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!!

Advertisements

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi“Ignite, my love. Ignite.”

WARNING: Spoilers for previous books in the Shatter Me series ahead.

Juliette has decided to take down the Reestablishment. In order to do this, she needs help from Warner, someone she never thought she would trust. As she works with him and gets to know him better, she realizes that everything she thought she knew about him was wrong. She has to figure out her feelings for Warner and Adam, and at the same time learn all she can about how to fight because she realizes the only way to win this rebellion is to lead it herself.

This was hands down the best book in the series. So good that I stayed up until all hours of the night reading it. Juliette finally turns into the girl we all knew she could be and decides that she is going on the offensive. After Warner saved her life, she starts to see him in a new light and decides to work with him to bring down his father. Warner begins to let down some of his defenses around Juliette, and she finds that he is much different than she had originally thought.

Warner definitely showed the most growth of anyone in this book. We finally get to see who he really is under that tough exterior, and he begins to show his true self to more than just Juliette. The more he helps her friends and the more he reveals about himself, the more Juliette finds herself drawn to him and the more confused she becomes about her feelings. I loved the moments between the two of them–they were beautifully written and so full of emotion.

But oh man, Adam? After Unravel Me, I was ready to just be done with him. But in this book? He turned into such a jealous, whiny little brat that I had a hard time figuring out why I even liked him back in Shatter Me. Like Warner, in this book Adam’s true colors began to show, but unlike Warner, it put him in a much more negative light. What was great about Juliette though is that she realizes that there is so much going on that is more important than her love life, and she is able to overcome the difficulties she faces emotionally and become a strong leader.

Juliette finally learns to control her ability and she learns the many different dimensions of it. Basically, in this book she becomes a super hero. She has grown so much from the first book and she has definitely become one of my favorite female characters ever. She is able to come up with a plan to not only get rid of Warner’s father for good, but to also take over the Reestablishment and change the world.

Overall, Ignite Me was one of the best final books in a series ever. I could not have imagined a better ending, and I absolutely loved every minute of this book!!

Ignite Me was released on February 4, 2014 and is the final book in the Shatter Me series.

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi“Books are easily destroyed. But words will live as long as people can remember them.”

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.

Juliette and Adam have escaped to Omega Point, a rebel headquarters where there are many other people with abilities who are training to fight the Reestablishment. Juliette has to try to integrate herself into life at Omega Point, but is still fearful of her own power. She thought she was finally free from the Reestablishment and their plans for her, but when she finds out that Warner is still searching for her, she realizes that what she thought was over is only just beginning.

This was such a great sequel. I love every character in these books, but I’d have to say Kenji was one of my favorites in this one. Juliette starts off in Unravel Me by being super mopey, upset that people don’t talk to her and that Adam seems to be hiding something from her, and finally Kenji calls her out on it. She begins to realize that only she can make a change in the way people see her, and she starts to grow stronger and learn to use her ability for good rather than fear it.

But seriously, I went from liking Adam in Shatter Me to wanting to throw him across the room in Unravel Me. He became such a whiny baby in this book, and every moment with him was like a soap opera. When Warner finally came back into the picture, I was so happy because even though he had seemed like a bit of a monster, his character was so much stronger and intriguing than Adam, who was just draining.

And speaking of Warner. CHAPTER SIXTY-TWO. Oh my goodness. I was leaning towards “Team Warner” before this but that chapter definitely sold me there. Enough said.

What I really loved most about this book was the growth that Juliette showed from beginning to end. Like I said before, she starts off very emotional and depressed, and when Kenji kind of slaps her in the face with honestly midway through the book, she starts to become stronger both emotionally and physically. By the end of the book, she is such a strong person that it is hard to even remember how depressed and down on herself she was in Shatter Me.

Overall, Unravel Me was an excellent sequel that really solidified my love for this series. Juliette is quickly turning into one of my favorite female protagonists, and I literally had to download the final book thirty seconds after finishing this one because it was just that good.

Unravel Me was released on February 5, 2013 and is the second book in the Shatter Me series.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi“I spent my life folded between the pages of books.”

Juliette is unable to touch anyone without killing them. She has been locked in an insane asylum for 264 days, and has not seen or spoken to anyone in just as long. While she is locked away for possessing an ability that nobody understands, the world is crumbling around her. The Reestablishment has taken over, claiming that they will be able to stop the diseases that are spreading, find food for everyone, and bring the world back to the way it was. When they come to get her from her cell and tell her they are going to train her to become a weapon, Juliette realizes she has to decide between being used or fighting back.

I seriously don’t know why it has taken me so long to read this series. On the one hand I’m mad because I could’ve been enjoying these books for years now, but on the other I’m glad I waited because I was able to read through the entire series in two days now that the final book was just released. Either way, I am so happy I finally picked this series up!

Juliette has basically lived a tortured life. Her own parents thought she was cursed and were only too happy to hand her over to the asylum when she accidentally killed someone with her touch. She hasn’t been touched by anyone or received any kind of affection from anyone ever. She has grown up lonely and depressed, without any real friends. When the Reestablishment comes to get her they expect to find an insane monster, but instead they find a lonely girl with no desire to harm anyone.

Juliette is taken to the headquarters of Sector 45, where she is introduced to Warner, the sector leader who is quite obsessed with her and her ability. He wants to train her to be a weapon, so that the Reestablishment can use her power. Juliette wants anything but this. She has never had any desire to hurt anyone, and the idea of being used as a weapon is the kind of thing she has been trying to stop people from thinking her whole life. Plus, she is distracted by Adam, the soldier Warner put in charge of her, who seems to be on her side.

I really loved the writing style of this book. The writing is beautiful and I felt like I was right in Juliette’s mind along with her. The book has strike outs throughout, as if Juliette is thinking something and then crossing it out and changing her thoughts. It was such a brilliant way to write a story and really gave Juliette a strong and powerful voice.

I was actually really surprised at the pace of this novel. I thought the whole first book would take place in the asylum or even on the military base, but the book progressed much quicker than I expected. I really loved Juliette and I have to say I was definitely intrigued by Warner, even though he seemed like such a monster at times.

Overall, Shatter Me was a fast paced, beautifully written dystopian novel that will leave you anxious to read the next book. I highly recommend reading this one if you haven’t yet!

Shatter Me was released on November 15, 2011 and is the first novel in the Shatter Me series.

February 2013 Preview

Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile–I decided to go back to school to get a second bachelor’s degree and this was my first week back. I’ve been super busy going to school full time and working full time, and since my major is English, I’ve had a lot of reading to do for my classes and haven’t been able to get much pleasure reading let alone blog posts done. Hopefully I can figure out a way to manage my time better and get back on track!

I’ve read some really great books so far this month but here is a preview of some books that I’m excited to read this February:

Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

Article 5 has been sitting on my shelf for awhile and since its sequel, Breaking Point, is due out soon I’ll have to bump it up on my list. Breaking Point continues the dystopian story of a girl named Ember who is living in a United States where the Bill of Rights has been revoked. It sounds like an interesting story that I’m sure I’ll love!

Release date:  February 2, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me has been on my to read list for awhile now, and now that the sequel is coming out I think it’s as good a time as any. A dystopian/post-apocalyptic series about a girl with a fatal touch definitely piqued my interest, so I am very excited to read this one!

Release date:  February 5, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Cinder, a Cinderella retelling about a cyborg girl living in futuristic Beijing, was one of my biggest surprises of last year. When I read the description it didn’t really sound like something I would like, but I decided to give it a try and it was actually really great! Cinder‘s sequel, Scarlet, is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood but still continues the story of Cinder and Prince Kai. I can’t wait to see where this series goes!

Release date:  February 5, 2013

 

 

 

 

Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Wither was a fantastic and original story about a world where girls die at age 20 and boys die at 25. Young girls are being sold off to rich men as brides and are forced to bear children. Rhine Ellery becomes one of these girls, and tries her hardest to escape. The sequel to Wither, Fever, continues the story but in my opinion wasn’t nearly as good as the first book. Sever is the final book in the trilogy and I’m hoping it will be a great ending to the series.

Release date:  February 12, 2013

 

 

 

 

Fragments by Dan Wells

Fragments by Dan Wells

Partials is yet another book I own but have not read. A post-apocalyptic novel that takes place on Long Island, where I have lived my whole life, is definitely something I’m excited to read. I’m hoping to read Partials before the sequel, Fragments, is released.

Release date:  February 26, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

So it looks like February will be another exciting month for YA books! I just hope I can find the time to read all of the books I have on my list! What February releases are you looking forward to?