2015 Top Reads

2015 has been a whirlwind of new books and author friends. It’s been a crazy ride that has culminated in my attendance at Utopia 2016 and potential publication.. we’ll see 😉

Happy New Year readers, this blog wouldn’t be anything without all of your kind words and support!

And now…

Top 15 Books of 2015


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Happy reading and here’s to an even better reading year next year!


Review: All the Bright Places-Jennifer Niven


cooltext1889161239 copyThe Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning! Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him. Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death. When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

cooltext1889171582 copy5/5 Stars

Contains heavy themes: Suicide, depression, abuse, violence, adult themes. 

All the Bright Places is one of the best things I’ve ever read and if you follow my reviews, you know I read hundreds of books a year. It’s beautiful, bittersweet, raw, the kind of read that sticks with you, that makes you open your eyes and see, really see. I love this book. And yes, I sobbed like a baby.

All the Bright Places deals with the horrible reality of suicide, depression, loss, and abuse. It’s quirky, eclectic, fun, an odd ball of a book that quotes Virgina Woolf and finds magic in everyday places. It’s heartbreaking, sweet, and silly. There’s an incredible uniqueness that wraps the story in a cocoon of light and love. I never wanted it to end. 

Finch is brilliant. A puzzle who refuses labels, and lives by whims. He takes on personas like Halloween costumes all the while trying to figure out who he wants to be without settling. Bad Boy Finch, British Finch, Nerdy Finch, every single one is hilarious, lovable, memorable. Finch is compelling and agonizing. He takes life and explores, never accepting, opening his eyes to the magic of everyday, the simple, the mysteries that lie buried in our surroundings. That’s what I felt when I read this-wonder. 

Each step of their wanderings is a mini discovery. A sigh like release of all the tension and negativity. What I got from All the Bright Places is how often we get lost in the monotonous, the mundane, that adventure can happen if you just look for it. 

Random note: Someone finally gets my obsession with Anne Bronte, though I was slightly disappointed when Violet preferred the quiet desperation of Emily.

There are so many perfect, spontaneous, and passionate moments in this book. Snapshots of happiness.

But there is also darkness, the all consuming kind that suffocates and threatens. I’ve never read about depression like that. It’s hard to describe. It’s an inevitable pull. Finch’s fascination with suicide is coupled with fascinating facts that both enlighten and disturb. So many things about the rate of suicide, the methods, the support groups I never knew about and I think it’s amazing that so much is said in so few words. 

Living again after crippling loss, it’s hard to get back up, to choose to live. Violet lost half of her soul with her sister’s death, she lost everything she knew as real, and right, and true. Violet didn’t know who she was anymore and let fear rule her. Experiencing Violet’s ways of dealing and watching her open up again was an emotional avalanche. Violet’s laughter because it has been so long in the making is a waking, almost like she’s shaking off her sadness.

Together Violet and Finch are a lesson in love. In how freeing and pure and gut-wrenching love can be. I was left speechless and in tears several times. My heart swelled and faltered. What a fantastic, adrenaline rush. 

GET THIS BOOK. You won’t regret it.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this book:

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