|My Clean Indie Reads bookcase|
Here are my top ten, saving the #1 for last:
My review: "This is a laugh-out-loud, fun and funny romantic comedy that also has deeper, more poignant layers. When I first started reading, the first person present tense was almost too much to handle because the main character sounded so hyper and flaky. But actually it worked perfectly for this story and the many zany circumstances. I love the butterfly images, both literal and figurative, throughout this book, and the lovely cover perfectly captures the mood of the story. I'm so glad I bought the paperback so I can admire the artwork again and again. Oh, I almost forgot! This author deserves an award for Best Use of Turtles in a work of fiction! Highly recommended."
My review: "This is a delightful read, for cat lovers, dragon lovers, and fairy tale enthusiasts of all ages. It would make a great read-aloud story for families to share together! Thaddeus is a purrfectly rendered "eternal kitten," and Grandious is one of my new favorite dragons. The twists and turns in this fun plot will keep you guessing until the conclusion, with just enough danger to be concerned for the main characters but not so much as to frighten children. The prose sparkles like the diamonds in the dragon's hoard."
My review: "I normally don't read "quiet" books like this (preferring epic fantasy) but the lovely cover and the blurb drew me in, since I unexpectedly became a caregiver for my 86-year-old father-in-law last year. I thought this book might give me insights, and it gave MUCH more. I ached for Amanda, for the path her life had taken, both through choices others made, and poor choices she made. I wanted so much for things to work out for her that it was difficult to put this book down! Her crotchety patient was so believable; in fact, every character, major and minor, was imminently believable! The writing is superb, and the story touches your heart and will remain there forever."
My review: "This was a lovely romance with an element of suspense and danger, too. Tuck the heartbroken cop is a new favorite character now, and how his relationship with Laurie the kind-hearted photographer develops was so realistic and wonderful, I could NOT stop reading this book until I finished it in less than a day. If you like clean romance with a spiritual bent, and loveable secondary characters, you must read this book"
My review: "What a magnificent end to this series! I could NOT put it down! Tye is by far my favorite of the three worlds in this trilogy. This third and final installment not only continues Caz's perilous journey, revealing the third (and delightfully unexpected) gift, but introduces fascinating and thought-provoking new cultures. There is gentle wisdom along with tender moments and heart-stopping drama (or in Caz's case, paralyzing adrenaline spikes). This trilogy is a keeper to be re-read more than once, and this reader hopes Ms. London might decide this well-crafted universe has yet more stories to tell among the three worlds of the Granbo System."
My review: "Romance! Chivalry! Dragons! Fairies! This story is so full of delightful surprises, from laugh-out-loud moments to gasp-inducing danger to heartbreaking encounters, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I love the spunky main character, the unorthodox Princess Pippa, and I felt so sorry for her not being able to choose who to marry. The tournament to determine which of the many competing princes and lords would win that honor was so well done, I can't wait to read it again. This definitely goes on my favorite books of all time list."
My review: "I was excited to receive an advance review copy of Ms. Lima's The Collar and the Cavvarach, and once I began reading I couldn't put it down. The main character, fourteen-year-old Bensin, is a strong and sympathetic character. He's a slave in a modern empire with undertones of Ancient Rome. The collar on the stunning cover is like the one he has to wear. Benson's five-year-old sister does not yet have a collar, though she is also a slave, and his one goal is to free her. He goes to extraordinary measures to try to make that happen, even putting his own life at risk, because he knows the abuse his pretty sister can expect as a slave. The author does a great job of writing about the brutality of this culture without being graphic, so the stakes are extremely high, making the reader more and MORE anxious. This is a MUST read for anyone who likes YA urban fantasy. The way the cavvarach (the hooked sword on the cover) is used in this story, both literally and figuratively, is unforgettable. The other characters, both good guys and bad guys, are three-dimensional and add much to this powerful story of honor and determination against all odds."
My review: "Not since I first read The Diary of Anne Frank as a child have I been so moved by a true story. Several scenes reduced me to tears of joy and sorrow. I could so relate to the author's feelings of loneliness and lack of self-confidence. Her relationship with a lonely horse and how both of them are changed in wonderfully unexpected ways is a masterful triumph of storytelling. This book is one of my new forever favorites, and I recommend it to anyone who loves horses or has ever felt alone. Bravo, Ms. Kaseorg!"
My review: "This is a superb debut historical novel that reads like the finest of literary fiction. The details of the setting are richly drawn without distracting from the characters or plot and make you want to savor them, and yet the reader can't linger too long because the situation presses upon the characters with increasing urgency until you have to find out what happens to the narrator, Sooze, who is engaged to the wrong man because she wants to help her family, and to her family member who is falsely accused of murder. I feel like I've traveled back in time to 1932 Arkansas and experienced a poignant slice of a family's struggles to survive with dignity. I look forward to reading more from this author!"
My review: "This is one of the best fantasies I've ever read. Wish I'd discovered it sooner, but then I might not have appreciated it as much as I do now. The broken protagonist, Caz, is one of the most sympathetic, strong, and richly-drawn characters ever created. This is a masterpiece of character-building, world-building, and storytelling."
*********************************So many of the books I read this year were fantastic, and many I gave 5 stars. Of those, several came SOOOO close to making the final cut, but these stood out as especially memorable and ones I plan to read again. What's the best book YOU read in 2015?