My Favourite Books of 2015

51x34awbjkl-_sx323_bo1204203200_1. Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame

I had just finished reading DIMILY when I started to edit this list and I knew I had to add this fab book. I couldn’t put it down, and am now desperate to read the second book in the series! My review should be posted sometime next week.

 

51hr3wsrkrl-_sx331_bo1204203200_2. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

I adored everything, absolutely everything about this book. If Nicola Yoon ever writes anything else, I will be the first to buy it! Also, I have to mention the cover design which is gorgeous- it really draws you in.

 

5184qoacicl-_sx325_bo1204203200_3. One by Sarah Crossan

As I finished this breathtaking book, tears were pouring down my face. Sarah Crossan wrote it exquisitely, and I can’t wait to post my review. If you haven’t read it, then go read it- now!

 

51ksnvwvbdl-_sx324_bo1204203200_4. Embassy Row: All Fall Down by Ally Carter

This is another great book by Ally Carter. I was kept breathless until the end, and now have to get my hands on the second book in the Embassy Row series, See How They Run.

 

51pb6ddzpcl-_sx324_bo1204203200_5. Mosquitoland by David Arnold

I had so much fun reading this book! I’d never read anything by David Arnold before and I loved Mim’s story. I thought he covered some serious issues in a highly enjoyable way.

 

51rqkpgbq-l-_sx327_bo1204203200_6. Gorilla Dawn by Gill Lewis

I was desperate to read this and it definitely didn’t disappoint- amazing! Gill Lewis is such a great writer of stories featuring the relationships between humans and animals and I think this is one of her best books.

 

51rx2bg05vsl-_sx324_bo1204203200_7. The Songbird Café Girls: Sunny Days and Moon Cakes by Sarah Webb

The second book in The Songbird Café Girls series, I couldn’t wait to read it after enjoying the first story. It’s a fabulous book about selective mutism, perfectly gauged for readers 9+.

 

 517huudyril-_sx354_bo1204203200_8. Looking Glass Girl by Cathy Cassidy

To see my review of Looking Glass Girl, that I posted a few weeks ago, click here! Cathy Cassidy interweaves her novel with the Lewis Carrol classic story, Alice in Wonderland, in honour of its’ 150th anniversary.

 

41c2b4jgr2bl-_sx324_bo1204203200_9. One of Us by Jeannie Waudby

This book reminds me of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses, even though it is very different. I had no idea what would happen next in the story, and it was a very enjoyable read.

 

51f2sqkgkcl-_sx324_bo1204203200_10. The Farm Beneath the Water by Helen Peters

 To see my review of The Farm Beneath The Water, which was my very first review on The Never Ending Bookshelf, click here!

 

There’s a few other books published in 2015 that I think would have made my favourite books list, such as Princess Academy: The Forgotten Sisters by Shannon Hale, Model Under Cover: Deadly by Design by Carina Axelsson, Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne, The Next Together by Lauren James, and Asking For It by Louise O’Neill, but I unfortunately haven’t read those yet!

There has been so many great books published this year, and I only named a few of my favourites. Many of them I haven’t posted a review of yet, so watch this space!

Happy New Year!

‘Looking Glass Girl’ by Cathy Cassidy

272p 2015 Puffin Borrowed

517huudyril-_sx354_bo1204203200_After being the star of the Year 6 play, Alice goes to a drama camp with her co-star in the play, Luke, the summer before moving up to secondary school. She doesn’t think that going to drama camp twice a week will affect her friendship with her best friends, Yaz and Elaine, but they slowly don’t want to hang out with her as much. Apparently, the girls aren’t interested in the same things any more, although that had never stopped them before.

 When the girls started at secondary school a year ago, Alice watched as her best friends were drawn to Savvy, the “Queen Bee”, leaving Alice alone. Savvy didn’t seem to like Alice either, and slowly turned Yaz and Lainey (as Elaine now wanted to be called) against her for good, saying that she was a “swot” and completely uncool. Now in Year 8, Savvy encourages Yaz and Lainey to bully Alice. They only do little, nasty things, so the teachers don’t really notice, and Alice is too scared to stick up for herself and get help.

When Alice has a chance to be in the school play with some friendly older students, she begins to hope that she might make some new mates. One day, Savvy notices Alice talking to Keisha, a popular older girl and she strangely starts to become increasingly nice towards Alice. Savvy says that she may have been wrong in her first impression of Alice, and Yaz and Lainey appear to also feel that they were wrong in ‘drifting away’ from Alice. Savvy makes plans for an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ themed sleepover, and invites Alice to come. Alice isn’t sure about going, but she hopes that she might become better friends again with Yaz and Lainey, and maybe even with Savvy.

At the unsupervised sleepover, Savvy encourages the girls to have some alcohol to ‘loosen them up’, which Alice is uncomfortable with, but she does play along. Savvy invites boys over as well, one of whom is Luke. Alice feels very out of her element at the party, but makes an effort to relax and she spends the time getting to know Luke better.

Later on in the evening, after the boys have left, an argument breaks out among the girls. When things spiral out of control and a terrible accident occurs, instigated by someone she used to call a friend, Alice falls into a coma. Will she ever come back from wonderland?

I thought Looking Glass Girl was another fab book by Cathy Cassidy, covering some strong themes such as bullying, friendship and dating. 2015 was the 150th year anniversary of Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland, and I thought Cathy did a great job of interweaving that classic story into her modern-day version. She inserted excerpts from Alice in Wonderland into the novel in the scenes where Alice is in her coma trying to find her way out of wonderland; I thought that this technique tied the two books together. I think Looking Glass Girl is a great read by Cathy Cassidy.

‘Girl, Missing’ by Sophie McKenzie

304p 2011 Simon and Schuster Children’s UK Borrowed

51ufmasecfl-_sx324_bo1204203200_When 14 year old Lauren has to do a ‘Who am I?’ project for school, she realises that she doesn’t know very much about her early life. Adopted at the age of three, Lauren has no idea who her birth parents are, and her British adoptive parents either don’t know or are reluctant to discuss it. Her curiosity on the subject, sparked by her close-lipped parents, prompts her to look into lost or missing children, as she feels that there was something strange about her adoption. When she comes across a picture of an American dark-haired little girl with blue eyes, who went missing a few months before she was adopted, Lauren begins to wonder where her true origins are and if her adoptive parents know more than they’re letting on.

Aided by her best friend Jamie, ‘Jam’, Lauren discovers that she was actually adopted from an agency in the state of Vermont, USA. Desperate to find out more, she pleads with her parents to go on a family holiday to the USA, not giving them her true reasons for wanting to go. When her dad drops out of the holiday due to work commitments, Lauren persuades her mom to let Jam come instead. The two plan to run away once they reach America and go to the agency Lauren was adopted from to try and find out whether she really is that missing child.

But as Lauren and Jam search for the truth behind Lauren’s adoption, their lives are put in serious danger. Her kidnappers will stop at nothing to keep her silent. Will she ever meet her true family?

Sophie McKenzie really knows how to write a good thriller! I thought Girl, Missing was wonderfully crafted and the plot kept me guessing until the very end. I grew to care for the characters and admired their bravery. The blossoming romance between Jam and Lauren was also very nicely written, not being one of the key points of the book, but still present. As soon as I finished reading Girl, Missing for the first time, I went straight back to page 1 and started again- it was that good- and I have read it over and over since that day. The next two books in the trilogy are also on-the-edge-of-your-seat reads that I really enjoyed. Fab book, fab author!