Becca's Books' TOP TEN of 2015

That's right, folks! It's that time of year again where us book-bloggers take a look back over our year in books. We smile fondly at the books that made us cry, have a giggle over the books that made us laugh-out-loud, shake our heads at the books that sucked the breath right out of us, and simply, marvel once more at the wonderfully talented authors whose stories we read and love, year in, year out.

And now it's my turn to share my TOP TEN of 2015. It's taken me a bloody good while to pull this list together, mostly because this year I have read some absolutely fantastic novels, and also widened my horizons in turn of genre. I'll always love romance of course, but I've fallen in love with crime and psychological thrillers this year more than ever. It's been exciting and all-consuming, but all of the best books are, aren't they?

Anyway, without further ado, let me share with you my TOP TEN books of 2015!

10.) A Good Catch by Fern Britton

I adored A Good Catch by Fern Britton. The quaint, idyllic seaside town of Trevay at first appeared to be a sandy paradise, but simmering beneath the peaceful surface were secrets that changed the course of the characters' lives forever. I became lost to this novel as Fern took me back and forth in time, allowing me, piece by tiny piece, to see the full picture of the completed puzzle. I escaped into this book with a need, a hunger, to dig deeper and deeper. Fern's characters were fantastic, each beautifully created, and throughout my time spent within Trevay, I was witness to each of them growing up and taking their separate paths through life. This novel affected me, moved me to tears and just went to show me how life can so easily direct us in a different direction to the one we have planned. Despite A Good Catch being the perfect beach read, I was whisked away while sat in the none-beach setting of my bedroom. Fern's descriptions and engaging characters reeled me in completely, and I was very sad when this beautiful and tender tale came to it's end. A Good Catch by Fern Britton definitely deserves a spot in my TOP TEN BOOKS OF 2015. I still think about this book even now, and I look forward to re-reading it whenever I get the chance. This book is exactly what the title says - A Good Catch.

You can find my review of 'A Good Catch' by Fern Britton here.  

9.) The Dead Wife's Handbook by Hannah Beckerman

The Dead Wife's Handbook by Hannah Beckerman. Where do I even begin with this book? I'm sure I had tears in my eyes right the way through reading it, so moved and full of emotion was I. Beautiful in a way that I feel words can't even begin to describe, The Dead Wife's Handbook allowed readers an insight into Rachel's life (and afterlife), as she looked down on her family from above. It was raw and heartbreaking, and I swear I felt every single emotion as Rachel did. This novel brought my imagination to life and had me wondering about all sorts of things. As Rachel's family began to move on without her, Hannah Beckerman took me on a journey that has stayed with me ever since. She broke my heart into a million tiny pieces, and then built it back up again before I turned the final page. This was such a life-affirming novel, full of quote-worthy passages that made me sit back and think, 'What if?' Such a special book that I believe everyone should read at least once. Powerful, poignant and positively tear-provoking, The Dead Wife's Handbook by Hannah Beckerman is a novel like no other.

You can find my review of 'The Dead Wife's Handbook' by Hannah Beckerman here.

8.) Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell

Ah, no one does it quite like Jill Mansell, and in Three Amazing Things About You, Jill's flawless storytelling abilities truly shine through. In classic Jill Mansell style, her characters, living completely separate lives, collide in the most heart-stopping way. I adore all of Jill's novels, but Three Amazing Things About You felt like the most special of them all so far. Alongside Hallie, we're introduced to Tasha, Rory, Flo and Zander, who find their lives crossing paths in the most unexpected of ways. I'm sure that this novel resonated with many readers, touched countless hearts and caused rivers of tears, because it was just beautiful, and incredibly special too.

You can find my review of 'Three Amazing Things About You' by Jill Mansell here.  

7.) You, Me and Other People by Fionnuala Kearney

I went into this book expecting perhaps a few secrets hidden within a family that would eventually spill out, causing a few rifts here and there. I hadn't been expecting such a powerful, moving novel full of red-herrings, raw and real emotions and everything in-between. I honestly felt like Fionnuala Kearney gave her debut novel her all, every last breath and ounce of strength that she could. It was incredible, and made me stop and stare once I'd turned the final page. There's not a doubt in my mind that this book was one of the best that I read in 2015. Not a single one. I adored it, and I'm now anticipating the release of Fionnuala's next novel, The Day I Lost You, which arrives February 11th 2016! I honestly cannot wait to see what she has in store for me next.

You can find my review of 'You, Me and Other People' by Fionnuala Kearney here. 

6.) The Piano Man Project by Kat French

All I had to do was look at the cover of Kat French's The Piano Man Project for it to have me smiling. Wow, what a truly special and memorable book, one I'll always adore because I fell head over heels in love with it. ALL OF IT. What I had assumed would be a funny, entertaining novel about dating a Piano Man was something else entirely, something utterly wonderful! It wrapped me up completely, this book. I'm not sure that it's let go, even now. I implore everyone to read this book. Everyone.

You can find my review of 'The Piano Man Project' by Kat French here.

5.) Evil Games by Angela Marsons

I think it's safe to say that Angela Marsons has taken 2015 by storm. I have no doubt in my mind that 2015 will be a year that Angela remembers for the rest of her life because it has been incredible. I'm so thrilled for her, for everything that she's achieved so far, and I just know that there's so much more to come! I've chosen Evil Games because, despite loving each of Angela's novels in the D.I. Kim Stone series, I think this one struck me the most. Exactly as the title suggests, it was pure evil. I very rarely touched crime thrillers before Angela Marson came onto the scene, but now I can't get enough, and I'm desperate for her next in the series already. Evil Games was a helluva novel, impossible to put down and leave alone and, even when I did manage to do exactly that, it was on my mind. A truly gripping and thrilling read, Evil Games by Angela Marsons definitely deserves a space in my top ten books of 2015. BRING ON MORE KIM STONE!

You can find my review of 'Evil Games' by Angela Marsons here.

4.) The Lie by C.L. Taylor

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.
The Lie by C.L. Taylor tore my breath right outta' my mouth. I really wasn't sure about what I was letting myself in for when I began reading this book. It was the first of C.L. Taylor's that I'd read, and so I began with a completely clear mind. And then BAM! This book was fantastic. I loved it. I devoured each and every single page, became obsessed with the story within, and just couldn't get enough. It was suffocating, it was intense, it was everything that I hadn't been expecting which only made me love it all the more. I was drowning in this story and when I finally finished, I felt like only then could I take a full breath. Just this one novel had me a firm C.L. Taylor fan, that's how exceptional it was. Breathtakingly dangerous.

You can find my review of 'The Lie' by C.L. Taylor here.

3.) I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

I'm pretty sure that I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh will be cropping up in hundreds of top ten lists of 2015 because the buzz about this book was incredible. The best thing was though, that I thought the excitement about this novel was more than necessary. THIS BOOK BLEW ME AWAY. I think we forget sometimes, the power authors can hold over their readers, and this book only served to remind me of that. It was so twisty I'm surprised I didn't vomit. Seriously, I was astounded. Loved, loved, loved it. There's no way I'm missing this one off my top ten of 2015 list. NO WAY.

You can find my review of 'I Let You Go' by Clare Mackintosh here.

2.) The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson

Okay so. Even now, I'm not even sure of what to say about The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson. This was such an amazing book. So amazing in fact that just looking at the cover has me shaking my head in bewilderment. Magic. Puuuure magic. That's what Lucy Robinson is. I've never read a book quite like this one before. Never. Not once. Gah, I adored it, which is why it's NUMBER TWO in my top ten of 2015.

You can find my review of 'The Day We Disappeared' by Lucy Robinson here.

1.) A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor

I'd never heard of Hazel Gaynor before I read A Memory of Violets. And the thought of perhaps passing up this book and having never read the sheer beauty within scares me witless. This was superb. It had me in tears. It resonated with me in ways I can't even describe. It was pure, it was beautiful, timeless and elegant, and I think, perhaps, one of my favourite books of all time. I'm welling up just thinking about it. There's no doubt in my mind that A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor is the best book I read in 2015, I'm actually scared to re-read because I'm not sure I want to feel how it made me feel the first time around. Heart-broken, breathless, wet-cheeked. I wanted to scream about this book from the rooftops, because so much heart lay within, I wanted to share it with somebody else, so they could feel the way it made me feel. There's nothing else to say other than this book, this book that almost passed me by, it's my favourite of 2015.

You can find my review of 'A Memory of Violets' by Hazel Gaynor here.

So, that's it from me. My top ten books of 2015 summed up right here. If you're one of the authors above, thank you for such a wonderful year of reading. I've been taken on such a bookish ride this year and it has been amazing. Thank you for your beautiful stories, you really do make this world a better place!

Becca xxx

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