Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top 14 Books of 2014!

Happy New Years, everyone! 2015 is finally here! It's time to update the Goodreads reading goals (Does it make me a total nerd if I say that that is what I've been looking forward to the most as far as New Years is concerned?) and make resolutions that in my heart I know I'll break in two weeks. I honestly can't believe 2014 went by so quickly. It was a pretty good year for me; particularly in the bookish sense. Yeah, I read a lot of awful burn-them-from-my-mind-please books, but I also found a lot of new favorites this year too! And I read the Harry Potter series for the first time ever this year, so really, doesn't that just automatically make 2014 an awesome reading year?

Here are my top 14 books that I read this year.

14.) Medusa by Tony Talbot

This book was a very unique dystopia with super-original characters--seriously, one of them is a boat. (A very awesome boat, at that) Not a lot of pointless romance, either, which was a complete bonus for me.

13.)  Bleak Devotion by Gemma Drazin

This is another indie Dystopia I loved, but it is very different from Medusa. This one is very romance-centered, but I actually liked that for once! The beginning started off with a bang and it only got better from there. I don't even like aliens that much, but Bleak Devotion was a total exception to that rule.

12.) The Sham by Ellen Allen

This is by far one of the strangest mysteries I have ever read. The story is at times so bizarre (and dark) that I wondered how the author would ever tie this mystery up. But she did, in one of the most surprising and awesome endings of this year. This book is not for everyone-it can get hard to read at times, at the very beginning and very end in particular-but it was most definitely for me. 

11.) Greetings from the Flipside by Rene Guttridge and Cheryl McKay

I spent the first third-yes, third-of this book HATING it and wondering what the reviewer saw in this book that I obviously wasn't. I mean, the book's main focus is on the main character's "dream life" while in a coma for pretty much the whole book. AND THAT WAS NOT MENTIONED IN THE BLURB. But, almost instantly my opinion of this book changed. I went from hating it to loving its quirkiness and sweetness. It's definitely not a book I would usually read, but I am very glad I did.

10.) The Hit by Allen Zadoff

This book doesn't have a happy ending, or a very likeable character, or 'good' guys and 'bad' guys, and those attributes made me adore it. The thrilling and suspenseful tone of it all didn't hurt the book either. I seriously am pining for the sequel, guys.  

9.) Six Strings by Jen Sanya Williamson

This was an interesting take on time travel, but what really cemented my adoration of this YA/NA title was the relationships it showed. First, there is the relationship that Riley has with her grandmother, and later...Lucas Cooper. OMG, Lucas and Riley are one of the most ship-worthy couples to ever be penned.  Their chemistry was so awesome. And Riley meeting her family members when they were still teens made for some really interesting interactions. Definitely my favorite time travel novel EVAH.

8.) Podium Finish by Beth Pond 

I, for some reason, am obsessed with ice-skating books. I don't know why, I just am. And Podium Finish, about Olympic ice skaters (one in hockey, and one an ice dancer) really satisfied me. It was good at explaining things, like moves and such, in such a way that I really got a clear picture of what was going on, and it actually focused a lot on the sports as well as the friendships and romances. And Alex and Ace's (completely platonic) relationship? Awesome. I read this in freaking January and I still think about it quite a bit.

7.) Seed by Lisa Heathfield

This book is sometimes hard to read, deals with subjects that don't get talked about a lot in YA (cults), and it can be heartbreaking and startling at the same time. It definitely isn't something that I would have read usually-I thought the book was a dystopian so I got it off of Netgalley. Well, I was partially right; it is dystopian, but it is a real life scenario dystopian. Seed was one of those books that makes you think.

6.) All the Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry

Anyone who says that Historical Fiction is boring---I DARE you to read this book and come away from it saying the same thing. This book is thrilling, heartbreaking...and it manages to stay realistic to its historical setting at the same time. Judith is a strong main character, but not the type of strong "assassin, can hit a target 500 feet away while blindfolded" type of main character. She faces persecution and isolation from her fellow townspeople for something she can't control and manages to keep on going. The mystery of the book is never fully unraveled until some of the last pages, and it definitely keeps you guessing. And the romance; GAH, so great. Did I mention this book is in second person? Yeah, it's definitely a unique story. 

5.) Thorn by Intisar Khanani

This and The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (both retellings of the same, somewhat obscure story) are two of my favorite retold fairy tales ever. This is not all that like the Goose Girl, though; it is its own unique retelling, and it's amazing. Definitely one of the best indies I've ever read. 

4.) Get Happy by Mary Amato

Considering that I didn't like Guitar Notes by the same author at all, it was a bit of a surprise that I loved this one so much. The characters are so funny, the story is poignant, and the ending, like real life, doesn't feel as tidied up as most stories would usually make it be. It leaves hope that things get better, and left me satisfied, though, at the same time. Oh, and can I ask for Finnegan to be my best friend, please?

3.) Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Though this book is the longest thing I've probably ever read, it was well worth it. Definitely not...the most historically accurate thing I've ever read, but the romance was really good. And, I have a thing for tragic endings (I don't know why either) so this ending suited me. But seriously, I do want a sequel. And not Scarlett. A good sequel.

2.) Playing With Matches by Suri Rosen

Cute, but not fluffy. Funny, but it has important lessons. Playing With Matches was a perfect blend of these things and more, and I just ate it up! Who knew that matchmaking was so interesting to read about?  This is definitely a must-read. I wish it was better known so I could have someone to fangirl over it with, because this book deserves fangirling.

1.) The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

How could this not be on top of my list? I know it's kind of cheating because it's a series, but the books would take up half of my list otherwise. :P This series is the greatest thing ever. It is because of this series that I joined Pottermore and found my Hogwarts house, (Ravenclaw pride, everybody!)  feverishly google J.K. Rowling's name every other week to see if there's any new book news, (there never is...) and send my close friends pictures like a gender-bend drawing of James and Lily as Hogwarts students (it was ADORABLE). I understand the phrase "Harry Potter changed my life" now. I desperately want a sequel series. Or just a new middle grade/YA book from J.K. Rowling in general. Basically, I now understand practically every Harry Potter fan's pain now.

So those are my favorite books of 2014, out of the 200+ books I read this year. How about you? What were your favorites this year? Was 2014 a good reading year for you? Comment below!

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