From magicians to rebels, time travel to wars, dark allies to the whimsy of new discoveries - these books delighted my imagination and had me cheering for more.
Here are my top 10 favorite books from 2015:
10. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
I really liked this story about a magician who travels between alternate London universes. The story and characters have stuck with me all year. My only qualm is that it's not a YA book, even though it's often marketed that way. It's more appropriate for mature teens.
9. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
Echo, a seasoned theif, finds herself in the middle of a search for the coveted Firebird, rumored to finally end and age-old war.
8. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Multiple kingdoms unite or clash for ultimate authority. Meira slowly realizes her part in regaining Winter's magic and rebuilding their kingdom is more important than she imagined.
Title: The Girl at Midnight
Author: Melissa Grey
Published by: Delacorte Press
Publication date: April 28, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance
Summary from Goodreads:
Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known.
Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act.
Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.
But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.
She had gone to the library in search of hope, but what she’d found instead was a child. It would take her many years to realize that the two were not so different.
After I finish a book I sometimes have this urgent moment when I feel like I have to start a new story right away. I think about what I’m going to read, but nothing appeals, and that’s when I realize what I really want to read is more of the book I just finished. The Girl at Midnight is one of those books. I want to know what’s next for Echo and the world of the Avicen and Drakharin. I liked the characters. I liked the metamorphosis. I liked the relationships. I like how the characters transport to all sorts of interesting places around the world. I couldn’t be happier that there’s more to explore there, and that’s a sign of an entertaining book.
I expect a heroine to be strong, brave, and resourceful, but I love that Echo is also intelligent, loyal, and funny. Maybe I just like her because she lives in a library…seriously, that’s my girl. Echo collects words like she collects “shiny things” being the thief she is, but mostly keeps the words to herself in a running mental commentary. And she’s cheeky, using humor to deflect tension and nerves. She loves the feathered Avicen who have become her family, so much so she risks her life chasing a possible fairy tale. That’s why her feelings are so conflicted when she meets Caius, a Drakharin (the Avicen’s mortal enemy) on a mission for peace.
“I hear you have something of mine, Echo,” the Drakharin said. “I would like it back.” …
I read a lot. I'm a Mom. I'm officially in my 30s, but strangers often don't believe I'm old enough to drink. I love Young Adult fiction, and thought it was worthwhile to help teens and adults find age-appropriate options.