A Little Life by Hanya Yanigahara ($30, Doubleday)
I don't even know what to say. I loved reading this book so much that I found myself alternately rationing myself out and binging on Yanagihara's beautiful prose. I loved each of the characters so much. They're all really well written and complex.
I know that this is meant to be a story about four friends, but let's be real: It's Jude. The rest of the characters are told in reference to his character and the slow unraveling of his story. His traumas are horrific, and the scars and lasting injuries they leave him with are significant. But the most brutal part of the things he has lived through is actually the way he has internalized these events. (As a trauma survivor, some of this was uncomfortably familiar to read.)
The parts that wrecked me most though, were the parts in which the characters reveled their hope and their infinite capacity for love. I feel like i should buy a stack of copies and give them out as gifts. Easily one of the best things I've read this year.