With 2015 winding down, the RT editors thought December would be a good time to reflect on what each of us read this year and which books stuck with us long after we finished them. All month long, the editors will be sharing our personal favorites reads of the year, in no particular order. Today RT Editor Danielle Valente lists her top reads of the year:
In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware — Nora’s nightmare-turned-reality was — albeit selfishly — my end-of-summer escape. I waited till it was just dark enough to crack open Ware’s debut, and while tangled in blankets, I was transported deep into the English countryside for a hellish bachelorette party — and not “hellish” in the sense of tacky games and maid-of-honor sashes. Go hug the brides you know for not putting you through a weekend that ends in a hospital stay. This suspenseful read was so good, I am still talking about it and recommending it months later, and will continue to do so well into 2016. It was undeniably, 100 percent my favorite book of the year. I’ll be fan-girling until Ware releases her second novel, which cannot happen soon enough.
Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot — Mia Thermopolis might be the princess of Genovia, but Meg Cabot is the queen of chick lit. After 15 years, the author returns to her royally delightful series, and like its fan base, Mia is now a twentysomething navigating a love life, a career and a crazy grandma. Like wine, our beloved heroine and her shenanigans get better with age. This princess story for millenials deserves a spot on your shelf, without question.
Food Whore by Jessica Tom — Tom’s debut serves foodies a taste of the New York City dining scene, pairs it with a Devil Wears Prada vibe and tops it all off with a new approach to the coming-of-age in New York trope. Deliciously entertaining and not to be missed!
Love May Fail by Matthew Quick — When I closed Love May Fail, I sat on my couch in disbelief of Quick’s undeniable talent. There’s no mistaking it — he’ll run you through a gamut of emotions, pull you into the characters’ lives and have you cheering for them — until it all goes horribly wrong and you’re left sobbing uncontrollably and looking to snuggle your dog. And then there will be a glimmer of hope. It’s funny to think how a quest to rejuvenate your favorite high school teacher can lead to such a powerful story. Yes, it’s definitely sad at times, but so, so worth a read. And on the plus side, if this ever turns into a movie, there’s a good chance it might star Bradley Cooper (hello, Silver Linings fans).
Grave Phantoms by Jenn Bennett — Bennett’s story is the epitome of what paranormal romance should be. Astrid and Bo’s story sold me from the get-go with its 1920s backdrop and supernatural elements. Believe the hype — Bennett is a master at her craft.
Before We Were Strangers by Renée Carlino — I cannot say enough about this whimsical, emotional love story that’s revived through a Craigslist missed connection. Filled with music, photography and the carefree spirit of a New York City college student in love, Before We Were Strangers is the perfect choice for contemporary romance and mainstream fans alike. I will be the first to purchase Carlino’s next title this spring — and fellow bookstore patrons will know better than to stand in my way.
Mouthful of Forevers by Clementine von Radics — More like Mouthful of Awesome. I’ve never sought out poetry much, but von Radics made me fall in love with the genre. The pieces are raw, emotional — and at times dark and broken — but so captivating. They beg to be reread. Her new collection, Dream Girl, is on its way to my apartment, and I’m impatiently awaiting its arrival.
For a peek at all of our editors’ picks, go here!