Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Best of 2015



Alright, this is my attempt at a Best Of post. I don't read/watch things in a timely manner, so some of the picks are not from 2015. However, I did watch or read all of these books this year.

Best 2015 Debut
AND
Best 2015 Diversity
The Wrath and the Dawn was exactly what I wanted it to be. A great book set in a foreign land with magic and fantasy and drama. Oh, the drama in this book. It was epic. Everything was so life and death (literally, because Shazi could die at any moment!) I think some people thought the romance odd since Khalid was supposed to be a monster, but this is one of those stories where all is not as it seems. Great debut, and great diversity.

Best 2015 Heroine
Hazel is a conflicted heroine, just how I like them. She also has a brother, Ben, that she's closer to than anyone else in this world. She also has a secret where Ben is the only person she can't tell. So, how do you reconcile those two things? That makes for a great flawed character in the beginning of the book. I really like Holly Black's choice to start with the characters in their darkest moments and give flashbacks to show how they got there. Hazel is almost unlikable in the beginning (almost). But as you get to know more about her backstory she really comes alive as a character and I started to really root for her.

Most Underrated 2015 Book to Movie Adaptation
This was very loosely based on the second book in the Maze Runner series. And I was fine with that, because Minho got more screen time (hehe). Also, because the book was really epic and twisty turny, and I wasn't sure how they would adapt it for the big screen. I thought that the things they added were true to the story and the things they omitted weren't the most important either. To be honest, Scorch Trials was probably my least favorite book in this trilogy, so I was fine with its changes.

Best 2015 Drama
Oh My Ghostess

This drama was good from start to finish. It was not what I thought it would be when I first started watching it and I loved that! I loved all three mains. And I have such a girl crush on Park Bo Young. I watched all of her other dramas and movies after finishing this. 

Also Kim Seul Gi as the ghost was just great. She shines in her scenes and Bo Young does a great impression of her when she's "possessed." 

I would recommend this show whether you're a fan of K-Dramas or not.

Best 2015 Drama - Honorable Mention
Pinocchio

Since Pinocchio started in 2014, I don't think it can win my 2015 award. But it did end in 2015, so it gets honorable mention. It was one of those dramas that had great links throughout, good characters, and wonderful acting. I 'ship Park Shinhye and Lee Jongsuk so much right now, I honestly hope they are dating in real life.

Books not published this year that I read in 2015

Best Villain
I can't really tell why I loved this villain without giving spoilers. I will say (in a non-spoiler way) that the book has an unreliable narrator. We know from chapter one that Cassel killed his best friend Lila and he has no memory of it and doesn't know why. His life is kind of a mess since his mother is in jail and his family are all curse workers. 

Best Heroine
AND
Best Secondary Characters
Sarah Rees Brennan writes great dialogue in this series. It's actually why I picked it up to read, because my cousin read it first and said that exact review to me.
I love witty characters. 
Kami is a great heroine. She is smart, resourceful, witty/funny, and a good friend/daughter. She's also lived a life where people thought she was kind of crazy because she hears a voice in her head. But she doesn't let that get her down and continues to have dreams and goals (being a great journalist).
She's also able to make friends well despite her history of crazy (proof, new friendship with Holly).

That brings me to best secondary characters. People often complain in reviews about friends who are throw-away in books. That is NOT the case here. The friends are so key to who Kami is as a person, and they have personalities and stories of their own. I love Angela, who is beautiful and sleeps whenever she gets the chance. I also love Holly, who got boobs earlier than other girls and, therefore, was shunned to be thought of as a floozy. I love Kami's friendships with each of them.

Best Romance
Katie McGarry writes great romance, so it's no surprise that the one book I read by her is my favorite romance of the year. It doesn't hurt that Isaiah was introduced in her two earlier books, so I'm already invested in him as a character. McGarry created the perfect girl for him in Rachel. She's kind of broken, and I think that Isaiah is a great protector, so he's also perfect for her.

Best World Building
This could be debated. A lot of the reviews I read that didn't like this book said they didn't like the concept of the Coldtowns. Buuut, since that's pretty much the main point of this book, I will assume anyone picking it up has already made their peace with that part of the book. And honestly, I loved the concept. Because it's happened before (internment camps). The book is a good look into the fascination and horror that it creates.

Best End of Series
I really loved this series. While I loved the first two books more, I did think that In the Afterlight gave a satisfying ending to the series. Some series kind of flop at the end, but this one brought it full circle and I appreciated that.

Best Graphic Novel (Manhwa)
Okay, this is cheating because this is the ONLY graphic novel I read this year. But the illustrations are pretty, and it's based on a Korean myth/god, so I kind of enjoyed it.


2 comments:

  1. I really want to read The Wrath and The Dawn! I need to bump it up my list. I've also heard other trustworthy sources rec'ing Unspoken too.

    Oh My Ghostess looks awesome, but I no longer have a friend to watch K-dramas with :'( My husband would kill himself if I made him watch even 5 minutes. *Sigh*

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    1. Let me know what you think of both books after you read them. I loved Oh My Ghostess and am still a little obsessed with it when I think about it. Just a really well-written story in my mind. Totally worth watching.

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