I read 102 books this year--2 more than my goal of 100 books. YAY!!
So, here are my top 14 books from the 102 books I've read this year. Usually, I limit myself to only books published this year when putting together these end of the year lists. But this year I'm also including books that were not published in 2014 because they are very much worth mentioning. If I don't mention them now, when? You know?
In no particular order...
Number 1: Something Real by Heather Demetrios
From my review: "Something Real is the kind of contemporary YA that I prefer too read: not light and fluffy but not dark and serious either... just that perfect balance of serious and light-hearted moments. It is so, soooo good, you guys. I absolutely loved it and I urge you to pick it up."
Number 2: Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis
From my review: "Blackfin Sky was whimsical, twisty and unpredictable. The lyrical writing, the otherworldliness of the setting and the quirky characters made for a uniquely fantastic story. If you like Sarah Beth Durst, if you liked The Night Circus, if you like reading novels with a sort of peculiar slant with a touch of magic then Blackfin Sky is for you."
Number 3: Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan
From my review: "Put Love and Other Foreign Words on your mood or book-funk lifter shelf. I loved this book. It just made me so happy. It's been a while since I've read a book that made me sigh in complete bookish happiness after I finished the last page."
Number 4: The Secret Side of Empty by Maria E. Andreu
From my review: "After I finished reading The Secret Side of Empty it stayed with me for days... The entire story just felt so real and written so well that it sucks you in. The characters were imperfectly perfect and M.T.'s situation is real because there are millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States going through what she went through. But even if you're not an "illegal," you can still relate to the story because it is more than about being undocumented. The novel also touched on issues of physical abuse and suicide but, really it's more than about all the issues. The Secret Side of Empty is about growing up, making decisions, finding inner strength and finding yourself. You need this book in your life. Read it."
Number 5: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
From my review: "What I Thought Was True was hands-down the best YA novel I read this summer... What I Thought Was True hit closer to home because I relate to Gwen and her family so much... I think the way teenage sexuality was presented in this novel was refreshingly open and realistic... And Cass. Oh, he was such a sweetheart. I loved him! I may even love him slightly more than Jace Garrett."
Number 6: Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
From my review: Such a fun read! I loved that the story goes from seventh grade to end of sophomore year. I loved how Macallan and Levi's relationship evolved. I loved their banter. Gah, they're just so cute! There was no will they or won't they (because obviously they will) but that anticipation of how they'll get there in the end was well-done.
Number 7: Every Breath by Ellie Marney
From my review: "I knew I was going to love Every Breath and I was right. It's actually one of those books where I love it so much that I have a hard time putting my love for the book into words... Fleshed out, realistic characters, a riveting mystery, excellently written and just a totally absorbing read. I cannot gush about it enough. Rereading this review, everything I wrote feels so trite but I really don't have the words--I'm not eloquent enough. Just: YOU NEED TO READ EVERY BREATH. Seriously."
Number 8: What to Do With a Bad Boy by Marie Harte
I'm a sucker for a good contemporary romance and this is a darn good one. Fully fleshed out characters (both main and secondary) with a romance that you can really sink your teeth into.
Number 9: Reign Rain by Ann M. Martin
From my review: "Rain Reign will stay with me for a long time. It's right up there with Wonder (Palacio), Love That Dog (Creech) and Three Times Lucky (Turnage), which are some of my all-time favorite middle grade novels. I am going to be pushing this book to my sisters, my fellow teachers (especially those who teach fourth grade and up--I'd push it on my own students too, but I teach second grade and they're too young), our school librarian and basically everyone.
Yep, it's that good."
Number 10: Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
One of the best chick lits I've read in a long, long while. I love everything about this novel and it's going on my favorites shelf. This novel basically awakened my love for chick lits and my chick lit collection have grown since reading Arranged.
Number 11: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
From my review: "Mistborn was just an extremely readable, well-written novel with fantastic, interesting characters and a well-developed, fascinating world. I am so glad that the publisher is re-doing the covers for a more YA appeal. That means more readers will pick up this book and the rest of the series and experience a truly brilliant epic fantasy story. There really is something in this novel for everyone--action, adventure, mystery, magic, politics, romance, heist mission, friendships, world-building... I highly recommend you pick up Mistborn even if you're not a big fantasy reader like myself."
Number 12: Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
This book doesn't come out until February of next year and I'll be doing a full review of it closer to the release date, but you should definitely add it to your wish list right now. It's is such an amazing read. So well-written, with a spunky yet very human main character in Sarah. I love the the Beauty and the Beast twist to it and I love the ending--it was unexpected and refreshing.
Number 13: Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh
Reading a Psy-Changeling book is always a treat. It is such an epic series. I loved everything about Shield of Winter--it's a fantastic addition to the series. I love Vasic. I love Ivy. I love this book to pieces.
Number 14: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
I marathon read the entire Shatter Me series in February and I thought the entire series was fantastic. Ignite Me was my favorite though--the writing was so much better here than in the previous two books, Juliette finally became the kick-ass female that I knew she could be and dumped Alex's sorry ass (I never liked Alex), Warner was lovely, and it was overall a very, very satisfying end to the series. Actually, I would've liked one more Juliette and Warner scene, preferably an epilogue that shows them five or ten years down the road in wedded bliss with their babies. But I'm not complaining about how the series ended.
I highly recommend all of these books. If you haven't read any one of these, you have to remedy that ASAP because they are all amazing. Oh, and if you're wondering why I did not included The Winner's Curse (I'm always yapping about how good it is) it's because I read it in 2013 (I got an early ARC copy).
Tomorrow, I'll be posting about my Top 15 Most Anticipated Books of 2015, along with my 2015 New Year's Bookish Resolutions.