It’s that time of the year again! It’s time to look back on 2014 and pick out my favourite books from the past 12 months! Usually I do a separate post for YA and Adult Fiction, but considering how many of these books could actually be considered cross-over novels, I’ve decided to combine them all into the same list! I’ve attempted to list them in order from my absolute top favourite to my bottom favourite, but truth be told all of these books were bloody brilliant! Enjoy!
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
I think it’s pretty safe to say that Red Rising was my all time favourite book of 2014! In fact, I loved it so much that I read it twice! In the same year! And I loved it just as much the second time around as I did the first! The story focuses on a Darrow, a “Red” who lives below the surface of Mars, mining precious helium-3 to help one day make the surface of the planet habitable for future generations. You can imagine Darrow’s anger when he discovers that Mars is not only habitable, but has been for centuries. Instead of inviting the Reds to join the rest of society on the surface, the Golds have kept them secretly enslaved as free labourers. In order to seek vengeance, Darrow goes under cover as a Gold, and joins their elite military academy to destroy the Gold’s empire from within. While the story is very reminiscent of The Hunger Games, it is even more addicting!
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
I was shocked by how much I adored this book! It was just so cute and sweet and I spent half the year gushing over it!! The story focuses on Lara Jean, a romantic who has never openly admitted her feelings to any of her crushes, choosing instead to write them love letters that are kept hidden away in her bedroom. Things get complicated, however, when Lara Jean discovers that her love letters have been sent out in the mail! The result is a fantastic romance that I just couldn’t get enough of!! Check out my full review of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before here!
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
I read the first two books in the Mistborn series this past year and LOVED them both! Full of action and intrigue, this fantasy series was hard to put down! The books focus on a world of ash and mist that is ruled by an immortal emperor named the Lord Ruler. The only one to have survived the wrath of the Lord Ruler is Kelsior, an ex-gang member who is determined to seek vengeance. I’m already looking forward to picking up the third book sometime soon! Check out my full review of Mistborn here!
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
This fantastic novel is like Ocean’s Eleven meets Robin Hood! The story focuses on Locke, the leader of the hearty crew known as the Gentlemen Bastards, who plan elaborate cons to steal from the rich and give to the poor (well, actually they keep most of it for themselves….). The sudden appearance of a villain called The Grey King, however, poses a threat not only to Locke’s latest con, but everything that he holds dear. The only solution: Locke must beat the Grey King at his own game, or die trying. If you love intrigue, plot twists, and fantastic characters, then this is the book for you! Check out my full review here!
Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey
I fell head over heels in love with this book! It gave me a bit of a book hangover! The novel focuses on the character of Maud, an elderly woman whose mind is quickly deteriorating from Alzheimer’s disease (or at least the reader is led to assume). While Maud’s memory may be failing, there is one thing that she knows for sure, her best friend Elizabeth is missing. Is Elizabeth’s controlling son the reason for this disappearance? Or has Elizabeth simply gone away on vacation? And how do you solve a mystery when you can’t remember the clues? The result is a captivating story that reads like Guy Pearce’s Memento meets Miss Marple! Read my full review here!
Winger by Andrew Smith
I think this is the book that surprised and shocked my the most this year. It was not what I was expecting at all…in a good way! Winger focuses on Ryan Dean, a fourteen-year-old junior at a private school for rich kids, who is in love with his best friend Annie. Unfortunately, Annie is two years older then Ryan Dean, and can’t help but view him as a little kid. Despite the ups and downs that life seems to throw his way, Ryan Dean faces them with wit, humour, and pure determination. Winger is a definite must read! It will leave your head spinning! Check out my full review here!
Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
If you love books then this is a must-read! Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore is like a love letter to books. It’s magical, quirky, and an all around great read! I wish I had read it sooner! The story focuses on Clay Jansen, an unemployed marketer who suddenly lands himself a job at Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore. Working as a clerk overnight in the store, Clay soon discovers that there is more to this dusty bookshop than meets the eye. Strange, eccentric customers come in at all hours of the night. After a bit of sleuthing, Clay discovers that he has landed himself in the middle of a secret society, and he becomes obsessed with uncovering all of their mysteries. The result is a fun and offbeat story that I fell head over heels in love with! Check out my full review here!
I LOVE stories that focus on people developing superpowers, so Vicious was a win for me from page one. The novel focuses on Victor and Eli, two college friends who find themselves working on a shared research project. Their findings are shocking: under the right circumstances, the power of adrenaline combined with a near-death experience can cause someone to become Extra-Ordinary. Determined to put their theory to the test, Victor and Eli experiment on themselves, but things go horribly wrong. This fast-paced story is insanely addicting! Check out my full review here!
Sigh. If you know me you know how much I adore the books written by Stephanie Perkins, and her latest addition was no exception! I LOVED it! A cute romance that takes readers back to the School of America in Paris, Isla and the Happily Ever after was filled with familiar faces. If you haven’t already read Anna and the French Kiss or Lola and the Boy Next Door, then I highly suggest that you start at the beginning of this series! It’s absolutely fantastic!
I absolutely devoured this book! Half Bad was fantastic, fast-paced, and absolutely brilliant! I loved this magical world that Green created, where witches are either White (Good) or Black (Evil), and possess a special “gift” that they obtain when they turn 18. The story focuses on Nathan, a witch like no other. Born to a white witch mother and a notoriously wicked black witch father, Nathan struggles to prove himself as “good” even as his emerging powers hint more and more to his dark lineage. The whole nurture versus nature debate dates back to Frankenstein, but it felt fresh and new in this magical world. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the sequel!
Edenbrooke is probably one of the best historical romances that I have ever read! The writing is wonderful, the characters are likable, and I had a really hard time putting it down! The story focuses on Marianne Daventry, a young lady who will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath. When she receives an invitation to join her twin sister at a sprawling country estate, Marianne jumps at the chance to relax and unwind from the stresses of society. Unfortunately, things don’t go according to plan, and Marianne soon finds herself being attacked by a highwayman, flirting with a mysterious stranger, and the heiress of a very large fortune!All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
If you are looking for a beautifully written book then look no further then All The Light We Cannot See! The story was moving, the characters were endearing, and the ending was absolute perfection. The novel is told from the perspectives of two very different people during World War II. On the one side you have Marie Laure, a blind girl from Paris who grows up in the museum where her father works. On the other side you have Werner, a technological genius who grows up in an orphanage, and is eventually drafted into the German army. Their two stories come together in a surprising way that will keep readers hanging on until the very end.East of West by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta
Always on the lookout for new comics to devour, East of West by Jonathon Hickman popped up on my radar earlier this year. An alternate reality about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? I was definitely intrigued! My excitement only grew when my local comic book store owner started singing it’s praises. “This comic is AMAZING,” he said. “I know you are going to love it! It’s probably one of my favourite comics right now!” He was right. I loved it (and so did my fiancee who is usually a tough sell)! The first volume was a bit confusing at first, but by the time I started volume two I was hooked! Needless to say the issues are now on my monthly pull list.
The Unwritten by Mike Carey and Peter Gross
This is an ongoing graphic novel series that book lovers will adore! I’ve already devoured the first 7 volumes! The story focuses on Tom Taylor, who was the inspiration for a wildly successful children’s book series written by his father, Wilson Taylor. The Tommy Taylor books bear a striking resemblance to Harry Potter, but are even more popular (if that’s even possible). Chaos emerges when a journalist accuses Tom of not being the real son of Wilson, but the embodiment of Tommy Taylor himself. Is Tom real? Or is he just a character from his father’s books brought to life? I’m not really doing the synopsis of this comic justice, but trust me when I say it’s addicting, suspenseful, and mind blowing!
The Orenda by Joseph Boyden
Another brilliant and moving story by Joseph Boyden! I felt like I had actually been transported back to 17th century New France! The characters were compelling, the story was captivating, and the writing was absolutely breathtaking. The Orenda tells the moving story of three characters: a Jesuit priest, a Huron warrior and a young kidnapped Iroquois girl. When the lives of these three strangers intersect during a fateful winter’s day, the world as they know it will never be the same again. Boyden continues to be one of my all-time favourite authors, and if you haven’t yet read a book by him then I highly suggest that you do!
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
After discovering the gloriousness that is the BBC adaptation of North and South starring Richard Armitage, I just had to read the original book! I’m happy to say that it was just as fantastic (if not more so) then the mini series! In fact, I loved it so much that I actually wrote an entire post where I renounced Mr. Darcy in favour of Mr. Thortnon (shocking I know!). If you loved classic romances then make sure to check out one (or both) of these in 2015!