Monday, December 29, 2014

Best of 2014

As the end of one year, and the beginning of another approaches, it's time to reflect. This means all those Best Of lists begin to pop up everywhere, and this blog is no exception.

Here are the top 15 books I've read this year. I couldn't stop at 10. It was impossible. I even cheated a little and included two books in the same series together.

These are in no particular order, that would have been even more impossible.

Each selection links to my review (where available) if you wanted more information.

1 We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Beautiful writing, and a story that blends together sadness, summer, and a fantastic mystery. The "don't reveal the ending" marketing plan was buzz worthy, and in this case I happen to agree. Knowing the minimal amount about the story going in increases your enjoyment of this story as this is one to experience with the character.

2 The Winner's Curse/The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

I cheated and included both books under this as I've read both this year. The characters will ensnare you and keep you riveted with every single twist and bump during their journey. A story full of secrets, lies, hidden truths and political intrigue, it's one that keeps you guessing and crushes your heart (in the best way).

3 Half Bad by Sally Green

This story succeeds because of Nathan. His story will stay with you long after you finish the book. The potential for the rest of the series is evident in this first installment and I am excited to continue Nathan's journey and discover more of this rich world Sally Green has created.

4 Love Letters To The Dead Ava Dellaira

Told in letter format, this story offers a unique and satisfying experience. Through letters to deceased celebrities we learn Laurel's story. It's a story that isn't always a happy one. It's a mix of hopeful and heartbreaking and looks at the long road back from grief and forgiveness.

5 Since You've Gone by Morgan Matson

This novel will immediately leave you with the Kelly Clarkson song stuck in your head, and a smile on your face. Filled with a sweet romance, and friendship that has the starring role, and characters you want to be friends with, it's a lighter read that has a lot of depth. You'll want to create your own 'to do' list for your BFF when you turn that final page.

6 Brazen by Katherine Longshore

All of Katherine's novels have an underlying message of finding your voice, and standing up for what you believe in. Something that resonates no matter what year we're in. This story is of finding your own self worth, and embracing it. It's a story that is filled with sharp writing, and the lasting desire to live life with no regrets.

7 Famous In Love by Rebecca Serle

Any fan of Hollywood gossip, CW TV shows, and love triangles will devour this novel and immediately beg for more. It's depth, and characterization however will have you utterly smitten. It's a story of falling in love while everyone watches, of finding yourself while under the spotlight, and adjusting to drastic changes. You may end up being either Team Jordan or Team Rainer, but you'll undoubtedly end up finishing the novel Team Paige.

8 The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Jodi's breathtaking writing combined with her ability to create the kind of characters that get under your skin made this one a heartbreaking, crushing read. The mystery of the missing girls is secondary to the destructive relationships between the central characters, and it's aftermath.

9 I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

My first Jandy Nelson book stunned me. I expect this one will pop up on quite a few of these lists and for good reason. Two distinct and unique voices, two unforgettable narrators, and a story that is capable of breaking your heart and mending it all at once. The sibling relationship is the heart of this story, and it's beautifully done. This novel also gave me Oscar, my new book boyfriend.

10 Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

If you ever wondered what it might be like to be BFFs with Taylor Swift, this novel is for you. Underneath the lightness and fun is an insanely enjoyable story. A friendship at it's heart, and a swoon worthy romance make for a quick paced read that is a fave debut for many. There is plenty of emotion packed into this read, and you'll end it being an Emery Lord fan.

11 The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

This novel takes fantasy tropes and flips them. You think you know this story, and where it's going only for Holly Black and Cassandra Clare to show you just how wrong that assumption was. It packs a surprising punch, and is perfect for middle grade and young adult fans alike. I cannot wait to see these characters grow and progress over the coarse of this story.

12 Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

A finale that was more than worth the wait. While I may prefer Etienne to any of the other boys Stephanie Perkins has created, Isla is perhaps my favourite girl. She endeared herself to me immediately, and is perhaps the most like me. A romantic, achingly realistic, beautifully written conclusion to a stellar set of companion novels. Stephanie Perkins may just be the Queen of Contemporary novels (for me she shares the title with Gayle Forman).

13 The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The buzz around this one started when Emma Watson signed on to be the main character in the movie adaptation. Kelsea is a protagonist that quickly makes you fall in love with her. The Fetch is an intriguing element to the story and adds an air of mystery. The world building is one of my favourite parts of this story and seeing Kelsea grow and change is the heart of the story.

14 Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Danielle Paige takes something beloved and makes it all her own. She twists Oz in fascinating ways all while maintaining the recognizable elements of the classic. The clear and concise set up allows for a tightly woven story that begs to be turned into a CW TV show. Those who want what made The Wizard of Oz so speical will find it here, just twisted beyond belief.

15 Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrois

Heather Demetrois' writing is often praised (and her 2015 release I'll Meet You There) is already gaining a lot of praise for it's writing). This novel is no exception. Combined with her writing is fantastic world building, and a love triangle that works because it really isn't a love triangle. This novel has magic, wonder, and a fantastic lead character that all equal up to a great read.

I could have easily made it 20, but decided to at least try to limit myself. Have you read any of these books? Did they make your Best Of list? Let me know in the comments.

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