Best of Lists

The Half-Year Mark: Best Books of 2015 (so far)

Hello everybody! Tomorrow is JULY, which means it is that time of year again: time for us to look back at our reviews and list our fave books of 2015…at least, so far.

We Book Smugglers are proud to present you with: our Best Books Read, Reviewed and Published in 2015 (so far); our Best Books Read & Reviewed in 2015 (regardless of publication year); and, as always, our Honorable Mentions of 2015.

Ana’s Best of 2015

I read and reviewed 59 books this so far this year. 59 = all-time low. Oh 2015, you are kicking my ass with so much work! But this turn of events means that I had to be REALLY choosy when it came to picking books to read and as such, I read better books this year as evidenced by my all-time high average rage of 7.35. WOOT. This means that 2015 has been an amazing year for me, so far.

Best Books Read, Reviewed and Published in 2015

The Lie Tree The Book of Phoenix

1. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, 9 (Fantasy, YA)
2. Uprooted by Naomi Novik, 10 (Fantasy)
3. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, 10 (Fantasy, Comics)
4. The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge, 10 (Fantasy, YA)
5. The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor, 8 (Science Fiction)

Best Books Read & Reviewed in 2015 (regardless of publication year)

Gunpowder Alchemy Elysium

1. Gunpowder Alchemy by Jeannie Lin, 8 (Science Fiction, Romance)
2. Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery, 9 (Children)
3. Temeraire by Naomi Novik, 8 (Fantasy)
4. Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brisset, 8 (Science Fiction)

Honorable Mentions of 2015

Signal to Noise Bitch Planet

1. Half Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older, 8 (Urban Fantasy)
2. The Very Best of Kate Elliott by Kate Elliott, 10 (Fantasy)
3. Prairie Fire by E K Johnston, 8 (Fantasy, YA)
4. Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens, 8 (Mystery, Children)
5. Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno Garcia, 8 (Fantasy, YA)
6. A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas, 8 (Fantasy, YA)
7. Persona by Genevieve Valentine, 8 (Science Fiction)
8. Ms Marvel Vol.2 – Generation Why by G Willow Wilson, 8 (Comics)
9. Infandous by Elana K Arnold, 8 (Contemporary, YA)
10. Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams Garcia, 8 (Historical, Children)
11. Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue Deconnick/Valentine de Landro, 8 (Comics)
12. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, 8 (Science Fiction)
13. Thor Goddess of Thunder, Vol.1 by Jason Aaron/Russell Dauterman, 8 (Comics)
14. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, 8 (Fantasy)
15. Karen Memory by Elisabeth Bear, 8 (Fantasy)


Thea’s Best of 2015

If 2014 was a tough year for me, 2015 is proving even more challenging. This year, I’ve only reviewed 42 books (!!!!), an all-time low. That said, my average rating of 7.45 is amazingly high (and not just because I’m working with a smaller denominator – the median is an unprecedented 8). It’s all about quality, not quantity, right? Ok, ok, I have my work cut out for me throughout the rest of 2015. New goal: 110 books. I’M ON IT.

Best Books Read, Reviewed and Published in 2015

Golden Son Uprooted

1. Golden Son by Pierce Brown, 8 (Science Fiction, Dystopia)
2. Uprooted by Naomi Novik, 9 (Fantasy)
3. Vertigo Quarterly CMYK: Issue 4 (Black) by Vertigo Comics, 8 (SFF, Comics)
4. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, 8 (Fantasy)
5. Touch by Claire North, 8 (SFF, Thriller)

Best Books Read & Reviewed in 2015 (regardless of publication year)

Sweet Tooth The School for Good and Evil

1. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani, 9 (MG, Fantasy)
2. A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani, 8 (MG, Fantasy)
3. Sweet Tooth (TP Vols 1-5) by Jeff Lemire, 8 (Science Fiction, Apocalypse/Dystopia, Comics)
4. The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin, 8 (Fantasy, MG)
5. The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King, 8 (Fantasy, Horror, SFF)
6. The Waste Lands by Stephen King, 8 (Fantasy, Horror, SFF)
7. Morning Glories: For A Better Future (Vol. 1) by Nick Spencer & Joe Eisma, 7 (SFF, Comics)

Honorable Mentions of 2015

An Ember in the Ashes Harrison Squared

1. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, 6 (Historical, Fantasy, YA)
2. The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh O’Brien, 6 (Science Fiction, YA)
3. Harrison Squared by Daryl Gregory, 7 (Horror, YA)
4. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, 7 (Science Fiction)
5. Wayward: String Theory (Vol 1) by Jim Zub & Steven Cummings, 8 (SFF, Comics)

There it is – our lists and favorites of 2015 so far! Now we turn it over to you – what books have YOU read and loved this year? We’ve got 6 months to catch up on any titles that we’ve missed out on so far!


  • Paul Weimer
    June 30, 2015 at 5:53 am

    The Very Best of Kate Elliott and A Darker Shade of Magic are very high on my list.

  • Aentee @ Read at Midnight
    June 30, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Great list! I always look forward to these posts so that I can add more books to my TBR. I just got Uprooted on Kindle and I’m so excited to start it, especially knowing it’s on both your lists!
    This year has been blessed with too many good books, may the trend continue for the rest of the year 😀

  • Matthew
    June 30, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Looks like a lot of my favorites this year are also on your list, but there are a few different ones. Here’s what mine would look like so far:

    Favorites published in 2015:
    The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
    Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
    Uprooted by Naomi Novik
    Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
    Signal to Noise by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia
    A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

    Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee (2013)
    For Every Solution, A Problem by Kerstin Gier (2006)
    We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory (2014)
    Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge (2014)
    Spirits Abroad by Zen Cho (2014)
    Another by Yukito Ayatsuji (2011)

  • Chachic
    June 30, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    I’m so glad to see Uprooted in your lists because I LOVED it too. I’m planning to read Bone Gap and The Lie Tree, I already have both in my TBR pile.

    I can’t remember if you ladies have read Rachel Neumeier’s YA urban fantasy series? Black Dog was one of my favorite reads last year and Pure Magic is in my list this year.

  • Morgan @ Gone with the Words
    June 30, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Ooh the Lie Tree looks deliciously creepy! I have A Wicked Thing at home and Uprooted on my list, I can’t wait to read both of them! I loved The School For Good and Evil and just bought the sequel, hope it’s as good! I liked The Ice Dragon but wish it wasn’t quite so short… it definitely made me think about ASOIAF though.

    I really loved A Court of Thorns and Roses and The Sin Eater’s Daughter for YA fantasy; Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and The Start of Me and You for YA contemp; Rook for… alternate YA historical? It’s really unique and cool, a dystopian book with a historical feel and really excellent characters. My very favorite discovery though has been a MG fantasy- Grounded: The Story of Rapunzel. The worldbuilding is excellent, whimsical with a dark edge, and the characters are fabulous. Very emotionally complex for MG. The author is a Harry Potter fan and it shows with the depth of charming description and the shards of darkness hidden within the story. It’s fantastic. Plus I always love fairy tale retellings!

  • Thea
    June 30, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Thank you, everyone for the suggestions! CLEARLY, I have to read BONE GAP and THE LIE TREE, asap. (Ana, What She Said??? YES???)

    Also, Morgan, I haven’t even heard of Grounded: The Story of Rapunzel, but you’ve completely sold me on it. I’m getting a copy NOW. Thank you!!!

  • Morgan @ Gone with the Words
    June 30, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Oh yay, I really hope you enjoy it! I’ve been trying to push it since I haven’t seen it on the blogosphere much. It’s a Scholastic title from April that went totally under the radar! I got it from the library and then bought my own copy 🙂

  • Anonymous
    June 30, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    I’m reading the Dark Tower series right now! Almost finished with The Waste Lands.

  • DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)
    June 30, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Oops… Can’t believe I forgot type my name… How embarrassing XD

    I’m reading the Dark Tower series right now! Almost finished with The Waste Lands.

  • C. Lee McKenzie
    July 6, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Thanks for the list to make my choices from.

  • Hazel
    July 19, 2015 at 6:48 am

    I will probably be using this post as a reading list, at some point.

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