Thursday, 1 January 2015

TOP 14 BOOKS OF 2014

2014 is over and, though it may be a cliche to say, I can't believe how fast the year went!
I read a grand total of 86 books this year (counting rereads), so I just about beat my goodreads goal of 85. Go me!
These books were the best of the 86, the cream of the crop, the ones that made me laugh and cry and squeal and stayed with me long after I'd finished reading.
I'm not going to give you a full synopsis of each book, just a quick explanation of why I loved them so much, so I'll include the goodreads link for each book for you to find more information. 

Here they are, from my least favorites (that were still completely amazing) to my favorite book of the year!

14: 'Wonder' - R.J Palacio (x)
Wonder tells the story of young August/Auggie who was born with a severe facial deformity and the struggles he faces when starting school for the first time. It's beautiful and powerful and inspirational, and Auggie an incredibly strong (and adorable) protagonist. I think this book's really important to read, especially for children (it's a middle grade book after all) as it makes you think about how you see other people and really changes your outlook on things. I loved it!

13: 'The manifesto on how to be interesting' - Holly Bourne (x)
Firstly, I'd like to thank my lovely parabatai for aggressively recommending this book to me and eventually taking matters into her own hands giving it to me for Christmas. You rock!
'the manifesto..." follows Bree, an aspiring writer who blogs about her journey to make her life more 'interesting' and infiltrate the popular group at school. It deals with a ton of important issues, some of which were quite personal to me which really made the book hit home, and I thought it was a really powerful and interesting story.

12:  'The bunker diary' - Kevin Brooks (x)

I read this book under the recommendation of a friend, who told me before hand that "It's really fucked up but it's amazing.". I couldn't have put it better myself. 'The bunker diary' follows the story of a boy who is kidnapped and locked in a bunker, and it's just as grim as it sounds. It's an extremely harrowing book, but it's also well written and thought provoking. It stirred up some controversy when it won the carnegie award (Is it too dark for YA? Should there be limits on how far childrens books can go? This is a whole different blog post.), but I think it deserves the prize.



11: 'Afterworlds' - Scott Westerfeld (x)
This book has alternating chapters; one from the POV of Darcy, an author who has moved to New York and is waiting for her first novel to be published, then one chapter from the paranormal novel that Darcy has written. It's like two books in one! Both stories were unique and interesting, and was really effective to read them both together and see how Darcy's life affected what she was writing, but it was Darcy's chapters that I really loved. I am an aspiring author myself so I really related to Darcy and I was very interested in what she went through to get her book published. I also really liked how this book had a lesbian main character without making it the main focus and I think it handled the topic really well. Yay!

10: 'Pride and Prejudice' - Jane Austen (x)
Shout out to my mum, who has been trying to make me read this book for about 5 years. It's her favorite book of all time and it turns out that she has really good taste. This book took me a while to get into, but when I did i was squealing and crying and loving every word. I really loved the characters, (particularly Elizabeth. There's nothing I appreciate more than an independent women, especially in classics) and I got so invested in the relationship between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth. It's just so romantic and beautiful! I could go on for ages about how positively surprised I was about this book, but I'll just leave it there. Plus me and mum are going to see a live play version of it in the summer, and I can't wait!

9: 'Blue Lily, Lily Blue' - Maggie Stiefvater (x)
'Blue Lily, Lily Blue' is the third and most recent book in the raven cycle quartet, which just so happens to be one of my favorite series of all time. The story is unique and whimsical and kind of strange, the writing is beautiful and the characters are well developed and original. The third installment did not disappoint and I need book four RIGHT NOW! Also, if you don't ship Ronan and Adam with your entire heart we can't be friends.

8: 'We were liars' - E. Lockhart (x)

This book got a lot of hype when it first came out, and in my opinion it completely deserved it. I didn't know what to expect going in, which is probably the best way to do it, and it completely blew my mind. The story is simple enough, but E. Lockhart's writing is so unique and interesting and she does a really good job at creating a mysterious atmosphere. Unfortunately I did kind of guess the big twist on the end but it still had a huge emotional impact on me, so I have to give her points for that!

7: 'City of Heavenly Fire' - Cassandra Clare (x)
I think I've said this before, but Cassandra Clare is my favorite author. I love her, and I love everything that she writes. Although I prefer the infernal devices trilogy (in fact, it's my favorite series of all time) the mortal instruments will always hold a very special place on my favorite series list and I was heartbroken that it had come to an end. This book was everything I've come to expect from Cassandra Clare, action packed and fun with moments of overwhelming why-would-you-do-this-to-us-I'm-going-to-cry-forever, and even though it's not my favorite book in the series I thought it wrapped everything up pretty well. Furthermore, the experience of counting down to this books release, reading it as fast as I could as soon as it came out and meeting Cassandra just a few days later was really fun and made this a really memorable reading experience.

6: 'More than this' - Patrick Ness (x)
This was my first ever Patrick Ness book (I'm dying to read the chaos walking series, but I don't own them yet) and I kind of fell in love with it. It was mysterious and intriguing and when we finally found out what was really going on it blew my mind (I feel like I'm using that phrase a lot, apparently my mind is blown easily). In the words of John Green: "just read it"

I ALREADY MADE A POST ABOUT MY TOP FIVE BOOKS OF THE YEAR, WHICH YOU CAN FIND HERE, SO I'M NOT GOING TO GO INTO EXPLANATIONS AGAIN. 
THEY'RE ALL ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. 

5: 'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' (the whole series) - Rick Riordan (x)

4: 'The forever song' - Julie Kagawa (x)

3: 'Two boys kissing' - David Levithan (x)

2: 'Fangirl' - Rainbow Rowell (x)

1: 'Eleanor and Park' - Rainbow Rowell (x)

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