Happy Happy New Year!!! 🙂 I love the beginning of a new year and being able to look back on the past year, particularly when it came to my reading habits. 2014 was not the greatest reading year for me because of some life circumstances. My reading was heaviest towards the latter half of the year, as I rediscovered how much joy, solace and peace reading brought me during difficult times. Now that I am (sort of) back on my feet again (getting there), I am aiming at 48 books in 2015 – I’m super pumped about it! Of the books I did read during 2014, here were some of my favorites!
1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
I read this book in ONE SITTING!!! I loved it and was sucked right into the story! It was a beautiful read about a girl who committed suicide and left behind 13 different tapes addressed to 13 different people who somehow contributed to her decision. I thought it was beautiful, haunting and gripping. The thing that I took most away from it was how we tend to forget or not think about the way our words/actions impact other people, whether it’s intentional or unintentional. Obviously, not to say that we need to be overly thinking all of our words and actions, but it’s more concerning being willing to be more mindful and taking greater ownership. I definitely cried all of the tears ALL throughout this book! :’)
2. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
This was my first Rainbow Rowell book and I am so glad that it was! Her writing is absolutely beautiful and the characters that she created were absolutely lovable and completely relatable! To me, this felt like a book version of “500 Days of Summer” in the sense that it definitely filled me with good feelings, but also was quite realistic and totally relatable. The story was beautiful and sad, but in the best way.
3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I had stopped reading a lot of YA books, particularly series, but I was really intrigued by this one as it was posed as a science-fiction/fantasy fairy tale retelling. As a huge fan of anything related to fairy tales, I was willing to give this a try and am so glad that I did! This was a retelling of Cinderella, involving cyborgs and a new fantasy world. I loved this retelling and thought it was so unique!! The world created was beautiful and engaging, and it was so easy to visually create the world in my head. A great action packed book, with a sprinkling of romance, which I appreciate. It saddens me how much YA books gets consumed by themes of romance, so this book was very welcome. I have already read the second book, “Scarlet”, and also loved it!!! Marissa Meyer is doing a great job with this series and I cannot wait to keep reading!
4. The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Heidi Durrow
This was a very different book from the other books on this list for me. I picked it up on a whim because it was like $2 at Half-Price Books one day and I was intrigued by the very brief synopsis on the back of the book. Very briefly, I understood this book to be about a biracial young girl coming into her own racial identity. But, WHOA…this book was so much more than that! It was a beautiful and heartbreaking story concerning a lot of ideas on race in today’s society. Told from many different POV’s, it was great to be able to hear a lot of different opinions and perspectives on race/racial identity. A very eye opening book and I definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested/passionate about racial issues.
5. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I picked this up because it was highly hyped and so, I was curious as to what the book would be about. The first 100 or so pages were super slow for me, so at first, I was confused about all the hype, but then…BOOM!!!! I was HOOKED!!! 😀 I loved it! Gillian Flynn created a gripping story with dynamic characters and haunting themes. So good – I literally can’t say anymore because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. Definitely – a great, great read though!!!