It's that time again when I name some of my favorite reads and various book superlatives for the present year. For those of you who aren't familiar with my superlatives lists, I bring you the lists from previous years that I've featured on my main blog and BookLikes blog (Note: it looks like my 2013 list was incomplete, but I figure I'll share that one anyway).
This superlative list will be two posts in total. This post will kick off that series, starting with some interesting factoids and a list of 10 of my favorite books from this year Let's do this.
So, in total for this year, I've read 168 books (maybe slightly more because there were some I didn't mark, but I know it was less than 200), which is way, way less than my total from 2012 (which was 365 books), and far less than the goal I set for myself this year (450).
Some interesting tidbits:
First book I finished in 2014: "Garden of Lost Souls (Flin's Destiny #2)" by Erik Olsen (4 stars, Children's/Middle Grade Fantasy)
Last book I finished in 2014 (technically): "The Silent Wife" by A.S.A. Harrison (4 stars, Adult, Mystery/Suspense)
Longest book I read in 2014: "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn (560 pages, Adult, Suspense/Thriller)
Shortest book (not a novella or short story) I read in 2014: "Out of Sync" by Amanda Humann (103 pages, Children's/Middle Grade)
Shortest short story/novella read in 2014: Mrs. Maddox (Beautiful #1.5) by Jamie McGuire (2 stars, New Adult/Romance)
Longest short story/novella read in 2014: "The Nekkid Truth" by Nicole Camden (2.5 stars, Adult/Mature, Erotica)
Breaking down my reads by age group:
Children's/Middle Grade: 10 books
Young Adult: 41 books
New Adult: 36 books
Adult: 39 books
Non-Fiction (various age ranges): 42 books
So technically, I had about an even spread of reading through most categories, save for Children's/Middle Grade.
Breaking down my reads by star rating:
5-stars: 20 books
4-stars: 41 books
3-stars: 35 books
2-stars: 40 books
1-stars: 32 books
Rose's Top Ten Reads of the Year:
In no particular order of rank:
Hate List - Jennifer Brown: Definitely one of my favorite reads of the past year, it practically reduced me to tears by the time I finished the book, and I read the book in both audio format and physical. It's the story of a young woman who copes with the aftermath of a tragedy, in which her boyfriend shoots multiple students at her high school before turning the gun on himself. After getting in the line of fire herself, she has to both cope with her physical and mental scars to come to terms in the aftermath of the tragedy. Brown's account is so vivid and realistic, especially getting into the eye of the character here. It's one that cemented Jennifer Brown as one of my favorite YA authors.
Prep School Confidential - Kara Taylor: Kara Taylor is another of my favorite up and coming YA authors, and if you haven't checked out this series yet - it's a fun one. I loved "Prep School Confidential", not just for its fiesty heroine, but believable characters and overarching mystery. There aren't a lot of standout mystery titles I've come across in YA, but this one is funny, smart and harrowing to follow.
Thin Space - Jody Casella: Jody Casella's narrative in "Thin Space" really struck a chord with me, not just because of its viewpoint of a boy's loss of his twin, but with an interesting twist on events as his narrative comes to pass. It was amazing, and one of my 5-star reads of the year.
Frenzy - Robert Lettrick: Dude, I haven't read a survival horror this year that struck me as strongly as "Frenzy", and it's a middle-grade book! Robert Lettrick creates a potent narrative surrounding a very dimensional cast that's funny, developed, and kept me on my toes throughout the work. This is one read that I was exposed to on NetGalley and I bought it as soon as it was available. I'm really glad I had a chance to read it.
The Silent Wife - A.S.A. Harrison: "The Silent Wife" took a little while for me to get into, but it ended up being well worth the journey. A slowly unfolding suspense and eye into a deteriorating relationship, with an unexpected direction to events.
The Martian - Andy Weir: My favorite read of the year, hands down. Andy Weir's account of a man stranded on Mars and his journey of survival and path to rescue is well drawn, well-researched, and hilarious. Mark Watney's voice leaps through the page.
Lies We Tell Ourselves - Robin Talley: A wonderfully told narrative during a volatile time in American History - I really loved this honest narrative told between two girls who must confront their differences and each other during the Civil Rights era.
The Belief in Angels - J. Dylan Yates: Probably my favorite New Adult/Literary book of this past year - it's a wonderfully told meeting of generations - between a young woman growing up in a dysfunctional family during the 1970s and her grandfather, a survivor of the Holocaust. Beautifully written and evocative.
Flying - Megan Hart: Megan Hart's "Flying" pleasantly surprised me this year, providing a refreshingly developed narrative of a woman navigating the rough turbulence of her relationships while contending with issues within her family. I loved the development of the characters, the intimacy of the narrative, and the feisty heroine.
and last but not least:
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn: I guess you guys saw this one coming. With a wonderful use of unreliable narration and developed characters in the midst of a deteriorating marriage and whirlwind events, Flynn's narrative is distinct and despite my love/hate relationship with the book, I enjoyed the journey. It left me thinking long after turning the final page.
That's all for this entry. My Superlatives for the year are coming in the next part.