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Teenreads Reviewers Pick Their Favorite Books of 2015!

Reviewer Picks

Teenreads Reviewers Pick Their Favorite Books of 2015!

There's no better way to start an argument with self-proclaimed book nerds than to ask "what is the best YA book of 2015?" We decided to get our lovely reviewers and Teen Board members involved in the debate by asking them to tell us a few of their favorites. See below for their picks and a few fun quotes. Do you agree with their choices? 

REVIEWERS

Hasnah Farraj

  • SURVIVE THE NIGHT by Danielle Vega
    SURVIVE THE NIGHT was very suspenseful and full of surprises, making me not want to put it down until the very end. Both the plot and the characters' backgrounds unfolded as I read, meaning there was never a slow moment. I also enjoyed how Vega's novel showed that it is important to be careful when choosing friends, because they can be dangerous influences. 
     
  • NAKED by Stacey Trombley
    I enjoyed reading this book because I desperately wanted to find out what would happen to Anna as she ran away from home. As I was reading Trombley’s novel, I hoped that Anna would be able to get out of prostitution and start over successfully when she returned home. I also couldn't put the book down when I learned there was a possibility that her past would be revealed --- it added to the intensity and suspense of the story.      
     
  • THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Trish Doller

    I enjoyed this book because Cadie's situation seemed relatable; I could understand why she wanted to escape her routine and her frustration at having so many responsibilities placed on her after her mother's passing. Doller also did a good job showing that perhaps a routine life is not something that one should move away from. 
     
  • SUGAR by Deirdre Riordan Hall
    In Hall's novel, I could not help but hope that Mercy Bella, the main character, would eventually learn to not care about what people say about her. I could clearly picture Mercy and feel her frustration as she was constantly being harassed and bullied at every turn. This is another story that perfectly demonstrates how frustrating bullying can be, and it should be read to anyone who has been bullied before.
     
  • HEAR by Robin Epstein
    HEAR has sciene fiction elements, which I don't usually read. However, the story kept me on the edge of my seat. I wondered who was going to pass on and the identity of the killer who was threatening Kassandra’s group of friends. I also enjoyed this novel because Kassandra tries to help individuals who have been wronged by others, and readers will hope she uses her new ability to see the future to stop horrible actions from occurring. I also liked that HEAR was easy to follow.          

 

Corinne Fox

  • A NIGHT DIVIDED by Jennifer A. Nielsen
    Harrowing would be the best word to describe this novel. I barely breathed from start to finish. Every moment, I bit my nails waiting to see if these characters would survive from one chapter to the next. This was a clearly well-researched account of what it was like for families to be torn apart by the Berlin Wall. While much has been written about this period in history, I've personally seen few stories that so intimately recall what it was like to live as a civilian during this devastating, fearful time. I was enraptured by all the great and terrible things that I read about in this book: characters with indomitable spirits, plot twists that had me gasping and the constant overhanging reminder that living beings suffered and overcame this utterly dark time. It was very provocative as well as evocative, and I encourage everyone to read this both on the grounds of reading an excellent book and gaining insight into this awful event. 
  • WE SHOULD HANG OUT SOMETIME by Josh Sundquist
    This book was absolutely hilarious. Josh Sundquist is cozy and comfortable in his voice and you can feel him sitting next to you telling you these stories like a close friend catching up over coffee. Many young people will be able to relate to Josh's stories and they'll immediately pick up on the lessons he learned as a kid. Ultimately, Josh is a fantastic role model. This is the kind of book I would give my preteen/teenage child (were I a parent) or a friend who was feeling down and overwhelmed. Josh brings smiling, laughing and wisdom to each page, and I think even adults would enjoy and benefit from his book. 
  • A WICKED THING by Rhiannon Thomas
    Ahhhh this book was the happiest of surprises! I thought it was going to be another same-old-, same-old fairy tale adaptation, but then out of nowhere, this amazing feminist story with amazing feminist characters with unique details and new ideas just swooped in and kicked those thoughts right out the window. When you deal with stories about princesses, you often run into many paralyzing standards put upon women, and this can be especially dangerous to young women, who are growing and learning and figuring out their identity. But this Sleeping Beauty is no stagnant damsel with little to no autonomy. This book was full of upheavals, just turning everything in its path on its head, leaving a room full of upside down tropes in its wake. All of the characters were vivid and detailed and I was anxious to know how things would turn out at the end of each chapter. The surprises were plentiful and the plot juicy and intriguing. But Aurora is the kind of protagonist we need to see more of in fiction. She was bold, she was powerful but she was also emotional and vulnerable and she apologized for absolutely nothing. She's the kind of character that teaches young girls that it's okay to be strong and be afraid. You are you, and you should fight for your dreams and what is right. Gah, I loved this book, and I really hope many other people read it and love it too. 

 

Emma Kantor

  • EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon
    Confession: I am a bitter 20-something with a low tolerance for teen romance. But this tender and inventive tale of first love made me swoon. 
     
  • THE TIGHTROPE WALKERS by David Almond
    Transporting fiction. Almond's prose is atmospheric, lyrical and lively. 

Anita Lock

 

Jeanna Michel

  • LEGACY OF KINGS by Eleanor Herman
    Eleanor Herman is a genius.  Also, she is a historian, and it's incredible that, aside from the fantastical elements, most of what you are reading may even be historically accurate. LEGACY OF KINGS is a page-turner like no other. 
     
  • TRUEST by Jackie Lea Sommers
    This isn’t a fluff contemporary. It’s a contemporary with depth, thought and power.  Westlin, the protagonist, defines the person in all of us --- searching, figuring out who we are, wondering about faith, life and beyond.  She’s a wonderfully-crafted character who is relatable but also, at times, infuriatingly selfish. Unlike any contemporary I’ve ever read, TRUEST is truly a work of art, leaving readers with a thirst they can’t quench until they read it again. 
     
  • UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN by Renee Collins
    UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN is an extraordinary novel, a new favorite, that will blow your mind.  Renee Collins steals readers with her masterful writing, which will glue you to your seat.
     
  • RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard
    I think RED QUEEN should pride itself on being one dystopian that is not drowning in romance.  Thank you, Victoria Aveyard.  Girls can get through love triangles or whatever that was in the book and come out without a guy.  It is actually the most realistic outcome I have read in a long time. LOVED it. You need this book in your hands and should have been reading it five minutes ago.
     
  • REAWAKENED by Colleen Houck
    I’d never read anything by Colleen Houck and decided to read the book mainly because I was intrigued. It really can’t be described as anything other than Thor meets Egypt.   The ending sets the next book up gracefully, but I am definitely going to have trouble waiting for the sequel.  REAWAKENED will blow you away in a sandstorm of magical creatures, gorgeous princes and one brave New Yorker.

Carly Silver

  • SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo
    This compelling fantasy adventure stands head and shoulders above its contemporaries released this year. Filled with intrigue, wit, death and spies galore, SIX OF CROWS will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Kat Szabo

  • LOIS LANE: Fallout by Gwenda Bond 
    Though there have been so many superhero-related books and movies lately, this one really stands out with its intriguing plot and character development. It puts the spotlight on an awesome female character and surrounds her with a diverse cast of characters. I can't wait for the sequel.
     
  • THE SACRED LIES OF MINNOW BLY by Stephanie Oakes
    The story is so compelling and features a complicated, well-developed female lead. I really couldn't put this one down.
     
  • THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT by Melissa Grey 
    This is one of the best YA fantasy books I've read in a long time. While its plot is somewhat similar to other others, it features a great cast of characters and a well-developed, unique world. There's even some LGBT romance --- something that is very much needed in YA fantasy! I'm excited to read the sequel. 
     
  • I AM PRINCESS X by Cherie Priest 
    An awesome combination of a novel and a graphic novel. A quick but exciting read with well-done art. 
     
  • ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven 
    If you're into sad stories then this is the book for you. This story shines a much-needed light on mental illness and is very moving. 

     

TEEN BOARD MEMBERS

Pranshu A.

  • TUNNEL VISION by Susan Adrian
    Books filled with surprises keep me hooked until the very end; the fact that I have no idea what will happen makes me forget everything in life except the book itself. TUNNEL VISION definitely had that effect on me.
     
  • LEGACY OF KINGS by Eleanor Herman
    The rich fantasy world Herman created in LEGACY OF KINGS landed this book in my top 5 list of favorite books this year; few things are more interesting than a world entirely different than ours. Every little aspect is different, from the way trees grow to the type of food that the characters eat. 
     
  • EXPIRATION DAY by William Campbell Powell 
    On the other side of the spectrum from the fantasy world I mentioned above are futuristic books. If you think about it, fantasy and futuristic/dystopian books have something very important in common: they are both stories centered around an entirely different world than our own. I loved this book because it helped me see the similarities between fantasy and futuristic/dystopian, making me appreciate each genre, more.
     
  • YOU AND ME AND HIM by Kris Dinnison 
    Many YA readers see love triangles as the bane of their existence; they believe that this aspect of romance novels has been exhausted. However, this book does it in a different way. The point of view and resolution of this book is fresh and new.
     
  • THE BOY NEXT DOOR by Katie Van Ark
    Sometimes, a person just needs to curl up in their bed with hot chocolate and read a feel good book. This is the book to grab if you are in such a mood. It has just the right amount of cheesiness and the right amount of angst. The characters are just shallow enough that I didn't get super attached to them but deep enough that I was sad when they were sad. All in all, a very feel good book that I loved reading. 
     

Megan B.

 

Chris C.

  • WE ALL LOOKED UP by Tommy Wallach
    The most gripping and relatable book I read this year. Its characters were so real and their stories spoke to me like no other.
     
  • LIARS, INC by Paula Stokes
    I loved this book because its plot was so simple yet so realistic. I found myself reading the plot as if it were an episode of "Law and Order".
     
  • THE ROSE SOCIETY by Marie Lu
    My obligatory fantasy/dystopian selection. It was an amazing continuation of my current obsession, THE YOUNG ELITES.
     
  • MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera
    As moving as it was heartwarming, I thought this was one of the most powerful books I read during 2015.
     
  • LIES I TOLD by Michelle Zink
    I fell in love with the main character, Grace, and her story was positively enthralling.
     

Isabel C.

  • QUEEN OF SHADOWS by Sarah J. Maas
    QUEEN OF SHADOWS was a YA lover's dream come true. It had romance, action and so much more! All the characters are awesome and I couldn't put it down!
     
  • RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard
    RED QUEEN was a fantastic debut. I was thrown into Mare's world and I loved every second of it!
     
  • DEAD OF WINTER by Kresley Cole
    My heart is torn between Jack and Death, but in this dystopian world, it doesn't matter too much. Plus, Evie is kick-butt enough to go on without either of them!
     
  • SWEET RECKONING by Wendy Higgins
    My entire review was basically a giant squeal, which should say something. SWEET RECKONING was a wonderful companion to the Sweet series, and I wish it had gone on forever!
     
  • EVERY LAST BREATH by Jennifer L. Armentrout
    My love of JLA is unending. Demons, gargoyles, final face offs, Roth, the demon who stole everyone's heart...
     

Janine C.

Bryn D.

  • SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli|
    I could not put this book down...it has everything: romance, humor and some of the most realistic characters I have ever read.
     
  • QUEEN OF SHADOWS by Sarah J. Maas
    This fourth installment in the Throne of Glass series is the best so far, in my opinion. Everything seemed to come together perfectly while still leaving you yearning for the next book.
     
  • THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS by Anna-Marie McLemore
    The writing is what got me for this novel...it is simply perfect and poetic.
     
  • CARRY ON by Rainbow Rowell
    Rainbow Rowell is my favorite author so there was no way CARRY ON wouldn't be on this list. It was magical and romantic and everything you could ever want in a book.
     
  • LAIR OF DREAMS by Libba Bray
    My favorite time period in history is the '20s, so this book and the first book, THE DIVINERS, spoke to my soul with their description of the glamour and glitz of the fabulous flapper years.
     

Maggie D.

  • LION HEART by AC Gaughen
    Gaughen offers an incredible end to the Scarlet series, tying up loose ends effectively and increasing tension and romance in all story lines until the last page.
     
  • WINTER by Marissa Meyer
    The anticipated finale of  The Lunar Chronicles is packed with plot twists that I never saw coming and a satisfying ending that leaves beloved characters looking to the future.
     
  • THE HEIR by Kiera Cass
    Although Eadlyn's selection is very different from her parents', it is nonetheless intricate and surprising and left me waiting desperately for the final installment.
     
  • BONE GAP by Laura Ruby
    This incredible adventure in fantasy and realism is a cool and unique read about a boy who witnessed a crime and the girl it was perpetrated against.
     
  • A COLD LEGACY by Megan Shepherd
    Shepherd stays true to the elements of gothic classics she incorporates into the conclusion of The Madman's Daughter trilogy while still presenting a unique plot and romance.

Rachel D.

  • GALORITHM by Aaron Karo
    A fun and quirky story about a high school senior who creates an algorithm to find his friends dates but ironically has trouble with love. 
     
  • EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicole Yoon
    A refreshing take on teen romance stories that manages to bring a smile. 
     
  • ANOTHER DAY by David Levithan
    The much awaited sequel to Levithan's EVERY DAY delivers exactly what everyone was waiting for, and a little more. 
     
  • RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard
    A great dystopian novel that is addicting to read. 
     
  • THE HEIR by Kiera Cass
    Cass' fourth novel in her The Selection series, told by Princess Eadlyn, the daughter of the protagonists in the earlier books. 

Kate F.

  • QUEEN OF SHADOWS by Sarah J. Maas
    The Throne of Glass is my all-time favorite series, so naturally this is my favorite book of 2015! 
     
  • RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard
    A book with a brand new concept, compelling characters and a surprising plot line that definitely deserves to be on this list!
     
  • ROOK by Sharon Cameron
    ROOK completely swept me away into the world of the characters! 
     
  • THE WINNER'S CRIME by Marie Rutkoski
    The sequel to THE WINNER'S CURSE, this novel has a strong female heroine and an intricate plot! 
     
  • SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch
    Full of action and adventure, this novel kept me on my toes and reading till early in the morning! 

Ariel G.

Juliette G.

  • FINDING FOREVER by Ken Baker
    A combination of Hollywood, mystery and the girl next door.
     
  • FOR THE RECORD by Charlotte Huang
    A fresh, fun look at the music industry --- a rockin’ good read.
     
  • HEAT OF THE MOMENT by Lauren Barnholdt
    A romantic drama filled with adventure that’s relatable to all teens.
     
  • TONIGHT THE STREETS ARE OURS by Leila Sales
    A novel filled with adventure and emotion that captures the teenage spirit. 

Asia H.

  • THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST by Holly Black
    Holly Black takes the image of fairies and twists them into something darker and more mysterious. 
     
  • ZEROES by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti
    The teens in this book take a different route from the usual "super-heroes save the day" trope associated with having superpowers.  
     
  • READ BETWEEN THE LINES by Jo Knowles 
    This book shows how one day can be different for many different people and how strangers can, in some way, be related. 

Lauren H.

  • DARK SHIMMER by Donna Jo Napoli
    I love the darkness and wonderful twists and turns in this new take on the classic Snow White tale. Snow White was one of my favorite Disney movies when I was little and it was great to see an new version of a well-known story!
     
  • SOULSHIFTER by Barbra Peitron
    This was an amazing book! I throughly enjoyed the humor and awkwardness of the couple and eventually their wonderful romance! It was so easy to become immersed in a dark fantasy world alongside the main characters.

Harleen K.

  • NOWHERE BUT HERE by Katie McGarry
    I've always loved Katie McGarry and her new series definitely didn't disappoint. She always brings serious issues to light in a way that allows the reader to connect to the plot really well. I once again fell in love with the plot and the characters!
     
  • VIOLENT ENDS by Shaun David Hutchinson
    I love how such a serious issue was put in different perspectives at different periods of time and I was very intrigued by the entire book. I would love to discuss the creation of the book with the author because the concept was so original it left my jaw hanging.
     
  • THE HEIR by Kiera Cass
    A beautiful addition to the Selection series. I once again fell in love with the characters and reading about Eadlyn created a whole new experience. I also loved seeing the past characters --- including America, Aspen, and Maxon --- in the future. Kiera Cass killed it once again.
     
  • THE WICKED WILL RISE by Danielle Paige
    I loved the first book in this Wizard of Oz retelling and the sequel was just as exciting. I wish it had more plot, and it wasn't as good as the first book, but it definitely ranks in my top five.
     
  • SPINNING STARLIGHT by R.C. Lewis
    Even though this book was a retelling, it was a very original idea. I was a little confused at the beginning of the book, but it got clearer quickly and started to get very interesting. Definitely one of the better dystopians.

 

Alyssa L.

Maggie L.

  •  FAIREST by Marissa Meyer
    This was a captivating addition to the Lunar Chronicles. 
  • UNLOVELY by Celeste Conway
    Mysterious romance intertwined with horror.
     
  • THE DETOUR by S. A. Bodeen
    A frightening story that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
     
  • THE THIRD TWIN by CJ Omololu
    A unique story of mystery and murder.
     
  • BONE GAP by Laura Ruby
    Intriguing, heartfelt and absolutely captivating.

Aliza M.

  • FANS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE LIFE by Kate Scelsa
    I felt like Scelsa really allowed the true voices of young adults to shine in this novel.
     
  • I AM PRINCESS X by Cherie Priest
    It has been a long time since I've enjoyed an age appropriate, intriguing novel like this.
     
  • ORBITING JUPITER by Gary D. Schmidt
    Schmidt approached topics that most authors are too scared to face, and he did it will poise and perfected rhetoric.
     
  • THE SIX by Mark Alpert
    Knocking down stereotypes with each chapter, Alpert revolutionized the young adult novel revolving around disability. 
     
  • BREAKOUT by Kevin Emerson
    Emerson truly created an exciting novel about a topic that is high up on the radar of teens everywhere.

Grace P.

  • THE HEIR by Kiera Cass
    I will always love the characters of THE SELECTION, and reading from their daughter's point of view was icing on the cake.
     
  • THE HEART OF BETRAYAL by Mary E. Pearson
    I loved the first book in this series and I love where Pearson has decided to take the story,
     
  • AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir
    This book really shocked me and I loved it.
     
  • THE WRATH AND THE DAWN by Reene Ahdieh
    This book was fascinating and had beautiful language.
     
  • ICE LIKE FIRE by Sara Raasch
    I was caught off guard by the direction this book went, in a good way.

Linnea P.

  • THE ROSE SOCIETY by Marie Lu
    This is one of my favorites and in my opinion, one of the best novels of 2015. I feel this way, because it was everything a sequel should be. It included great character development, a fantastic romance and an amazing setting.
  • RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard
    This was one of my favorites of the year because of the amazing plot. Yes, you could say the dystopian story was similar to a lot of YA novels, but it was done so well and in a pretty different way than the others. 
     
  • AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir
    This is certainly one of the best YA novels written in 2015. The descriptions are absolutely gorgeous and the setting is unlike anything I've ever seen in a YA book. Not to mention, the storyline brought something new to the YA world.
  • A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J Maas
    This novel was everything I would have expected from Sarah J. Maas and more. It has a killer romance that will make your heart swoon and characters that will break your heart. I thought that the Beauty and the Beast retelling was also done really well. It keeps the original story but adds its own little twist, making it everything you would want from a fairy tale retelling. 

Leanna R.

 

  • ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven
    It is similar to THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and ELEANOR AND PARK in all the right ways while still being original.
  • CARRY ON by Rainbow Rowell
    I loved FANGIRL and this was the perfect companion to that book
  • PERDITA by Faith Gardner
    I reviewed this for Teenreads and I loved the mystery of it.
  • YOUR VOICE IS ALL I HEAR by Leah Scheier
    It was also like THE FAULT IN OUR STARS in a way, but had an interesting twist about mental disorders.

Brynn S.

  • ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
    Not only is there a killer plot and amazing characters, but the format of the book is unlike anything out today.
     
  • EVERY LAST WORD by Tamara Ireland Stone
    The portrayal of OCD is realistic and heartbreaking, but overall fantastic.
     
  • QUEEN OF SHADOWS by Sarah J. Maas
    So much action. So much character development. So much romance.
     
  • THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
    It’s challenging to wrap up a trilogy, but the authors of THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT did it seamlessly. The result was funny, heartbreaking and overall fun to read.
     
  • CARRY ON by Rainbow Rowell
    One word: Baz.

 

Cat S.

 

Vaishnavi S.

 

Laura T.