Posted in Fashionably Late Reviews :)

The Best Books I Read in 2014

Ok, so I’ve held off on making this list because I’ve been reading some crackers over Christmas and I didn’t want to have to miss them off the list!

I’ve chosen to include books that were ARCs, because even though they’re not out yet, I did read them in 2014. And it’s never a bad thing to be recommending books for the future eh? As if your TBR list was dwindling and needed more adding to it 😉

Here we go, in order of reading:

January – Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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I mean, wow. This book rocked my world, and I continued to fangirl about it for the rest of the year. This is SF but not as you know it. I’ve seen it written that this book bends genres. I’m not sure I agree with that, but I do think it’s intelligently written, carefully plotted, beautifully imagined and just so gorydamn addictive! Characters so well fleshed out, the likes of which I haven’t experienced since Harry Potter. And that means something, something BIG. I did receive this as an eARC.. but I bloodydamn well made sure to buy a physical copy ASAP! Click the title or cover art for links to reviews.

February – Poe by J Lincoln Fenn

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I had a strange connection to this book, and strange things happened whilst I was reading it (see review). In case you didn’t already know, I have an Edgar Allan Poe tatto on my forearm, so this book was already going to be compelling to me. There was just something so right about the set-up and the concept of the story, and the characters too.. They were.. I don’t know how to explain it. Awkward and a little bit off putting, but so so alluring. If that makes sense? The story has stayed with me.

March – The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

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Again, I was lucky enough to receive an eARC of this book. A hoo boy! This was an absolute stunner. Proper badass Fantasy. The setting and the initial concept was what was interested me the most, at first. There was this great detail surrounding the politics and the general world building and I loved that. This was flippant fantasy, it was intelligent. And so much fun to read. Rutkoski leaves it on a painful end too.. If I weren’t made of stone I might have cried.

April – The King by J R Ward

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This had to make it on here. Bow down to the WARDen, she does it again. This is book number 12 in the series and we’re finally back looking at things from the perspective of Wrath. I love Wrath. If book 1 had been from any other perspective I might not have clung to this series quite so quickly. I did have a minor breakdown after finished this book though (I started reading it at 12am on release day, thank you kindle, and finished it at just after 4am, so I was more than a little fragile) I was convinced it was the last one…*cue hyperventerlating* But I was wrong. Thank chuff!

May – Some Fine Day by Kat Ross

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More SF, I’m afraid. And another eARC! Lols. Unfortunately, Strange Chemistry went rsssssp, so the actual publication of this got pushed back. But still! I was so glad to be able to read this when I did because it was a real corker. It’s a familiar kind of SF set up; humans living underground, the weather on topside being batshit and a corrupt governing system. But what makes this special, IMO, is the suspense and the adventure and the ACTION. I mean, man alive, I felt so tense at times.. I should have kept a check on my blood pressure!

May – Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April G Tucholke

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Wow. This book is quite dark. In the best possible ways. I fell in love with the writing style and with the smaller, intertextual details too. The main characters are compelling (and eerie and slightly disturbing sometimes but still wonderful to read) and the story itself is just fantastic. I loved it. It has a paranormal aspect that isn’t in your face with it, it doesn’t feel like an ‘obvious’ kind of paranormal.. if that makes sense? Seriously loved it. I got book 2 for Xmas.

June – Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor

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My gosh, was I glad to be able to read all of these in quick succession. If I had to wait for the following books I would have driven myself to madness with the wondering! Again, such beautiful writing, and the plot and characters are equally important to the story as a whole. If you haven’t read this series yet then get on it! You seriously will not be disappointed. Gorgeous.

August – Ten Tiny Breaths by K A Tucker

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I was ready to give up on New Adult as a category. I’d set myself a challenge over the summer to throw myself into NA, head first. And… I wasn’t impressed. I foud so much lacking, in general. But then I found K A Tucker and my view changed completely. A brilliantly emotive book. The whole series is addictive!

August – Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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Again, I’m kicking myself for not getting into this series sooner! But! Like Daughter of Smoke and Bone, it meant I could binge read all three. What I enjoy about Perkins’ style in this series is that it’s so light and makes me feel fuzzy. I mean, it’s still heavy on the heart in places, but overall an uplifting and positive read. The kind of thing you need after being buried in a mind-fuck of a book. This was the perfect rememdy. And Etienne? Swoon worthy.

December – Far From You by Tess Sharpe

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I needed to read more Contemporary YA. It made sense, since I’m currently trying to write it! I’d had Far From You out from the library fora while but the moment had never felt ‘right’, you know? There’s a strange force that can control what book you read sometimes.. Or is that just me? But when I finally cracked this open, man alive! Such an interesting structure, and really compelling characters. I LOVED the way the relationships were explored. Well paced, a little dark and just so so engaging! Fab.

December – Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

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And just when I thought I couldn’t top Far From You, Dangerous Boys came along and smashed it. It was similar in style, in that the structure wasn’t straightforward and I enjoyed what that did to how I felt about what was occurring. The thing about Dangerous Boys is that it has something of the Wuthering Heights effect, in that the characters are easy not to like, but at the same time, you’re rooting for them! In one sense, this made them very real. But gosh, this book is dark dark dark. For a YA, that is. It certainly pushes the boundaries.

December – The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

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Hey look! It’s book 2! An ARC, and it isn’t out until.. March? I think? But hoo boy. My feelings are much the same as the first book, but doubled, because I’ve spent longer with the characters. I think I tweeted something like ‘the ending of this book is like missing the last step on the stairs’ – my heart was in my mouth.

December – Golden Son by Pierce Brown

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I won a proof copy from the Hodderscape advent calender thingy, and I couldn’t have been happier. It feels right that I started and finished the year on this series because it’s phenomenal. It sets the bar, and it sets it high. And then the second book comes along and pushes it up onto the next rung, and it’s like, where the HECK do we go from here? Serious book hangover after reading this one. It is so gorydamn good. I could weep. Both in envy of Brown’s talent, but also in joy of a great story.

Such a good year in books for me. I did push myself to read, and to read more, and I’m going to try and keep up the same momentum in 2015. Here’s hoping for another cracking twelve months of reading!!

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Author:

YA writer. Epic reader. Professional procrastinator.

13 thoughts on “The Best Books I Read in 2014

  1. Looks like you had an awesome reading year! I’m def. going to have to check out Red Rising. It sounds interesting and I’ve been hearing nothing but great things about it.

    Anna and the French Kiss has been sitting on my book shelves for a long time. I really need to get around to reading it. Glad to hear that I have a great book to look forward to though! 🙂

    1. Aw, just thinking about Anna and Etienne makes me feel all fuzzy. Heh. It’s a sweet book.

      Unlike Red Rising.. which is definitely not sweet! Ha ha! It’s fabulous though. I look forward to hearing how you get on with both. 🙂

    1. I haven’t read Dangerous Girls yet. I had them both on hold at the library bit Boys came first.. Girls is still somewhere in the ether.. ha! I’m looking forward to it!

      Thanks for stopping by!! (I also just did a sort-of review of Dangerous Boys on my other blog, if you’re interested. Just sayin’ 😄 )

      tryingtowriteya.wordpress.com

      It feels weird that it’s 2015 now.. Some great books being released this year!!

      1. Good review of Dangerous Boys! I think that you will definitely like Dangerous Girls too. They’re actually very different, but have similar…tone? I’m not sure if that’s the word I’m looking for. But you’ll see 🙂

      2. I’m looking forward to it! Thank you for hopping over, I don’t like plugging my own posts.. :s

  2. I actually read the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor after seeing your review for it. I’m happy to say that I enjoyed it a lot, and I look forward to reading some of the other books on your list…once I decrease the size of my already existing TBR list, that is. 🙂

    1. Oh! That’s great! I have such a soft spot for that trilogy so it’s nice to see someone else enjoyed it too 🙂

      Happy New Year and all that jazz.

  3. I want to read The Winner’s Curse and Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea soon. I also need to finish the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy. I’ve only read the first book so far, but I want to find out what happens next. Ahh, so many great books to read. Where will I find the time? 🙂

  4. I love Daughter of Smoke and Bone but I have yet to read the sequels. I am hoping to get to Red Rising soon!

    1. Ahh, I will champion Red Rising to my grave. Lol! If you’re down with SF then you’re sure to like it 😀

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