Favorite Books of 2014

I can’t believe another year has gone by! So much has happened this past year, and even with everything going on in my life I have managed to read 80 books this year! It is so hard to narrow them down to my favorites, but I did my best. Here are my favorite books from 2014:

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra ClareCity of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

This has to be one of my favorite series of all time. I loved the first three books and when I found out that Cassandra Clare had decided to write another three books I was so excited! This is the final book in The Mortal Instruments series and it was slightly daunting at a whopping 725 pages but the book is so good that you don’t even realize the length. I will miss this characters terribly but look forward to the spinoff series that Clare is writing!

 

Release date: May 27, 2014

 

 

 

 

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFeversMortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

Another series finale, Mortal Heart started off a bit slow but picked up in the middle and turned out to be a fantastic final book in the His Fair Assassin series. I loved reading about Annith, a character who has intrigued me since book one, and her story had even more twists and turns than the previous two. Review to come soon!

 

 

Release date: November 4, 2014

 

 

 

IMG_1847Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

This is another one of my absolute favorite series, and it seems like each book gets better and better. This is the third but not final book in the series, and will just leave you desperate for the next book to be released!

 

 

Release date: October 21, 2014

 

 

 

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. MaasHeir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

I will probably read anything that Sarah J. Maas writes because her writing is so phenomenal. This is the third book in this series and I am still just as interested if not more interested than I was after the first book. Each of these books is amazing and I am so glad I waited hours on line to get an ARC of this one at BEA.

 

 

Release date: September 2, 2014

 

 

 

The Jewel by Amy EwingThe Jewel by Amy Ewing

This book had amazing world building and an eerie plot about pregnancy and surrogacy. While the romance in the book was a bit of a flop, the book didn’t center around it but rather focused on the messed up world of the Jewel and it’s backstabbing royals. I’m anxious to read more about this world so I look forward to the next book.

 

 

Release date: September 2, 2014

 

 

 

The One by Kiera CassThe One by Kiera Cass

I loved the first two books in this trilogy and I couldn’t wait to see how it would end. I literally read this book in less than a day because I couldn’t wait to find out how everything would be wrapped up. I’m so excited that Cass decided to write another book, The Heir, due out next spring!

 

 

Release date: May 6, 2014

 

 

 

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. PearsonThe Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

What I really loved about this book was the narration–it is told from three separate points of view, with a slight twist near the end that totally got me. Great start to a new series!

 

 

Release date: July 8, 2014

 

 

 

The Winner's Curse by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Loved this book!! Beautiful world building and an incredible story. I couldn’t put this one down and after the ending I am anxiously awaiting the next book!

 

 

Release date: March 4, 2014

 

 

 

Cress by Marissa MeyerCress by Marissa Meyer

This is another series that gets better with each book. This book introduced Cress, whose story is a retelling of Rapunzel. I loved her story and how it intertwined with Cinder’s and Scarlet’s stories.

 

 

Release date: February 4, 2014

 

 

 

Ignite Me by Tahereh MafiIgnite Me by Tahereh Mafi

I just actually read this entire trilogy this year and I can’t believe I waited so long before reading it. Mafi’s writing is gorgeous, and this book was SO GOOD!! I love the main character and how she became so strong from the first book to the final book. This is a series I could read over and over again!

 

 

Release date: February 4, 2014

 

 

 

What were some of your favorite books from this year? Anything you missed that you wished you had read this year?

Happy New Year everyone!!

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Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

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“Humans were so circular; they lived the same slow cycles of joy and misery over and over, never learning.”

Blue’s mother has gone missing. Things with The Raven Boys have gotten more serious, and relationships have begun to change. As Blue and the boys get closer and closer to finding Glendower, it becomes apparent that they are part of something much bigger than they had even imagined.

Each of these books is better than the last! Stiefvater’s writing is phenomenal and I literally flew through this book because it was so good. I love all of these characters and I am so glad that there is another book coming because I am not ready to say goodbye to this series yet.

Blue is juggling a lot in this book. Her mother is missing, she is falling in love with Gansey even though she is trying her hardest not to, and she has to go back to her high school where everything is “normal”. Her relationships with the boys, even Ronan, grow stronger as they get closer and closer to Glendower. I love how we learn more about each character as the books go on. I hated Ronan in the first book, but as I learn more about him it’s easier to understand him and I like him much more as a character.

Blue and the boys finally decide to explore the cave in Cabeswater in hopes of finding Glendower’s resting place and finding Maura. This leads them on a series of adventures involving new characters and supernatural occurrences, and they begin to realize that this is no longer just a hunt for Glendower, but something much bigger that could be the difference between life and death.

Overall, Blue Lily, Lily Blue was an amazing third book in The Raven Cycle. I was on the edge of my seat while reading this and I can’t wait for the next book!

Blue Lily, Lily Blue was released on October 21, 2014 and is the third book in The Raven Cycle.

BEA 2014

This past weekend I attended Book Expo America for the second time! I was so glad that I was able to make it because being eight months pregnant, I wasn’t sure it was in the cards this year. Fortunately, I’m having a really great pregnancy and not only was I able to attend BEA 2014, but I actually got some great exercise in from walking around NYC and the Javits Center!

DAY 1:

BEA 2014 Day 1For those of you who have never attended BEA, let me assure you that your first year can be very overwhelming. The temptation to just pick up every book you see is so great that you end up nearly breaking your back trying to carry everything home. This year, being 32 weeks preggers, I knew that I had to be much more selective about the books I picked up. So, being the super book nerd that I am, I made myself a detailed (and color coded) schedule of which author signings I wanted to go to most. I’m so glad I did this because while I didn’t bring home as many books as last year, every single book I brought home is something that I really want to read!

My first day I was lucky enough to get books signed by Lauren Oliver, Melissa de la Cruz, and Alexandra Adornetto. I’m really excited about Lauren Oliver’s book Rooms, because it is actually geared towards adults and is her first non-YA or middle grade book.

 

DAY 2:

BEA 2014 Day 2My second day at BEA was a huge success! I was able to get in line to get a bunch of great ARCs from Harper Collins, and I got an ARC of Heir of Fire signed by Sarah J. Maas herself! I had to wait on line for TWO HOURS for Heir of Fire, but it was totally worth it! My baby girl will be here at the end of July and Heir of Fire doesn’t come out until September so I knew I would never get to read it if I wasn’t able to get it at BEA. This one is next on my TBR list, so keep an eye out for my review soon!

 

 

 

 

DAY 3:

BEA 2014 Day 3My third and final day was CRAZY!! Last year at BEA on the final day they allowed consumers to come to the show as “Power Readers,” which was really cool because they got their own badges and were able to participate in the show even though they weren’t part of the book industry. This year, the people who run BEA changed the way they handled this and instead of having people come as “Power Readers,” they changed the last day to be BookCon. The problem with this was that they closed off only a small area of the Exhibit Hall and designated it as BookCon and people who only had tickets to BookCon were only allowed to stay in this area. The result? Thousands upon thousands of people concentrated in a small area, pushing and shoving each other like crazy. For a little pregnant lady like me, it was a bit scary. Also, my mom came with me on the final day and since she had a ticket to BookCon only, was not allowed to come into the rest of the Exhibit Hall with me and was not even allowed to go in the same entrance!

Even with the pandemonium that was BookCon, I still managed to have a great time on the final day. I stood in line for another almost two hours to get a copy of Sinner signed by Maggie Stiefvater (also worth it!) and was able to get a copy of Talon signed by Julie Kagawa as well. The amount of people at BookCon definitely made the lines super long–you literally had to get on line an hour and a half in advance for EVERYTHING–and the BEA only side of the Exhibit Hall was basically a ghost town, which I’m sure publishers on that side were kind of bummed about, but all in all I still had an amazing time and was so glad my mom was able to enjoy BookCon/BEA with me!

One of the best parts of BEA this year was that my amazing pen pal and fellow blogger, Lisa Parkin over at Read.Breathe.Relax., was able to join me! Lisa and I have been pen pals for about two years now and have actually managed to meet in person a few times, but this was the most time we have been able to spend together and I’m so glad we were able to! We had such a great time, even waiting two hours in line for Heir of Fire, and I’m so grateful we were able to share two days at BEA together this year!

Did any of you guys make it to BEA this year? Which Fall 2014 books are you most excited to read?

Favorite Books of 2013

There were so many fantastic books released this year so it was really hard for me to narrow it down to just ten books like I really loved. Since it would have been even harder for me to distinguish the best of the ten, I have simply put my list this year in alphabetical order:

Allegiant by Veronica RothAllegiant by Veronica Roth

I know there was a lot of controversy surrounding this book–some people gave it one star on Goodreads, others gave it five–but overall I really loved the way the series was concluded. There were so many people that hated the ending but I think that it made sense for it to end the way it did. I also liked that in this book we were able to get more into Tobias’s mind and I think it helped me to understand his character a lot better.

 

 

 

 

 

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareClockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

I’ve been a huge fan of the Shadowhunter world since I first read City of Bones a few years ago, and I was so excited that Clare’s prequel trilogy was just as good if not better than The Mortal Instruments series. I admit that I was nervous about how this trilogy would end, but I am so glad that it ended the way it did. I honestly think that this is Clare’s best book yet, and I’m excited to read all of the new series she has in the works already.

 

 

 

 

 

17167166Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

I didn’t know if this book could be as good as Throne of Glass, but Maas did an excellent job with this one. It was even better than the first book, filled with so many twists and turns that I had to keep turning pages. The ending was not something I expected either, so I eagerly await the next book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dare You To by Katie McGarryDare You To by Katie McGarry

I will probably read anything that Katie McGarry writes because so far every book I’ve read by her has been great. Dare You To has been my favorite of her books so far. I loved Beth’s attitude and the way that Ryan was able to finally make her trust again. This was a great love story that I highly recommend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dream Thieves by Maggie StiefvaterThe Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

THIS BOOK! I absolutely loved The Raven Boys and the sequel was just as good. The writing in this book was beautiful and the story got even better. I love this series and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Elite by Kiera CassThe Elite by Kiera Cass

This is another series that I absolutely love. While I will admit, some of America’s back and forth between Aspen and Maxon did annoy me a little, I still could not put this book down. I have no idea how it is all going to end but I can’t wait to find out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell

This was such a cute story! It really brought me back to my own fangirl days of Harry Potter fanfiction. This was a really great story about family and adjusting to college life, and definitely a must read!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Madman's Daughter by Megan SheperdThe Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

This book both fascinated me and scared me. It was super creepy at times but the scientist in me loved it. The ending almost made me scream until I realized that there is a sequel planned. Definitely not something I would recommend reading alone at night, but a must read for sure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Requiem by Lauren OliverRequiem by Lauren Oliver

This was another book I was nervous about, because the ending of the previous book was definitely not expected. I wasn’t sure how Oliver would wrap this all up, but I think she did a good job. It wasn’t your typical ending but I liked how it was slightly open ended. Overall, a great conclusion to the series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scarlet by Marissa MeyerScarlet by Marissa Meyer

I love how each of these books is a retelling of a different fairy tale. This one is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, yet we still get glimpses of what is going on with Cinder. Scarlet is such a great character, and I loved the way her story intertwined with Cinder’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obviously this was a fantastic year for YA! What were your favorite books from 2013? What are you excited to read in 2014?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater“Ronan Lynch lived with every sort of secret.”

After waking the ley lines, things for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam begin to change. Adam begins to feel the full weight of his sacrifice, Ronan’s dreams begin to intrude upon reality, and Blue desperately tries to fight her fate. Meanwhile, Gansey begins to realize that he is not the only one searching for the truth about Cabeswater, and must figure out the puzzle before someone else does first.

I seriously squealed with joy when I received an ARC of The Dream Thieves at BEA this year. The Raven Boys was one of my favorite books from last year, and I was eagerly anticipating the sequel. I was a little bit worried that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations, but it honestly was even better than I expected! The writing in this book was incredibly beautiful–Stiefvater has the ability to drop hints and clues throughout the book so subtly that at the end of the book I still found myself being surprised. I love the dialogue between the characters also–they all fit together like pieces of a puzzle and it is evident what each character brings to their little group.

This book focuses a lot on Ronan, which at first I was unhappy about because he was probably my least favorite character from the first book, mainly because of his abrasive personality. However, after reading the entire book, I’m glad that Ronan was a big part of it because we actually learn why he has this roughness to him. We finally get the backstory behind his family’s problems, and let me tell you–it was nothing I could have guessed at all!! We also learn a lot more about Ronan’s ability to bring things from his dreams into real life, and how it affects the ley lines in Henrietta. Ronan realizes that there are people looking for him–people that want to use his ability to do wrong.

Adam actually ended up dropping down to my least favorite character in this one. After waking the ley line he begins to change. He grows more angry and standoffish, and constants pushes Blue away without realizing it. I think it was necessary for him to undergo this change so that he and Blue could go in the directions they needed to, but I still missed the old Adam.

Gansey is still definitely my favorite character. I love his quirky nature and the fact that he is an old soul. He still tries to fix everyone’s problems without giving much thought to his own, and he proves time and again what a good friend he is. Blue is another great character–she loves being part of the boys’ group but at the same time feels like an outsider. She is tough and always stands up for herself and still tries to fight her fate. She is as determined as the rest of the boys to discover the true secrets of Cabeswater, but at the same time she is dealing with the fact that Gansey may be dead in less than a year. I loved the interactions between Blue and Gansey in this book and I’m excited to see where the next book takes them!

Overall, The Dream Thieves was an amazing sequel with fantastic character development and beautiful writing. I don’t know how I am going to wait for the next book!!

The Dream Thieves is the second book in The Raven Cycle and will be released on September 17, 2013.

Favorite Books of 2012

2012 was a fantastic year for YA, filled with a ton of debut novels and some really great sequels! It was so hard for me to pick favorites because I literally read over 100 books this year, but I did my best! Here are some of the best books I read this year:

 

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

I didn’t think the sequel would live up to the incredible book that was Divergent, but Insurgent was actually even better than the first book! I loved learning about the different factions and I liked that Tris and Four’s relationship wasn’t all sunshine and butterflies. I can’t wait until the final book is released!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This was the first John Green book I had ever read and it definitely turned me into a die hard fan. The story was so moving and the writing was phenomenal. I literally wept after reading this and would gladly do it again because this book was just that good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This book really surprised me and I am so glad I gave it a chance. It had a cast of fantastically written characters and an exciting quest to find a lost king that brings them all together. I absolutely loved this and can’t wait for the sequel!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

I was so excited to return to the world of Graceling and I couldn’t wait to see how Bitterblue had grown to become queen. She is such a strong character and throughout the book grew into an even better queen. It was eerie to read about the destruction that still lingered after her father’s death and how the sick things that he did still affected people years after. I only wish this weren’t the final book because I would love to return to this world for just a bit longer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

I absolutely loved this retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I loved how it was a retelling of a classic but had sci-fi elements mixed in. Elliot is such a strong character that single handedly runs her father’s estate and is willing to give up everything, including the man she loves, to save the estate and the people working there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet is a retelling of Robin Hood in which Robin Hood’s fellow thief Will Scarlet is actually a girl in disguise, hiding from her past. Scarlet is loyal to Robin Hood and fights as well as any man. I loved Scarlet’s stubbornness and strength and her interactions with the other thieves were hilarious. This was such a great story and I’m anxiously awaiting the sequel!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Million Suns by Beth Revis

A Million Suns by Beth Revis

This sequel to Across the Universe was absolutely fantastic. Elder and Amy are left to deal with the aftermath of shutting down the Phydus and figuring out the truth behind their lives on the ship. Both characters grew so much in this book and their relationship evolved as they discovered more about both themselves and their role on Godspeed. The ending was a huge cliffhanger so I am very excited to read the sequel next month!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

I am so glad that I finally was able to read this book! I loved Aria and Perry’s story and the whole idea behind the evolution of the senses was incredible. I can’t wait to see where Rossi takes this in Through the Ever Night!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall by Susan Ee

I was really apprehensive about this one because I figured it was another dumb romance featuring fallen angels but I was definitely wrong. Angelfall is in fact a post-apocalyptic story about angels that brought death and destruction to earth. I really enjoyed this book and I’m glad I gave it a chance!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

This was such a fantastically written book. It was such an original story about reincarnation and a world where souls are reincarnated multiple times into different bodies. Ana is a Newsoul, living her first life, and she is shunned by everyone else because when she was born, another soul died and was never reincarnated. This was such an amazing story and I could not put this one down!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

I really loved this sequel to Delirium. Lena became such a strong character in this book and decided to fight back instead of hide. The cliffhanger at the end was SO MEAN and I am super excited to see what happens next!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass

This is another book that surprised me. I could not put this one down! It was very Hunger Games-esque because America has to be part of a televised competition to be the prince’s bride in order to earn money for her family, who are poor. She is forced to leave behind the boy she loves and instead is expected to try and win the prince’s favor. The ending of this book was great and I hope the sequel is just as good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

I initially was skeptical about this once I heard it was about vampires, but this is so much different than any other vampire story. Kagawa reinvents vampires in The Immortal Rules and I really loved the completely different direction she went in. This book was a really pleasant surprise!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

This book mixed fantasy, paranormal, and sci-fi elements to create an incredible story. Rachel is another strong heroine, determined to find her father, and Logan is quite possibly one of my favorite characters ever! He’s extremely intelligent and has a logical way of thinking but is also an excellent fighter. This was a really great one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I loved reading about Celaena, a female assassin that is able to take down nearly every man that crosses her path. She gets chosen to compete to be the king’s new assassin and has to defeat man after man all while trying to figure out who keeps brutally murdering the contestants in the middle of the night. This book had a little bit of everything and I definitely could not put it down!

 

 

 

 

 

So 2012 has definitely been a great year! What books were your favorites this year? What are you looking forward to reading in 2013?

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

Blue Sargent is the daughter of a psychic, and has spent her whole life surrounded by the supernatural. From a young age, she has been told by every psychic she has ever met that she will kill her true love by kissing him. So obviously, she has avoided kissing or getting involved with anyone. However, when her half-aunt Neeve comes to stay with her family, things begin to change. Every year Blue goes to an old church with her mother on St. Mark’s Eve to watch the spirits of people that will die in the coming year walk past. Blue is never able to see the spirits herself because she lacks psychic ability, but when she goes on St. Mark’s Eve with Neeve, she sees the spirit of a boy who tells her only his name: Gansey. When Neeve tells her that the only way she could see his spirit is if she is his true love or his murderer, Blue is determined never to meet Gansey.

Gansey is a rich boy at the Aglionby school, a prestigious school with a raven as its mascot. The fact that he is a “Raven Boy” gives Blue another reason to stay away from him. But no matter how hard she tries, it seems that their paths are destined to cross and she soon becomes part of Gansey’s quest to find the body of a long dead king. She becomes involved in this strange crusade with the four Raven Boys: Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah, but in the back of her mind she cannot forget her ill-fated destiny to bring death to her true love.

The Raven Boys was such a surprise for me–in a good way! I wasn’t a big fan of Stiefvater’s Shiver trilogy for many reasons, so I had low expectations for this book. I am so glad to say that The Raven Boys was in no way a disappointment. I absolutely loved this book; it was fantastically written and was full of so many unexpected twists and turns from beginning to end. It has so many great characters with such vibrant personalities. Blue is such a strong character and really holds her own amongst the four boys, who adopt her as one of their own. She accepts the fact that she is fated to kill her true love but is still determined to create her own destiny. Blue’s relationship with the Raven Boys reminded me of when Wendy meets Peter and The Lost Boys in Peter Pan. Like the Lost Boys, who look to Peter as their leader, the Raven Boys look to Gansey. And as with Wendy, the boys are first very skeptical about Blue, but they soon realize that it seemed like she was always meant to be a part of their group.

Each of the Raven boys is extremely different, but they fit together like a puzzle and each brings a different quality to their little group. Their loyalty to Gansey is admirable, and they are all extremely invested in his quest to find the dead king Glendower, even if it seems a bit fantastical. I really liked Gansey, because even though he was born to a privileged life, he still tries to be humble and deeply cares for each of his friends. This makes it hard for Blue to stay away from him and harder to keep the truth a secret, even though she knows he is to die within a year.

I really loved this book and could not put it down. This is definitely the best book that Maggie Stiefvater has ever written, and I highly recommend reading it if you haven’t already!

The Raven Boys was released September 18, 2012 and is the first book in The Raven Cycle. The sequel, still untitled, is set to be published September 2013.