Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Top 14 Books of 2014

It is so hard to believe that 2014 is coming to a very quick close. This has been a very eventful, but also very fast year for me. So much has happened, but on the book end of things, I read some amazing books this year and I am going to share them with you.

14. Four by Veronica Roth
This book was so good! I definitely feel like it helped redeem the Divergent series for me, because I definitely had feelings about Allegiant. The book revolves around Tobias Eaton "Four" and three of the stories are set before Divergent and you get a major look into what makes him tick as a character and then you get to see his perspective on one scene with Tris in Divergent. I personally feel like Veronica Roth bonded with Tobias more than any other character and it is very evident when she writes as him that she knows him inside and out, it is really fantastic to see this, both as a reader and a writer. I am certainly looking forward to whatever she has coming next.

13. Just One Day by Gayle Forman
I had heard so many good things about this book before I actually read it and I have absolutely no idea how I waited so long! I read If I Stay and Where She Went quite a while ago and I loved the books and her writing style. I was not disappointed at all when it came to Just One Day. The story pulls at your heartstrings and all while being the epitome of contemporary, it is realistic! If I could have one thing in contemporary, it is realism, a character's problems won't just magically be solved, they require effort. I would recommend this book to anyone who is just beginning to venture into contemporary, it is a fast read, and an incredible story. The sequel on the other hand.... that's a completely different story.

12. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
For starters, I read this book for school. What? I actually thoroughly enjoyed it. Despite the fact that I love reading, the books that I had read for school up until this point were lackluster in writing style, the stories being great ideas that were poorly executed. The story revolves around patients in a psychiatric hospital and how their lives intertwine and a fight for freedom that is strongly surrounded by symbolism that is so jaw dropping and amazing. The story truly makes you think and despite the fact that the characters situations aren't something that you can directly relate to, the way that they are written make you feel for the characters and their situations.

11. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
Okay, just to preface this a little bit, if this book were purely based on it's contents, writing style, development, etc. alone it would not be on this list. I feel that this one requires a little bit of explaining. I love the Shadowhunter world. TMI and TID are two of my favourite series ever. This conclusion was certainly a happy and satisfying conclusion to the series and it is on my list purely because it is the end of my favourite series and I certainly felt very many feelings as I read it. Personally, I thought that the ending was a bit of a cop-out, the whole book felt a little bit underdeveloped to me. But, this book literally could have been thousands of pages of chicken scratch and it would be on here for sentimental reasons. I am so excited for Lady Midnight!

10. Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
I just grin like a crazy person when I think about this book. It was such an amazing read. It was also a great introduction to adult literature, it definitely gave me an idea of what adult books I might like to read. I've always read young adult and recently new adult (and will continue to for as long as I want) but I think that it is great to expand your reading horizons and this book did just that. Reading from the perspective of Pat's stories and the way that he thinks and looks at situations is so unique and his voice is so prominent in the novel and it leaves you craving more and more after you finish the last page. It tackles the touchy and challenging subject of mental illness without any flaw, highly enjoyed!

9. Opposition  by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Okay, I don't think I have ever read a more action packed conclusion to a series than this this book. It was such a fun read that constantly left me on the edge of my seat, desperately wanting to know what happens next. The character development in this series is so phenomenal, it is definitely one of Jennifer's strengths and it makes the read so enjoyable. I obviously won't spoil what happens, but this is a very powerful conclusion to the series and I could not be happier with how everything wrapped up, I'm not one for cheesy endings and this book delivered an end that is both happy, but also deep and emotional.

8. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
How have I only read this book? My logic is sometimes quite flawed I believe. I read this book back in October and I have yet to pick up the next book and I don't know why. This book was amazing! I love the writing style, first and foremost. The way that there is almost to parallel paths to the story with what is actually written and what is crossed out. The characters are believable and everything that they do will pull at your heartstrings and make you feel for them. The world is so intricate and I can't wait to delve more into it in future books. There is so much happens in one book but it never once feels rushed. Tahereh Mafi is a phenomenal author with a very bright future ahead of her.

7. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
This book was an emotional roller coaster. The story is so freaking phenomenal. I feel what really makes this book as amazing as it is, is the characters. They all feel so real, Rainbow Rowell is such a personal writer and you can tell that she deeply cares for every single one of her characters and she wants them to reach happiness. She takes realistic struggles and also some very touchy subjects for her characters and translates them to the page beautifully and tastefully. The story is a very hard hitting one and it is crazy that someone so young can write with such eloquence that could rival some of the oldest authors in the business.

6. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Aliens. Huh? Who would've thought. I don't think I have ever been hooked on an entire series as quickly as this one. Right from the first page, the writing style keeps you enticed and wanting to read on. Jennifer Armentrout knows exactly how to write to a young adult audience, her language and pace are fantastic. She also knows how to write and think as a teenager. Of course, teenage characters aren't always going to make the right decisions and they are usually quite emotional and this is portrayed very well in the book. I would recommend this book to anybody who enjoys paranormal and hot male characters... what?

5. White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Again, Jennifer L. Armentrout writes another phenomenal book. This story is definitely one of the most unexpected top books of the year. When you read the synopsis and see the word 'gargoyles' it kind of leaves an odd idea in your mind. The cheesy title and cover could easily turn you off, but don't let it. This story is so interesting, and also incredibly intense. I really enjoyed how society knows of some of the paranormal aspect of the story, but is in the dark about other things. It adds a very interesting political aspect to the story. The characters are so different and unique and you will fall in love with Layla, Roth, and Zayne incredibly quickly.

4. Wait for You by J. Lynn
This book is so swoon-worthy. It's also new adult. This book introduced me to a whole new genre that I had yet to explore and I am so glad that I delved in to this. This story is ridiculously sweet and makes you smile, laugh, and cry... sometimes all at the same time. Avery is such a believable character and her fears are portrayed so well, they are very prominent in the story and Jennifer stays true to what she says about Avery and doesn't change her personality to fit a scene. Watching Avery learn to trust and live her life is a wonderful experience as a reader and this book left me constantly thinking and evaluating how I look at life and the situations that I face.

3. Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins
Another concluding book to a series has made the list! I fell in love with Anna and Kaiden's story the second that I started Sweet Evil and my love has only continued to grow as the series continued. Again, paranormal makes an appearance on this list, but this story is tackling the idea of the deadly sins embodied in people and how their job is to produce sin in people's lives. The story has grown and the idea that Anna is destined to a life of sin is challenged and I love seeing her come to realization with faith and life. She puts trust in those around her and the characters in this story are so believable and incredibly easy to become attached to. I can't wait for Sweet Temptation and more Kaiden Rowe!

2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I am so glad that I read this book this year! As someone who has read a fair share of books about people going to university/college and the experiences that they have, I have noticed a ridiculous amount of inaccuracy in the idea that it is all puppies and rainbows and perfection. This book is realistic and as someone who is going to university next year, it makes me very happy. Cath is an incredibly well written character with flaws and quirks that make her so relate-able and believable. Levi is also probably the single most adorable male character in a book, ever. To anybody who has yet to pick up any of Rainbow Rowell's books, do it, you will not be disappointed.

1. The Program by Suzanne Young
While this book is one of the best books that I read this year, it is also one of the most terrifying. Suzanne Young has a mind that works in an incredibly interesting way and she had the ability to come up with the plot that suicide has become and epidemic and make it believable in this future universe. The idea that you can have your memories taken away to "cure" you from the disease is a terrifying concept that is translated so well to the page. The atmosphere in the story is so phenomenal and I could not put this book down when I was reading it and I just wanted to know what was going to happen with Sloane, James, and Realm. I can not wait to start reading The Treatment!

So, there it is, folks. My favourite books of 2014! I hope that you had an amazing year and that 2015 brings even more amazing books.

Check out my YouTube video on my Top 14 books and like, subscribe, and share!

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