As we say goodbye to 2014, we of course have to celebrate the amazing books read in 2014! I didn't read too many books this year, but most of the ones I read were so good! From a YA series to a graphic novel, there are quite a range of books that are on my favorites list. Here are my top picks in no particular order.
Under the Never Sky Trilogy by Veronica Rossi
I have reviewed Under the Never Sky on my primary blog, which you can read here. It's basically a young adult dystopian book with adventure and romance, so it's got the whole package. You follow the journey of Aria, who grew up in a protected dome, but is forced out of the only place she has ever known and must survive in the dangerous outer lands. In her struggle she meets Perry, who has always lived outside of the dome, and their story begins from there. I tore through this series and definitely recommend it to anyone in a reading slump!
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
Laurie Halse Anderson is one of my favorite authors because she tackles tough subjects that aren't well represented in YA literature. I've read her novels Speak and Wintergirls, and The Impossible Knife of Memory did not disappoint. Hayley's father has PTSD, which causes her significant stress because she constantly worries about him and he is not a stable parental figure. He can't keep a job, drinks a lot, and has flashback episodes. She must deal with the consequences of the mental health of her father while handling the typical stresses of being in high school. Laurie Halse Anderson writes Hayley in such a realistic way and she gives a voice to people who are effected by mental illness. I applaud her for taking on a subject with so much stigma around it.
Wait for You by J. Lynn
This is a New Adult novel that follows Avery, who goes to a college far away from her hometown to try to escape her past. She's closed off, doesn't like to show her emotions, and keeps to herself. Everything changes when she meets Cameron in her astronomy class, who is gorgeous and is determined to go on a date with her. Avery has to learn to confront her past in order to open up her heart, which is a journey which is aided by Cameron and her friends. This book made me swoon! I loved the interactions between Avery and Cam! Avery's journey to heal from her past is so heart wrenching and very well written. I was very skeptical of this book because I have had mixed luck with New Adult books, but this story stole my heart!
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
I don't want to say too much about this book because it's better going into this novel by not knowing what it's about. To give you an idea of what it is about, it's about a girl, Cadence, who comes from a wealthy family and each summer the whole family gets together on their island. Cadence is trying to piece together what happened the previous summer, which is where the mystery begins. E. Lockhart has such a unique way of writing that it like prose; it was refreshing. I don't want to say anything else about the plot, just read it!
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
Sydney is content with life, until she finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her with her roommate. Drama! Without anywhere to go she ends up staying in an apartment that happens to house the guy she watched play the guitar every night across from her balcony. Ridge and Sydney's story is very original (which I will not spoil how) but this book definitely stands out in the New Adult genre! This story is told from alternating point of views, which I usually do not like but it was well done in this novel. I loved the characters in this book and I enjoyed reading about each of them.
To All The Boys I've Loved Before
Lara Jean wrote a letter each time she fell in love with a boy, then sealed her heart as she sealed the letter, never to be sent. Issues arise when somehow these letters get sent to the boys she once loved. She must face these boys and Lara Jean also experiences some unexpected consequences. This YA contemporary book totally took my heart. I love novels that incorporate family and I could totally related to Lara Jean since she has two sisters. This book was just so much fun to read and I can't wait to read the sequel in 2015!
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Mara Dyer mysteriously survives a freak accident, which takes the life of her best friend, a new friend, and her boyfriend. Mara and her family moves far away from their home town to remove Mara from the setting of the accident. Mara doesn't remember what happened in the accident and suffers from PTSD, but she wants to piece together what happened that night. With bad boy Noah (a swoon-worthy love interest), both try to figure out what's really going on. This sets the scene for this young adult psychological thriller that is gripping and action packed. You won't know what's real and what's the result of the unreliable narrator since Mara is not mentally stable. I finished this book in a day and I am so excited to read the next two books this year. I think I'll need to reread this one too, it was that good.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
After losing her job at the tea shop, Lou has to find a job to help support her family, which includes her grandfather, mother, father, sister, and nephew. She unexpectedly gets a job taking care of Will, who suffers severe health and physical complications from his motorcycle accident. Lou gets thrown into an entirely new situation and witnesses first hand Will's struggles, depression included. This is a highly popular adult fiction book and is being made into a movie in 2015, which influenced me to read it. I love Moyes' writing style and I completely fell into Lou's story; I couldn't stop reading it! The characters in this story were very well developed and there is nothing better than a story with characters that seem so real. This book takes on relevant and controversial topics that will keep you thinking about this story long after the last page.
Blankets by Craig Thompson
This is my first graphic novel and I was surprised how much I loved it. The illustrations are beautiful, depicting winter in Wisconsin. This story revolves around Craig's childhood and adolescence, with themes of questioning religion, first love, family, and questioning your place in the world. This is such a genuine and touching coming of age story and I would recommend this to ages 16 and up.