Sunday, December 28, 2014

Faves of 2014 ~ Part One

Faves of 2014: Part One

I love looking back over my reading year and seeing so many good books read (which is especially awesome to see when I am in a slump ~ reminds me it has been an excellent reading year with a bunch of new fave authors and series to follow). Instead of just launching with my top ten fave* I wanted to showcase so many more books I read and loved and recommend by nominating them for some different categories. I liked every single book featured here and happily recommend them all :)

*If I limited it to my top ten there would be so many other good books that I wouldn't get a chance to mention. But I will be posting my top ten in a few days (still finalising the final three picks, it's so hard...)

Books here were all read in 2014 and are a mix of backlist and new release.

1. Favourite book read in 2014

Hands down absolutely The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty

I love this series so much. It's coming together so brilliantly and unexpectedly and it has so much heart and humour and endearingness alongside crazy-wild creativity and hilarious dialogue and happenings. So excited for the final book (understatement).

2. Most powerful book

The Road Home by Ellen Emerson White, The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult & Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Nominating three. Liane's book is brilliant and funny and the funniest-serious book I've ever read (it handles some serious issues in a powerful way even while being hilarious). Best Picoult I've read in a while, even though I've read a couple of holocaust books that didn't detract from a really powerfully written story with a brilliant ending. And The Road Home was AMAZING and will stay with me for always ~ so recommended!
3. Brilliantly funny

The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty, Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor

Night of Cake and Puppets is a short stand-alone story which was swoony and fun and funny and sparkling ~ and Cracks in the Kingdom definitely gave me the most grins and smiles and laughs of my reading year :)
4. Best ache-y, heart-breaking, tear-jerker read

The Protected by Claire Zorn and the first two Sevenwaters books by Juliet Marillier

The Protected is the only book I cried a few actual physical tears *sniff* and the Sevenwaters books have pretty much the whole spectrum of emotion from beloved romance to sorrow, both beautifully told tales.

5. Most beautiful story

Laini Taylor's books

As a series and a world, these books are amazing (pictures are out of order due to blogger being obstinate).
6. Delicious rainy day comfort read

Nearly a Lady by Alissa Johnson, Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

I really enjoyed curling up with these two and just relaxing into the story

7. Adrenalin-fuelled, unputdownable award

Dark Horse by Honey Brown, Through the Cracks by Honey Brown

Honey Brown is an amazing talent! My fave of these was definitely Dark Horse, but Through the Cracks was also amazingly addictive and startling. If you like psychological thrillers you MUST check her out! 

8. The beautiful prose award

Laini Taylor, As Stars Fall & The Bridge From Me To You

Laini Taylor's writing is lush and evocative, also funny (a really great combo!). Lisa Schroder is amazing (although I prefer her verse, this novel is half verse, half prose). As Stars Fall (Aussie YA) was really gorgeously written!

9. Most atmospheric and vivid setting

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Runners Up: Laini Taylor, Sevenwaters, The Road Home

Set in Iceland in the 1800's ~ I was totally transported vividly with all my senses. The story was hauntingly brought to life. I also have runners up: two fantasy worlds that you sink right into and The Road Home which brought me a spectacularly real portrayal of Vietnam during the war -- amazing book.

10. i-so-want-to-go-there award


Haha ~ would love to hang with the gang and go exploring about.
11. Most original and imaginative

Jaclyn Moriarty/ Also imginative: Laini Taylor

I am trying hard not to choose Jaclyn Moriarty for everything, so I've also included Laini Taylor. I don't think anyone can beat Jaclyn for being original but Laini's world is also amazing and vivid.

12. Best under-appreciated, hidden gem book

Confessions of an Angry Girl 
Runner Up: Better Off Friends & Head of the River

I really really liked and so recommend Confessions of an Angry girl to contemporary YA fans. I didn't try it for a long time, thinking it would be too angsty/high school drama for me. But it turned out really great, lots of heart and emotion and Rose is so readable and relateable. Also a bonus: Jamie Forta (bad boy angsty swoon material). 

Better Off Friends was just a book I picked up from the library by chance and I had no idea how perfect it would be for my reading mood ~ charming and breezy and with plenty of depth and heart. 

Head of the River is not exactly under-appreciated as I have only ever seen great reviews for it but I would love for it to have a higher profile. It's a stand-out Aussie YA book, brilliantly written with so much heart and soul and real, achey teen characters. I really recommend it (and I have a review in my frafts ready to post soon).

13. i-had-no-idea-i-would-love this-so award
The Winner's Curse, The Darkest Minds, Daughter of Smoke and Bone

None of these are my fave genre. I'm burnt out on paranormal, dystopia and covers with girls in fancy dresses (ha!). But all these three took my by surprise and I am so glad I gave them all a chance :)
14. Most haunting story

The Girl With All the Gifts

That ending guys! Beautiful but haunting...

15. Series (still in progress) that I’m loving

Confessions, The Rephaim, Cracks in the Kingdom

Three series I am insanely excited for and can't wait to get my hands on the next instalments!

16.  Always recommending this book award

Paula Weston's series

Major love for these books <3
17. Completely awesome premise award

The Caged Graves, Disruption by Jessica Shirvington

I love Shirvington's writing and her new duology (Disruption is the first) really pulls off a complicated but totally imaginable dystopianish high-tech future. The Caged Graves is just a beautiful and haunting idea.

18.  Would make the best movie

We Were Liars & The Girl With All the Gifts

Man, We Were Liars would make a stunning movie (can't say 'in the vein of' for fear of spoilers but it would be an awesome kind of psychological thriller/drama). The Girl With All the Gifts reads like a movie ~ vivid and action-y and awesome.

That's it for today but I'll be back with Round Two soon ~ choosing fave characters, couples, scenes and other random awards for my fave reads of 2014.

x Nomes


  1. I always love your end of year lists, Nomes. Like your reviews, they always get me excited to read. I think this year is the first time I haven't read anything on your list (except for Daughter of Smoke and Bone). We should do a read-along again like we did with Saving June :)

    I keep meaning to read the 2nd and 3rd books in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series but I think I'll need to re-read the 1st beforehand as it was so long ago that I read it *sigh*

    I'm glad you enjoyed The Protected. I really liked Claire's first book so am looking forward to getting my hands on it, although maybe not so much the crying!

    I really want to read Better Off Friends and am so happy to see it made it onto your list a couple of times. I think I will really enjoy it since I have loved all Elizabeth Eulberg's books so far. Pity i'm on a book buying ban at the moment. I must remember to check the library for it!

    And it was only this morning that I was deciding if I should read The Darkest Minds but I wasn't sure if it was really my 'thing'. It give me hope that you loved it.

    Wow, sorry for the long comments! I managed to finish my list and will be posting it before the 31st :)

    1. thanks! i didnt want to end the year without looking over the books i've read. also, since i've hardly done any reviews it's a good (okay, lazy, haha) way to recommend books

      we should def do a readalong. maybe before uni goes back?

      i read the daughter of smoke and bone series all in a row -- which was great as the plot and world is quite complex. you prob will need to reread the first one. i feel that was about The 5th Wave. I remeber liking it a lot but when I went to read the 2nd book I could hardly recall anything.

      The Protected was great but really different to The Sky So heavy. It is not super sad, I just felt really bad for the MC :(

      I havent even read any more Eulbergs! But I got The Lonely Hearts Club out from the library on Christmas Eve so I plan to start that in the next couple of weeks. I def loved Better Off friends ~ enough that I would love to own a copy.

      Can't wait top see you end of year list! I am still working on my other upcoming posts but it has been fun (I have picked a top 9 books and trying to figure out what to give my final spot too)

  2. Love reading these wind-up posts. I posted mine a week ago, but pick and chose the questions. But I kind of accidentally ended up basically dedicating to one book ;)

    I'm so glad you've been loving the Confessions series! I love it so much and can't wait for the next instalment. I find them so enjoyable, relatable and fun :) Apart from those, I haven't read any of these, but many are on my list!

    I really, really hate to admit it, but I've yet to read anything by the Moriarty sisters... I will be fixing this ASAP and plan to start with Feeling Sorry for Celia. I've heard good things and not only was it recently recommend, but I know you love it.

    Along with that title, I've got some Aussie reading catch-up to do! Just a month ago, I was thinking of the Aussie challenge you hosted and how fun it was :) I definitely want to read more in 2015 and hope to check out The Protected (loved Zorn's deb) and really should finally pick up a book by Shirvington.

    I tried We Were Liars as an ebook, it didn't work for me, but now I have a paperback so hopefully I'll have better luck with that. Formats can really change the reading experience I find.

    The Darkest Minds looks interesting and I'm glad to hear you loved it. I haven't read The Winners Curse, but the hype is intriguing.

    Look forward to part two! (and wow, I bet this is going to be a long comment. I think I was trying to beat Jess? ;)

  3. I Loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone and can't wait to read Night of Cake and Puppets. So glad you liked it!

  4. I'm so glad to see that The Darkest Minds and Confessions of an Angry Girl made it to your list Nomes, as I loved those two books so hard! I've had A Corner of White on my wish list for ages now, seeing as you're a fan of the series I really think I need to get a copy of the first book already! I hope 2015 is full with many wonderful reads for you! :)

  5. That does look like a lovely reading year, Nomes. I am so delighted to see THE ROAD HOME on there. For always, indeed. That beautiful book.

  6. Yay, glad you enjoyed the first two books in the Sevenwaters series! The Winner's Curse has been getting such great reviews across the board that I was super excited to get it for Christmas (it was one of the ones on my wishlist I was most hoping for!). Now, for the time to read it...

  7. So many interesting titles listed here! I've only read Daughter of Smoke & Bone and The Winner's Curse (and I loved them both!). Hah, I like how Jaclyn Moriarty is dominating your list xD

  8. Okay fine you've convinced me -- just put of A Corner of White on hold at the library!

    I've only read the first book in the Daughter of S&B series, but I agree, Laini Taylor's writing was just so gorgeous.

    I almost didn't recognize The Darkest Minds-- it has such a different cover; I feel that now the trilogy is complete, I'm tempted to binge-read it haha we'll see...

    And of course, I still need to read Paula Weston's series, you've been raving about them for years. I just have this aversion for angel books but this one definitely looks like an exception.

    Lovely list, I definitely have some catching up to do! :)

  9. I need to check out many of these titles!! :D great post!


Thanks for the commenty love :)