Saturday, 20 December 2014

Our Top 14 Books of 2014

I'll just be choosing from the books I read in 2014, instead of just choosing from the ones released in 2014 because a lot of my favourites were older ones that I didn't get round to reading until this year (there'll also be a variety because there's everything from contemporary to fantasy, and quite a few adult books instead of being all YA).

But enough of my rambling and onto the list... In no particular order, my favourites books that I read this year:

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell - This isn't my favourite Rainbow Rowell book, but it surprised me how much I enjoyed reading it. It was well written and it made me laugh and smile and was a really good book.

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean - Julie told me to read this series ages ago and I can't believe it took me so long to get round to it, it's really good.

Red Leaves by Paullina Simons - There's a lot of mixed reviews for this one, but I loved it. It made me want to read more crime/murder type books (it's very different from her Bronze Horseman series, which I also love, so don't go into it expecting them to be similar).

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout- Whywhywhy did I take so long to read this book? I loved it. It's one of those books that... well, it's cheesy and it's not perfect, but it creates the same kind of feelings I had when I first read Twilight and it just hooked me.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton - This book...kjnjfbdfbv. It's unique and beautifully written and wonderfully weird and I loved it and it's on my favourites shelf now.

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares - I really like this series, and it took me ages to realise Ann had written another book set when they're older and it took even longer to get around to reading it...but I'm glad I did. It's heartbreaking but not always in a bad way and I loved it.

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas - Took me a while to warm up to this book, but when I did, I really really loved it. I love this series in general, so if you've not read it yet then I really recommend it.

Hostage Three by Nick Lake - This combines two things that interest me, pirates and hostage situations/Stockholm Syndrome but I didn't think I'd love it as much as I did. I didn't know much about Somali pirates until I read this, it's one of those books that can influence the way you think about things.

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski - This book... It was just great really. I don't have much to say beyond that. I have the sequel on my Kindle waiting to be read.

My Lover, His Brother, & Me by Janey Woodall - I think I got this because it was on offer for Kindle, and I didn't expect it to be great but it made me laugh and smile and had great characters. I liked it so much I bought a physical copy (even though it's self published--so more expensive--and has a bad cover) and bought another book by the author.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - My feelings for this one have dimmed since reading it but it was really well written, I loved it at the time and still think highly of it now.

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira - This is another where my feelings dimmed over time, but I still really recommend it. You can definitely pick up on the Perks of Being a Wallflower parallels so if you're a fan of that you might like this too (although it doesn't have quite the same impact as Perks did).

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - This one can drag a bit while reading, but I really enjoyed it and understand the hype. It also has one of the most interesting female characters I've read this year.

As Red As Blood by Salla Simukka - Loved the setting of this book (I think it's set in Finland) and the writing, it was different from the other books I read this year.

And I think that's it. Have you read any from my list? What were your favourites of 2014?


I'm going to set some parameters too. This is only books read in 2014, but only including books that are available to buy now because I've read...quite a few 2015 books already. As per usual though, I will still do a shout out to the 2015 books I've read (they won't qualify next year so)...but probably in a different post because, like I said, there's been a lot. And then full reviews closer to release.

Sublime by Christina Lauren - This book was so different and so beautifully written. I love Christina Lauren books, but this was incredibly different from what they've put out so far and they took it places you don't always see in YA that I loved.

Infinite by Jodi Meadows - Jodi knows how to end a series. From book one, you could see how talented Jodi was, but each book just got better and this one was mindblowing. A phenomenal series with an incredible ending. 

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith - I've loved Jennifer's contemporaries since the first one and these also get better with each book. And this one was like a love letter to NYC. NYC was a character more than a setting and I love when books can bring me in like that and make me feel a setting. It was so authentic and lovely.

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - Oh, this book. I know it's not the most popular opinion, but this was my favorite of Stephanie's books so far. I connected with Isla and her insecurities so much. Isla isn't just the girl I was in high school, but I'd definitely be handling a relationship that worked out the way hers did the same way now.

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley - This is a life changing kind of book. I tend to avoid American historical fiction because I feel like so much is hammered in our heads in school, but this is also a time period that kind of gets brushed over. This really brings segregation in the South to life and it adds this incredible romance and I absolutely adored the ending. So masterfully written and wonderfully painted, everyone should read this book.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler - This might be my top read of the year. I usually can't pick just one book that's better than the rest, but this was one of the most eye-opening, important books I've ever read. I almost didn't get it too! But this is the kind of book I want to give to every person, but especially every woman, I know. Especially since so many of the women I know are creative types. It's honest and funny and feels like Amy Poehler is just having a chat with you and telling stories (and I'm told her audiobook is almost-literally that). 

Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore - Jaclyn Dolamore is one of the most inventive writers in YA. She's an autobuy for me, but at ALAMW, the publicists were pitching it at Pushing

Daisies in the 1920s and come on, how awesome does that sound? And it doesn't disappoint. Jaclyn builds phenomenal worlds and characters and the greatest relationships. I'm somewhat desperate for book 2.

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord - Emery Lord 1.) writes exactly the kind of books I want to read and 2.) is the best person for me to turn to when I'm in low swing. I've found her books in my dark times twice this year and both times, they were like this light. I connected and felt inspired and felt human. Nothing lifts me up like an Emery Lord book. She's so talented and she writes these stories that I swear are the books my soul can only dream of and she makes real. Her characters are complex and her relationships even more so and everything is swoony and wonderful but so much deeper than they seem on the surface. I could not be more in love.

Love by the Morning Star by Laura L. Sullivan - This might not be the greatest book ever written, but I love it because it's so different. The writing is quirky and the premise is a little bizarre and magical. I consider it a Midsummer Night's Dream-esque book set in WWII. There's conspiracies and plots and the war is actually an important factor and the romances are adorable. It's tragically overlooked and just so cute and quirky.

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman - On the other end of the WWII spectrum is Anne Blankman. Set during Hitler's rise, Anne creates this amazing canvas where you almost find yourself liking Hitler. He seems like a decent guy. Gretchen's journey to reality is like a reeducation in how terrible he actually was. And the romance? SO swoony. Daniel is one of the most amazing guys I've ever found in a YA.

Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren - I did say I loved Christina Lauren. I love both books in the new series, but I think I love this one a little more just because the premise and the
setting. They write the sexiest romances and I adore them to pieces, but this one may take the cake as far as adult books go this year.

Deliverance by C.J. Redwine - Another epic trilogy conclusion from someone I knew wouldn't disappoint. I don't really finish series often for a reason, so when I do, you now the books are good. Epic and twisty and romantic and full of suspense, Deliverance was thrilling and exciting and wonderful.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - Travesty of travesties, this was my first E. Lockhart and I had no interest in it, but a friend had an extra ARC. This book messed with my head and I
wanted to reread it immediately after finishing. Even my roommate gave her hearty approval. This book was so twisty and epic and I loved every second of it.

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean - I feel like I waited forever for this book. The way the last book ended made you know this one was going to be epic and the twists started from page one. The intrigue and the steamy scenes and the lovely romance and blackmail. Sarah MacLean is another one of my auto-buy authors and she deserves the title and more. I loved every second of this book and I highly recommend starting with her if you're ready to dive into historical romances.

So, there's the list! Overall, I read a lot of 5-star worthy books, but not a lot of books I truly fell in love with. Great, but not life changing. Looking back, it was overall somewhat disappointing. But, I have a lot of faith in 2015 based on what I've read so far!


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