Thursday, January 1, 2015

Favorite Reads of 2014

Well, I slacked off blogging the last few months of 2014 and I have several books I never ended up reviewing, but I did manage to finish 60 books. This is not quite the 80 books I wanted to finish, but I had a lot of unexpected job issues that kept me from reading the way I wanted from August on.
My favorite book of the year ended up being my first completed book of the year, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I did manage to review this one and the review can be found here.
St. Martin's Press

This would also make the book my favorite YA read of the year. A close second to this would be two of my last reads of the year, Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight both by Sarah Maas. I have not reviewed either of these books yet, but may write some brief thoughts on them. If you haven't tried this series, I highly recommend it. Celaena sometimes makes you mad, but she is one of the best flawed characters I have ever read and Maas's world-building is beautiful and the plot is heartbreaking. I am trying not to get too attached to the characters, because the author does rip your heart out a few times in at least the first three books and I can see more heartbreak happening in the fourth book. I am glad I was given the third book to review in audio format, or I may not have picked up this series.

My favorite adult read of the year was Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and my review can be found here. I love Rowell's writing and how likeable her characters are.

I also read more adult books this year than usual, mainly because in my new library role I attend three adult book clubs. I also got on a Debbie Macomber Christmas books kick. My second choice for adult books would be Emma by Jane Austen, another book I did not end up reviewing, but hope to write some brief thoughts about in the new year. I learned to love Emma only through the eyes of Mr. Knightly and I love how they brought out the best in each other and actually seemed to humanize each other.

For junior fiction, I would say the choice is harder. Due to reading and reviewing slumps, I did not finish a few series books in which I know the books would blow all other books out of the water (I am thinking Blood of Olympus here), so I will not have the usual suspect as the winner. I did enjoy Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, not yet reviewed, but I think it was slightly edged out by The Iron Trial reviewed here. I know it received a lot of criticism for comparisons to Harry Potter, but I loved it. I can't wait for the next one.
The Iron Trial (Magisterium, #1)

A close third would be the Newbery winner for 2014, Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo, reviewed here. I love her books and this one had just the right humor and weight to make it very appealing to children and adults. This one is closely followed by Jinx's Fire by Sage Blackwood, reviewed here. This is another series which I really enjoy for both its humor and darkness.

For me, junior fiction seemed to dominate my reading and my favorites of the year. I think having less time and less energy made me drift to junior fiction and the younger end of YA. Hopefully in the new year I can find more time to read and get back into the habit of reviewing.

What topped your favorites list of 2014? I would love to see other people's lists and maybe find some new reads for 2015.

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