Badass Best of 2015: Wendy’s Top 10 List

Best of 2015

I thought, when I started compiling this list, that I would have too many great books for just one list of 10.

When I started looking through all my reads from 2015, I realized that a lot of the books I thought would stick with me really didn’t, and the books that I thought were forgettable ended up leaving a lasting impression.  On one hand, building this list were hard.  I was torn between two books of similar genre, and felt bad about leaving off a book that deserves recognition.  On the other hand, so many of my picks were no-brainers.

After careful deliberations I truly believe I came up with the best list I could, one that provided you with a wide selection of books to honor.
So, without further adieu…

Wendy Badge


rest of us just live here #10: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Going into 2015, The Rest of Us Just Live Here was one of my most anticipated reads.  I know every time I read a book by Patrick Ness I’m in for something special, and while this wasn’t my favorite Patrick Ness book, it still makes my top 10 list.  This was about everyone who isn’t chosen.  Written with a dash of snarky humor, poking fun at all things supernatural pop culture, will surely be in my mind when I next read another Buffyesque type adventures!

Living With the Fall #9: Living with the Fall by Hannah Thompson

Finding Living with the Fall was a lucky fluke.  I was flipping through Netgalley and thought the cover was really beautiful.  I think it’s something about Flo’s eyes… and the cracks in his skin.  I never anticipated that it would be as amazing as it is.  Not only was it about a man living with the zombie infection, fighting to keep his humanity, but the author’s decision to make Flo quietly gay was amazing.  It was simply part of who he was.  Refreshing!

In the Absence of Light #8: In the Absence of Light by Adrienne Wilder

It’s harder to explain why In the Absence of Light is one of my Top 10.  There were aspects of this book that I felt detracted from the story, and I said so in my review.  It’s just that what was good was sooooo good.  I never ever would have thought that an author could make me believe a love story in which one of them was ‘severely’ autistic.  Yet, that is exactly what happens.  Adrienne Wilder wrote a story about why it was believable, and why it was beautiful.  And in the end Morgan and Grant have the most amazing love story.

Carry On #7: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell is another author who gets an automatic spot on my Top 10 list.  Simon and Baz were first introduced in a previous book and I already loved them, so Carry On had me especially eager for it’s release.  It was perfect.  Rainbow Rowell gave the story her own special brand of fantasy and still didn’t compromise her special ability to interpret New Love so poignantly.  She steals my breath away with her words.

Him #6: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Book 1 in Him

Never in a million years would I have guessed that a typical contemporary romance, even one that’s M/M, would have made my top 10 list, and yet there is no way I could have left Him off.  Without any real hook, like the autism in Absence (#8), this book was forced to stand on the chemistry between Wes and Jamie alone, and it still kicked ass!  Him is the best contemporary romance I’ve ever read, including traditional and M/M.  It’s romance perfection!  In fact, I’m going to read it again right now.
Betrayal Renegade X #5: Betrayal of Renegade X by Chelsea M Campbell
Book 3 in Renegade X

I love every single one of the Renegade X books.  I love the characters.  I love the concept.  I love the world.  There’s something special about Betrayal of Renegade X though.  This is the first book that really focused on the inequality between heroes and villains, mirroring a problem that so many in our world are still fighting for.  That seriousness is tempered with a cast of funny and endearing characters, that are the heart of the story.  I eagerly await the next installment!
21 Challenger Deep #4: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Reading Challenger Deep was an experience.  It was dipping inside mental illness and knowing just how lost you can feel.  It was so clear that someone very close to Neal Shusterman suffered from mental illness (his son), because the way he wove Caden’s reality against his delusion of the ship with the Captain and the Parrot felt so honest.  It was spectacular and one of my favorite Shusterman’s to date.
14 All the Rage #3: All the Rage by Courtney Summers

When I was reading All the Rage I remember feeling so angry.  I remember thinking about how perfect the title is, thinking about how filled with all the rage you are when reading what happened to Romy, and how the town treats her throughout.  The anger made it hard for me to truly like this book.  It’s a story about horrible people hating on a broken girl.  It’s awful.  Yet, somehow I haven’t been able to let it go.  I’ve never forgotten Romy, or her red nails, and her attempts to heal despite feeling like a dead girl.  In hindsight I’ve realized how brilliant this story actually is.  In a world that can still glamorize rape culture, it’s one that should be read by all.

Prince's Gambit #2: Prince’s Gambit by C.S. Pacat
Book 2 in Captive Prince

I have a confession.  I tried reading Captive Prince about a year ago and I tossed it aside, unimpressed.  Luckily, when Angie asked me if I wanted to read the series with her I didn’t realize it was the same book so I got into it with new eyes.  I ended up loving it.  Thanks for that, Angie, because it led me to Prince’s Gambit which rivals Special Forces as my most favorite M/M romance. The chemistry between Damen and Laurent is palpable, and I’m so hungry for King’s Rising it’s painful.
6 Golden Son #1: The Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Book 2 in Red Rising

I love Dystopia, but no matter how many I tried, I was positive that none would outdo Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy… until Pierce Brown.  He set a new standard when he wrote Red Rising, and he raised that standard again when he wrote the sequel, Golden Son.  It’s been so long since I’ve been shattered by a book so completely, to have been so rocked.  Golden Son is absolutely the #1 best book of 2015!

Honorable Mentions, (read in 2015, published whenever):banner

2015 was a great reading year for me.  I exceeded my reading goal of 100 by three additional books, which feels like a comfortable amount, and so many of them were good.  I discovered new authors to fall in love with, and continued to try reading things from multiple genre’s.

Hopefully 2016 brings more of the same!

What were your top 10 reads of 2015?  Do we have any in common?

Badass Best of 2015:
AH’s Top 10 List
Christal’s Top 10 List
Angie’s Top 10 List
Wendy’s Top 10 List
Our Most Anticipated 2016 Reads

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