Wednesday 13 January 2016

My Top Ten Books of 2015!

Hello and a belated happy new year! My blog has been quiet for the past month but all for good reasons I promise – as my reading has slowed down, I’ve been working away at the first draft of my very own novel. At the beginning of this month, along with my lovely friend Jo of Comet Babe’s Books, I joined the RNA New Writer’s Scheme and I hope this will be the motivation for me to keep on going with the contemporary romance I begun during NaNoWriMo last year – and maybe one day I’ll have my own exciting bookish news to share too!

Anyway – it’s a bit late but I couldn’t start my 2016 blogging without showing off some of my very favourite reads of 2015. I had a slightly rubbish end to my reading year and in November and December, I barely finished a book (and you all know that’s not like me!). But for the majority of the year, I was lucky enough to read lots of fantastic books and I had a battle narrowing my eighteen book shortlist down to my top ten! But here they are…

My Top Ten Books of 2015


Laughs have been somewhat sparse for me over the last few years so it was wonderfully refreshing to pick up a book I had no idea what to expect from and laugh my way from start to finish. Sophie showed off such genuine, natural humour all the way through her debut novel and it was brilliant. I just laughed and smiled like a loon all the way through this book and I’ve been recommending How to Get Ahead in TV to everyone since, especially those in need of a pick-me-up! I couldn’t not include this one in my top ten.


Rebecca had two absolutely gorgeous new books out in 2015 and I had a hard time picking which one to include here but in the end, Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm won. I really connected with this book on a personal level which made it more special to me than a whole host of other books but more than that, there’s something so comforting about Rebecca’s books that I want to crawl inside them and never leave! Her enchantingly descriptive writing turns each book into perfect escapist reads and for me, Secrets at Maple Syrup was her best yet.


This is the first of two Amanda Prowse books I have to include in my top ten for the year as she really became one of my very favourite authors this year – with each book being a must-read. Perfect Daughter was so true and down-to-earth, something I love about Amanda’s books. What made this one stand out to me over so many of the other books I read in 2015 was the main character of Jacks who I really cared for and rooted for more than most other fictional characters all year. This was a beautiful book and one of the most memorable too.


I’m a huge Sheryl Browne fan – both her thrillers and romance novels – but her Choc Lit debut was so, so much better than all her other books! I completely adored this one. Fun and flirty but also way more than that – and I fell head-over-heels in love with the gorgeous character of Adam who may just have been my fictional fella of 2015! The Rest of My Life was easily one of my favourite books of the year and I’m excited yet again for another new Sheryl Browne book – no pressure!


I’d never read a Jill Shalvis book before but the first in her new Cedar Ridge series was the perfect introduction for me to her writing. I powered my way through this heart-warming story as it reminded me of all those reasons I love a good romance novel – for all the emotions, swoonworthy characters and the ability to properly whisk you away from reality for a while. I loved Second Chance Summer and have just bought myself a copy of the next in the series which I’m eager to get reading straight away.


This was such an emotional read that I genuinely read it with a lump in my throat throughout. Amanda Prowse always writes such sublime novels but this one was so heartbreakingly honest and important that it was even better than the rest for me. Amanda always turns me into an emotional wreck but it’s a satisfying kind of wreck where you know, at the end, that you’ve just finished an amazing story.


With thanks to Emma for this one as her recommendations led me to reading my first Lesley Pearse novel and it was simply fantastic – a really wonderful, unforgettable read. I said in my review back in August that this was the most captivating book I’d read all year and that stands true right at the end of 2015 because no book stole my attention like this one. It was really exceptionally written, multi-dimensional with believable characters and unpredictable twists that surprised me every time. Without a Trace was a book that took me out of my reading comfort zone but I loved every minute of it.


The Island Escape was my book of the summer, a really immensely engrossing read and I sulked like a baby when I’d finished it – why do the best books have to end?! I was a really big fan of Kerry’s debut The School Gate Survival Guide but The Island Escape surpassed that one for me. The characters of Octavia and Roberta were so strongly developed – their individual stories were very interesting and I loved the exploration of the dynamics between them. There was much more to this book than I had been expecting and it was one of those you think you’re going to be able to keep dipping into but instead, once I started I knew I was in it for the long haul! And it was well worth the read…


A new Carmel Harrington book is like all birthdays, Christmases and other happy occasions rolled into one! It’s something very exciting and I already knew I was going to love Every Time a Bell Rings months before I even had it in my hands, because Carmel is an author that you can always rely on to write stunning, heartfelt novels which will affect you emotionally and make you appreciate all you’ve got. Every Time a Bell Rings was Carmel’s strongest book (so far) and there was so much depth to it that it kept on surprising me with the way the plot kept on twisting, taking full control of my emotions until I didn’t know whether to smile or shed a tear! This one was truly touching and very beautiful.


This might just be the most predictable of Book of the Year choices going – yes, you all knew I was going to pick this one! I’ve talked about how much I loved this book so much I’ve almost run out of superlatives for it, but only almost. Three Amazing Things About You was one of the first few books I read in 2015 and I knew right then, that this would not only be my book of the year but also one of my all-time favourite books. It was an incredible read, and I know we can all say that about any book but I genuinely mean it with this one because every single aspect to this story felt perfect to me, real, but still so perfectly written and delivered. The characters, each one of them, I completely connected with and I cared about them like they were actual living people because that’s how they came across to me. This was such an emotional book and it made me feel all sorts of things – mostly how much I really needed to talk about this book with someone! There was one particularly emotional moment that affected me so much it was laughable – it was like I was reading a book about six friends and I wasn’t willing to let anything hurt any one of them. Honestly, my book of 2015 was the easiest of choices.


So – there you have it! All ten of these books left a lasting impression of me and I loved them all for different reasons. I hope there’s one or two of them I may be able to tempt you to read. It’s very lacking-in-thrillers this year – for some reason, I couldn’t find that one stand-out thriller in 2015, though I kept trying! Hopefully 2016 will be the year.

I hope you all have a great year of books, health and happiness.


  1. Awwww, Sophie! You just made me smile from ear to ear and hoot out loud! You can have Adam! Um, OK, just for a short while. Truly, thank you so much, Sophie. I am touched and so proud to be in the company of such wonderful authors. I did have a difficult year on the personal front last year I must admit, and this makes my determination to keep on doing what keeps me going so worthwhile. I couldn't have done it without you, I swear. Thrilled to bits! :) xxx

    1. Aww, Sheryl, I'd like to keep him for a bit longer than that! ;) You're very welcome - I'll look forward to the next one. xx

  2. Some great book choices. I find it so hard to narrow it down to 10.

    1. In 2014 I somehow managed five - couldn't do that now!


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