Nicole’s Best Books of the Decade

December 18, 2019 Let's Discuss 52

I’ve been seeing lots of these lists around since we’re coming to the end of the 2010s, and I thought I’d jump in!

Here’s the thing, this list would be practically impossible to make if I thought about it too hard. So I didn’t. I made a vow to go with my gut when making it. (And, surprisingly, I managed that for the most part without second-guessing myself too much). So, this isn’t a thorough list of books I loved. Heck, if I made another list right now, it might be different. But this is definitely a list of books that impacted me over the last decade.

So, how did I come up with the list? I scanned my Goodreads list (in year-published order) and … picked. I sort of randomly decided that I would choose two from each year. And then, like I said, I went with my gut and picked the two books that stood out to me the most. I didn’t check any prior lists of “bests” or anything—though I did only really look at the 5-star books (that seemed like a reasonable way to pare it down). These are just the two books that stood out to me the most in the moment.

And here they are:


2010

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
This book wrecked me. It’s completely disturbing and emotionally devastating, and I’ll confess that I found myself loving it!

Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson)
I had to put this book on this list, purely because it was the final book in an EPIC series. To be honest, the series had its ups and downs for me. I loved it, but I do think that Jordan loves his tangents. Still, the finale was more than satisfying!

2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Divergent by Veronica Roth
2011 was the year of the dystopian for me because TWO of my favorite dystopian series started that year. (Though I didn’t read them until 2012 & 2013. This was back when I found books by chance instead of hype.) Both of these series have stuck in my mind for years after reading them!!

2012

UnWholly by Neal Shusterman
I HAD to include this book because it’s from my favorite series of all time. And even though the first book (Unwind) was written in 2007, I didn’t discover it until 2012, not long before UnWholly came out (good timing on my part!).

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
This book made a HUGE impression on me and sealed Julie Kagawa in my heart as a favorite author.

2013

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
This is the start to a series I loved—it brought me back to sci-fi!

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
This book made me fall in love with the concept of time travel. I was so incredibly sad when I learned there wouldn’t be a sequel.

2014

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
This book blew me away because it totally fooled me with a twist. That doesn’t happen often, and I’ve remembered this as a favorite book ever since.

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
This is probably the only adult book that will go on this list. The music in this book is what stuck with me—such an innovative idea! That combined with the fact that one of the main characters is Deaf has made this book a permanent fixture in my mind.

2015

Guys, it was starting to get really hard to pick favorites at this point. There were several books from 2015 that I consider all-time favorites, and it felt practically impossible to narrow it down. I really had to force myself to stick to my rule of not overthinking it and going with my gut.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
This book’s unique formatting gives it a top spot. It’s certainly one of the most memorable books I’ve ever read!

House Arrest by K.A. Holt
The first middle grade on the list! This book helped me discover a love of verse novels, and I’m writing one.  🙂

2016

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
This book left me so excited and brimming with ideas about what might happen in future books that I immediately wrote a spoiler-filled discussion of the book. That post became the most viewed post of my blog (by a landslide)!

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
This book will forever hold special memories and associations for me because I read it along with my daughter Danielle, and she absolutely ADORED it!

2017

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
Another book that makes my list for very personal reasons. I read this book at a time when I needed to see a Christian character who was accepting of a transgender person. The book came into my life at the perfect moment.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Another middle grade in verse—I actually think this was my first experience with a verse novel (even though K.A. Holt’s book was written earlier, I read it more recently). This book had such a huge impact on me and really stuck with me!

2018

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna
This book blew away all of my expectations! I really need to reread it so I can read the sequel.

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
To me, this book is a master study in middle grade voice. Chokshi manages to write lyrically while also still sounding like a kid—wish I could capture half her skill at this.

2019

The Toll by Neal Shusterman
This ending to The ARC of a Scythe Series sealed this series in my mind as an all-time favorite (and reminded me why I’m convinced that Neal Shusterman is a genius).

The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews
This book broke my heart in so many little pieces. Such a beautiful story of friendship and family!


And that wraps it up! It was really interesting to look through all the books I’ve read and see which ones have stood the test of time in my mind. Which ones have really stuck with me.

What are some of your favorite books of the last decade? I want to know! (If you’ve posted a list, leave me a link in the comments!)

52 Responses to “Nicole’s Best Books of the Decade”

  1. Crystal

    I remember loving The Immortal Rules, and Illuminae is on my TBR (WHY have I waited this long to pick it up???). I haven’t gone through my books of the decade yet. It’s daunting to go through so many books. I plan to do this soon though!

    Crystal recently posted: Monthly Rewind: November 2019
  2. Emma @ Words And Peace

    This is really hard. I’m going to try to do something for the decade, but by category, as I do every year, like the best historical novel in print, in ebook, in audio. the best mystery in these 3 formats, etc. we’ll see. Ashamed to say I haven’t read any of your favorites! Though I do want to try Illuminae

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      Yes, I definitely could have gone that route and chosen more books, but I just decided to really limit myself and see what happened. The ONLY way I was able to make it work was by not censoring my decisions in any way. I went completely with my gut and tried not to think too much at all!!

  3. Sam@wlabb

    I love this! It’s wild to look back and reflect on books from our past. I read 10 of these, which surprised me, almost as much as seeing a CoHo book on your list. I like her brand of melodrama, but I had no idea you read her books.

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      Ha! I have an uneasy relationship with CoHo—I LOVED her earlier stuff, especially back when she wrote YA. She totally peaked for me with Maybe Someday. I ADORED it (and I went to an author event for it, and it was SO much fun, with a concert and everything). But then, I’ll confess, the next few books I read were not my favorites—the relationships got a little too toxic feeling for me. And then I got scared and basically stopped reading her, even though I still own more of her books. One of these days I’ll get brave enough to try again. LOL!

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      I used to shy away from calling a book an absolute favorite. But then I realized that whenever I thought about “favorites” Unwind was right there, always one of the first books (if not THE first book) to pop into my head. It was a revelation—I realized I DO have a favorite!!

  4. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    This is AWESOME! I have been trying to decide how I want to do mine and I am probably going to steal your idea (and let’s be honest, your favorites 😂). I don’t have any data from 2010 or 2011 and I probably didn’t read much those years anyway (fun fact: I physically could not read when I was pregnant with Lena- like it made me too queasy, who knows why, but it explains some stuff about her now probably 😂) I am really excited to see how my faves will compare with everyone else’s too- and I love your idea of just going with your gut and not thinking about it too much!

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: Sometimes I Watch Shows (Part 5)
    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      I don’t think I actually started using it until later either (maybe in 2012?), but I read some books that were published back then later, and I also had tried to enter some of my favorites from past years when I opened my Goodreads account.

  5. Olivia Roach

    Love this post idea! I loved Divergent and the entire trilogy back when I read them, and I actually read Illuminae just this year and head over heels loved it too. Ooh, I SO want to read Forbidden. Oh, and I have the boy who steals houses and am very excited to read it in 2020!

    Olivia Roach recently posted: The Space We’re In [Book Review]
  6. Mehsi

    I love this post! I wish I could do something similar, but I just can’t pick one or two books per year. 😛 I always find it amazing when people can do it.
    I love seeing what books you loved per year, and I totally agree on several of your picks (These Broken Stars, Divergent, Maybe Someday, Illuminae) those books were ❤.

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      I thought it would be harder to pick favorites from the decade than it was, actually. The thing that saved me was the fact that I just went with my gut. I found that after so much time, only a few books truly stuck out to me and gave me that visceral “Oh, yeah, that was a favorite” feeling. There were a few tough decisions, but most of them weren’t as hard as I thought they’d be.

  7. Laura

    Great post!
    This does remind me though how many older books I’m going to have to get around to reading though! Like I’ve been meaning to read The Kiss of Deception and These Broken Stars for ages, and I hadn’t even realised they had been published in 2013 and 2014. I’m so behind the times! Hopefully I’ll read them soon 🙂

  8. Wendy @ Falconer's Library

    Good job, Nicole! I am almost afraid to try to do year end and decade end posts–too many decisions to make. I love them though, because they are so personal. I ADORE some of the books on your list (Shusterman!!!), and there are others that don’t do it for me–but it’s interesting to find out what made them amazing for you.

  9. Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books

    AH I love this list and… to be honest, I thought about doing that best books of the decade thing, too, but I wouldn’t even know where to start haha. Your method is GREAT and I’m so happy to see Delirium here, I adore this series so, so much <3

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      I was surprised that I was able to do this without second-guessing myself all that much. And I found that the older books (or at least, the ones I read longer ago) were easier because I could truly see which ones had left a lasting impression on me.

  10. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    Ooh the whole decade! That does seem hard, but also I want to do this too now lol. I’ve never heard of that UnWholly book, looks cool! And I really need to check out that Kagawa series since it’s about vampires, right? I love vampires, and I also love some of her other books!

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