2014 was a crazy year and another one that went super fast, but there’s always time to read. I read 70 books this year and so here’s a few of my favourites. It’s interesting to note that only 3 books on this list were published this year!
Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
I read Liar & Spy and When You Reach Me this year and I was blown away by both of them. Rebecca Stead is a fantastic middle grade author and I cannot wait to read more from her. “Liar & Spy is a superbly written, original and moving novel”.
Sleuth on Skates by Clémentine Beauvais & illustrated by Sarah Horne
Sleuth on Skates was just the sort of middle grade novel I was waiting for – extremely fun, contemporary mystery, with a smart and witty protagonist, and wonderfully illustrated. Sleuth on Skates was given to me by my friend Cait and I adored it straight away. I couldn’t be more thrilled to get to work with Clémentine Beauvais’ newest books, The Royal Babysitters series, at work! “Sleuth on Skates is an ingeniously complex and inventive children’s novel – with excellent foreshadowing! – and with a brilliant young protagonist at the forefront.”
Dead Man’s Cove by Lauren St. John
As I developed a love of middle grade this year, I was excited about reading Dead Man’s Cove for #aryaclub, a book club I’m a member of. It was the perfect children’s adventure and mystery story in the vein of Enid Blyton. I’m looking forward to reading her YA novel, The Glory, next year. “Dead Man’s Cove is a delightful, nostalgic mystery that’ll make you remember the time you pretended to be Harriet the Spy, trying to figure out the puzzle in front of you, and in this modern children’s detective story, you’ll join Laura as she tries to find a place in her new home”.
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Ketchup Clouds was a wonderful surprise. I had no idea what it was about before beginning, but it’s now one of my favourite YA novels. Annabel Pitcher tackles the nature of guilt expertly – how we deal with it, why we feel it and what we can do about it. I wish I could say more, but the beauty of reading Ketchup Clouds comes with finding out for yourself how it ends, perhaps throwing in little judgements, accusations and guesses along the way, but never quite knowing until the last page. “Ketchup Clouds is superb storytelling and a novel that encapsulates beautiful writing”.
Lobsters by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison
I have been loving contemporary YA novels this year and Lobsters is one of the best. If you loved Non Pratt’s Trouble (which is only not included in this list because I read it last year), then you’ll love this. I definitely want more from Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison! “Lobsters is utterly brilliant at portraying teenagers.”
Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
Belzhar is the book I read most recently. I read it in almost one sitting, which is a rare occurrence these days. It’s quirky because of its magical realism elements, and you won’t necessarily relate to the characters, but if you love ‘literary YA’, read this. “The more I talk about it with friends, the more I realise it did have quite an impact on me.”
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Code Name Verity is one I didn’t review this year because I wanted to do a combined review with Rose Under Fire, which I didn’t get the chance to read. Hopefully it’ll pop up as part of the Re-Read Challenge 2015! Even though I haven’t read many World War I&II novels, surely Code Name Verity must be among the best. It’s also a highlight among YA because it’s one of the few that focus purely on female friendships.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass is one I read before I started my new job in the summer. All of my friends know I tend to be wary of fantasy, which is why I was so surprised at how much I enjoyed Throne of the Glass (and the rest of the series so far). I cannot wait for the fourth and I’ve also read A Court of Thorns and Roses, which must be one of 2015’s most anticipated novels. You’re in for a treat!
The Collected Works of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
I’m quite sad about how few adult books appear on this list, but I just didn’t read many this year – hopefully next year. The Collected Works of A. J. Fikry was one I did read and I’m glad I did. It’s a beautiful novel, perfect for book lovers and fans of mystery. It’s also one of the most underrated novels on this list – it deserves much more attention! “The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry takes complete hold of the book industry and illuminates it for everyone else to see (sometimes with brutal honesty!), such as sales reps, ARCs, author events, young adult fiction (let’s just say that A.J. Fikry is not exactly a fan) and the snobbish attitude that we’ve all come across from those who judge other people’s reading preferences)”.
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
And lastly, here’s a graphic memoir! I was torn between featuring this and My Life in the Kitchen, but Hyperbole and a Half is one I keep coming back to because it’s incredibly witty and relatable. “Although Hyperbole and a Half tackles depression, it’s not depressing – that’s just not Allie Brosh’s style. She is immensely critical of herself, but she’s also conscious of the fact that she’s self-deprecating and that’s what makes you want to keep on reading”.
And here’s some more that I’d happy feature on this list: The Screaming Staircase, My True Love Gave to Me, Not in the Script, Wish You Were Italian, The Witches, Isla and the Happily Ever After, Apple and Rain, Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, Flirty Dancing, Boys Don’t Knit, Say Her Name, We Were Liars, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, She Is Not Invisible, Two Boys Kissing, The Girl with All the Gifts, Suite Scarlett, Just One Day, The BFG.