Reader Favorites – Amy’s Top 13 Reads for 2015

by Maryse on December 30, 2015 · 36 comments

in Book Recommendations

Our resident goof-ball, make-up advisor, and angsty-pain loving fellow reader, Amy ALSO has a list of 2015 favorites, to help us with our countdown to 2016!! Amy is one of my frequent buddy-readers, ’cause we love the same kind of books, with the same kind of tear-your-heart-out twists and we’ve been known to enjoy a shocking ending, or two. ;) Tee hee!!

That said, I’m not the best buddy-reader due to my squirreling… poor Amy. She’s thrown a few peanuts at my head, ’cause of that. LOL! Sorry Amy! One of my New Year’s resolutions is to be a better buddy-reader to you.

Also make sure to check out her favorite books of all time: Amy’s Top Favorite Books List

Ready for her list? She says:

“I wish I could list ALL of the books I loved this past year, but these are my five-star reads from 2015…”

1.) Tight by Alessandra Torre <— “Oh for the love of manatees and panty-melting sexy time…I freaking loved it!!!!!!!! :D I was right in what I thought was going on at about the halfway mark, even though I was so hoping I was wrong. Then, when it was confirmed, it was one gut punch after another. And another. Bam, bam, BAM!! And then a heartbreaking final whollop. I loved Brett. I loved Riley (not often that I actually love the h as much as the H). I loved this book.

2.) Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan <— “You have to read Archer’s Voice!!! Have to!! I was one of the people holding out on it (no idea why), and when I finally read it I LOVED IT!!!! So emotional but sweet and I fell in love with Archer. *dreamy sigh* I wish I could read it again for the first time!

3.) The Deal (Off-Campus Book 1) by Elle Kennedy <— “I loved it. Loved, loved, LOVED it!! …Garrett and “Wellsy” (so cute!).”

4.) On the Island: A Novel by Tracey Garvis-Graves <— “*sigh* Be still my heart. I loved it so freaking much.  And now let the I-told-ya-so’s commence ’cause I deserve every one of them! ;)

5.) Collide: Book One in the Collide Series by Gail McHugh <— “I loved Collide and Pulse…they were just what I needed with drama, some angst and sexy times!! Gavin… *sigh* Such a sweetheart.

6.) Jezebel by K. Larsen <— “Jezebel is nothing to be afraid of! It’s just a great story-within-a-story with a perfect WTF ending… I went from “yeah, I know what’s going on” to “okay, that was pretty predictable” to “wait…oh sh!t, that’s messed up!” to “WTF!!!!!!” And I really liked how the POV’s in the novella were presented as well…oh man, the emotion in that one which didn’t have the chance to be explored in Jezebel. I love reliving books like this through you guys!!! :D

7.) Me Before You: A Novel by Jojo Moyes <— “Me Before You. Oh, my heart. *sniffle* I loved it. MBY was everything that it was built up to be. It was so achingly but beautifully bittersweet. *sob* Where is everyone when I need a snuggle??? *snuffles on stuffed manatee* Oh yeah, that’s right…it’s past 1:00 in the morning here and everyone is sleeping like I should be doing right now. Tessa said it’s on sale…if you don’t have it already, grab it NOW. *sniffle-snort*  Aw man…I can’t breathe through my nose…

8.) The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar <— “loved it. LOVED it. It ended on a different tone from where it started, but for me it worked. I know I keep going on about her writing but something about it just makes it so easy to slip into the story, no adjusting or adapting to it necessary. Kind of like slipping into a warm bubble bath with a glass of wine. Weird analogy? Whatever…it’s the best I’ve got. ;)

Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Kwasney <— “Wow. WOW. Three interlinking stories from three different decades running at the same time, but it absolutely works. Already knowing what’s coming in two of the stories and that there is *nothing* that can be changed in them was pretty tough at times, but the third story offsets all of it with some actual hope. *sigh* THIS, my friends, was a great hidden gem. :D

Lily of the Springs by Carole Bellacera <— “Oh ladies, Lily of the Springs…I loved it. It was SO different in so many ways for me. Had it been set in current times, I would have quit reading it and been furious with Lily for being weak and a doormat. But it starts out in the 1950′s in Kentucky, and the values and expectations and prospects for women were just so different in that time, so I had a different frame of mind while reading it which kept me from wanting to shake her. I have a much greater appreciation for that generation of women after this. And the ending was bittersweet but sooooo satisfying.

“And my absolute favorite of the year, without a single doubt, is ******BADGER BY C.M. MCKENNA!!!!!!******”

“Two that I read which I didn’t five-star (for whatever reason that I cannot remember now) but probably SHOULD be five stars for the simple fact that they still make my heart clench and my eyes teary when I think of them are the Until the End of the World series by Sarah Lyons Fleming and Broken by Erica Stevens. UTEOTW because…well, those of my friends here who have read the books know why. ;) And Broken because holy mother-effin’ moly that book BROKE me. That woman made my heart shatter for the one character I hated the most in the previous books. *fans eyes* Not gonna cry…not gonna cry…”


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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Antonella December 30, 2015 at 5:52 PM

I’ve read 4 on your list. But there are some others on there that I have wanted to read. Badger seems to be one that keeps coming up. Might need to read in 2016.

Fabi December 30, 2015 at 6:22 PM

I think my heart broke just reading your list Amy. Gah, I don’t know how you do it. Such beautiful stories, such heartbreak.

Sherry D :) December 30, 2015 at 6:38 PM

I’ve read all but three….GREAT list :)

bev December 30, 2015 at 7:12 PM

This is why I’m scared of you.;-)
Loved The Deal & On the Island.
Paper Swans is in my tbr.

Amy December 30, 2015 at 9:13 PM

*gasp* Look at my pretties all lined up in a row up there!! :D

Oh Maryse, if anyone understands book ADD and squirreling, it’s me. :P ONE of these days we’ll find a book that *both* of us stick to at the *same* time…until then, bring on the martinis and peanuts!!

Antonella…YES!! Read it! And read Maryse’s review of it and all the comments related to it. We’ll be here waiting for you with snuggles and the stuffed manatee when you finish it.

Aw Fabi, it’s *because* the stories are beautiful that I can stand the heartbreak. That, and I just love having my guts twisted and heart torn out by books. *giggle*

Tessa December 30, 2015 at 9:18 PM

You didn’t read Collide until this year? Lucky. Wasn’t it insane and angsty with a dash of oh so good?

Yeah, The Deal is on my list too. Agree that Archer’s Voice was good. :P I still have Paper Swan, when I’m ready for angsty. Then again I have And After but haven’t touched it. You scared me with the whole heart clutch thing!

The rest of your books are scary! I know they will make me cry. Except Tight. I want to read Tight.

fabi December 30, 2015 at 9:22 PM

I still have UtEotW on my carousel. It’s one of your recs and lined up ready to go. Do I need to put my heart in a steel cage before I start it?

Amy December 30, 2015 at 9:22 PM

Thanks Sherry! I take it you like having your heart pummeled by books as well? ;) Wait, are you the Sherry who read Therapy? Come on, we can get Maryse to read it…persistence pays off! Bev is proof of that, right?

Bev…scared of ME? After your little prank yesterday, I’m scared of YOU! LOL!! And hey, four of the above were from getting nailed by peanuts (I said *peanuts* so screw you autocorrect!), including RUSH which I forgot to add in with my original list…so I guess that’s five which came from others’ recs. And weren’t you supposed to be reading In the Fields since I read Jellicoe Road, my friend? That’s what I thought. ;)

Maryse December 30, 2015 at 9:25 PM

That IS the Sherry that read Therapy!!!!! ;)

Yes I HAVE to read it, I know….

Amy December 30, 2015 at 9:32 PM

Yes, Tessa…Collide was *exactly* what I love in a book! Well, except there wasn’t a crazy mind-blowing twist but not every book should have that. Wouldn’t want to become desensitized to twists, now would we? ;) *GASP* You haven’t read And After?? Tessa!!!! You have to!!! If you could handle If He Had Been With Me then you can handle And After! You trust me, don’tcha??

Fabi…no steel cage, you just have to put your heart in Manny’s very capable flippers. At least for the second book. :P

Amy December 30, 2015 at 9:37 PM

*tosses Therapy peanut from hand to hand*

Oh yes, you DO need to read it in 2016 Maryse. Yes you do. ;)

I can’t even remember if I had any complaints about it, I just remember feeling every possible emotion while reading it!!

bev December 30, 2015 at 9:45 PM

Amy, it took over a year, lol. Admit you all are just glad you don’t have to listen to me anymore, lol.
Soooo…um……what was that acronym again?……I will finish it. Just book mark at 32%. I told you I suck. Really unfair in the give and take of recs. I promise I will finish it in Jan. *hand up* swear.

Amy December 30, 2015 at 9:59 PM

What acronym? *scratches head*

bev December 30, 2015 at 10:09 PM

You came up with one once. For books that you put down but plan to finish reading so not a dnf.

Amy December 30, 2015 at 10:13 PM

Oh yeah! Uhhhh…it was…ummmm…

Crap, now I can’t remember it. Guess it never caught on. *snort*

Tessa December 30, 2015 at 10:17 PM

I will read And After. It’s just… If it still makes you sad, what’s it going to do to me? You know I would tear up every time someone mentioned Bright Side until reading Gus? EVERY TIME! This might do the same? That’s why I’m scared!

Tessa December 30, 2015 at 10:18 PM

Bev, GBL. Going Back Later.

Amy December 30, 2015 at 10:31 PM

Okay Tessa…if it’s any consolation, the third book will help heal your heart. For the most part. ;)

fabi December 30, 2015 at 10:34 PM

Tessa WTG remembering that. I have like 6 or 7 GBLs right now.

Tessa December 30, 2015 at 10:42 PM

Fabi, I kinda cheat. I made a collection in Goodreads called GBL. :) I have a few.

fabi December 30, 2015 at 10:48 PM

I’m almost to the point where I’ll have to do that too. Right now I have them all sitting in my ‘currently reading’ category. Because they’re not dnfs. I just got sidetracked by the new shineies

Theresa December 30, 2015 at 11:13 PM

The Play is .99 going up to 4.99 January 1 per author.

Grey December 30, 2015 at 11:15 PM

Oh man… why am I so behind???

I’ve only read 3 of Amy’s too…

Jezebel, The Deal and Badger, granted they were 3 freaking Ah-maz-ing books… but because of their amazingness, I know the rest will be amazing too! So, I digress…and the rest of these beauties will go on my TBR… on Friday for the 2016 challenge!

Thanks Amy and Maryse!

Lisa December 31, 2015 at 8:05 AM

Oh Amy. This is why I love you….in a purely platonic book nerd kind of way. What a list!

Lise December 31, 2015 at 8:36 AM

Love the list, Amy. So happy Badger hit your #1 spot. Also loved Lily of the Springs but read it in 2012. You have given me some TBR ideas for 2016. Thanks!

Cheryl December 31, 2015 at 11:34 AM

Amy, I love the books you love. :) I have read all but 3 on this list; Blue Plate Special, Lily Of The Springs and I still have On The Island on my tbr. Time to read that one!!

Jean December 31, 2015 at 11:36 AM

Blue Plate Special, Lily of Springs, and Broken are the only ones I haven’t read from your list! I love your list and love you!

Theresa December 31, 2015 at 1:21 PM

Just forgot. If you like the Gentry boys or Men of Honor. One if the best is Harper Sooans series. Furst one is Axel. Then she has epinoff of their kids. Gmen by Andrea Smith was great too.

Jean December 31, 2015 at 1:43 PM

Yes Theresa, loved the Harper Sloane series too!

Amy December 31, 2015 at 2:56 PM

Grey…I would love to hear your feedback on the other ones if you read them. I need someone, ANYONE to read Blue Plate Special and tell me if they think it’s as wonderful as I think it is…hint hint… ;)

LOL Lisa! That totally reminded me of Pitch Perfect (I freaking love that movie) where Becca says “I love you, awesome nerds” or something like that. Yep, that’s us…awesome, sexy book nerds. *looks in mirror* Okay, not so much sexy right now. :P

Lise…I didn’t realize LotS came out that long ago. I’m so glad to see it get some love from you!!! Michelle read it on my rec but it was around the time I was leaving for vacation so I missed what she thought of it…either that or she didn’t care for it and just bit her lip instead. *snicker*

Amy December 31, 2015 at 3:14 PM

Ooh ooh OOH!!! *points at Cheryl* How come y’all aren’t throwing OTI peanuts at HER?? I still have lumps on my skull from the ones thrown at me before I read it! Seriously Cheryl, I think you will love all three of those books from my list that you haven’t read yet. :D

Aw Jean!! *snuggles into Jean* Love you too. ;) You HAVE to read the Captive series at some point. Vampires that rule our world now and a strong h and Braith is just so…*swoooooon* It’s one of those series where the story is just so freaking good that the editing issues didn’t even phase me. And the first four read fast so you can get to Broken that much sooner!

Theresa…I actually have at least two of three of the Corps Security books! I just haven’t read them yet ’cause, well, I have over 2000 other unread books sitting in my library. I say that out loud in the hopes that I’ll stop one-clicking new books. *snort* Right.

Michelle December 31, 2015 at 5:37 PM

Whoops I forgot Lily of the Springs which was excellent! Aww I knew I would forget something :(

I have to get to Badger and The Paper Swan…why haven’t I read them yet, stupid on my part!

Robyn December 31, 2015 at 5:51 PM

I haven’t read Blue Plate Special, but I’ve read the rest on your list!!! A Girl after my own heart!

Amy December 31, 2015 at 6:00 PM

Michelle…how about that ending? I was going all giddy-nuts over it…as in full-on happy dance with my hands in the air and wiggling my butt and woo-hooing. I just gave you quite the visual there, eh? And you can’t go wrong with Badger or The Paper Swan…both of them were AMAZING. :D

Robyn! That’s awesome!!! Aaaaaand I feel another happy butt-wiggling dance coming on. ;) If you loved the others on my list, then I have NO doubt you will love BPS as well!

Michelle December 31, 2015 at 6:43 PM

Loved the ending after all of THAT ya know. I said I wanted a little more though of the ‘where are they now’ part…like details of how miserable some people were haha. The time period I do not read a lot so it was very refreshing. Thanks again for the rec :D

Grey December 31, 2015 at 7:32 PM

Alright, I’ll take the Challenge. I will add Blue Plate Special to my TBR for 2016 list… just for you Amy!

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