Top 10 of 2014

As I went through my Goodreads books of 2014, I noticed that the majority of the books I read were not published in 2014.  They were either older like The Infernal Devices Series and John Green books or they will be published in 2015.  Because of this, it was difficult to come up with 10 books but here goes:

(For full reviews, click the book-except We Were Liars)

10.  Cruel Beauty- 3.5/5

Cruel_Beauty_Cover_EpicReads

Cruel Beauty is a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast and if you are looking for the Disney version, look away.  Hodge does some truly original storytelling.  It’s dark and sexy and well written.

My problem with Cruel Beauty was that it had too many ideas crammed into a 350 page book.

9. Mortal Heart-4.5/5

mortal heart

His Fair Assassin Series includes three incredibly strong female protagonists.  Annith knows what she wants and she doesn’t waffle; she escapes to begin her life.   The main reason why I like this series is LaFevers knows how to write evil characters with valid motives, strong girls, and a great story from start to finish.

8. Cress- 4.5/5

cress

Meyer has a way of creating a cast of incredible characters who are all vastly different.

All of the female leads in the series are strong and unconsumed by beauty and falling madly in love. Cress on the other hand is a dreamer and a damsel. Ordinarily, I would be annoyed by this but Cress is a self proclaimed damsel which made her endearing. She has been locked in a satellite most of her life without human companionship, so of course she would be a dreamer. I found her amusing.

7.  Blue Lily, Lily Blue- 4.5/5

blue lily

Although this wasn’t as good as Dream Thieves, Blue Lily continues to build a story around five friends who are in search of a magical king.

The Raven Cycle is my favorite series in recent years and I can’t wait to find out if Blue and Gansey are meant to be.

6.  Heir of Fire-4.5/5

heir of fire

We are introduced to new characters! Witches and the mysterious Rowan who I think I love more than Chaol.

5.  Blood of my Blood-5/5

blood of my blood

In this final book in the Jasper Dent series, Jazz finds redemption.  Sometimes YA mystery/serial killer books leave you feeling like there is no way a 17-year-old could hunt and catch a killer but Lyga writes a totally believable teen “detective” in Jazz.

Blood of my Blood was my favorite series ender of the year.  If you haven’t read this series, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!

4.  Grasshopper Jungle-5/5

grasshopper

Ignore the low rating on Goodreads!

Grasshopper Jungle is a true blue Andrew Smith novel.

Smith mixes the coming of age/sexual identity and science fiction genres to create Grasshopper Jungle and it’s done beautifully.

Yes, it is excruciatingly repetitious and yes, the main character is horny all the time and talks about it all the time but if you can manage to get passed that, you will see a wonderful story of a teen boy who has a girlfriend but has feelings for his male best friend who is gay.

The reason why I like Grasshopper is because many teens are struggling with their sexuality and although Robbie, the best friend, is out and gets bullied; that’s not the focus of the book.  Austin also get bullied for being Robbie’s friend but that’s not the focus.  There are no grand declarations. The way Austin handles his situation can be cathartic for teens.  Smith writes this tough theme with an exciting science fiction back drop.

If you liked Winger, coming of age, or science fiction; READ GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE.

3.  Winner’s Curse – 5/5

winner's curse

So yes, this is another high fantasy novel, with another girl in a pretty dress, with another impossible love story but…

This one is actually GOOD, people!

Kestral is a general’s daughter and she’s strong but not the preverbal fisticuffs strong; she’s brainy.  She uses her brian to beat people even when fighting.  She’s constantly strategizing and thinking and she’s awesome.

She falls in love with her slave, Arin, and you think is going to another star crossed love story but it’s not.

Rutkoski is a beautiful story teller.  Winner’s Curse has great characters, especially Kestral, and beautiful world building.

I have already read book 2, Winner’s Crime, and it’s already my favorite book of 2015.

If you like high fantasy, read this book IMMEDIATELY!

#2. We Were Liars-5/5

liars

Once again, if you haven’t read this yet because of the low Goodreads rating, ignore it.  This book is awesome!

It’s another mystery story about a girl who suffered a tragic event but has lost her memory.  As the reader, you to try to guess what happened.

Maybe some people figured it out but I didn’t and the ending had me weeping like a little girl.  But that’s not why Liars is awesome.

Cady is a snobby drama queen but she wants more from her life than her privileged upbringing and then she meets Gat.  Gat opens her eyes to how life really is and she begins to grow.  It’s also contains fairy tales that explain the relationship of Cady’s mother and her mother’s sisters and their father.  The fairy tales are not present to dumb down the story, they are metaphorical which adds another layer to the novel.

The ending is the clincher.  You either hate or love this book.  I loved it and I hope this will be a 2015 Printz honoree/winner.

#1. Kiss of Deception-5/5

kiss

No book has ever caused me to yell out loud and spend 20 minutes rereading pages to find out what the heck just happened?  I immediately told two of my co workers to read this book so I had someone to discuss (fan girl) this book with.

A lot of people had problems with this books because it’s slow.  There is no action in the first half of the book but you still have to read it carefully or you’ll miss VITAL information.

I loved this book because there is a lot going on.  Yes, this is another high fantasy and yes there’s another princess who doesn’t want to marry her betrothed and yes this another story with two love interests but there’s so much more.

All the little songs, holy texts, and testaments come full circle.  There are many easter eggs planted throughout the novel and if you read it and missed a couple of them, click spoiler and I’ll reveal the eggs I found. It’s password protected and the password is kod.

There’s beautiful world building, a kick ass heroine, a some heart wrenching scenes.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS SERIES.

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