Editors’ Best Books of 2015 — Elissa’s Picks

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 Elissa Petruzzi lists her top reads of the year: 

2015 was such a great reading year for me, across genres! I want to hug all of these books so tight …

Bone Gap by Laura RubyBone Gap by Laura Ruby I’ve loved magical realism ever since I discovered a worn copy of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude in a used bookstore many moons ago. Ruby hits all the right notes with her offering to the difficult-to-pin-down genre. I read this book months and months ago and, still, lines from it come to me now and then. It’s gorgeous and lyrical and yet somehow, magically, rooted in reality.

Fall with Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout I love the New Adult genre, and I love Jennifer Armentrout’s books. So it should come as no surprise that I loved Fall with Me. Forced-it-on-strangers loved. NA fans may especially note that the heroine, while dealing with some issues, has a nice relationship with her parents, which was so refreshing to me! Also Armentrout is known for her hot heroes, but Reece — hoo boy! Prepare yourself.

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson — I will purchase literally any book that Kate Atkinson writes. And I’m an editor, so you know I take use of the word “literally” very seriously. I’ve loved all of her works, all different and wonderful, and A God in Ruins was no exception. Her companion to Life After Life is a masterpiece, it’s a searing look at World War II, but it’s also about life, man. What it all means. How even war heroes have to come home and deal with their wives wanting to move to the suburbs. Her look at what happens as we age, and leave behind whatever mention-worthy time will be the opening line of our obituary, was superb.

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy — I have this theory — based on nothing, really — that when a publisher knows a book is going to be really special, they go all out on the cover. I’d like to present Dumplin’ as Exhibit A. The cover caught my eye long before the buzz started, but you can bet I grabbed a copy as soon as I could. Meeting Willowdean and her crew was the treat of my summer.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffThere’s a bit of a YA teen-in-space trend happening right now, and I am super into it. It’s part of what’s very best about the YA genre, which is that anything goes! Illuminae is very well done, it’s a collection of documents telling the story of two teens stranded on different ships in space after their planet was inexplicably attacked — and, oh yeah, they’d broken up that morning. You guy it is so good. It was clever and exciting and the hacker heroine was super bad ass. Loved it.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo — There’s also a major YA fantasy trend happening right now, and it is also amazing, and Six of Crows is a very good example of the awesome. Bardugo’s world is insanely well crafted. I was struck by one passage, which described a mountain our erstwhile band of misfits pass on their journey. The mountain didn’t have much of anything to do with the story, and Bardugo only lent it a paragraph, but it was such a lovely, thoughtful paragraph. A The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Longcollection of those, and you feel as if you’re trying to break into that prison right along with Kaz.

The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long — Never have I sent so many all-caps emails to the Avon publicist, who is very nice and patient with everyone’s Pennyroyal Green obsession, than I did about this book. IS IT READY? CAN I HAVE IT? And so on and so forth. Long had a big task in front of her: to finally, satisfyingly tell the story we’d all been waiting for, for books and books and books. And she more than succeeded! Seeing Lyon and Olivia together and hearing what actually happened was wonderful and perfect and everything I wanted. Which is saying a lot.

Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell — As you can tell by this list, I read across genres. Variety is the spice of life, they say! This cozy series starter was delightful. Hartwell got all the knitter details just right, and her town is nearly going out of business and full of cranky people, which, as a slight curmudgeon, I appreciated. It also inspired me to finish knitting the darn hat I’ve been languishing over all fall. Now that’s a good book. 

For a peek at all of our editors’ picks, go here!

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