Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Faves of 2014 ~ Part Two: The Characters (& Random awards)

Heya! Welcome to Part Two of my fave reads of 2014 series :)

I have three posts celebrating my favourite reads of 2014. Part One has a stack of fave books in all genres and Part Three will be me (finally) narrowing down my top ten picks. I really wanted to take the time do do these first two parts so that I could highlight so many more awesome reads than just my personal top ten. 

Part Two: The Characters

1. Favourite female main character

Gaby from Shimmer, Kestrel from The Winner's Curse, Rebecca from The Road Home

I really love what Paula Weston is doing with Gaby and how she is coming into her own and I've loved seeing her character arc over the three books so far. Kestrel is just fab, she has so many awesome qualities and is really likeable. And Rebecca Phillips, wow, she's tough and likeable and made me ache in so many ways, I loved her so much.

2. Favourite male main character

Elliot! from Cracks in the Kingdom by jaclyn Moriarty

I promise I am not going to choose this book for all my answers, haha. But Elliot is truly completely awesome. He's charming in this perfectly wry way, he is effortlessly likeable and appealing, loyal and smart with the right amount of vulnerability, and he's loads fun (argh, everything sounds cliche and bland, but trust me, he is awesome!). To borrow a quote from the book, here's how Madeleine describes him: " the boy who knew exactly how to make a girl feel like some kind of carbonated sugar drink was running through her veins" (p.382) I get that feeling, too, lol! 

3. Best couple <3

Karou & Akiva, Gaby and Rafa, Red and Sorcha, Liadan and Bran

So this really was hard. And I have definitely picked four couples who have these epic, complicated love stories. I am so for all these couples and all of their love stories really beat strong at the hearts of their (respective) books. (This is really weird writing about them in plural). Major swoon for all these books.

4. Who I so want to be best friends with

The Cello crew!

Elliot and Princess Ko and their special group of teens. Oh my gosh ~ if only I could join them, haha. I would die of laughing and it would be a good death (Laughing in fun times and hilarity together). I just said I wasn't going to pick this book over and over...

5. Who I fell completely in love with (new literary crush)

Well, obviously I am crushing hard on those boys from above (Q3 best couples: Rafa and Bran and Akiva and Red) and they are my fave picks -- but for this question I'll choose some fun contemporary YA swoon. Not as epic as the boys above, but if you're looking for swoony and fun and smiley try out these four books:

The Art of Lainey, Confessions of an Angry girl, Open Road Summer, and On The Fence

Confessions of an angry girl: complicated bad boy angsty sexy swoon in the form of jamie Forta

On The Fence: Boy next door friendship (one of my fave coupling scenarios) = lots of late night fence talking and swooning

The Art of Lainey: Micah is tattoed and artsy-cool chef-boy who gets caught up with Lainey in a fake-date scenario. Very fun. Definitely a swoony set-up that majorly delivers :)

Open Road Summer: Matt Finch ~ super cute musician type. Definite highlight of the book (just FYI)

7. Best character twist (who you loved then hated or vice versa)

To All the Boys I've Loved Before and Trouble

Not sure if it was intentional but, mate, I considered abandoning both these books due to not clicking with the MC's. One too whiny and childish (The Jenny Han book, very painful initially) and one really wild and off-putting (Non Pratt's Trouble) which didn't seem like it would be my kind of read BUT am I ever glad I persevered. Out of these, Trouble was a definite highlight, it turned really good and I so recommend it. I ended up loving the second half of the Han book but am still perplexed as to why the MC was so immature and ridiculous at the beginning? ...

8. Best kick-arse female

Not A Drop to Drink and Head of the River

Lynn (Not a Drop to Drink) is really tough and relentless in guarding her home, which makes her vulnerabilities really achey. She's fierce and independent and completely admirable.

Leni (Head of the River) is determined and committed and so disciplined. She's fierce and gutsy and I loved bit-by-bit getting under that tough exterior. Really admire her as a character and all Harry did with her.

9. Best kick-arse male

Bran from Son of the Shadows

Oh, hello, Bran! haha. This guys is fierce and kick-arse to the point of being completely intimidating and terrifying. He is the ultimate kick-arse leader and the first to come to mind (even though there are other contenders for this role from books I have read this year) 

10. Broke your heart the most

Lieutenant Rebecca Phillips from The Road Home, also Jewel from Bird

Both broke my heart in different ways (although the Road Home had a profound affect on me overall)

12. Best YA parents award

On the Fence by Kasie West and Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy

Both not conventional parents but I love the family vibe so much I couldn't go past these two
On The Fence is a single dad and older brothers set-up and I loved their interactions, so awesomely done.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone ~ love Karou's family with Brimstone and the Chimaeras ~ Taylor created such a great family vibe from a non-conventional family <3

13. Favourite sibling relationship

Gaby and Jude, obviously from Paula Weston's Rephaim series

These two have the best vibe and connection and I love watching their relationship unfold and their memories reveal different sides to their love for each other.

...moving on from character-focus to some random book awards to highlight a few more fave reads:

14. Best first chapter

The Girl With All the Gifts by M R Carey
I love thinking about first chapters and I really felt instantly engaged with The Girl With All The Gifts. The voice was captivating and the premise intriguing from the very beginning. Plus it was also easy to read and get into :)

15. Best climax

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Liane's book had brilliant pacing all the way through but it just came together so spectacularly I was on the edge of my seat and it did not let me down. Another brilliant book!

16. Best plot twist/revelation (no spoilers!)

Charm & Strange, We Were Liars & Dark Horse

All three of these teased really well and the reveal was great. 
We Were Liars was eerie and sad
Charm & Strange had me unsure and intrigued the whole way through
Dark Horse was riveting and so very well done, with atmosphere and not knowing who to trust and what was going on. Even after some reveals, the next stage of the novel was just as complex and had me wondering how it was all play out.

17. Fave book title 

Six titles I love: Night of Cake and Puppets, The Girl With All the Gifts, Big Little Lies, Cooper Bartholomew is Dead, And All the Stars, Charm & Strange

18. Can’t believe you waited this long to read the book (!)

Laini Taylor's series, Confessions series & Sevenwaters, 

Well here's three series that have been out for a while and I've seen around and had no idea I woul love them so! All three of them came highly recommended but i ignored due to thinking they were not my genre or my kind of book. On the upside ~ it was so awesome to just read Laini's books back to back (so I did not have to struggle to remember all that had come before).

19. Book that lived up to (or superseded the hype)

The Winner's Curse, Daughter of Smoke and Bone & Daughter of the Forest

I haven't said much about The Winner's Curse. For me it was definitely a case of perfect book at the perfect time. I read it after a string of books I had trudged through and it was awesome having a book that I constantly wanted to get back to, reminding me of those perfect reading experiences of being sucked in and addicted. The other two books here are really top quality in their genre and deserving of all the praise.
20. Killer cliffhanger award

Shimmer, The Winner's Curse

Shimmer because now I am desperate for #4 (the final book in the series). It left off right where I want to be with the series! So so excited for the last instalment (understatement).
The Winner's Curse because so much has come to pass and I am so desperate to see where the series heads now.

That's it for Part Two. On a separate note: thanks for all the lovely comments. it is so good hearing from you guys after my blogging break. I really appreciate every comment and feel likeI'm catching up with old friends. I am short on time to visit blogs and reply to my comments atm* but plan to do so in the next couple of days 

x Nomes

*due to many (lengthy) hospital visits and I will be having an overnight stay tomorrow with my daughter while she has surgery on her arm. I plan on getting some solid hours of reading in and hopefully finding another fave book before the year closes out :)


  1. Hiiiii Hun. I was so excited when I saw jenny han's book on your list . Shame it wasn't all that great. Looks like you had some great reads. Happy reading Missy!!!

  2. I am DYING to get my hands on Burn next year. Seriously, I just need some answers already! ;) Like you, I completely fell for The Art of Lainey, Open Road Summer, and Over the Fence (even though I didn't expect to like any of them) and am thrilled you finally discovered the sheer brilliance that is Daughter of the Forest. LOVE that series, though DotF and Heir to Sevenwaters (Book 4) remain my favorites. If you haven't picked up Marillier's other novels--Heart's Blood especially--I cannot recommend them enough. The one book on here I regret not picking up this year is Cracks in the Kingdom. I own it, believe it or not, so I have to try to squeeze it in this coming January because I'm sure I'm going to adore it. Wonderful list, Nomes, and I hope your daughter's surgery goes off smoothly. Happy New Year! :)


Thanks for the commenty love :)