My Favorite Books of 2015: Realistic Fiction

Welcome to my third installment of My Favorite Books of 2015! So far I've talked about my favorite Fantasy books and my favorite Science Fiction and Dystopian books (you can scroll down to read those posts)

Today I'm here to present one of my favorite categories: Realistic Fiction!  It was really hard to narrow my list to three and there were a few other books (Dumplin', Everything Everything) that almost made the cut...

Why did I pick these three books?

Here's some of what I said about Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway (Harper):

"It seems to me that some writers tackling realistic YA worry that the genre needs to be jazzed up with paranormal twists or wildly unreliable narrators or people who peel their faces off and are actually someone else (okay, I made that last one up, but still..) I'm not opposed to those things (except the last) but I firmly believe that reality can be enough, that realistic YA without bells and whistles can still capture readers' attentions and their hearts. With a simple premise of a missing boy who returns, Emmy & Oliver is able to explore a multitude of issues and themes and do so in a way that was moving, funny, and memorable.  I loved the way family and friendship were portrayed -- real, funny, and sometimes messed-up."
Read the full review here!

And guys, this amazing book is $1.99 on Kindle, so if you haven't read it...

Here's some of what I said about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (Balzer + Bray) 

"Not only does Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda feature one of my favorite new guy narrators of all time, it's just such a fantastic, feel-good book that's also funny, relatable and moving. All the story elements are balanced beautifully together into a story that's just sheer YA perfection: awkwardness, humor, adolescent angst, friendship, romance... this book has it all!"
Read my full review here!

Here's some of what I said about The Weird Girl and What's His Name by Meagan Brothers (Three Rooms):

"I'm always on the lookout for diverse books. Also high on my list are YA books that draw on universal experiences and emotions. Weird Girl and What's His Name is both: an LGBTQ title that deals with issues everyone can relate to -- family, friendship and heartbreak. I loved all the relationships in this book and there were so many great ones. If you're a fan of moving, emotionally complex books about identity and self-discovery, books like Will Grayson, Will Grayson or This Song Will Change Your Life you've got to try this!
Read my full review here!


  1. I really enjoyed Emmy & Oliver and Simon. Weird Girl is on my wishlist because of your review :)

  2. I loved Simon vs the Homasapiens Agenda too! The use of the anonymous emails was such a clever idea

    Steph -

  3. Emmy & Oliver was so good! The other two are on my list. I hope to get to them next year.

  4. I'm reading Emmy & Oliver this January for a read-a-long and I'm really excited! I'm glad to see it on your top favorite this year. I've heard good things about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, too.

    Haraiah @ Random Things In Action

  5. I loved Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, bought Weird Girl because of your review but was kind of afraid of Emmy and Oliver. It sounds like one of those cutesy YA contemps that end up disappointing - but I trust you my book-ish obi wan.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  6. Great picks! I loved the first two - haven't read the Weird Girl one, but I'll totally look out for it seeing as it has your stamp of approval!

  7. I'm not too big into contemps, but I ADORED Simon! Never have I laughed out loud and felt the feels!

  8. Emmy & Oliver is also one of my favourites from the year. I've been really into contemporary this year. Simon is one that's on my list to read. I've been told it's AMAZING! :D

  9. Love seeing Emmy & Oliver as one of your favorites! I picked it up a couple months ago expecting nothing more than a pleasant contemporary. And... wow. *SO* much more than I expected! I was captivated by the story and my heart broke for Oliver again and again. Such realistic and likable characters. It will definitely be in my favorites of 2015!

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

  10. Hey, I read 2 out of 3, which is not too bad, considering that realistic YA is not really my cuppa :) Love the post, Jenny.

  11. I love realistic fiction and I've only read Emmy and Simon, but I loved both of them!
    Have a great Christmas :)


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