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[Year In Review] - Best of 2014

I wanted to take some time to give a few mentions to what I think would be the "best" books of the year. First, these are from the books I read this year, so frankly if there's a better book for the category, but I didn't read it, sorry. I just didn't have all the time in the world to read all of the books that came out this year so frankly most of the books are older, and that's okay with me. I view the book as recognition and a good reflection of the books that I read this year. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think of the books on this list.

Book of the Year
Start of a Series
Installment in a Series
Finale in a Series
Coming of Age
Best YA Cover

Best YA Book of the Year:

Title: Dare You To
   Author: Katie McGarry
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: May 28th, 2013


     Dare you to had everything I was looking for in a book this year. I am not sure what exactly to say more in this book other than it was more than just perfect. I love how the relationship with Ryan and Beth was so unique and I honestly wished I was one of them.

     Of course there are character flaws in both Beth and Ryan but that's life and I find that those flaws make them believable. I found that I bought into them and the story-telling was just fantastic. How the romance bloomed and the trials and tribulations between Beth and Ryan made the story just so great and grand. Congratulations, Katie. This was was very very well done.

Best Start of a Series:

Title:  Exquisite Captive
   Author: Heather Demetrios
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: October 7th, 2014


     Now this was a hard choice, I had two good starts to series that I read this year. However, this book just stood out (not that it was the end of the year or anything). The other being Anna and the French Kiss, it just was too linear and I could see where things were going, even though the story was sweet and well done. This book just brought originality to the table and a romance that was brilliant and captivating.

     Underneath everything though there is a bit of a fantasy to the story as well with the whole Jinni world and what Nalia is going through.  I love Nalia and how she's so stubborn and does things her own way. Yeah, she's a princess/queen of sorts, but there isn't all the heir of superiority in her (like there may have been previously). The story is told well, the writing done great, and it was just a surprise for me I couldn't resist putting it on here.

Best Installment in a Series:

Title: Dare You To
   Author: Katie McGarry
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: May 28th, 2013


     Katie is back again. But this was rather hard to choose between. I mean that in as sarcastic a way as possible. For this category I only read Dare You To this year (that wasn't a start or an ending to a series). I wanted to avoid starts and that's what I did a lot of this year was start series. Next year though I plan on continuing most of those series so Crash Into You will have some competition. Plus this is a great testament to how great the book is and how well it is done. This book alone places Katie as one of my favorite authors, and ones to watch.

Best Finale in a Series:

Title: Into The Still Blue
   Author: Veronica Rossi
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: January 28th, 2014


     This was another one of those, there was only one book in the category to choose from, but frankly I would have chosen this one anyway. I love Aria and Perry and they are by far one of my favorite YA Couples, but at the same time this book didn't really live up to all the hype. I did expect more out of this book, but frankly for the conclusion it was great and while leaving the series at a cliffhanger you get the idea that there is some sort of closure in everything.

     Further The whole story bouncing between Aria and Perry (throughout the series) was done better in this novel, and it's hard of me to say that I wanted more of Perry or Aria. I almost wanted to see more of the supporting characters. The world building was great, and while the wilds weren't all that ferocious, they always left you with this impending doom that was always looming over your head.

Title: Beautiful Oblivion
   Author: Jami McGuire
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: July 1st, 2014


     Beautiful Oblivion was without a doubt my favorite book in terms of Romance this year. While some people may not see it, but Cami was such a better main character than the previous Abby. Trenton was the same in comparison to Travis, but it was so refreshing and you could see why Travis relied on Trenton. I loved Trenton and enjoyed the plot and how the romance formed. It was so real, but at the same time the book isn't just entire smut driven.

     So when it came to comparing this to other romances, I just never bought into the rest as much as Cami and Trenton. There was just so much complexity to the two, but at the same time the flaws they had brought light and more defining features to the front of their characters. They weren't perfect and while their secrets sometimes got between them, it never really defined them. 

Best YA Contemporary:

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
   Author: Stephanie Perkins
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: December 2nd, 2011


     When this category came up there wasn't any choice, this was what I thought of first and honestly what I think of Contemporary this year. Granted I only read 50 books but a good amount of those were romances and I thought I rounded out what I read in terms of YA pretty well.

     Anyways, Anna was so cute and while there is a lot of underlying issues with each character. Anna and Etienne were so cute and while the story didn't seem to original it was refreshing and sweet. If you want something sweet and wonderful, this book is for you, but keep in mind it's a pretty generic, run of the mill contemporary.

Best YA Coming of Age:

Title: Tease
   Author: Amanda Maciel
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: April 29th, 2014


     Tease while it may not have been my first pick or the best candidate for this, I couldn't deny the impact it had. This book changed a lot of how I feel and how the style of books I read. It has a huge impact on me, and frankly I loved how this book turned out, and how it ended. While this may not be on most people's list, this book just needs the recognition.

     A book about Sara, who goes through the process of being accused of bullying Emma who committed suicide. However the difference is Sara doesn't believe she caused or made her. It's hard to say whether she did or not, but Sara feels generally bad where her friends don't. The book follows Sara as she comes to terms with the part she played in Emma's death..

Best YA Fantasy:

Title: Salvage
   Author: Alexandra Duncan
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: April 1st, 2014


     Salvage was just so unique and great in terms of how the outer space. I didn't think the whole different world and how earth was changed (futuristic) was too different or far fetched. While there were parts of the book that were a bit lackluster, the book generally kept me interested and turning the pages through the duller moments. I love a book that can take normal character growth (such as getting used earth's gravity when you've spent your entire life in space) and keep you reading.

     Ava wasn't one of my favorite female characters of the year, but she was great to read about. How her whole world was nearly all slavery and almost could be considered human trafficking. I couldn't really see where the book was going, but the book never really left the reader wondering or being too confused for too long. It provided that elusiveness of a girl in a whole new world, but kept it similar to everyday Earth.

Best YA Cover:

Title: A Thousand Pieces of You
   Author: Claudia Gray
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: November 4th, 2014


     There were a lot of pretty covers this year, and I am a fan of older 1800-1900 women fashion on covers (i.e. Forbidden, Exquisite Captive, The Luxe series, The Sweet Far Thing) but when it comes to colors and actually visualizing, this book just stood out. I love the colors and how there is two completely different worlds represented in this novel. I haven't read the book yet, and frankly I looked at all the books I bought this year and those that were released for this one just to see if there was one that was better. Frankly the colors and the representation is just great.
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