I read 60 books this year (not including books I read for college or re-reads) and it was very hard to narrow that list down to 15 books
1) My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
A beautiful YA novel that I think has been underrated this year. Highly, highly recommended – I have already read it twice. I can’t wait to read Jasmine Warga’s next book.
2) I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
A story of creativity, love and sibling rivalry. The way Nelson writes about art just blew me away. Her first book, The Sky is Everywhere, is up at the top of my TBR list.
3) Needlework by Deirdre Sullivan
I was delighted to get the chance to read Deirdre Sullivan’s new book early, and even to do a little bit of editing. Needlework will be published in February 2016 and it is a searingly beautiful and lyrical read. And look at that fantastic cover by Steve McCarthy!
4) Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne
A funny and moving book that has many smart things to say about feminism and mental health. I am now a big fan of Holly Bourne’s books, and can’t want to read the rest of the Spinster Club trilogy (I managed to get a proof of the second book, and also loved it!)
5) Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes
Meeting Marian Keyes in Belfast with my friend Kathleen was one of the highlights of 2015 for me. This is my favourite of her novels – it made me laugh and cry, has memorable, relatable characters and lots about friendship, love and self belief.
6) No Matter The Wreckage by Sarah Kay
I have been a fan of Sarah Kay for a while now (if you haven’t already, check out her spoken word poetry on YouTube!) and her first poetry collection did not disappoint. One of my reading resolutions for 2016 is to read more poetry.
7) The Manifesto On How to Be Interesting by Holly Bourne
Holly Bourne is a new favourite of mine, and I couldn’t put this book down. Compelling contemporary YA dealing with ‘difficult’ topics in a sensitive way, but always with humour and memorable characters.
8) One by Sarah Crossan
I read One in one sitting, and it broke my heart a bit. A beautiful verse novel about love and sisterhood.
9) Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Fantastic characters, fantastic music and a fantastic LGBT love story. Unputdownable and totally squee-worthy. A great debut.
10) Asking For It by Louise O’Neill
One of the most talked about books of 2015, and with good reason. O’Neill tackles issues around rape, consent and victim blaming in this unforgettable novel. O’Neill has done so much work this year to raise awareness about consent and her book has started important conversations.
11) All of the Above by James Dawson
The teen voice in All of the Above is absolutely spot on, and when you stop and think about all the different issues Dawson tackles, it really is staggering. Strong on character and on sexuality and mental health, a brilliant book.
12) Once upon a Place edited by Eoin Colfer, illustrated by PJ Lynch
A collection of poems and stories by some of Ireland’s best children’s writers, all with a strong sense of place. I particularly enjoyed Siobhán Parkinson, Eoin Colfer and Jane Mitchell’s stories. PJ Lynch’s charcoal illustrations are stunning.
13) The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil
A brilliant novel about growing up, friendships, the future and creativity. All this, with the apocalypse looming. Alba is such a relatable protagonist, and the pop culture references are on point. To be published in the UK/Ireland in 2016.
14) Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl is one of my favourite books, so I was very excited about this companion novel! It’s a fun read that lovingly pokes fun at fantasy tropes. The wordplay is fantastic, and the adventure is exciting.
15) Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
I really enjoyed Sarah Dessen’s latest books, she is one of my favourite contemporary YA writers. Her characters always have such depth, and she writes family and friendship dynamics so well.
My goal for 2016 is to read 100 books, time to get reading! (My 2015 goal was 50 books, as the first few months of the year were busy with my dissertation and final college exams)