, he's thee bad boy. Getting a book that covers the entire trilogy from his point of view is like having your cake and eating it too!
I wouldn't recommend reading this without reading the trilogy first. I honestly don't think it can stand alone, because there's just so much rich detail you'd be missing and the experience wouldn't be near the same. I listened to this on audio a month or so after reading my ARC, and there were still parts I had to try to remember from the trilogy.
As part of the series, this is a rockin' good book, and allows for a look into the infamous Kai's dark and mysterious head... and heart. 

7. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I really don't like that this book was compared to The Fault in Our Stars considering I dislike John Green's writing (Oh, put down the pitchforks).
This was perhaps the most heart-wrenching book I've ever read. I got built up with the character's friendship and then a hammer dropped right on my poor, fragile heart.
Theodore is indeed fascinated by death. Instead of daydreaming about girls and sports, he daydreams of the various ways to meet death, and for being such a young man, it's quite disturbing. Violet doesn't want to live in the now, but rather the future, and she herself is plagued by death. These two teens are an unlikely pair, but they create an unorthodox friendship that is destined to be.
Jennifer Niven is definitely one to watch in contemporary YA. She has a way with prose that grips you with every word.

And OMG! It's being adapted to film!! AND Elle Fanning is playing Violet. *faints of excitement*

 6. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Okay, this was a tough decision from the start. The synopsis for this book was SO DARN SIMILAR to other books in recent times, that I worried I'd be too bored to get past page 1. The reviews didn't help sway my decision to read either. Some praised the book, while others shot it down. Now I understand it's 2015 so it's a bit difficult to do something original, but it's rare when a writer can really branch out and create something fresh and new from an overused plot.
Anyway, I bit the bullet and opened the book. 
So glad I did, because young Victoria Aveyard wrote a pretty intense and bewitching novel. There were parts I had issues with, but overall, it made a mark on me and left me wanting book 2 at once.

5. The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

After the first book's heart-stopping cliffhanger, I wanted needed the second book to deliver the answers I was so achingly craving. I got some of my answers, but in return I also got another bag full of more questions.
Kestrel is pretty badass heroine and Arin is awesome in his own right. It's really Kestrel that steals the show through and through. She has the weight of the world on her shoulders and she handles it with finesse. I love reading books (especially YA) with strong and powerful heroines.
The story is high fantasy and the vivid imagery Rutkoski instills in us proves that every turn of the page. 
I can't wait to get my hands on the third book.

4. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Laia the slave and Elias the soldier.
Again there was some really powerful imagery that arose from Tahir's words. The story takes place in a brutal world with cruel persons of power.
The world was set up fluidly and managed to draw me in right away. The mask aspect was one of my favorites of this story. The soldiers wear these masks that form to their faces. I could go on and on about the various meanings this takes on, but I'll let you read it for yourself.
Oh and this is also being turned into a film.
*sings* ((Fuuuuuu*k yeaaaaaahhhhhh!!!))

3. Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson 

Eep, another sequel that had me squealing with delight on its release day! I've been lucky enough to meet Mary Pearson and surprisingly, I didn't end up taking her ear off with my theories and praise. This is another fabulous high fantasy novel that is set in a wild world filled with royals, barbarians, and assassins. There's a bit of a love triangle set up in the first book, but at the same time it's not truly a love triangle. For me, I knew right away who the dream guy is for Lia, but there's always that little nagging feeling that makes me think otherwise. Not everything is as it seems, and not everyone is who they seem to be. I love stories such as this one; it captures you and holds you in this adventurous journey while throwing pieces of vital info at you to decipher.
HoB certainly didn't suffer from the sophomore slump. I highly suggest checking this series out.

2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I'm sad to admit it took me so long to pick this book out. This was my first book from Sarah J. Maas, but it definitely won't be my last. That woman can write her butt off. I'm super excited to start her Throne of Glass series... okay I'm veering off track.
So faeries. Freaking faeries!! I do not read enough fairy books, but it's only because they're often so cliché. Not this one, that's for darn sure. I loved everything about this novel. The character names-Feyre {Fay-ruh}, Tamlin..I'm so naming my children after these people-the storyline itself, the imagery, the introduction. The story started off at an easy pace, slowly setting up Feyre's penniless life and struggles. And then BOOM! The big bad wolf steps into her life and everything is set into motion. Though there is more at play than the reader or Fayre is aware of. The ending really solidified my love for this thrilling book. It left me spewing all kings of things. 
Ie.  WTF! OMG! For Real? But! But? No waaay! Oh come on!

There were some parts that left holes in the story, and at one point the story dragged on just a bit too slowly. All in all though, it had a magical setting and narrative that dazzled me. I'm counting down the days till the release of the next book. 

I know this is technically not YA. It's more of an NA story seeing as the characters are older than YA characters tend to be, but there's really nothing more graphic seen in this than the average YA story.

1. Winter by Marissa Meyer

*The heavens open...Angels sing*
I swear that's what happened when this book finally released. This is a book that my entire household was eager for. We're a #TeamCinder #TeamQueenSelene forever and ever. There are few books that give us a group of friends that we adore and cherish. Cinder, Kai, Aiko, Scarlett, Wolf, Cress, and Thorne have all become friends of ours. And after this, so is Winter and Jacin.
This was a really great finish to the series. Of course there is a short story following this that will hold a very special event. If this weren't the case, I'd be a little dissatisfied with the ending of this book. The action was in full force and I was never bored. It's exactly what I expected and wanted... and even more! 
But, the ending left things open for interpretation. It was all a bit abrupt and glossed over some things I wish had more detail. Again, if we weren't getting one final goodbye from the gang, I'd be sad with the ending, but otherwise it was a classy farewell-for-now.

You're probably wondering: Why is Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows not on this list. It should be, like, on everyone's list.
I'M SO ASHAMED! I never had a chance to read it before the end of the year. Obviously I can't add it to the list despite knowing it's going to rock my socks off. It's difficult enough making up a list of only 10 favorites of mine.
I'll write type it here first... My #1 New Year's Resolution is to read Six of Crows in January.

So anyway, those are my top 10 favorite Young Adult books of 2015. I know the new year is going to bring thrilling sequels that I've been salivating over, as well as sparkling new novels that have me intrigued.
Stay tuned for my most anticipated books of 2016 coming Thursday!

Feel free to comment to let me know if we match. If not, tell me which one's are on your list!