Of the 126 books I read in 2015, these five really stood out for me as having a WOW! factor that immediately earned their place on my “Top 5” list. For anyone interested, here’s my complete reading list for 2015.
The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon (Published 8/4/2015)
Alternating timelines. A family-owned motel in small town Vermont. Best friends. First love. A disappearance. Secrets. A murder mystery. And, at the heart of all that, is the enduring bond of childhood friends and the destructive nature of sibling rivalry. Recommended for hot summer nights, curled up in a chair by an open window, a warm breeze sneaking in to tickle your bare toes, and the sound of darkness pulsing on the other side of the screen.
Dystopias centered around global warming or water shortages aren’t new. What is refreshing about this story, though, is its protagonist. Seventeen-year-old Noria is unforgettable. Couple that strong character with Itäranta’s evocative prose and the result is one of the most believable (and frightening) looks at a future we might face if nothing changes.
Mind blown! A story set in space, thousands of years in the future, in which people are not distinguished by gender; hence, everyone is referred to using only female pronouns. It took about 25 pages to get lost in the book but after that I was gone. (It may be important to note that I’m relatively new to the genre.) I absolutely loved everything about this story, and it’s the reason why I now actively seek out more science fiction.
I’m a huge Tim Burton fan, so I’d already watched the movie by the time I learned it had been based on a book. Having adored the movie, I decided I better give it a few years before I read the book; I didn’t want to constantly compare the book to the movie which, I admit, is often unavoidable. Thankfully the book version was every bit as good, if not better than, the movie adaptation. Ultimately it’s a father-son story, but I was able to easily relate based on my own life experiences.
“When a man’s stories are remembered, then he is immortal.”
A secret Society for writers, a book plague, a (maybe murder?) mystery, the disappearance of a Snow Queen-ish character, mythological mapping … will absolutely be a hit or miss for the average reader. For me, it was the perfect amount of weird. Matter of fact, as I’m writing this, I want to pick it up again to re-read it. Loved, LOVED, loved this story!