The Best Books of 2014

I meant to post this yesterday, but discovered that I can no longer stay up until 4am and still be a functioning person!

Here are the best books I read in 2014! In no particular order

1. The Harry Potter Series- So glad I finally stood up to my mother and read these books. Rereading them with my 8 year old now, and the magic just doesn’t fade.

2. The Fault in Our Stars- ” Okay. Okay.” WAAAAAHHHHH!

3. Gone Girl- Holy Plot Twist, Batman!

4. The Book thief- Death as a narrator is hauntingly beautiful in the this book.

5. The Light Between the Oceans- As a mother, I connected to this book on so many levels.

6. The Host- I loved this book. I still have dreams about this book!

7. The Divergent Series- Don’t hate me if I say I loved these books even more than The Hunger Games. Because I do.

8.The Once and Future King- One of the purest King Arthur mythology versions out there.

9. The Princess Bride- Laugh out Loud hilarious.

10.The Ocean at the End of the Lane- It’s Neil Gaiman. Nuff said.

11. The Outlander Series- These books consumed my life this year. And I am so glad I let them. Jamie Fraser wins the fictional boyfriend award.

12. Eleanor and Park, Fan Girl, Attachments,, Land Line-  Every thing by Rainbow Rowell.

13. Middlesex- It’s a perfect book. Just perfect.

14. The All Souls trilogy- I am so sad I found these books so late into the year. They are beautiful.

15. Like Water for Chocolate- Sexy. Sexy. Sexy.

16. A Dance For Dragons- I can’t believe I have to wait so long for the next book!

17.The Rosie Project- Oh Don!

18. The Heart of Hearing Heartbeats- I have been recommending this book to everyone I know.

19. Girls in White Dresses- So relatable for any 20-something.

20. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies- Don’t judge me.

 

What were your favorites of 2014?

Bonus Reads: The Third and Final Installment! #117-125

I am pretty sure, that even I can’t squeeze in one more book in 2014.

117. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness– The final book in the All Souls Triology, and while I loved the series, I have very mixed reactions of this particular book. I loved the story of Diana and Matthew, but the conclusion was not all I hoped for. I still have a lot of unanswered questions. My real complaint is just that’s it’s over. I did some research, and Harkness has no plans on continuing the story of Diana and Matthew. I am holding out for a story with some of the other characters though.

118. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowery– Who knew The Giver was part of a quartet? Gathering Blue does not continue the story of Jonas, but tells a different story of a girl names, Kira set in the same universe. Very good.

119. Irish Rebel by Nora Roberts- So I have serious book hangover after reading The All Souls trilogy. Hence the week of Nora Roberts. She is my favorite romance writer, and I love the generations of families that she creates.

120. Irish Thoroughbred by Nora Roberts-  It’s called Irish Thoroughbred…it didn’t win a Pulitzer. But it made me happy.

121. Skin Deep by Nora Roberts– If you haven’t read any of Nora Robert’s “O’Hurley’s” books, do your self a favor and read them!

122. Irish Hearts by Nora Roberts- Sometimes, I just need to read a book that I know will have a happy ending.

123. The 100 by Kass Morgan– This is the first book in a triology, that is also a TV show on CW. So the author, is actually an editor who wrote the book while the show was being created. So this is a case of egg or chicken. Maybe it’s still the book hangover talking but the show is way better. (I will deny saying this).

124.Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith- I might also deny loving this book. I never like Pride and Prejudice spin offs, maybe because I knew it would be ridiculous, I was able to separate it, but whatever the reasons, I really enjoyed this book. I laughed out loud!

125. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins- What a cute story. Sometimes I need YA to remind what it’s like falling in love for the first time. Magic.

 

Bonus Reads Part Duex: #111-116

December is a busy time of year in my house. As if the Holidays with two young kids wasn’t enough, it’s also my oldest’s birthday month. I have been busy, busy planning an awesome birthday and holiday season for my kiddies. That however, hasn’t slowed me down. There is just too many good, juicy reads to get into and it’s very distracting! Sometimes, my TBR list is overwhelming, but then I get over it!

111.Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult– Would like to read something that will make you incrediably mad, with  an unsatisfying ending? This one is for you! Luckily it’s also really well written, and I couldn’t put it down.

112. The Elite by Kiera Cass- This is the second book in The Selection series. At this point, IShe’s going to I’m think America still has so much potential. She is going to kick ass in the third book…I am like really hoping for this!

113. The  One by Kiera Cass- Booooo Hissss! America does nothing! I don’t understand what happened. So much potential for America to get all geared up, lead a revolution, bust some rebel heads. Nope, she just gets the guts to tell some guy she loves him and get married. Let me get on my soap box for a second: Authors, you have the power to create amazing things. You can make a character into anything you want. They can do anything you can dream. So why? Why make heroine lame?

114. The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline- This book has been on my TBR shelf all year. I have picked it up and put it down a million times. I so glad I finally read it. The only thing is that ended abruptly. I was left with a lot of questions.

115. Cordina’s Royal Family: Bennet and Camilla by Nora Roberts- Ah fluff…I was in desperate need of a pick me up on a rainy Sunday and this beut did the trick. It’s actually two books, but since it’s so fluffy, I’ll count it as just one!

116. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare- Book 3 of The Mortal Instruments Series and so far my favorite. I keep getting side tracked by other books, and it’s been nice coming back to these.

Bonus Reads! #101-110

Ya’ll didn’t think I could really stop at 100, did you? I have been a busy bee this last month. Like I said before, reading books is a piece of cake but writing about them seems like a chore. And I am really bad about doing my chores. Which means, I have read several books this month since finishing number 100t a the beginning of the month. We all know I am never going to ever get around to doing a full blown blog about these so here is a quick blurb!

 

101. Land Line by Rainbow Rowell I have officially read every Rainbow Rowell book published. She has become one of my favorite authors this year. Not as good as Attachments but still so good.

102. Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness– The first in the All Souls Trilogy. A fellow soccer mom, well really art class mom, recommended them. Vampires, witches…amazing! It’s like grown up Twilight  and Harry Potter. But all the good things from Twilight, none of the crap plus a kick ass woman lead.

103. Rumors by Anna Godbersen- Why am I still reading this series…?

104. School of Night by Deborah Harkness- The second in the All Souls Trilogy. Vampires, witches and TIME TRAVEL! So great! Can’t wait to get my hands on the third!

105. My True Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins et. al- Rainbow Rowell wrote the first story in this collection of holiday short stories. Really got me in the Christmas mood!

106. Just One Day by Gayle Foreman- Very teen angsty. Almost too angsty for me, which is really saying something.

107. Just One Year By Gayle Foreman– See above.

108. Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James– Stop it. Just stop it. No one is ever going to do a Pride and Prejudice sequel that will do my favorite characters of all time any justice. I am watching the PBS mini series now and it’s actually better than the book. Clara from Doctor Who plays Lydia.

109.City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare– Jace and Clary are stressing me out. I am really enjoying this series.

110. One plus One by JoJo Moyes– So far I haven’t read anything by JoJo that I haven’t liked. Really adorable, likable characters, Jess, a single, hard working mom, got hurt and I cried at the injustice of it. Happy ending, and so very British!

#100- The Kill Order by James Dashner

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I did it! I read 100 books! I actually finished The Kill Order, the beginning of November, completing my 100 book challenge. I’m just very behind on posting. I have found reading 100 books, much easier than writing about 100 books!

The Kill Order is the prequel to The Maze Runner Series. The Kill Order tells the story of  how the flare started, how WICKED was form and explains what Theresa’s and Thomas’s roll in the trials really was. The Kill  Order reminded me a lot of the first book, The Maze Runner, which wasn’t my favorite. Luckily, I kept reading because the remaining books of the series were wonderful. The Scorch Trails, the second book was amazing.

The Kill Order was just a slow read for me. But I did enjoy it, and if you read The Maze Runner, you have to read the prequel. There are several memorable characters, I was rooting for Mark, Trina and little Dee Dee. My biggest complaint is probably the names. Seriously, Dashner! Ya gotta pick better names for your characters!

#99- First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

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I love chick lit. A book worm can’t live on 900 pages tomes alone. Sometimes the emotionally intense fictional world I live in needs to be broken up by something a little more light hearted.

First Grave on the Right is the first book in the Charley Davidson series. Charley is the Grimm Reaper, and her job is to lead the dearly departed to the afterlife. But sometimes, they just want to go. Her already complicated life gets even more complicated when a sexy spirit appears who may be someone from her past.

If you like the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, you’ll love the Charley Davidson books. Charley is everything we love about Stephanie; sassy, smart, independent. Very similar, but the supernatural twist gives Charley something unique. These are great books for someone like me, who needs something just to cheer me up and make me laugh every now and then.

#98- City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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I am late jumping on the Mortal Instruments band wagon. Prior to reading City of Bones, all I knew was that they were about vampires. And thanks, to Twilight, I have a serious prejudice against vampires. However, I learned, that this book is about Vampire/Daemon hunters and that makes all the difference. Hunting is some Winchester stuff and I am all about that! (I also started reading another vampire-ish series,All Souls by Deborah Harkness, and have learned that all vampires are not created equal. As long as they don’t sparkle, I am good).

I loved this book. It’s exactly what I am looking for in a fantasy YA novel. Swoon worthy guys, the girl we love, the girl we love to hate, mystery, suspense, and an ending that made me want to throw my  kindle out the window( but I didn’t because I love my kindle). But more importantly, the ending made me eager to read the next installment.

#97- The Princess by Jude Deveraux

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Judge me all you want but I love cheesy, slightly smutty, romance novels. After a long day, a crappy week, nothing relieves my stress better than a bubble bath and a romance novel. If you like Nora Roberts, you will  love Jude Deveraux.

I was thriftin with my besties when I found this beaut, and my friend demanded that I buy it and read it immediately. She knows me so well. She knew I would I just devour this book . And I did, in one sitting. I am not going to go into plot details. It’s a typical storyline from this genre. Spirited women, meets hard headed man. They fall in love, despite all odds and live happily ever after. (See my other posts about Nora Roberts, and you’ll get the gist.) Really, what more do you need to know?

 

#96-Luxe by Anna Godbersen

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Gossip Girl set in 1899? Sure why not. I will give anything a try once. I like sordid affairs, and I like period pieces, so I was pretty sure this was worth a shot. Luxe is the first in a series of four. It follows New York’s elite upper class as they engage in love triangles, keep secrets, plot and maybe even murder?

I will finish this series. Mainly just because I have never not finished a series I have started, but I am not particularly excited about it. None of the characters were likeable. They were all selfish, spoiled rich kids who pouted and threw temper tantrums. Maybe that’s the point? Maybe that’s the appeal? I never liked TV shows like Gossip Girl either, with similar plots and characters.

Honestly, the only thing that really impacted me about this book was the “slow, seductive wink”. I am not sure what a “slow, seductive wink” looks like, only that the characters in this book were very fond of them and used them liberally. I tried it out on my husband and he thought I has something in my eye…Maybe I need more practice.

 

#95- The Selection by Kiera Cass

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You had me at Young Adult Dystopian. The Selection is the first of a trilogy, about 16 year old America who finds herself in a competition to win the heart of the country’s prince, Maxon. But will her own low social caste, her sense of justice or the love she left behind keep her from the Prince?

The best way to describe this book is The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor. It has all the makings for a great YA series. A tough girl, hot guys, a love triangle, a unfair justice system, a brewing rebellion. I can see myself really getting into this story. However,  I am holding judgment until I at least read the second one. In this first book, America was not as kick ass as I was hoping. Sure, she’s spirited, feisty, but her greatest ambition is to be a wife. The fact that she wants to marry a guy in a caste but below her, instead of the prince is honorable, but doesn’t grant you heroine status.

But, because I really do think she has it in her to do something more with herself, and because I do think this story has so much potential, and because Prince Maxon may become my next fictional fling, I am willing to not write off these books quite yet.