Hello everyone! Today I’m here to discuss my top five favourite authors that I’ve discovered throughout 2015. Now, sadly I have to admit that I haven’t read as many ‘new to me’ authors as I would like. With that being said though, those that I did discover this year have been absolutely incredible and it was difficult to narrow it down to only five, and then to order those five from fifth to first. I’ve also noticed this year that I’ve very much relied on the works of authors that I’m already familiar with, and already adore. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing, supporting your favourite author(s) is never a bad thing, but it has definitely had an impact on my attempts to broaden my reading spectrum in 2015. This is something that I’m definitely aiming to work on throughout 2016.
5. DANIEL HANDLER
Perhaps more famously referred to as his pen name ’Lemony Snicket’, author of the ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ and ‘All the Wrong Questions’ children’s books, Daniel Handler has also published numerous adult novels under his real name. In January 2011, Handler published ‘Why We Broke Up’, which won the Michael L. Printz honour award the following year. Handler published this novel in collaboration with Maira Kalman, an illustrator, artist and designer. This novel follows the story of Min, who after recently breaking up with her short-term super star boyfriend Ed Slaterton, decides to return every one of his belongings to him, in a box, along with a detailed letter explaining how every one of the items she’s returning played a role in their break up. This novel really surprised me. I’d put it off for a very long time, and I’d never previously read anything by Daniel Handler, or Lemony Snicker before. I’d never read the Series of Unfortunate Events as a child growing up (although I’m interested in reading them for sure), and I’d never even heard of Maira Kalman before either. I own the first three books in Snicket’s All the Wrong Questions series, and am definitely going to attempt it at some point in 2016.
4. MARIA V. SNYDER
It took almost no time between hearing raving reviews for Maria V. Snyder’s ‘Poison Study’, and deciding to actually read it. It immediately drew my attention, I mean it is a fantasy young-adult novel after all. In 2006, Poison Study won the 2006 Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel, only a year after the novel itself was published. Following the success of the Study series, Snyder has continued to publish new series, which have gained similar success. The majority of her novels- the Study, Glass and Soulfinder series- are based in the same universe, titled under the name ‘The Chronicles of Ixia’. I love when authors continue to publish new novels set within a world that readers are already familiar with, so I’m definitely interested in continuing to explore Ixia alongside this wonderful author. In 2015, I completed the Study series, and am soon to begin the Soulfinder series in 2016. Only the first in the Soulfinder series has been published as of this date.
3. COLLEEN HOOVER
Just to pique your interest right from the beginning, let me start by saying that Colleen Hoover is a New York Times #1 Best Selling Author of seven novels, and one novella. Do I have your attention yet? As a young adult and new adult author, Colleen Hoover has an endless amount of novels to her name, and it’s difficult to believe that she only published her first novel, Slammed, in January 2012. Let me just list the amount of books she has published currently: the Slammed series (Slammed, Point of Retreat, This Girl, and a novella titled, A Father’s Kiss), the Hopeless series (Hopeless, Losing Hope and a novella titled, Finding Cinderella), Maybe Someday (followed by a novella titled Maybe Not), Ugly Love, Confess, November Nine and the Never Never series, written in collaboration with Tarryn Fisher. Colleen Hoover has also won numerous Goodreads Choice Awards between 2012 and 2015, and Hopeless achieved the Amazon Best Seller in 2013. My first read of 2015, and my first Colleen Hoover read, was Slammed. Throughout 2015, I read a total of six of her novels/collaborations, and practically loved every single one of them. Confess, which was a new release of 2015, was probably my favourite although I definitely have to give credit to all of them. What I enjoy most about her work is the clever incorporation of art. For example in Slammed, Hoover incorporates slam poetry, in Confess, painting, and although I haven’t read it yet, in Maybe Someday, music plays a major role in the main characters’ lives. In 2016 I’m hoping to read the remainder of Colleen Hoover’s novels, including any new releases of 2016.
2. LEIGH BARDUGO
Leigh Bardugo has one completed series published, the Grisha trilogy, which I read in it’s entirety throughout 2015. The first in this series, Shadow and Bone was published in mid-2012, and the conclusion of the series, Ruin and Rising, was published in mid-2014. Alongside this series, Bardugo has also released numerous short stories and prequels set within the Grisha universe. She has also contributed a short story to the ‘Slasher Girls and Monster Boys’ anthology, a collection of short stories selected and collated by April Genevieve Tucholke. Her newest release, Six of Crows, the first in a new duology set within the Grisha universe, came out on 29 September 2015. Six of Crows has been titled the New York Times Notable Book of 2015, USA Today’s Best Seller and a #1 New York Times Best Seller novel. The sequel and conclusion to this duology, Crooked Kingdom, is set to be released sometime in late 2016. I am highly anticipating the release of this novel, however I’m yet to read Six of Crows (which I’m hoping to read very early on in 2016).
1. MAGGIE STEIFVATER
Of all the ‘new-to-me’ authors of 2015, Maggie Steifvater is the one I’ve heard the most mixed things about. Her ‘Wolves of Mercy Falls’ series, I’ve heard incredibly negative things about, but her ‘Raven Cycle’ series I’ve heard utterly incredible things about. So naturally, I was torn between whether or not I wanted to attempt her novels, but ultimately I’m so glad that I did. In 2015, I read The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves, books one and two in The Raven Cycle. Next year, I’m hoping to read Blue Lily, Lily Blue in anticipation for the fourth and final novel in the series, The Raven King, which is set for release in April (although the release date for this book has changed more than the weather). Although it did take me quite some time to read The Raven Boys, more than two weeks, I found myself loving every single moment of it. I never wanted the book to end, nor did I want The Dream Thieves to end, which was such a step up from the first book in the series. Both of these books made it onto my Top 15 Of 2015 list, and I strongly believe that both Blue Lily, Lily Blue and The Raven King will make it onto my Top 15 Of 2016 list. Maggie Steifvater has a magical and mystical writing style, and her ability to transform an everyday town in an everyday setting into something entirely new and different is awe inspiring. She’s also incredibly talented in the development of her characters, and somehow manages to explore the depths of every character in The Raven Cycle, while deliberately retaining some of the mystery to reveal it at a later point of her choosing.
I’ve discovered so many incredible new authors in 2015, and I hope to discover so many more next year too.