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 ūüėČ 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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Weekly Recap 35 (July 13) – The Birthday Book Haul (Part TWO!)

Well hello Sunday my old friend. I can’t believe another week has passed again!¬†Yet another busy week at work, but at least it makes the time pass quickly! But I get Friday through Tuesday off, so I spent all Friday being a general waste of society and marathoning Netflix shows. But hey – I’ve got a bunch of posts scheduled for next week and I read some really great books, so really what is the downside here?

Stacking the Shelves

And the book ban breaking continues! Some of the books I preordered, or ones that didn’t show up till this week, finally came in, and I think I may be excited more than last week??

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Aren’t they pretty??? After I fell in love with Nina LaCour’s writing in Everything Leads to You, I had to get her other two books, Hold Still and The Disenchantments. And after Jo’s rave review, I had to get There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos. BRING ON THE FEELS. And to satiate the sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal side of me, I preordered three books that were released on the 8th: Four (Veronica Roth), Midnight Thief (Livia Blackburne), and Where Silence Gathers (Kelsey Sutton). I NEED MORE TIME IN MY WEEK TO READ ALL THESE BOOKS. IT’S A SERIOUS PROBLEM.

In other news…

  • It’s still blazing hot in California. Though it was nice (nice meaning like 90F with a breeze) on Friday – at like 8 in the morning. I didn’t go outside after that. I think I need to start carrying around a cup of ice with me wherever I go.
  • Last Sunday, in my never-ending attempts to manage the thyroid issue my doctor won’t quite call hypothyroidism because it’s “on the border”, I’ve started the Paleo diet. Lots of veggies and fruit over here! I had already gone gluten-free, so it wasn’t horribly painful, but OH MY GOD I MISS DAIRY. SPECIFICALLY MILK. But other than that, I actually don’t miss sweets all that much. Sometimes I want a chocolate chip or two, but it’s easy to ignore that. And I have a lot more energy, and I’m sleeping better. So – week one is a success! Oh, and I lost four pounds since I went gluten free, so now adding the Paleo thing I’m pretty sure I’ll finally start seeing some progress.

In case you missed it, last week I…

What’s¬†coming¬†up this week?

  • Monday – Review:¬†Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
  • Tuesday –¬†Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Movies and TV Shows
  • Wednesday – Saturated Reads:¬†Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
  • Thursday –¬†Discussion: I’m a Forgiving Reader
  • Friday – Review:¬†Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

Hope you all have a good week!