End of Year Recap: 2014 Best and Worst Books

I realize I’m a huge reader and I love to give out recommendations to friends. I wasn’t going to do an end of the year recap of what I read and loved, but I realize you guys don’t necessarily follow every review or even care about certain genres of books I read. This is a great way for friends of mine and followers to see what I loved in genres they like, too.

These are based off of all the books I read in 2014, not necessarily books that released in 2014.
Best Book of the Year
 
 
 
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
 

A book set in a virtual reality future with tons of arcade gaming and 80’s references. If you are an adult, have any sort of fondness for the 80’s, or just love the idea of having a future where people attend school and work in a virtual world while sitting at home in a trailer, you will love this book.

Best YA Fantasy
 
 
 
 

This is also the best full series I read this year. I highly recommend it, even to adults who hate YA. It’s not typical YA. It’s unique, well written, and has tons of concepts that are rarely explored in fantasy.

Best Series Conclusions
 
 
 
In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken (YA Dystopian)
 
The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (YA Horror)
 
Ignite Me by Taherah Mafi (YA Dystopian Romance)
 
The Descent by Alma Katsu (Adult Gothic Fantasy)
 
 
Best Urban Fantasy
 
 
 
Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews
 
Fever series by Karen Marie Moning
 
 
Best Science Fiction
 
 
 
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
 
 
Best Classic Novel I Read
 
 
 
 
Best Adult Adventure/Fantasy
 
 
 
 
 
Best Fairy Tale Retelling
 
 
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
 
 
Best Adult Mystery
 
 
 Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
 
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
 
One Kick by Chelsea Cain
 
 
Best YA Contemporary
 
 
Speechless by Hannah Harrington
 
 
Best Historical Fiction
 
 
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
 
 
Best Most Uncomfortable Novel I’ve Ever Read and Can Barely Finish, But Makes Really Good Points About A Subject
 
 
 
Tampa by Alyssa Nutting
 
 
Best WTF?! book
 
 
Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
 
 
Best Adult Contemporary
 
 
Dare Me by Megan Abbott
 
 
Best New Adult Indie Romance
 
 
 
 
Best Shamefully Delicious Adult Paranormal Romance
 

 
 
Best Contemporary Romance
 
 
 
 
Slammed by Colleen Hoover
 
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
  
 
Best YA Paranormal Romance
 
 
The Deepest Night by Shana Abe
 
 
Best I-Like-Scary-Concepts, But-I-Need-Romance-Too Novels 
 
 
 
The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole
 
The White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter
 
 
————————

 What about the books I didn’t enjoy?

 
 
Books I Didn’t Finish (GASP!)
 
 
 
Rooms by Lauren Oliver
 

I love her books, but Rooms was her venture into adult mystery and it fell flat. I couldn’t get through it after multiple attempts. It was about a house full of ghosts observing the living, and while there were tons of secrets, it was all kind of boring.

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
 

If you’re a woman who likes paranormal concepts, you’ll probably love this trilogy, but the author lost me after traveling back in time, getting pregnant, and turning into a pile of mush after being an independent woman in the first book. All of the ties to fantasy, witchcraft, vampirism, and all of that sort of fell flat after the characters became lame. I feel like the first book A Discovery of Witches was amazing, but the rest of the journey was too much for me. I hate that the logical next step in an adult romance is babies. But the characters were just over the top lame.

The Secrets of Life and Death by Rebecca Alexander
 

It was based on Elizabeth Bathory, the woman who used to bathe in the blood of her servants because she thought it would keep her alive forever! How on earth could this end up on my DNF list?! Because the book took an amazing concept and made it absolutely boring. Honestly, it was extremely dull. Kudos to anyone who can make that subject so boring, I couldn’t continue.

Series I Didn’t Enjoy, but Everyone Else Loved
 
 
 
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
 
The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
 
The endings to both series were atrocious. Everyone is all matched up, everything ends perfectly, no one ever thinks about the consequences, sticky situations are always jumped into because nothing bad will ever happen to anyone who matters to the story, and it’s terrible.

But if you like YA with happy endings, this series is totally for you. And if you like novels with worlds that never end, this is a great author to love because she is writing even more content set in the same world.

 
 
Most Disappointing Novels
 
 
 
 

An amazing fantasy concept featuring a protagonist who was larger and NEVER lets us forget about it. I knew more about how her legs burned, what she ate, and how many calories than how the world was set up.

The Twelve by Justin Cronin
 

I loved The Passage for the eloquence, the writing, and the characters. So The Twelve decided to cut out all of the slow writing and character building and was fast paced, ridiculous, and full of randomness. And I think he tried to be too much like Stephen King instead of just writing the way he began.

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
 
The TV show was cool, so I thought the book would be even better. Turns out the authors are much better suited to make a TV show and aren’t very good at writing. It was awful to get through.
 
 
Worst Book of the Year
 
 
 
 

While the disappointing novels were bad, this one was the worst because I bought the sequel, was like 99% sure it would be SO AWESOME and it totally WOULD have been awesome if the main character got the F*** over herself for 2 seconds. Having a fatter protagonist is great for fiction and empowerment (and I get why authors are doing that), but it’s counterproductive when she puts herself down 24/7. I’ll never understand why that’s okay. I’d rather have a protagonist who never ever talks about her appearance (except I’m pretty sure that everyone just assumes they are beautiful).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s