Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Top Ten Books of 2014

Coming to my Best of the Year list a little late, but better than never.

I read 82 books this year (possibly a few more I forgot to write down). This doesn't count manga or comics. I used to be steadily above 100. I need to get back up there. It's already January 12 and I've only finished two books, although I'm almost done with two more. Need to start reading!

Top Ten Young Adult Books of 2014:

One of the weirdest books I've ever read. But in a good way. Basically it's a 16 year old boy's stream of conscious ramblings about sex, sexual identity, friendship, and family. Plus giant grasshoppers taking over the world.

Breathe, Annie, Breathe continues Miranda's streak of wonderful novels. You always know what you're going to get in a Hundred Oaks book, but I also always manage to be a little bit surprised. This is a perfect feel-good summer book and also a perfect book for runners.

I didn't like this quite as much as Anna, but still it's a stellar book. Stephanie Perkins sets a high standard for contemporary fiction. Best of all, we're back in Paris and back with all our favorite characters.

These Broken Stars is a perfect combination of enchanting writing, intriguing characters, forbidden romance, and a suspenseful plot. The wonderful writing kept me glued to the page, and I loved both Lilac and Tarver.

The perfect summer book features the beach and/or a road trip. Since You've Been Gone has elements of both! Plus, self-discovery, friendship, and romance. It's all around delightful.

Eleanor & Park really is a stand-out novel. It hits every note of a teenage romance with all its ups and downs, without feeling melodramatic. Eleanor and Park are characters you come to love and care for, despite their flaws.

4. Wildlife by Fiona Wood

A beautiful story of self-discovery and coming of age. Very much in the mold of Melina Marchetta. Set in a semester long boarding wilderness camp in Australia, it deals with friendship, loss, love, and betrayal.

I'll Give You The Sun is one of those books that I could read over and over again and get something more out of each time. Marvelous writing, "real characters." Beautiful romances but most of all a complicated but wonderful relationship between twin siblings. The romances are beautiful, but most of all the relationship between the twins - fraught though it may be at times - is the most memorable and heartwarming part of the novel.

Something Real is a hard hitting, realistic look at the downside of fame and at a severely dysfunctional family. And yet it is immensely readable. It manages to be funny, sad, touching, uplifting, and infuriating without feeling maudlin. One of the most compelling contemporary fiction books I've read in a long time.

Read We Were Liars. Don't look up anything about it. Just pick it up. It's a beautiful, heart-breaking book that stays with you long after you finish the last page.


  1. I've read Isla and Since You've Been Gone so I definitely agree with you on those! Now I need to crack open I'll Give You the Sun and get down to it :D

  2. Love this list and the little mini-reviews. Adding a whole bunch to my TBR list!

  3. Great list of books and I read a good many of those one :)

  4. I had been waiting for you to post this list! Don't you also do a best of music list? I seem t recall you do because I got a ton of great recs from you for 2013 :)
    Anyways, I've only read These Broken Stars and Isla from your list (finished Isla middle of last night actually!) and I totally AGREE that they need to be on your list. I see the rest are contemporaries which maybe explains why I haven't gotten to them yet (except the one about giant grasshoppers wtf?). But I'm definitely feeling like I NEED to read them now that they've made your list!

  5. Since You've Been Gone was one of my favorite reads of last year too! It brought me back to reading contemporary. I didn't get to read I'll Give You the Sun but it's definitely one I hope to get to soon.
    Stefani @ Caught Read Handed

  6. A good year! Good luck on the year to come!

  7. I didn't reach my reading goal for this year too. I'm still trying to find time to sit and read after a long day at work.

    You got some of my favorites on your list too. I liked Isla but I didn't love it like Anna or even Lola. I still need to read I'll Give You The Sun too.

  8. I really loved Since You've Been Gone and Isla. I hope you will too! I read Winger by Andrew Smith and really enjoyed it, so I want to read more of his books now :D

    Happy reading!

  9. I know I have most of these. I will have to do my best and read them soon.


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