Posted in Observations

The Best and Worst Reads of 2015

Since the day we arbitrarily chose to mark the new year has recently come and gone, I thought I would take a look back at the best and worst reads I experienced in 2015.

As I looked back through my posts, I was struck with overwhelming mediocrity. Either I chose poorly, or I was just basically unimpressed with a majority of the books I read. There were a few good ones sprinkled in, as well as some horrific combinations of letters and punctuation marks masquerading as “books.”

The Best Book I Read in 2015: Howl’s Moving Castle

howlsmovingcastleThis title goes to Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, with All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr as a close runner up. It’s funny; I actually didn’t give Howl’s a full review, because I wasn’t sure exactly what more to say than it was very enjoyable and vibrant. I loved the brand of magic and mischief woven throughout the book, and the characters all stood well on their own. That being said, I did recently watch the Miyazaki movie before reading the book, which I admitted may have colored what I thought about the book a bit. Either way, I still say this is a great read and should be considered if you’re looking for a whimsical story and characters with some real depth behind it.

The Worst Book I Read in 2015: Arena One

13451182This dubious title goes to Arena One by Morgan Rice. While it wasn’t my worst reviewed book (that title goes to a book called Dust by Jacqueline Druga that I didn’t even get past the first few pages in), it’s the worst one that I actually read enough of to feel like I did more than simply put it down in disgust. Aside from a very predictable, overdone plot, Arena One felt like the author had binge-watched teen dystopian, post-apocalyptic movies and then decided to write a book with everything she liked about every one she’d seen. Add that into clumsy writing, inexplicable circumstances (surviving multiple motorcycle and car wrecks within the same day, traveling 200+ mph in a disused motorcycle with a sidecar, gas being viable long past its half life), and a sloppy romantic twinge, this book was just too unbelievable to even finish. The worst part is, I’m still having to block books by this author from my Google Books recommendations. At least it was free?

So there you have it. Oddly enough, both my choices were books for which I didn’t write a full review. I’m sure that means something. It was a pretty anticlimactic year on the reading front. Hopefully 2016 fares better. Any suggestions for how I might make 2016 a better year for reading?

EDIT: Title originally said 2016. I have changed it to 2015. Apparently I’m having the opposite problem of writing the right year too easily this year.


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