Best Read Books of 2015

Out of 48 books read last year, only eleven (11) were given five stars. And they are…

Mystery/Thrillers

The Pelican Brief  by John Grisham

The Pelican Brief

With twists and turns I have never predicted, this book made me an automatic fan of John Grisham.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones

A book I have written a full-length review is surely a special one. I just love the melancholic and creepy story told by a unique storyteller.

Defending Jacob by William Landay

Defending Jacob

Insanely creepy yet touches realistic emotions of a family. The ending will surely give you goosies!

1st to Die (Women’s Murder Club, #1)  by James Patterson

1st to Die (Women's Murder Club, #1)

I’ve been a Patterson fan and this book surely did not disappoint. With red herrings all over the place, he’ll surprise you with a twist you didn’t see coming.

Contemporary Fiction

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Still Alice

I am not actually a  fan of medical drama novels but this one really moved me. Lisa Genova was able to tell the horrors of Alzheimer’s disease with candor, braveness and emotional softness. It’s just exquisitely done, definitely moving.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Husband's Secret

If you think this is a typical infidelity/love affair novel, think again. Liane Moriarty’s well-told story about a broken marriage without the usual cheating issues will make you a fan.

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Leaving Time

The ending of this Jodi Picoult masterpiece still lingers on me a year after I finished it. As my 100th read book and with its special story about motherhood and elephants, this is indeed one of the best novels that I have read last year.

Young Adult

Every Day (Every Day, #1) by David Levithan

Every Day (Every Day, #1)

The unique premise and the subtle complexity of the characters will really grip you and make you read this mysterious yet heartwarming novel in one seating. David Levithan is surely an author worth reading.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places

Its cover will pique your interest but it is the rawness of the story inside that will give you a major book hangover. It took me two days to brush off the roller coaster of emotions that Jennifer Niven has given me. P.S. Get tissues once you reach the last chapters.

Historical/Adult Fiction

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See

A book worthy of its Pulitzer Prize award. A novel written in eloquent prose poetic paragraphs equipped with vivid imagery and breathtaking metaphors. Every readers should brave the more than 500-pages, because this is a novel truly worth reading.

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

I am definitely a Mitch Albom fan, but that is not the sole reason why this book gained five stars. It’s how the simple words were written in such a gorgeous way. It’s how every paragraph breathes the story. It’s how the end of each chapters that’ll make you gasp with surprise or melancholy. This book is great, really great.

©2016Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Favim and Goodreads

What are the best books that you’ve read last year?

What book in this list piqued your interest?

I would love to know!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Not Scary but Definitely Creepy Books

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“So what, ghosts can’t hurt you. That’s what I thought then.”  Stephen King, Bag of Bones

I am no fan of ghosts or monster novels that is why I am kinda having some hard time with today’s The Broke and the Bookish‘s Halloween-inspired Top Ten Tuesday.

October 27: Halloween themed freebie

So instead of promising that this list will be full of SCARY novels, which I cannot actually promise, I opted to share to you books that definitely gave me creeps. Here are the Ten Not Scary but Definitely Creepy Books:

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

Death is the storyteller of this book, isn’t it creepy?

2. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones

Susie Salmon, a teenage girl raped and murdered, told her gruesome story from heaven.  Yeah, for me it’s creepy.

3. 1st to Die (Women’s Murder Club, #1) by James Patterson

1st to Die (Women's Murder Club, #1)

A serial killer murders who murders newly-wed brides really sounds creepy to me.

4. Defending Jacob by William Landay

Defending Jacob

The main plot is actually a bit ordinary but the ending definitely give me creeps.

5. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Leaving Time

I had a lot of goosebumps when the main twist was told, it’s just… unexpected.

6. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars

Just like Leaving Time, I was not also ready when I reached the end of this book. It’s just so creepy!

7. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 

Gone Girl

This novel and its movie are not just creepy. They are insane!!!

8. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None

I never sang “Ten Little Indian Boys” after I read this book.

9. The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1) by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)

As a sucker of whodunit and muder mysteries, this book indeed gave me a lot of creeps.

10. Rising Sun by Michael Crichton

Rising Sun

As the first full-length novel that I have read, this book introduced me to the world of gross murders and thrilling plot. So yes, this complete my list.


Photo credits: All book covers are from Goodreads.

So that was it!

I hope you agree that these books are creepy enough!

I would love to hear your thoughts!

And to read your list, too!

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30-Day Book Challenge: Day 22 – Least favourite plot device

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Anniversaries can really make us nostalgic and sentimental. Because I am close to my blog’s first birthday, I would like to finish a book challenge that I have started last year. That is beckysblogs30-Day Book Challenge.

I have completed until Day 21 so now I’ll pick this awesome challenge at Day 22. Here it goes…

DAY 22. – Least favourite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise.

I would like to say that my least favorite plot device is the ‘love triangle’ which is used in a lot of books, may it be YA, mystery thrillers, medical or historical novels. Maybe 90% of the books that I have read have love triangles, sometimes through an ex-lover or a former crush or a childhood friend and so on…

But because that is somehow the most common answer to this question, I would opt to discuss the plot device called ‘Twist Ending’.

Twist Ending is a device wherein the novel ends in the least expected way.

This, like love triangles, are one of my least favorite plot device because most of the books that have Twist Endings have made me cry.

I enjoyed them, though, because I really love authors who can write a book that I can’t predict the ending.

Here are a few examples of the book that has twist ending, categorized in terms of the emotions that you will surely feel once these books ends.

THE SHOCKING

The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid The Vanishing Point

The plot: Young Jimmy Higgins is snatched from an airport security checkpoint while his guardian watches helplessly from the glass inspection box. But this is no ordinary abduction, as Jimmy is no ordinary child. His mother was Scarlett, a reality TV star who, dying of cancer and alienated from her unreliable family, entrusted the boy to the person she believed best able to give him a happy, stable life: her ghost writer, Stephanie Harker.

The twisted ending: I’ll try not give a lot of spoilers here, though it’s really hard. But this is the kind of ending that will make out re-read the last chapters, and be like: “Wait, what?”

Defending Jacob by William Landay

Defending Jacob

The plot: Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

The twisted ending: Landay unveiled the real evil/suspect in this murder mystery in a very very ‘twisted’ way. It is actually creepy!

THE GOOSE-BUMPS-INDUCING

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Leaving Time

The plot: For over a decade, Jenna Metcalf obsesses on her vanished mom Alice. Jenna searches online, rereads journals of the scientist who studied grief among elephants. Two unlikely allies are Serenity Jones, psychic for missing people who doubts her gift, and Virgil Stanhope, jaded PI who originally investigated cases of Alice and her colleague. Hard questions and answers.

The twisted ending: This book’s ending made me a Picoult-fan. I have never ever thought of the way this book was ended. Goosies, indeed!

The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom

The First Phone Call from Heaven

The plot: The First Phone Call from Heaven tells the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its citizens start receiving phone calls from the afterlife. Is it the greatest miracle ever or a massive hoax? Sully Harding, a grief-stricken single father, is determined to find out.

The twisted ending: Take note of that last phone call from ‘heaven’. You’ll surely have some goosies once you realized what just happened.

THE TEARJERKERS

Allegiant (Divergent, #3) by Veronica Roth

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

The plot: The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

The twisted ending: Someone died, yes. And this is why I will never ever watch the movie version of this novel! (I still haven’t moved-on.)

At First Sight bNicholas Sparks

At First Sight (Jeremy Marsh & Lexie Darnell, #2)

The plot: There are a few things Jeremy Marsh was sure he’d never do: he’d never leave New York City; never give his heart away after barely surviving one failed marriage; and never become a parent. Now Jeremy is living in the tiny town of Boone Creek, North Carolina, engaged to Lexie Darnell, the love of his life, and anticipating the start of their family. But just as his life seems to be settling into a blissful pattern, a mysterious and disturbing e-mail sets off a chain of events that will change the course of this young couple’s relationship.

The twisted ending: This is a great example of my love-hate relationship with Spark’s sad endings. I never see the ending coming. And yes, I cried.

Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

Message in a Bottle

The plot:  For Theresa, wary of romance since her husband shattered her trust, the message inside the bottle raises questions that intrigue her. Challenged by the mystery, and driven to find Garrett by emotions she does not fully understand, Theresa begins a search that takes her to a sunlit coastal town and an unexpected confrontation. Brought together either by chance or something more powerful, Theresa and Garrett’s lives come together in a tale that resonates with our deepest hopes for finding everlasting love.

The twisted ending: As I’ve mentioned in my last post, this is the first Sparks novel that made me cry. To those who have read this, I know you know what I felt. For those who haven’t, figure it out yourselves. 🙂

That’s it guys! Please tell me your thoughts!

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Super Book Update 1.2 (plus my 100th read!)

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I orginally planned for a two-part super book update until I realized that I reached a milestone in my reading life, thus, here’s the third and last part of this super update!

To be able to reach the 100th book read is considerably a milestone for someone like me who do not have the leisure to read a lot of books physically, yes, I read almost all books through e-books. In as much as I want to read ‘true’ books, my current income does not allow me to do some splurge with books, so for now I read the digital editions.

Drama aside, here my 100th book which, coincidentally, is my first read for 2015! Talk about hitting two milestones with a single novel. Though it was not my intention, Leaving Time by  Jodi Picoult became my super significant book read.

I know Jodi Picoult for quite some time already but I was not able to get my hands on her novel until Leaving Time. As her newest novel, I was quite curious on what the novel is about and after finishing the book, I have come to realize why Picoult is one of the most well known scribblers.

Jenna Metcalf’s story is melancholic yet humorous and exciting with the psychic Serenity and detective Virgil. As Picoult includes amusing and amazing facts about elephants, the novel became informative and the same time. The ending.. just caught me off-guard. Picoult’s a genius, indeed.

Leaving Time

Just because you screwed up once doesn’t mean you’ll screw up again.

Just because you leave someone doesn’t mean you ever let them go.

After the emotional novel, I read The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. This book has been in my TBR list since time immemorial yet I had doubts if its worth reading as I expect another infidelity story, which I hate really. Blame the title! Cause I am wrong. Moriarty blown my mind away as the story’s plots unraveled after Cecilia read a letter from her husband. Moriarty’s exceptional storytelling is shown as she wrote the connections between three separate individuals that have their lives away from each other. The ending is realistic as well!

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Falling in love was easy.anyone could fall. It was holding on that was tricky.

The last but definitely not the least is William Landay‘s Defending Jacob. Though the book cover isn’t really interesting, the words behind it refuted any doubts that I have when I started reading it. This is not your ordinary whodunit story as the storyteller, Andy Barber, is a prosecutor and father of Jacob, the main suspect of a gross murder.

I have read a lot of detective novels but with the fatherly element of Defending Jacob, I was given another perspective inside a crime. Landay’s plot twists as the story was told from the present to the past kept me engrossed and curious. Finally, when the explosive ending came, I was left awed. Landay’s a genius. Really!

Defending Jacob

The interior of a teenager’s mind is an endless war between Stupid and Clever.

So that’s it! I hope I can read more soon! 😀

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