Faves of 2014: Part One
I love looking back over my reading year and seeing so many good books read (which is especially awesome to see when I am in a slump ~ reminds me it has been an excellent reading year with a bunch of new fave authors and series to follow). Instead of just launching with my top ten fave* I wanted to showcase so many more books I read and loved and recommend by nominating them for some different categories. I liked every single book featured here and happily recommend them all :)
*If I limited it to my top ten there would be so many other good books that I wouldn't get a chance to mention. But I will be posting my top ten in a few days (still finalising the final three picks, it's so hard...)
Books here were all read in 2014 and are a mix of backlist and new release.
1. Favourite book read in 2014
Hands down absolutely The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty
I love this series so much. It's coming together so brilliantly and unexpectedly and it has so much heart and humour and endearingness alongside crazy-wild creativity and hilarious dialogue and happenings. So excited for the final book (understatement).
2. Most powerful book
The Road Home by Ellen Emerson White, The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult & Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Nominating three. Liane's book is brilliant and funny and the funniest-serious book I've ever read (it handles some serious issues in a powerful way even while being hilarious). Best Picoult I've read in a while, even though I've read a couple of holocaust books that didn't detract from a really powerfully written story with a brilliant ending. And The Road Home was AMAZING and will stay with me for always ~ so recommended!
3. Brilliantly funny
The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty, Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor
Night of Cake and Puppets is a short stand-alone story which was swoony and fun and funny and sparkling ~ and Cracks in the Kingdom definitely gave me the most grins and smiles and laughs of my reading year :)
4. Best ache-y, heart-breaking, tear-jerker read
The Protected by Claire Zorn and the first two Sevenwaters books by Juliet Marillier
5. Most beautiful story
Laini Taylor's books
As a series and a world, these books are amazing (pictures are out of order due to blogger being obstinate).
6. Delicious rainy day comfort read
Nearly a Lady by Alissa Johnson, Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
I really enjoyed curling up with these two and just relaxing into the story
7. Adrenalin-fuelled, unputdownable award
Dark Horse by Honey Brown, Through the Cracks by Honey Brown
Honey Brown is an amazing talent! My fave of these was definitely Dark Horse, but Through the Cracks was also amazingly addictive and startling. If you like psychological thrillers you MUST check her out!
8. The beautiful prose award
Laini Taylor, As Stars Fall & The Bridge From Me To You
9. Most atmospheric and vivid setting
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Runners Up: Laini Taylor, Sevenwaters, The Road Home
Set in Iceland in the 1800's ~ I was totally transported vividly with all my senses. The story was hauntingly brought to life. I also have runners up: two fantasy worlds that you sink right into and The Road Home which brought me a spectacularly real portrayal of Vietnam during the war -- amazing book.
10. i-so-want-to-go-there award
Haha ~ would love to hang with the gang and go exploring about.
11. Most original and imaginative
Jaclyn Moriarty/ Also imginative: Laini Taylor
I am trying hard not to choose Jaclyn Moriarty for everything, so I've also included Laini Taylor. I don't think anyone can beat Jaclyn for being original but Laini's world is also amazing and vivid.
12. Best under-appreciated, hidden gem book
Confessions of an Angry Girl
Runner Up: Better Off Friends & Head of the River
I really really liked and so recommend Confessions of an Angry girl to contemporary YA fans. I didn't try it for a long time, thinking it would be too angsty/high school drama for me. But it turned out really great, lots of heart and emotion and Rose is so readable and relateable. Also a bonus: Jamie Forta (bad boy angsty swoon material).
Better Off Friends was just a book I picked up from the library by chance and I had no idea how perfect it would be for my reading mood ~ charming and breezy and with plenty of depth and heart.
Head of the River is not exactly under-appreciated as I have only ever seen great reviews for it but I would love for it to have a higher profile. It's a stand-out Aussie YA book, brilliantly written with so much heart and soul and real, achey teen characters. I really recommend it (and I have a review in my frafts ready to post soon).
13. i-had-no-idea-i-would-love this-so award
The Winner's Curse, The Darkest Minds, Daughter of Smoke and Bone
None of these are my fave genre. I'm burnt out on paranormal, dystopia and covers with girls in fancy dresses (ha!). But all these three took my by surprise and I am so glad I gave them all a chance :)
14. Most haunting story
The Girl With All the Gifts
That ending guys! Beautiful but haunting...
15. Series (still in progress) that I’m loving
Confessions, The Rephaim, Cracks in the Kingdom
Three series I am insanely excited for and can't wait to get my hands on the next instalments!
16. Always recommending this book award
Paula Weston's series
Major love for these books <3
17. Completely awesome premise award
The Caged Graves, Disruption by Jessica Shirvington
I love Shirvington's writing and her new duology (Disruption is the first) really pulls off a complicated but totally imaginable dystopianish high-tech future. The Caged Graves is just a beautiful and haunting idea.
18. Would make the best movie
We Were Liars & The Girl With All the Gifts
Man, We Were Liars would make a stunning movie (can't say 'in the vein of' for fear of spoilers but it would be an awesome kind of psychological thriller/drama). The Girl With All the Gifts reads like a movie ~ vivid and action-y and awesome.
That's it for today but I'll be back with Round Two soon ~ choosing fave characters, couples, scenes and other random awards for my fave reads of 2014.