1. Emery Lord: I read THE START OF ME AND YOU in one day and have already put a hold on OPEN ROAD SUMMER at my library. I love her characters' friendships, the humor, and the nerdy gift to the world that is Max Watson. <3 I was late to the Emery Lord party, but now that I'm here, I won't be leaving anytime soon!
2. Sabaa Tahir: I bought AN EMBER IN THE ASHES on a whim during a trip to Tennessee (needed another book to read in the car). The worldbuilding (based on ancient Rome) is stellar, the characters are compelling, and the storyline kept me guessing. Can't wait for the next book in 2016!
3. Laini Taylor: 2015 was the year I finally started the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. I've read books 1 and 2 so far. I liked book 1 fine, but DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT grabbed me and refused to let me go. I might be in the minority, but I enjoyed seeing Karou and Akiva's separate journeys. Book 3 is on my Christmas list, and I'm excited to see how it ends!
4. Jenny Han: Lara Jean was my introduction to Jenny's writing, and what a darling she is! She bakes, wears sweaters, and is a bit naïve to the world. I kind of wanted to scoop her up and hug her throughout the entire book. Jenny writes such great family dynamics; the sisters were my favorite relationship!
5. Aaron Hartzler: WHAT WE SAW is a gutsy story based on the Steubenville rape case. Aaron writes fearlessly about victim-blaming and speaking up. Not to mention, his teenage dialogue is spot-on. Can't wait to see what's next from him.
6. Margo Rabb: This book has everything. A road trip, game show questions, romance novels...all mixed into one! Margo writes a wonderful story about self-discovery, which is my favorite topic to explore. She has another novel called CURES FOR HEARTBREAK that I'm itching to get my hands on, too.
7. Cheryl Strayed: By now, everyone has heard about WILD, Cheryl's memoir about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. I read this book while traveling though South Africa this year, and it helped me take risks and be brave.
8. Roxane Gay: My new year's resolution this year was to ask questions. If I don't understand something, ask for clarification. Instead of automatically accepting something, question it instead. Feminism is a huge part of that, and Roxane's essays really helped me sort out my personal views on important social issues and current events.
[I’d read one book from these authors in the past but found a new appreciation for them in 2015]9. Courtney Summers: I read FALL FOR ANYTHING a few years ago and liked it, but 2015 was the year of Courtney Summers for me. ALL THE RAGE is a book that will never leave me, and I binge-read the bind up of CRACKED UP TO BE/SOME GIRLS ARE. She writes high school stories like no one else I've read. They're brutal, but so important.
10. Libba Bray: I didn't click with A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY when I read it in high school, but BEAUTY QUEENS is one of my favorite books I read this year. It's satirical and challenges social norms, particularly how society views young women. Smart writing that had me laughing out loud.
What authors did you discover this year?