Kate has already posted her list. We have some of the same books in common but unlike my sister, I don’t have any qualms about reading only fiction and mostly teen fiction. There are a few non-fiction novels I do want to read. I’m quite interested in the Secret History of Wonder Woman. I’ll get to it eventually. Anyway, this is about what I read this year so let’s get on with it. I omitted a few books from contention because I read them as ARCs and they have not been released yet. That will have to be a post for another day.
1.Blue Lily Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater.
I love her. I might have mentioned that before but I really do love Maggie’s writing style. Blue Lily Lily Blue is the third book of her The Raven Cycle. The search for the Welsh King, Glendower, is back with more earnest as Blue’s Mom, Maura has gone missing. Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah all have grown up so much in the last three books and yet, if we know anything about Maggie, they have so much to learn before the series ends in the next book.
2.The Heroes of Olympus: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
I’m going to miss Percy, Annabeth, Nico, Leo, Hazel, Frank and Reina. I’ll even miss Jason and Piper too. They both did grow on me. I thought it was a fitting ending for a great series. As a team, the Heroes came together, defeated the Giants and brought the Greeks and Romans together. They all got a happy ending and there was a little bit of opening for some to return in Rick’s next series.
3. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
This was such a satisfying book. Georgie McCool is a TV screenwriter on a crappy show but she and her writing partner finally have a chance to get their own show going. The problem is they have to write six episodes over Christmas, meaning Georgie has to stay in LA, while her family goes to Omaha. Georgie’s marriage is already on thin ice; can it survive this? While spending the night in her old room at her Mom’s house, she plugs in her old landline phone and magically calls her husband Neal in the past. It soulds fantastical but it is based in the real world. Rainbow has such a way of creating characters that you can’t help but fall in love with and want to be friends with.
4. The Young Elites by Marie Lu
In a revision of history, after the blood fever in the middle ages, the children who survived are left with scars. Some were left with mysterious powers. They call themselves the Young Elite. Adelina is one of them. The blood fever left her disfigured with a scar over her left eye. She has been shunned and abused by her father and when her powers surfaced, she’s a danger to herself and everyone else. Marie creates a world with so much atmosphere that it was easy to get lost in it. Adelina, is filled with anger about how she is treated; you feel that it’s valid. There are so many other layers of intrigue and one shocking ending, that the next book can not come too soon.
5. Cress by Marissa Meyer
I really do love the Lunar Chronicles. A retelling of fairy tales with an alien twist. I think they are really clever and the characters are so likable. Cress is a take on Rapunzel. She is a lunar and is hidden away in a satelite so she can spy on Earth for Queen Levana. She is rescued from her prison but of course things don’t go as planned. She and Throne crash land in the desert. Cinder seeks the doctors help for wolf, who is injured and Scarlet is captured by the Lunars. Oh, and they only have a few days to stop Prince Kai from marrying Queen Levana. I’m kind of mad that I have to wait until October or November for Winter, the final book but I’m sure it will be worth the wait.
6. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
In the final book of the Grisha Trilogy, the Darkling has taken over Ravka and only Alina, the Sun Summoner can stop him. I feel in the past, I have been too hard on Alina, especially how she treated Mal in the last book. It really started to get me to think how far more critical we are on female characters then we are of male. Alina, is a young girl who discovers she has a frightening power that can save them or destroy them. It is a lot to take in. She needed someone to understand and for a while, the Darkling was really the only one who could or so she thought. It is a fitting ending to a dark series. I felt like all the stories were wrapped up right and they all found some kind of peace.
7. Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
Part Gothic Novel, part Nancy Drew. Not your usual combination but it worked for the whole trilogy. It was funny, scary and heartbreaking without missing a beat. It was also one of the rare YA novels that not all of the main characters get a happy ending. I sometimes feel that authors feel they have to keep them alive or they will upset their readers but lets be honest. That’s not realistic. How many near death experiences can one character live through? Kami is smart, resourceful and brave and really someone I would love to be friends with. I’m going to miss this series but I am happy with how it ended.
8. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
Yet another conclusion to a fantastic Trilogy. Excluding the last half of the first book, this series grabbed me and never let me go. It was heartwarming and heartbreaking. The sacrifices that had to be made were real gut punchers but necessary. In the end Karou and Akiva achieved what they set out to do and a surprising relationship for Liraz was perfect.
9. Firebug by Lish McBride
Firebug doesn’t have the clever names as Lish’s other books but has the sense of humor and urgency. Set in the same world as Hold Me Closer, Necromancer and Necromancing the Stone (see what I mean about those titles) but in Maine and not Seattle. Ava is a firebug, a rare gift. She is forced to work for the Coterie, a magical mafia. When she refuses to kill a family friend, she and her team, Locke, a dryad, and Ezra, a werefox, go on the run. It really is funny. Lish has such a great sense of humor that comes out in such surprising ways. I can’t wait for the next one.
10. Raging Starr by Moira Young
Apparently 2014 was the year to end trilogies. This is the last book in the Dust Lands series. A dystopian series that goes beyond what the Hunger Games did. Miss Young has no problems killing off characters or being seduced. Saba has found her brother and reunited with Jack and is now ready to take down DeMalo. The problem is that Saba does not disagree entirely with what DeMalo is trying to do. Maybe not with how he is going about it and it puts her in direct conflict with both Jack and her brother, Lugh. I really had no idea where this series was going to take me and it was quite a ride.
Books I loved so much, that I read the whole series:
A Song of Ice and Fire aka A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Ok so I technically haven’t finished all the books that are out. I just started A Dance of Dragons. Also, I did take a 8-month hiatus to watch the series and then read other things but I do love this series. It’s so rich and challenging. So many characters and places and plots. How does he keep them all straight?
Obsidian, Onyx, Opal, Origin and Opposition. The Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Daemon is a jerk and I love him for it. He is also loyal and will do anything for his family and the ones he loves. So the jerk with a heart of gold. Obsidian got me hooked and well, I immediately bought the other books. Were they the best books I’ve read this year. No but damn, they were entertaining.
Legend, Prodigy and Champions by Marie Lu
I’ve been wanting to read these for a while and finally gave in and I’m glad. June and Day are perfectly matched heroes, The ending was bittersweet but it did leave us with some hope.
Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Sometimes you just need a couple of good romances. It’s really not a series but three companion novels that happen to have overlapping characters. Anna is a new girl in an American high school in Paris, who falls for the charming St. Clair. Lola is a girl who knows exactly what she wants, except when it comes to Cricket, who lives next door and Isla has been in love with Josh, all for years of school but was to shy to do anything about it until a chance meeting over the summer. Isla is my favorite with Anna close second. Lola is ok but I just didn’t relate to her as much as the other two. If you are looking for a sweet story with a lot of heart, you couldn’t do much better then these three.
Etiquette and Espoinage, Curtsies and Conspiraces, and Waistcoasts and Weaponry. The Finishing Series by Gail Carriger
Sophronia is a handful for her mother. Always getting into trouble so when she is accepted into a prestigious finishing school, she’s sent packing. However, this is no ordinary finishing school. Not only do they teach the finer points of being a lady, they also teach the best ways to hide weapons in your skirts and what is the best poison to use. All for Queen and Country, of course. This steampunk look at Victorian Englad is full of humor that I did literally laugh out loud.