Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Top Ten Books of 2014

This week's Top Ten Tuesday (thanks to The Broke and The Bookish) is counting down my FAVORITES from this past year of reading. I read quite a few books this year (though some people have definitely read more) but there are definitely some that stand out among the others. So, in almost NO particular order.

1. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell- Oh yea, don't you remember me ranting and raving about this book? You should. And if you haven't read this one yet, you should. I don't know what it is, but her books just work for me. The characters are so easily relatable. The setting is so familiar (hello Midwest!) and it just flowed. I feel like I got to know Beth the same way that Lincoln did, and what seemed creepy at first turned into something that oddly enough made sense. READ IT! READ IT! This story...it stuck with me.

2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell- Yeaaaa, ok I have more Rainbow to add to this. But Fangirl was so good! Again, so realistic. The characters just felt so real and I wanted to be friends with them. It was a situation I understood so well. Going to college and not knowing anyone but one single person. We've all been there and understand some of Cath's feelings. The only issue I had was my aversion to fan fiction, but I though the story was just so great. I inhaled this book. WHOOOOO RAINBOW ROWELL!

3. The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas (Throne of GlassCrown of MidnightHeir of Fire)- Yea, I started this series about a month and a half, maybe two months ago. Yeaaaaaaa I loved it. Kind of took over my reading life a bit. The world she created is awesome and the story line is so intense. And the characters! AH, the characters. So strong, but not like unrealistically strong. They have weaknesses, they have faults, and they deal with a lot of tough things in very real ways. I loved it. And the wait for book 4 may kill me. Seriously, can I have it now? Those last few chapters...so much I have to know.

4. The Young Elites by Marie Lu- Yet again, a book I read and am dying in anticipation for book #2. This book was fantastic. I loved the Legend series, so I wasn't sure exactly how this would look next to that. It was great. Completely different from Legend (minus having chapters told in various character's perspectives). This book was dark. Kind of eerie. And it showed that even those people that have that darkness inside of them can do good. They can overcome the darkness, even when it's difficult. I am so looking forward to seeing what happens next. I did not expect this book to end as it did, and I need more. Please and thank you.

5. Lady Thief (Scarlet #2) by AC Gaughen- Have you ever read a book that made you so upset that you had to slam it shut? And then did you open that book right back up to keep reading about 5 minutes later? Yea, that's what I did with this book (and with the first book). I love this book series. A little cheesy, but so awesome. Gaughen does things that I DO NOT want her to do, but in a good way. It's like she makes me fall in love with these characters and then has them deal with how life can be. And Scarlet. Scarlet is pretty awesome. This is a series more people need to get on with. The 3rd and final book comes out in May, so you can have less of a wait than me.

6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn- Yes, I did jump on this bandwagon. I'm ok with that. This is not a normal book pick for me. I typically don't like this, and even after reading it I had to make sure to do something happy to make me feel better. So much manipulation, so much pure evil, so much screwing with each other's mind. I honestly HATED all the characters, except for Nick's sister, but I can appreciate that the author can create that. I read this book in 2 days. It sucked me in and I just HAD to know what came next. Worth the read? yes. Will I read it again? Probably not. But it definitely made the top ten for 2014.

7. Where She Went by Gayle Forman- Ok, so this book is the 2nd book to If I Stay. I read that one first and was feeling pretty meh about the mere existence of Where She Went, because I feel like it didn't need a sequel. Man, was I wrong. This book was just as emotional as the first. I was yelling at the characters (yep, I was having a fight with a fictional character). I was sobbing at parts. And I was finding myself really truly relate to these characters who were just trying to sort through their grief. I almost liked this one more than the first one, but you have to read the first one before this (because you would not feel the emotions as much). Gayle Forman, you kill me (in a good way) and I can't wait to read your next book.

8. Champion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu- Well, well, well....look who showed up on my list again. I started the Legend series last year and finished it in the beginning of 2014, and I loved it. Ending a series can be so tricky. EVERYONE has different expectations and wants, but in the end it's the author who has the last say. I won't give out spoilers (but you should probably read this series so we can talk), but I must say I am happy with the ending. I think it ended giving the reader hope. There were points where it seemed hopeless, but she left us with that hope. I loved it.

9. Conquest by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard- Oh...Jake will be so happy. I was forced to read this book. He kept bugging me and bugging me so I gave in. And I liked it. Typically, not into alien books. This was awesome though. So much action. So much happening. So many characters. A little violent, but not more than I could handle reading about. And this is the first in a series, so there are more to look forward to!

10. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley- I loved this book! So sad that I have been struggling to get the next book. This book follows Flavia de Luce, the most awesome 11 year old (besides Harry Potter OBVIOUSLY), as she tries to solve a mystery. This book kept me guessing and even had me learning a bit. It was a simple, fun read that also challenged me a little bit at the same time. It's definitely a mystery series for people that don't typically read mystery (like myself). And they keep releasing new ones! Plenty to go around!

I have read a lot of good books this year. Honestly, there aren't A TON that I rated really poorly. This list is basically what stood out to me the most this past year. And there is so much I wish I would have gotten my hands on, though this list would have been super hard then. Anything awesome I've missed this year?

I hope to have the chance to write something more later, but if I don't....Merry Christmas! Hope you all enjoy this time of year with family and friends!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2015

Look! It's Tuesday again! Maybe one day I'll think of something else to write besides these Top Ten Tuesdays, but until then I will continue to participate and create these fun lists. Thanks The Broke and The Bookish for making something fun I love to participate in! This week I'm listing the top ten books I am looking forward to that come out next year! Can't believe we are already in December and can look forward to next year. Now, I'm not going to lie, after my first 4 I had no idea what else to write. But after some much needed research and reminders of what I have heard other people talk about I was able to think of 10. I'm sure I could find more, but I think this list is perfect! So, in almost no particular order (because my first two listed are ones I really am dying to have soon):

OH MY GOSH! I need this one! So badly. The last book, Lady Thief, left me needing more (which is awesome that an author can do that). I need to know what will happen with my favorite characters, because right now things are looking kind of scary. This isn't released until May 19th (which means you have TONS of time to catch up.

No cover for this one yet, but that does not mean I need it any less. So much happened in Heir of Fire, and there is still so much that can happen. I am looking forward to getting to know certain characters more and I am really dying to know what is happening with everyone (because some were in some sticky situations at the end of book 3).  I have to wait until September 10th(ish). A wait that may kill me.

I think the premise of this one sounds really awesome. I read the first three in the series and while I was reading the third one I heard Cass was publishing a 4th. That kind of confused me but after reading the summary I was intrigued. I would love to see what the Selection is like from the viewpoint of someone who is doing the selecting, and to have it be a female looking for a husband, even more interesting. This one comes out on May 5th.

I must admit, I have loved most of the books I've read by Gayle Forman. I LOVED If I Stay and Where she went (which you should read if you have not already) but was only ok with Just One Day and Just One Year. However, I know she is more than capable of creating a story that I love, and the summary of this books just got me. She writes fantastic books filled with emotions that just really get to me as a reader, and I kind of love that. January 27th isn't too far off right?

I keep hearing more and more about this book, and I keep seeing other blogs that I follow talk it up (mostly lots of anticipation) and I think I really may need this one. The main character just sounds like a badass, and the world needs more badass female characters. I have been on such a fantasy kick lately and this just fits the bill. One of the reviewers compared it to Game of Thrones, which makes me super nervous (just don't compare books to things that are super popular. People end up disappointed) but I am pumped to give this a try. Just gotta wait until March 10th.

It's been such a long time since I've had a good steampunk-y read, and this sounds pretty solid so far. The summary isn't large, but it does say it's the Night Circus meets Pixar (The Night Circus was a fantastic book that you should really read if you haven't, and if you haven't seen a Pixar movie then you are probably dead inside. A little harsh but true). I know I just complained about comparisons like that, but I also have to believe that these comparisons are valid. Story is set in an alternate London, which sounds even more awesome. Can't wait to learn more about it. Another May 19th release!

This book just sounds interesting. Super intriguing and even a little creepy. I just want to read the book right after reading that description. I have to know what happened Roza and how Finn is handling things and what is really with the people of Bone Gap. Definitely looking forward to reading this one. Come on March 3rd!

Fairy tale retellings with more of a mystery vibe? Count me in! I am such a sucker for fairy tale retellings (should we talk about how many times I read Gail Carson Levine books? It was more than I can count). This one is about The Princess & The Pea and her family (who controls black market organ transplants). I definitely can't wait to get my hands on this one. That makes 3 books that come out on May 19th now. 

This book deals with someone who has a hard time distinguish reality from what he makes up in her head. It's just about a young woman's battle with schizophrenia as she is trying to finish up high school and get into college. It sounds really interesting and it is recommended to those that like Silver Linings Playbook (yea...there I go again being "ok" with the comparison. But I loved Silver Linings Playbook, and I would love to read a book that I feel is at that level. A book that can make me laugh out loud at some of the crazy things that happen but at the same time feel for the main character.). Once again, this one comes out on May 19th. Seriously, I'll have a lot of reading to do around then.

I love Elizabeth Wein. Code Name Verity was a book I read in a day and I beg people to read because it's just fantastic. I was feeling pretty so so on her second book but may have to give it a try again. However, I am really intrigued by anything else she writes. It just has so much going on, set in the 1930s with a white woman raising an adoptive black child (seriously, that would be so hard at that time) and then war outbreak when they travel to Ethiopia. I just really need to read this book. It sounds so incredibly interesting. March 31st.

A pretty solid list if I may say so myself. Anything I should add or remove from this list? Anything I haven't really looked into that I should? I always love new suggestions.

And, being that it is December, I will end with a Christmas song :)