Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My Top 10 Reads of 2014

So, I didn't read nearly as much as I wanted to this year, but I did read 35 books, which is more than enough to make a top 10 list out of. It was pretty hard because I read a lot of excellent books this year, but I think I've narrowed it down to my favorites.

Keep in mind, these books were not necessarily published in 2014. Many were published earlier and I'm just now getting around to reading them. So you might see some older books on here. But, without further ado, let's dive in.

10. A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
A clever spin on the tale of Hansel and Gretel, I found this book a darkly charming read, reminiscent of all the classic fairy tales. The book is made up of several short but connecting stories. My personal favorites were the Three Golden Hairs, where Hansel must trick the devil to escape eternal torture in hell, and the Blood Red Smile, where Gretel finds herself taken with a young man who might not be what he seems. I would recommend this book to any lover of Grimm fairy tales.

9. Legend by Marie Lu
I thought I was worn out by the dystopian genre, but I really connected to the main characters of this story. I love me some smart main characters and I liked watching them try to get out of situations with strategy and wit. This was also a fast paced, fun ride. The sequel, Prodigy, is also worth noting. I have not yet read Champion but I look forward to it.

8. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
This is just a sweet love story. A sweet love story that feels very natural between the two leads. This book made my happy, sad and all of the emotions in between but all the way through, it felt very honest. I haven’t read anything by Rainbow Rowell I haven’t liked so I’m looking forward to more quirky love stories from her in the future.

7. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
I love me some Alice and Wonderland retellings. I decided to place this book here because, while I did read the sequel to another Alice and Wonderland retelling (Unhinged by A.G Howard) I read the first book before this year. So I thought it would be cheating. But this is a wonderful retelling with charming characters and a zany setting that keeps the spirit of wonderland. I love Hatter Madigan especially. Also worth noting is the sequel Seeing Redd. I look forward to reading the third book soon.

6. Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor
I read all three of these books this year. What can I say? They’re gorgeous, unique and I love the characters. When I started reading, I didn’t expect this book to go in the direction it did. It could have easily been cliché but Taylor took the concept in a unique and excellent direction. And the covers are gorgeous, but that’s a superficial love. Crack these books open and see for yourself.

5. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
This book, a Beauty and the Beast retelling, could have failed so easily. I half expected it to. But the prose were surprisingly gorgeous and our beast for the story was super alluring. And I’m not usually attracted to the love interests in romance stories but, wow. The main heroine is quite interesting as well, and I enjoyed the dynamic of the main couple. Which is important, considering that’s the heart of the story. Rosamund Hodge is definitely on my watch list.

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Yes, I know, I should have read this ages ago. But I’m glad I finally did. Long story short, I cried. A lot. And that’s high praise because I rarely cry at books. And the narration from Death’s point of view was fabulous. I’d tell you to read it but, let’s face it, you probably already have.

3. Vicious by V.E Schwab
This is one of those books I wish I could write. It has so many themes and concepts that I adore. I love people with special powers. I love explorations of what makes us human. I love morally ambiguous protagonists. And the book executes these themes perfectly. I adored this book and I think a second read is in my future.

2. The Shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zaffón
I’ve talked a lot about books with pretty prose. Well this book is the crowning achievement in that. The setting and atmosphere of this book is just gorgeous. It enveloped me in the world of post civil war Spain and I fell in love with its story and characters. This was the kind of huge story that tickled my Les Miserables loving heart. I recommend it to EVERYONE. It’s amazing. Just read it. Please.

But, of course, the crowning achievement must go to…

1. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
I knew this would be number one as soon as I started making this list. The world is fantastic, the fight scenes heart-poundingly awesome, and the main characters engaging. I am obsessed with Kelsier and Vin. I’m obsessed with the magic system. I am, in general, obsessed with this book. Read it now if you haven’t. And while you do, I’m off to read the sequels!


Those are my top 10 books I read in 2014. What were some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!

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