Wednesday, December 31, 2014

In Which I Review My Year In Books + Giveaway

The year is just about over and now comes the time for looking back at all we've done over the past 365 days, and since this is a book blog I'm going to look back at all of the books I read this year.  First I'll start with some numbers, cause I'm a sucker for all of those infographic things (although mine aren't nearly as cool).

I read a total of 51 books this year.  You can see them all here. (That's just over half the total number that I read last year.)
This is how they broke down age group wise.

I didn't review any of the Adult/New Adult books, so that's a total of 35 reviews.  That's not so great...

What about by genre?
(All of these are only based on the YA books only)

I'm actually surprised by this cause I generally think of myself as more of a paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi lover.

This number could have been much higher, especially with all of the great debuts that came out this year. 
Apparently I also really liked Standalones.  And I started more series than I actually continued AND finished. Oops.

I also 
  • read 3 books that were not published in 2014
  • did not finish (read more than 100 pages of and didn't care for) 3 books (I started and did not finish more, but I mean to come back to those some point in time)
  • read 6 books that were self-published/indie-published (this is out of ALL the books I read)

Now that you have all of the numbers what about my favorites?

These are in alphabetical order, not in order by rank 
Also, please note that these books are just YA, not adult/new-adult

 Amity by Micol Ostow

Why?  Cause I'm a huge fan of the horror genre and the writing worked for me.  Also, it's pretty original.

My review

 Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Why?  I adore friends to lovers stories and this one was just so adorable.

I wrote a review for this and I posted it but the internet ate it so...yeah.  I'll work on that.
Cress by Marissa Meyer

Why?  Rapunzel on a satellite.  That is all.

My reivew
 Don't Touch by Rachel M. Wilson

Why?  This was such a fantastic look at an anxiety disorder, and I really think we need more of them in YA (and adult) lit!

My review
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Why?  Despite being a super dark book the writing is just so pretty!  Also, the story! And yay for high fantasy for the YA group!

My review
 I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Why?  The writing was beautiful, as was the story, and it shouldn't have worked but it TOTALLY did.

My review
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Why?  Because it was just so gosh-dang adorable.  Also, cameos from the previous two book's characters.

My review 
 On The Fence by Kasie West

Why?  Another friends to lovers story that really hit the spot.  I'm also a huge fan of the "one of the boys" cliche too.  This book is just filled with warm fuzzies.

My review
 The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Why?  A female anti-hero, that's why.

My Review
Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz       
Why?  It's a teen slasher flick in a book!  

Those are my top ten books for the year but because it's 2014 I've decided that there need to be 14 books on this list, so below are four extras that are part of the top 14, but not the top 10

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Split Second by Kasie West
The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner

Feel free to ask me about any adult/NA books I read in the comments, on the facebook page, or on twitter!

And now because I've read some awesome books this year I want to share them with you, so fill out the rafflecopter below and you're entered to win a copy of one of my top 10 14 favorite books!  And if you haven't read the first book in the series you can pick the first book, cause I love all of those ones too!  The giveaway will last until the last day I'm working, which is January 10!

The giveaway will be open internationally AS LONG AS the book depository ships to you.  
You can find out if they do here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*One last note, if I owe you a prize I will be mailing it not long after the 10th (and emailing you before then)!  I'm so sorry that it's taking me so long, I just REALLY hate going to the post office...also I'm kinda broke-ish.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Review - The Young Elites

Three years ago I read Marie Lu's debut novel, Legend, and I really enjoyed it, but for some reason despite buying the other two books in the series I never saw it through to the end.  This year when I heard that she had a new book coming out I decided it sounded like something I would enjoy and asked the publisher for a copy.  I received one but didn't end up getting to it before it came out, so I pushed it aside and said I would come back to it later.  That was a mistake, I wish I would have read this book so much sooner.  So often in books, YA lit especially, females are portrayed as delicate flowers or, when they're actually fully rounded, are still sweet and loving; they're good.  That's bull. The whole world is not rainbows and butterflies, some people are good, some people aren't, and some are just plain confused.  Adelina falls into the confused category, straddling the line between good and bad in a way that makes you slightly unsure of which side you're actually rooting for to win.  On top of Adelina, the main character, the cast of supporting characters was fantastic and I fell in love with almost all of them.  The other thing I adored was that Adelina was fragile.  So often we see characters as weak, especially females, for accepting help, but Lu has written Adelina in a way that while she appears fragile at some points she needs help and ends up accepting it while still coming off as a whole as someone who could kill you easily.  There's a distinct lack of that in YA lit, in anything at all actually, and it's something that I think is really important to highlight; that even strong people have to ask for help sometimes.  Overall I was just so thrilled with this book as a whole.  The twists and turns that Lu wove into the story-line were fantastic and I can honestly say that where the book ended up was not what I was expecting.  I will undoubtedly read book two when it comes out and would recommend this book to just about anyone.  I want to say that I had some trouble getting into the book at first, it was heavy in a way that's hard to describe but that might have had something to do with the fact that this book constitutes as a high-fantasy novel, which can be slightly more bulky than other novels.  There are also some dark scenes in the book that might not be appropriate for those under the age of 14, but that being said it was spectacular.

4.5/5 dust spirits