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Samantha Randolph | Favorite YA Reads of 2015

December 5, 2015

While I run when someone asks me what my favorite book is, I happily stand and talk if they ask what my favorite reads of the present calendar year are. Of
course, even narrowing the books in a time span of 365 days is rough, but I love
reflecting back on my year as a reader and remembering what books I enjoyed.

2015 has been a dynamite of a year for great reads, so this week’s column and
next week’s will be devoted to highlighting some of my favorite YA books of
2015. From surprising unreliable narrators to small towns that won’t let go to
humor and action at their best, here is part one of my most beloved 2015 books
that I will likely reread many, many times in the years to come.

BONE GAP by Laura Ruby


Bone Gap

“Bone Gap marks Laura Ruby as one of fiction’s most original voices. She is capable of moving you to tears, terrifying you on deep and dreamlike levels, and making your heart shout with happiness. This book is magic realism at its most magical.”
—E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars

BONE GAP is the story of Roza, a beautiful girl who is taken from a quiet midwestern town and imprisoned by a mysterious man, and Finn, the only witness, who cannot forgive himself for being unable to identify her kidnapper. As we follow them through their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures, acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.

Buy on: |
| Kobo |
iTunes/iBooks |
Google Play |
Powell’s Books
| Books-A-Million |

FACELESS by Alyssa B. Sheinmel



While on a run one day, Maise gets into a terrible accident. A hot-burning
electrical fire consumes her, destroying her face. Where her nose, cheeks, and
chin used to be, now there is . . . nothing.

She is lucky enough to qualify for a face transplant. But with someone else’s
features staring back at her in the mirror, Maise looks — and feels — like a
stranger. The doctors promised that the transplant was her chance to live a
normal life again, but nothing feels normal anymore. Before, she knew who
she was — a regular girl who ran track and got good grades, who loved her
boyfriend and her best friend. Now, she can’t even recognize herself.

From Alyssa Sheinmel, the acclaimed author of Second Star, comes a gripping
and gorgeously written tale of identity and love. This is a story of losing
yourself, and the long, hard fight to find your way back.

Buy on: |
| Kobo |
iTunes/iBooks |
Google Play |
Powell’s Books |
Books-A-Million |

BLOOD AND SALT by Kim Liggett


Blood And Salt

Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the Corn in this one-of-a-kind romantic horror

“When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.”

These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time.

Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own.

As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself—and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in—blood and salt.

Read An Excerpt

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iTunes/iBooks |
Google Play |
Powell’s Books |
Books-A-Million |

A SCHOOL FOR BRIDES by Patrice Kindl


A School For Brides

A Story of Maidens, Mystery, and Matrimony

The Winthrop Hopkins Female Academy of Lesser Hoo,
Yorkshire, has one goal: to train its students in the
feminine arts with an eye toward getting them married off.
This year, there are five girls of marriageable age. There’s
only one problem: the school is in the middle of nowhere,
and there are no men. Set in the same English town as
Keeping the Castle, and featuring a few of the same
characters, here’s the kind of witty tribute to the classic
Regency novel that could only come from the pen of Patrice

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iTunes/iBooks |
Google Play |
Powell’s Books |
Books-A-Million |

DAMAGE DONE by Amanda Panitch


Damage Done

22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after.

Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best

After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and
of those twenty-two minutes that refuse to come into focus.
At least, that’s what she tells the police.

Now that she’s Lucy Black, she’s able to begin again. And
her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the
hottest guys in school, a boy who will do anything to
protect her. But when someone much more dangerous also takes
notice, Lucy’s forced to confront the dark secrets she
thought were safely left behind.

One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased.
It’s only just beginning. . . .

In this deliciously twisted contemporary thriller, family
can be a real killer. For fans of We Were Liars and
readers who love unique multiple perspectives that leave
clues like breadcrumbs until they reach the stunning conclusion.

Buy on: |
| Kobo
| iTunes/iBooks
| Google Play
| Powell’s Books
| Books-A-Million
| Indiebound

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