Historical Fiction:No surprise that the largest number of favourites from this year comes from this genre.
Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein.
What can I possibly say about these books that hasn't already been said? They're incredible historical fiction novels that bring forward some complex, beautiful stories and absolutely wonderful female friendships.
My review of Code Name Verity.
Tarnish by Katherine Longshore.
Katherine's take on Anne Boleyn is one of the most compelling and engrossing I've ever read. She truly brings her and Henry VIII's court to life, depicting the ups and downs and all the emotions that come with them.
Belladonna by Fiona Paul.
An excellent example of a book that doesn't suffer from second-book syndrome. Belladonna builds on both the story and the characters first introduced in Venom in just the way I want from a middle book in a trilogy while not being afraid to pull out a few surprises. It also provided an excellent set-up for the final book, Starling.
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters.
Atmospheric, ghostly, twisted... my goodness. I can't say this was a book I thought I would love, just because ghosts and whatnot aren't always my thing. But Cat Winters has made a new fan in me after just one book because the way she handled the ghost subject plus the different historical elements she incorporated in so well made it a fascinating read.
The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni.
Another one I didn't expect to adore as much as I did, but Dianne Salerni's handling of the YA tropes instalove and love triangles was so different and interesting that, combined with the story and the historical setting, I was very pleasantly surprised.
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis.
One of the books I was most excited about this year turned out to be a hit! Mindy McGinnis' debut story is smart, engrossing, and harsh but not without hope. The world she created and the relationships that form between her characters were so interesting to explore and I'm so glad I enjoyed this one as much as I did.
Cinder and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer.
Marissa Meyer has created a series that she is weaving together with such skill that only becomes more clear as it goes on. It has fun and loveable characters, an inventive story, and such a cool futuristic world. I get completely caught up in these books.
My reviews of Cinder and Scarlet.
Canary by Rachele Alpine.
Canary is a strong, heart-wrenching story about how harmful our society's negative rape culture really is for the individuals who have to deal with it directly. It is not a light story, but it is an important one and I thought Rachele Alpine handled it very well.
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West.
This, on the other hand, is a rather light, cute story and I absolutely adored this Pretty In Pink-esque romance. The MC is a little quirky and the love interest turns out to be pretty great, and overall this was just the kind of thing I look for in a cute romance novel.
"Fantasy:"There's only one book in this category (boo to not finding high fantasy to love this year) and though I don't know how I'd categorize it, Goodreads says fantasy, so that's what I'm going with.
The Archived by Victoria Schwab.
This novel is one of the most original and imaginative that I've read in a long time. It has a twist on the world unlike any I've seen before and I absolutely loved that. Not to mention that there are some truly wonderful characters whom I wish were real people because I really would love to be friends with Wes.
2014 Releases That Make the Cut:I've read a few 2014 releases already and four of them were absolutely fantastic and definitely deserve spots on this list. So, in the order I read them:
Starling by Fiona Paul.
The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes.
Cress by Marissa Meyer.
Brazen by Katherine Longshore
All four are undoubtedly 5-star reads for me. Reviews will come to share why exactly. Until then, just trust me and maybe ring up a preorder or two.
Since I had a hard time choosing my favourites, just for reference I'm going to mention some of the other excellent books I read this year, in no particular order. Basically, if you're looking for recommendations, this is the rest of my list for this year:
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.
17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma.
The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe.
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.
Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn.
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan.
The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand.
Five Summers by Una LaMarche.
More Than This by Patrick Ness.
Pantomime by Laura Lam.
Born of Illusion by Teri Brown.
All the Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry.
Reread of Burned by Ellen Hopkins.
What were your favourite reads of 2014? Did we have any in common?