They say that time flies fast when you’re having fun, and 2014 was the year I had the most fun time. Like ever.
A Year of Firsts
Other than inaugurating my first official book blog this year, there were a lot of gold-medal achievements for me that I wouldn’t have ever anticipated. Some of them include:
- Appearing on national television and newspaper – both of which have something to do with the YA market and its colourful range of readers. I had the most amazing time discussing with fellow readers about how YA has evolved and inspired them.
- One of my reviews was quoted on Aspen by Rebekah Crane – one of my favourite books of 2014. I remember the feeling of smiling until my cheeks hurt because this is the first time I got quoted on a book. It was monumental.
- I completed a year of blogging for the first time. I had a different blog back in 2013 that only lasted for a few weeks, so a full year of blogging is definitely another accomplishment for me. *pats self*
A Year of Awesome Books
Even though I only read 77 books this year, it was still a fantastic year of reading for me. I experimented with genres that I wouldn’t normally read (and to amazing results!), my heart soared and crashed and healed with the end of The Grisha Trilogy, and most of all, I was astounded by the diverse voices I’ve read in YA this year.
So without further ado, here are my Books of 2014.
Best of Speculative Fiction
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi // “Ignite Me is a revolution in itself. You get sucked in by a hurricane of thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and lots and lots of raw power.”
Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama // “The story was simply compelling because of its mysterious and eerie nature. I’m a total nerd when it comes to that genre so I completely ate it all up.”
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater // Review to come.
Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios // Review to come.
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo // “And in a span of three books, Leigh has managed to crack my heart open and revive it back to life. I was so satisfied with how this series concluded. I couldn’t have dreamt of a better ending than this one.”
Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch // “Snow Like Ashes is one of the many YA debuts that need to be on your reading radar this year. Trust me, you want to jump on this bandwagon as soon as possible.”
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge // “Cruel Beauty is a fairytale like no other. Think the grandeur of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland meets ancient Greek mythology. Or something like that. The minute I started reading, I couldn’t get enough. It’s like the book itself was laced with ancient magic.”
Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee // “Immediately after reading the synopsis, I knew I was going to love this book. It had that air of awesomeness around it, for lack of a better term. And I was right, I did enjoy this read even if it took a piece of my heart with it.”
Best of Contemporary Fiction
Just Sing by René Gilley // “I always love a good surprise, and Just Sing was an indulgent surprise. Look out YA universe, René Gilley is one author to watch.”
Melt by Selene Castrovilla // “Selene Castrovilla sure knows how to paint a vivid and revelatory image of the cruelties of Real Life Land.”
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith // ” I suddenly have an urge to fly to New York City and find the nearest building with a rooftop beneath the blanket of stars. What have you done to me, Jennifer.”
Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler // “I was a bit skeptical going into this book because I’m not a fan of Hollywood-themed plots. They usually come off as unrealistic or shallow to me, and rarely do I enjoy reading them. Thankfully, Behind the Scenes delivered all the goods I didn’t receive from those Hollywood rejects.”
Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan // ” highly suggest that you pick this up immediately. It’s really best if you don’t know much about the book and dive into the unknown. There are parts of the novel that will leave you in hilarious, mindblowing situations. Be prepared.”
Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley // “Rites of Passage left me reeling and breathless. There’s still a lot of loose ends left to be tied, so I’m praying there’s going to be a part two in the works.”
Love and Other Theories by Alexis Bass // “My initial expectation was oh, this is going to be another mindless read for me. The synopsis came off as another typical YA contemporary romance to me where there’s heartbreak and drama and a lot of stolen kisses. Colour me surprise when I finished this book at 1AM stifling sobs.”
Aspen by Rebekah Crane // “Overall, Aspen is a literary gem. This is a great representation of what YA should be. Poignant, earnest, and inspiring.”
Best of New Adult Fiction
Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young // “This was an amazing read. I think every New Adult reader out there should check out this series. I’m very much looking forward in reading Young’s other books and hopefully, they are as good and witty as this was.
Upside Down by Lia Riley // Review to come.
Make it Count by Megan Erickson // “What makes Make It Count unique for me is its deep exploration of personal struggles particularly with the human mind. Kat is dyslexic and shows signs of ADD. It’s the reason why she’s having a hard time with her studies. I love how Megan explores this stigma instead of just mentioning it as a character detail.”
I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre // Review to come.
Unteachable by Leah Raeder // “I believe that my words are strongly insufficient to describe this work of art; to rave about this unearthed gem; to write a solid and cohesive review for my readers. Miss Leah Raeder, you simply blew me away.”
More Than Music by Elizabeth Briggs // “More Than Music made me euphoric. I was in this inebriated state where I could connect with these amazing characters and share the love of music.”
What If by A.J. Pine // “A.J. Pine is the Stephanie Perkins of New Adult. She writes with a careful grace and captures every fleeting emotion just as Perkins does in YA. And it’s no wonder that I’ve fallen in love again with her words.”
Dearest Clementine by Lex Martin // Review to come.
So that’s it for the bookish portion of my 2014 in Review blog survey. The next part, in which I’ll be spotlighting my favourite movies of 2014 and New Year’s resolutions, will be posted tomorrow. Hopefully. If I don’t get carried away by the celebration that’s bound to happen in our household.
What are your Books of 2014? Have you read any of these books I’ve listed out?