In 2015 I read 30 books of the 50 that I challenged myself to read. This is the first year ever that I’ve failed at my reading challenge. However, I still consider 2015 a success, partially down to the fact that I made a greater effort to read a different type of book.
In 2013 and 2014 I spent a lot of time reading YA and, apart from my degree books, I struggled to branch out of that bubble. I really feel that 2015 was the start of my adult awakening when it comes to books. Don’t get me wrong I still love a good YA romance, but I definitely feel that there is more to see and read in this big world.
A Year in Book Reviews – 2015
So without further ado, here is a list of all the books I read in 2015 and a quick bit about what I thought.
1. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark – Shakespeare
One Line Review: As Shakespeare’s longest play this was a very daunting book to start both the year and a Shakespeare course with! A true tragic read.
2. The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion
One Line Review: Brilliant sequel that focuses on character development and follows on nicely from the previous book.
3. The Merchant of Venice – Shakespeare
One Line Review: Emotive look at religious difference and how it can affect law.
4. Twelfth Night – Shakespeare
One Line Review: An unusual mix of gender swap to create dimensions of humour and confusion.
5. Tragedy of Richard III – Shakespeare
One Line Review: Struggled to fully appreciate this book, the plot seemed to all stem from the whim of one character.
6. Henry IV Part I – Shakespeare
One Line Review: After reading this I found that Shakespeare’s histories are my least favourite of his genres. Though this book focuses on familial relationships and the role of the father.
7. Othello – Shakespeare
One Line Review: This is a re-read, filled with metaphor and symbolism Othello is a brilliant tragic romance.
8. Antony and Cleopatra – Shakespeare
One Line Review: Similar to Othello this tragic romance deals with issues of race and jealousy.
9. A Winter’s Tale – Shakespeare
One Line Review: An intriguing concept, this book is split in two with an eighteen year split between them.
10. The Dead House – Dawn Kurtagich
One Line Review: Thrilling, terrifying, magical, brilliant and horrid. Dawn Kurtagich’s debut novel is one to read!
11. We Were Liars – E. Lockhart
One Line Review: Massive ending twist that I can’t begin to even describe. This book tricked me completely.
12. Read Me Like a Book – Liz Kessler
One Line Review: Cleverly written YA for teens who want to explore their sexuality with an LGBT focus.
13. Hardwired – Meredith Wild
One Line Review: Sexy and well written book but ultimately another book about a rich man imposing his wealth and wants on the protagonist.
14. Landline – Rainbow Rowell
One Line Review: Loved the concept and the character of Georgie McCool!
15. The Daughter’s Secret – Eva Holland
One Line Review: A different look at the student teacher romance.
16. Only Ever Yours – Louise O’Neill
One Line Review: Absolutely brilliant book about modern beauty standards through a dystopian lens.
17. The Tell-Tale Heart – Edgar Allan Poe
One Line Review: Dark short stories by brilliant author that have a unique twist.
18. Zeroes, Scott Westerfeld – Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti
One Line Review: Amazing novel by three talented authors who’ve come together to make a brilliant fantasy novel.
19. The Keeper – David Baldacci
One Line Review: Sequel in a high fantasy world, the author managed to create a narrative that was referential to the first book but in the same way that any book refers to past events outside the narrative.
20. Brooklyn – Colm Tóibín
One Line Review: Insight into 50’s America through the eyes of an Irish young woman. I found it difficult to empathise with her character in the latter half of the novel.
21. Asking For It – Louise O’Neill
One Line Review: Another brilliant but harrowing novel by Louise O’Neill, that discusses the very much needed to be spoken about topic – rape.
22. Binge – Tyler Oakley
One Line Review: Unexpected look into the life of Tyler Oakley, as more than just a YouTuber.
23. Carmilla – Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
One Line Review: My first audio book experience. The novella itself was somewhat homoerotic for that era but was compelling to read a book that introduces vampires before Dracula was written.
24. Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops – Jen Campbell
One Line Review: Hilariously, quick read. I learnt that some people are idiots.
25. Featherbones – Thomas Brown
One Line Review: A dark and mysterious novel that creates metaphors of a man’s internalised turmoil.
26. Monster – C.J. Skuse
One Line Review: Well-written YA horror with a double twist.
27. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Changed the World – Malala Yousafzai
One Line Review: Fascinating book about the struggles of living in Pakistan leading up to the moment that Malala was shot by the Taliban and her journey ever since.
28. The Night is Darkening Round Me – Emily Brontë
One Line Review: Sublime collection of poetry that discusses the topics of nature and mortality.
29. In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom – Yeonmi Park
One Line Review: Harrowing memoir about life in North Korea and the horrifying things the author went through in order to gain her freedom.
30. Built – Jay Crownover
One Line Review: Brilliantly sexy novel from Jay Crownover. I’ve yet to find one that I haven’t loved. She has a brilliant way of creating flawed but strong characters who come together and help each other grow.
There you have it! My year in review! Let me know what your favourite books were in 2015 in the comments below or tweet me @HowlingReviews.
Hero Image sourced via Pinterest. Credit: hudsonboston.com