Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Our 2015 Favorites

Once again, we present to you our favorite books that were published in 2015. Please keep in mind that we could not get to every book written this year, so just because it's not on our list, it doesn't mean we didn't like it. We just might not have read it yet. It was also very hard to narrow down our choices in order to make this post not turn into a novel itself! Hope you get a chance to read all of these books. Please share your favorites in the comments below.

*We will only post links to the books when a review isn't available by the person who listed it as their favorite.

Melissa A:

1. Come Away with Me by Karma Brown: I'm still having a book hangover! (Reviewed here)
2. Things You Won't Say by Sarah Pekkanen: So poignant and relevant; beautifully told. (Reviewed here)
3. The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes: I want to marry this book! (Review coming soon...)
4. Becoming Ellen by Shari Shattuck: A wonderful follow up to Invisible Ellen. (Reviewed here)
5. Twin Piques by Tracie Banister: Hard not to love the twins who are opposite in so many ways and their hot romantic interests too... (Reviewed here)

(See some more of my favorite books I read this year at Merrylandgirl.)


1. Things You Won't Say by Sarah Pekkanen (See review above)
2. Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave (See review)
3. Has Anyone Seen My Pants by Sarah Colonna (See review)
4. Dog Crazy by Meg Donohue (See review)
5. The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel:
I just loved it.

Melissa P:

The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes because I missed Marian's witty and fun writing style. She always makes the characters so well rounded and REAL. I also loved how she worked in the rare disease that Stella becomes inflicted with and how it affected her life in so many ways even after she was well again.

The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand, because I always love a good summer read and Elin has that genre down. Also, the way she uses different points of view throughout the story kept it interesting.

With reviewing for Chick Lit Central, reading for a NYC-based literary agency, and my own book habit, I’ve easily read over 150 books this year. But narrowing them down to just two favorites isn’t as hard as it may seem. I’m a reader who is hard to please, and these two books stood out dramatically above anything else I’ve read or reviewed this year.

My favorite of the books I’ve reviewed for Chick Lit Central was Lisa Doyle’s debut novel, Milked, published by Simon and Fig. A fresh, funny, modern take on the centuries-old practice of wet nursing, Milked also has a strong political statement at its core. It’s a must read for anyone who likes their comedy closer to satire than screwball.

For the books I’ve read on my own, my completely unoriginal favorite is Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale. I stayed up all night to finish it, and had a big ugly cry at the end. It’s a much more emotionally engaging story than Pulitzer winner All the Light We Cannot See, another World War II novel. As a longtime fan of Hannah’s, it’s been gratifying to see her mature and deepen as a writer, and I’m so impressed with the research it must have taken to create The Nightingale. I can’t imagine she’ll ever be able to top this book, but I look forward to seeing her try.


1. Second Chance Friends by Jennifer Scott - A fantastic story that weaves the lives of four strangers, who become entwined for the rest of their lives. (Reviewed here.)

2. Broken Homes and Gardens by Rebecca Kelley- Descriptive, heartbreaking, hopeful. And set in Oregon, my home state. I immediately fell in love! (Reviewed here.)

3. Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams by Sue Watson - Sue Watson has never disappointed me. Her novels are always fun, flirty, and lovingly written, giving us a much-needed dose of motivation! (Reviewed here.)

4. Family Trees by Kerstin March - You always hurt the ones you love, and often, they are the hardest ones to forgive. A great story regarding moving on and learning to love again. (Review coming soon.)

5. The Last Dreamer by Barbara Solomon Josselsohn - I identified so much with the main character. Is it ever too late to pursue your passions in life? (Reviewed here.)


It's Not Me, It's You by Mhairi McFarlane
This was my favourite read of the year, another fantastic book by someone who is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. The book has everything going for it, very fitting with the ‘chick lit’ genre but with a bit of a thriller aspect to the story too. Great characters and story all round. (Reviewed here.)

Always the Bridesmaid by Lindsey Kelk
This was a witty and engaging read from start to finish and had all the elements I love in a book. I can't believe this was the first book I'd read by Lindsey, I've been missing out! (Reviewed here.)

We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman
A book that stays with you long after you've finished. Covering a tricky subject but oh so well and managing to be uplifting at the same time. (Reviewed here.)

Meet Me in Manhattan by Claudia Carroll
This book totally transported me to New York at Christmas time, just perfect descriptions and led to me feeling like I was really there, experiencing the hidden gems of Manhattan for myself. A great story and setting. (Reviewed here.)


Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews - Because anything by MKA? I'm a fan. Her novels never disappoint and are always tinged with the right amounts of comedy and romance to keep anyone who enjoys chick lit coming back for more. (Reviewed here.)

Shopaholic to the Rescue by Sophie Kinsella - Because who doesn't love Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood)? Her sparkling personality sees her through questionable decisions with style and humour, as always. Pure delightful escapism!

The Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft - Darker chick lit, but it's stuck with me since I read it. The kind of book that makes you wonder what's really going on beneath the surface when you meet someone new or read a news story about a tragedy. (Reviewed here.)


What Comes Next and How to Like it: Man, I loved this book. This is probably the best book I read in all of 2015, and I really enjoyed reviewing it, even though I struggled to find the words to do the book justice. I ran out and bought Abigail Thomas' other books and loved those, too. She's amazing. (Reviewed here.)

Furiously Happy: I rarely pre-order a book, but I pre-ordered this one. Of course, Jenny Lawson did not disappoint. Furiously Happy offers a glimpse inside the heart and mind of the sometimes complicated, always entertaining Bloggess, whose second book openly discussed the issues with which Lawson copes: depression, anxiety, low self-esteem. Yet Lawson tells her tale with a genuine heart and loads of humor, as only the Bloggess can do. (Reviewed here.)

The Girls of August: I'm so happy to have discovered Ann Rivers Siddons this year. The Girls of August was my second Siddons' novel and I practically inhaled it. Siddons created memorable characters and a compelling story line, with a twist or two where I least expected them. A great beach read; not too heavy, but enough substance to make you wish for more. (Reviewed here.)

What were your favorite books from 2015?


Simon & Fig said...

So thrilled to see Lisa Doyle's MILKED made the list!

Janine said...

Awesome books. I have read a few of them and added a few more to my wish list.

Unknown said...

I just posted my faves on my blog, but the list includes some of these:Come Away With Me, Eight Hundred Grapes, and The Nightingale.