Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten US Books I've Read in 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

I couldn't choose just 10 (sorry!) so I've cheated just slightly, and gone for my top 10 books by US authors here, and top 10 by UK or Irish authors over at the new Teens on Moon Lane site!

Also, special mention to Meg & Linus, by Hanna Nowinski. (I think she's American, anyway!) I couldn't include it as I haven't quite finished it yet, but it's a gorgeous LGBT love story about two friends trying to help each other with relationships. It's over at Swoon Reads, where you can currently read it for free, and where the editorial board will be making selections soon - if you want to read it and share your thoughts with them, you've got until next Tuesday, 7th July, to read, rate and comment! 

Oh, and thanks to Charlie, who lent me Summer Love and was the person who recommended a large amount of this list!

Under The Lights by Dahlia Adler - My entire Twitter feed today is basically screaming about this and RT'ing other people's screaming about this. It's a truly stunning F/F romance with two incredible narrators (Van, the Korean-American actress involved in the romance and Josh, a bad boy actor who starts to develop through friendship with Van.) Josh's character arc is particularly outstanding and the Van/Bree chemistry is mindblowingly good. I've so far imported four copies because, like several others here, this doesn't have a UK publisher, unfortunately.

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli - Like reading a warm hug. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. One of the sweetest and funniest LGBT novels I've ever read (and a rare massively HAPPY LGBT book to get a UK publisher!)

The Scandalous Sisterhood by Julie Berry - Picked up on a whim because I love the UK cover (great job, Nicola Kinnear!); I was a huge fan of this historical mystery which sees seven girls at a small school connive to hide their headmistress's death as they don't want to be sent home. Funny, with lots of great twists and turns.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black - Gorgeous fairy-tale inspired LGBT story with incredibly chemistry, wonderful characters, and a really unique setting in Fairfold, a small town where everyone knows that legends are true.

Summer Love edited by Annie Harper - Would be in here just on the strength of Naomi Tajedler's rich and fulfilling What The Heart Wants, which in 40 pages includes a young girl coming out, a gorgeous first relationship, a strong friendship, sibling rivalry, and a character who identifies as asexual, and some amazingly written characters. However there are others in the collection nearly as good, and overall it's a massively diverse and brilliantly selected anthology.

Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour - Another gorgeously happy LGBT book (although NOT one with a UK publisher, argh!) The love story here between set designer Emi and rising star Ava is lovely, and it's really nice to see a lead in Emi who's out, confident in her sexuality, and supported by her family.

Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz - Black bisexual ballerina Etta, who's recovering from an eating disorder, is one of the best-written narrators in a LONG time. I adored her voice, loved the plot here and the nuanced relationships she has with her crush, her new friends, and her sister. Also, a jaw-droppingly great ending.

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky - Gorgeous MG story about a transgender girl finding the confidence to try out for the lead female role in a school play. Really lovely!

Black Iris by Leah Raeder - I have no clue what I can say without spoiling, but diverse as heck, BRILLIANTLY written, and a total mind-screw. MUST-READ.

A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab - Schwab changes tack completely from last year's stellar superhero story Vicious to give us an even better read here. She creates several compelling worlds, with lead character Kell travelling between them, and the chemistry between him and orphan teen Lila is AWESOME. These are in alphabetical order but I think if pushed, this would be my absolute favourite on the list.

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