Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Triona's Top Ten Book Picks of 2014

I'm stealing Stacy's idea this week and sharing my favorite reads of 2014. My favorites are pretty evenly split between YA, adult, and MG. I tend to favor sci-fi and fantasy, but a few contemporary books snuck onto the list too.

Without further ado and in no particular order, here are my ten favorite books I read this year:

1. THE THOUSAND-DOLLAR TAN LINE by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
I'm a big fan of the sadly short-lived TV show Veronica Mars, so I was really excited when I spotted this book in an airport bookstore. This is the first book in a new series featuring Veronica and the other characters from the show. It read just like an episode of the show. I couldn't put it down for the whole flight, finishing just as we touched down on the tarmac. The second one in this series comes out in just a few days. I can't wait!

2. SEARCHING FOR DRAGONS by Patricia C. Wrede
An oldie, but a goodie! I received a box set of all four of Patricia Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles for my birthday and read them all in about a week. I'm listing this one, the second in the series, because it narrowly edges out the first as my favorite. I first read these books when I was a preteen and so identified with spunky Princess Cimorene, who melted wizards with soapy water and bossed dragons around. These books were just as good almost two decades later.

3. RUIN AND RISING by Leigh Bardugo
The final book in the Grisha trilogy didn't disappoint. This book was just as compulsively readable as the first two. Although some people didn't like the ending, I thought it was perfect. Everyone got what they deserved in a very satisfying way. (Side note: I will forever remember this book as the one I was attempting to read while in labor! I didn't get more than a page or two done, but I figure I should get some props for trying.)

4. THE EIGHTH DAY by Dianne K. Salerni
I went on a big middle-grade sci-fi/fantasy reading spree near the end of the year, since that's the genre of my current WIP. This was my favorite of them all--an action-packed novel with an intriguing premise and fascinating characters. The second book in this series is coming out any day now, and it's definitely on my to-read list.

5. CINDER by Marissa Meyer
Several teenage friends were swooning over this book, so I had to check it out. I thought the Cinderella-as-cyborg premise was very well thought out, and the pacing of the story was great. I also read the second one in the series, which was also very good.

6. BEHIND THE SCENES by Dahlia Adler
When I was eight months pregnant, my husband had to go out of town. I was feeling sorry for myself, so I wanted a fun, light book. This one definitely delivered. I liked the characters and premise a lot, and the feel-good ending cheered me right up.

7. CHAMPION by Marie Lu
Like Ruin and Rising, this was the third book in a trilogy I really enjoyed. It was my YA Book Pick for May, so you can read all about it here.

8. ATTACHMENTS by Rainbow Rowell
I read this author's FANGIRL and ELEANOR & PARK and absolutely loved them, so when I spotted this adult romance, I snapped it up. It was full of Rainbow's great dialogue and achingly relatable characters. I couldn't put it down.

9. SHADES OF MILK AND HONEY by Mary Robinette Kowal
I usually gravitate toward sci-fi and fantasy, but I have to admit to a soft spot for Jane Austen. This book, the first in the Glamourist Histories series, blends Austen-style prose and settings with a fantasy twist. I loved having both elements in one book and thought it was really well done. The next two books in the series were great too, and I can't wait to see where the author goes with it.

10. HOOK'S REVENGE by Heidi Schulz
I heard a lot about this book when Heidi sold it, and it totally lives up to the hype. Captain Hook's daughter is fearless and likable, and the narrator's witticisms alone were worth the read. This was another one I had trouble putting down.

Here's to more great reading in 2015!

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