Marissa Secreto ‘19/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
With 2015 coming to a close, book readers everywhere take the time now to examine their year’s reading list and decide which were the best books they read this year. From contemporary fiction, to young adult fiction, to poetry, each book that couldn’t be put down represents a piece of the reader’s heart. The ones that stick are the ones that truly become the best books of the year. Here is a personal list of some favorite books that were read during 2015 and should be considered for others’ 2016 To-Be-Read pile.
This contemporary YA novel emphasizes the importance of communication and teenage familial relationships. I’ll Give You the Sun tells the story of twins Noah and Jude and how family tragedies and mishaps tear the twins apart. However, they cannot move on from said tragedies until they can figure out how to talk and work together. This book presents relatable characters, dual perspectives, and even a little bit of magic. For the fan of YA literature, I’ll Give You the Sun definitely stands out among the bunch and ends with an uplifting, heartwarming tone.
Full of huge twists and turns, Gone Girl continues to remain at the height of favorite adult literature. With the disappearance of his wife, Amy, on the day of their anniversary, Nick Dunne soon becomes the top suspect for in the investigation into his wife’s missing status. However, the question remains: is Nick actually a murderer? Gone Girl is a quick, suspenseful read and keeps readers guessing until the very end. With a film also released starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, this novel has definitely captured the attention of millions of readers and moviegoers alike and will stand the test of time for excellent storytelling as an intense and enjoyable thriller.
Readers may try to delve into the classics to add more texture to their reading lists, and Oscar Wilde is an excellent choice for those interested in these older books. Published in 1890, The Picture of Dorian Gray is Wilde’s only novel and tells the story of conceited Dorian Gray, whose life slowly unravels as he moves further into his arrogant, haughty ways. For those intimidated by long, hefty classics, this novel is quite slim, but the lessons it teaches along the way far outweigh the number of pages it contains. It is a novel to make one think and that can be enjoyed both inside the classroom and outside of it as well.
For fans of YA literature, Harry Potter, and fan fiction alike, Carry On has a little something for everyone to enjoy. Rainbow Rowell has created an instant hit with her version of a magical “chosen one,” named Simon Snow. Those who have read Fangirl by Rowell will already be familiar with the story of Simon Snow, but reading Fangirl is not necessary to read and enjoy Carry On. This novel has everything readers could ask for: magic, adventure, and romance all packed into one. Carry On also adds diversity for readers searching for more books with LGBTQ leads.
This collection of historical poetry should be read by all, whether or not poetry is something that one usually reads. Faizullah’s prose is fluid and easy to understand at the surface level, but the deeper themes of her poems should also be discussed and explored with others. Seam is about the thousands of Bangladeshi female victims who were assaulted and abused by Pakistani soldiers during the Liberation War of 1971. Faizullah is able to describe these experiences without sugar coating anything and not exploiting these women’s stories either. This book of poetry tells a piece of history that is forgotten by most or left out from American history textbooks. Seam holds an important discussion about violence and isolation and will be thought about long after the cover has been closed.
Each year holds a new series of books to be read and discovered. Everyone will have their own opinion about what the best books of 2015 are, and that alone shows the beauty of reading. Any book can hold a significant spot in a reader’s heart, which keeps readers thinking and coming back to them long after they are over. Here’s to 2015 and the books read during the year. Happy reading for 2016!