Best Books of 2014 So Far

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This is (once again) a tag borrowed from Cait at Notebook Sisters! Here are my top 9 books that were published this year. Sidenote: these are ones that I feel have universal merit – I have a few more that I personally thought were fab but I know don’t resonate with other people.

Best Books 1

Free to Fall by Lauren Miller. I haven’t yet published my review, but HOLY CRAP WOW THAT WAS A GOOD BOOK. I really don’t know how I’m going to put my thoughts into words. It was everything that I love about science fiction: speculative, questioning humanity, defining evil, the power of technology – all the things from Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 that I fell in love with. Seriously, read this book. [Edit: July 28 – I’ve now published my review, and you can read the flailing here]

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour. See how beautiful that cover is? Doesn’t it make you so happy and fuzzy and warm inside? Yes? Okay, now imagine that feeling times ten. That’s what ELtY will make you feel. It’s very realistic – not just fluff, but it made me so happy that I think everyone needs to read this book.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. FANTASSSYYYYY. TWC took me to an entirely different world of slaves and class and politics and secrets. It was so well put together that I was wailing when it finished – I didn’t want to go back to the real world!

Best Books 2

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. Dreams of Blood and Starlight would be on here too, if it were published this year. I’ll admit that the first book didn’t have me convinced, but books two and three were just perfect and left me absolutely awestruck. I loved every single bit of this book, and could put it down – despite the intimidating size.

Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens. What’s odd is that I only rated this one four stars, but I think about it ALL the time. It may not have been one of those “OH MY GOD YES THIS BOOK” reactions, but it’s a slow burn that won’t die. The message is so inspiring, and this book is truly touching.

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. This is such a feel-good summer book with an amazing romance AND friendship. I’ve read some reviews saying that it’s too cliche, but I don’t care one bit. Everything about Emery’s writing oozes with awesome sauce, and while I was perusing my copy (because sometimes I just need to hold my books), and I had all the feels again.

Best Books 3

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi. I think my essay-length discussion about sums up how seriously I take this series. I’ll be the first to admit that the first two books are a bit whiny and insta-lovey and maybe creepy, but Ignite Me is beyond worth all of that! It’s like all of a sudden BOOM this amazing book just bursts into the room. The themes are what really sold me, and I’ll rant and rave to anyone who even mentions this book.

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas. What really stood out to me was that this was a bunch of novellas – and I hate novellas with a passion. I actually consider it more of a prequel novel, and wow what a backstory to my favorite assassin. Maas develops the entire world of her series, while getting into the nuances of Celaena’s character, and to be honest I think TAB is my favorite so far in this series. Though I haven’t read Heir of Fire yet, and that’s been receiving high praise from many of my friends!

Far From You by Tess Sharpe. This is similar to Faking Normal in that it hit me long after I finished it. This is a very quiet story, but very powerful after you’ve read the last page. The mystery wasn’t my favorite, but that wasn’t the important part, and I ignored it almost entirely.

I wrote this a few weeks ago, and I need to add three more: (the July 28 addition)

Best Books 4

There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos. Another that I haven’t published my review for quite yet, but oh my god you guys. Oh. My. God. This is a must read if you’re into books about grief; heck, it’s a must read for everyone. It’s an overlooked book from this year that needs MORE ATTENTION!

Sway by Kat Spears. I may be cheating by adding a book that hasn’t been published yet, but oh well. Y’all can pick up your copies on September 16th and find out exactly why Sway deserves a spot on this list 😉 If you like male narrators, contemporary stories, unlikeable characters that need to grow up and break your heart in the process due to touching character development, and a wee bit of romance – this book is for you!

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. Okay, also not published yet, but September 2nd isn’t THAT far away (I tell myself as I cry in the corner of BN because HoF isn’t on the shelf yet). But whenever it’s published – it deserves a spot on this list. There is NOTHING that can change my mind about Heir of Fire possibly being one of the best books of the entire year. Holy shenanigans you guys – holy shenanigans.

What do you think are the best books published in 2014? Feel free to do the tag yourself!

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Top Ten Characters To Keep Me Company While Deserted

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Check out their blog here!

Today’s TTT topic is: Top Ten Characters I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island (pick based on however you want…skills they would bring, their company…or pure hotness factor :P) I actually think I’ll stick with those three categories! As long as this doesn’t go Lord of the Flies, I think I could be quite happy stuck on an island with these ten characters. I tried to get fanart for all of these characters, but some I just couldn’t find, so I put the covers instead. All art is sourced to their creators 🙂

For… skills they would bring

1. Karou from Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. Even without the magic, Karou is intelligent and quick, and she would take charge and handle things in a crisis easily.

2. Sturmhond from Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. I mean, who wouldn’t want to have a privateer with them? Not just for the hotness factor, I mean. He’s probably used to surviving in harsher conditions, and he could make any tough situation a bit lighter with his sarcasm and wit. 

3. Celaena Sardothian from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Of course I want an assassin on my side! But she’d also be nice to have for company – I mean, she loves chocolate cake. I don’t think I could hate any person who loves chocolate cake.

So. Many. Feels.
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For… their company

4. Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Oh Peeta ❤ My one true love and first book boyfriend. I’m pretty sure I could be happy just by seeing him smile every day. That’s all I’d need to survive a deserted island.

 5. Josie from Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan. We could sit on the beach and complain about sock seams and shirt tags all day, and then talk about linguistics and syntax together. The time would fly by and we might actually cry when the rescue teams pick us up!

6. Cath from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Josie may be just like me, but Cath is my soulmate. It’s been several months since I read Fangirl, and I still can’t even properly word how much that book means to me, and how much it helped me understand myself. If I could just be with Cath for five minutes, my life would be made.

7. Emi from Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour. She’s got big ideas – maybe even too big sometimes – but I love the fact that she’s a dreamer. And she pays attention to the little details; the important parts of what makes someone unique.

For… pure hotness factor

8. North from Free to Fall by Lauren Miller. I mean, he’s a bit unconventional, but I’m a sucker for forearm tattoos. And when they reference literature? *swoon* Plus, he’s the most respectful character I’ve read about in a while. World is ending and girl is throwing herself at you? Nah, son, let’s save the sexy times for when we’re not acting out of fear. *swooning again*

9. Raffe from Angelfall by Susan Ee. *fans self* Let’s not get me started. This snarky asshole is the bane of my existence.

Yeah, I don’t like you either.
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10. Matt Finch from Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. He could serenade us while we all watch the sunset. Now tell me that isn’t a beautiful, beautiful dream…

11. Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I need a Levi. Seriously, someone make one for me. Or buy one. I’m not too concerned about ethics in this situation.

THIS SCENE
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I just have to make a note here that while I’ve never read the Heroes of Olympus (just a few more months till the boxed set is released… patience, my love), y’all need to see this art. Oh lawd.

That’s my list for this week – link me yours below!

Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Check out their blog here!

Today’s TTT topic is: Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year. I’ve had an incredible string of FANTASTIC reads, so I’ll try to keep it to just ten. No promises though! I’ve listed them in order, starting from January up until now.

1. Avalon by Mindee Arnett. This was the beginning of my two month romance with deep-space sci-fi. I CRAVED anything space ship related for weeks after finishing this book. The friendships are my absolute favorite; Jeth is one of my favorite characters I’ve read in a while.

2. Me Since You by Laura Wiess. I’m honestly not sure I can talk about this book any more than I already have. Seriously, you all need to read it. It changed my life ❤

3. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. Cress is a close runner up for this slot, but Scarlet still has my heart. I loved both MCs: Scarlet and Wolf. And their relationship is SO perfect!

4. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi. Another one that really, I’ve talked way too much about. But the character development in this conclusion was just flawless, and honestly I need a reread. If only for Kenji! But Juliette is great incentive as well, as is Warner 😉

5. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. This is one that made my heart hurt so much, but also filled it with happiness. I adored the road trip setting, the romance was perfect, and the friendship was even better!

6. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Another that completely, utterly changed my life. I felt like the book was speaking directly to me!

7. Allegiant by Veronica Roth. Okay, I know I put it off for like five months after I bought it. And I know I wailed for days about my feels and creys. But I’m so glad I pushed through it, because Allegiant was one of the best series enders I’ve read, right up there with Ignite Me.

8. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas. The entire series is my favorite, but TAB really sold me on the whole thing, and novellas actually. I never thought I’d be so hooked on novellas before this book! And to have them all in print, in my hand – it was beautiful.

9. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. Matt. Finch. That is all. Plus, road trips.

10. The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider. Still a bit miffed that the title was changed from Severed Heads, Broken Hearts, but whatever. I still love this book with all my heart ❤

11. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. Two Matson books on this list! That should tell you something about how awesome this lady’s writing is. Really, there’s no way for me to express how much I love this book.

12. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I feel like this whole post is just me gushing way too much but ALL THE FEELS from this book! It’s so lighthearted and it makes me so happy ^_^

13. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. This is proof that you should always listen to book pushers: I almost didn’t read it, but I’m BEYOND glad that I did! Another that made my heart so happy ❤

So, I only did 13. Not too horrible! I can restrain myself after all. Also, a fun note: you can tell how my reading mood has changed over the last five months. Darker, more sci-fi and fantasy books, gradually moving towards light and summery contemporaries.

That’s my list for this week – link me yours below!

Top Ten Books In My Beach Bag

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Check out their blog here!

Today’s TTT topic is: Top Ten Books In Your Beach Bag. Well, I’m not a beach sort of girl. Or a pool person. I’d love to be, but I have no access to a pool, and the beach is at least an hour away. And with gas so expensive, beach trips are far and few between! Not to mention the fact that me and bathing suits are mortal enemies. BUT! I do love it when the weather’s about 70-80 degrees, and I can wear some capris and a sweater and sit under an umbrella enjoying the breeze. Ahh… now I’m so in the mood for the beach. GAS PRICES BE DAMNED I’M GETTING THERE WITHIN A MONTH.

Anyhoo, here’s my list of books that should definitely be in beach bags this summer. Keeping in mind that my entire goal is to get the books that lift my heart and make me happy – so don’t expect any TFiOS types in here!

Books I’d Read Again

1. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I know I just read it, but I need a re-read already! The cover looks like exactly how the book makes me feel – fluffy and pink (yes, pink is an emotion) and whimsical.

2. The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider. It deals with some slightly harder topics, but in such a wry, sarcastic way that I was laughing the entire time. Plus, it’s insanely geeky, and I love every bit of it. 

3. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. I mean, how can you skip this book? This is the quintessential summertime book. You’ll finish reading it and want ice cream, fireworks, and sunny morning runs.

4. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. Hello, it has summer in the title. Case closed. Besides that: Matt Finch. Oh dear Lord in Heaven Above give me strength to accept the fact that the boy is merely fictional.

5. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. Yep, another Matson book. What can I say – the girl has summertime in her veins! This one does have some sad bits; I’d say it’s the heaviest one on this list. But it’s so worth it in the end!

Books I Want to Read

6. Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid. It’s not released until the end of July (forever crying about that fact), but it’s a ROAD TRIP book. And ya’ll know how much I love my road trippers. So OF COURSE I’ll be running out and getting my copy, and maybe it’ll be my excuse to drive down to the beach.

7. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I just bought my copy, after the urging of many of my friends (Andi you’re such book pusher, you deserve a trophy). I’ve read What I Thought Was True, and it was a wee bit heavier than I expected. So I’m wondering if MLND will be the same way. But, heavy or not, it still looks so adorable that I can’t wait to read it!

So I kind of ran out of books that I would read at the beach. I mean, I have a million TO read, but I have this thing where contemporary and beach just go together – I’d have a really hard time getting into anything sci-fi or fantasy while my toes are in the sand. When I’m out in the sun, I need a bright book.

That’s my list for this week – link me yours below!