There's a good reason you shouldn't post your 'best of' lists in mid December. I happened to read one of my favourite books of the year over Christmas. Unbecoming by Jenny Downham is a multi-generational tale of the journeys of four women through life, love and loss. It was one of the best depictions of complex, flawed characters that I've ever read. Wonderful stuff.
Andrew Smith is a new discovery of mine for 2015 and the only author with two books in my top reads. Grasshopper Jungle and The Alex Crow are both are stunningly original books that defy categorisation.
I've read a lot of Marcus Sedgwick's books and think he's a an amazingly versatile writer. The Ghosts of Heaven is an ambitious book told in four parts, spanning the depths of history and the distant future. It was absolutely stunning and I'd love to see this win the Carnegie in 2016.
One of last year's Carnegie nominations that I was disappointed didn't make the shortlist was The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss. I read it back in February and found it incredibly moving.
Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas is a dual narrative executed perfectly. Ollie and Moritz are two very distinct and equally intriguing characters. This was a unique story with an unexpected twist that didn't get the attention it deserved, IMO.
My top two reads of the year have something in common: they're both big, fat, chunky historical adult novels. Books I managed to completely immerse myself in, with beautiful writing and characters I fell in love with. All The Light We Cannot See and A God In Ruins. Read them. I insist!