Books have always been a huge part of my life, for as far back as I can remember. It’s never been about “great literature” for me, but about a story that pulls me in, sometimes one that I can relate to, sometimes one that makes me think and see another side of things, but always with interesting characters. My tastes do tend to slant more towards Young Adult.
In 2014, I read 88 books(I keep track on Goodreads) and it’s time for my 6th annual list of my best and worst reads of the year. Some of these books were published in 2014, some are older. My list is simply based off of what I read during 2014.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Thirteen tapes were delivered to Clay, recorded by his former crush Hannah, who committed suicide 2 weeks earlier. In the tapes, Hannah explains why she chose to end her life. It made me feel and think and reevaluate… how an action done or left undone, a word spoken or left unspoken, can really make a difference to someone else. And all those times something is done and it’s considered “no big deal”… is it really, when maybe to the other person, it’s one more thing added onto an already large burden. Asher’s The Future of Us is great if you’re looking for something light and fluffy instead.
Reality Boy by A.S. King. I’ll admit that I watch plenty of reality TV. But what happens to the kids who are the stars of those shows when they grow up and have all their worst childhood moments available for anyone to watch? It did make me think about how much we as parents put out there about our kids on social media.
The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer. Another for if you are a fan of reality tv, especially reality tv competition shows. Some of that has to be scripted, right? And fixed? Of course it has to be.
Winger by Andrew Smith. Ryan Dean lives in the dorm for troublemakers at his boarding school. There’s a lot of humor and heart in this one. And I’m a sucker for great male leads.
The Beginning of Everything by Robin Schneider. You can be on one path and have something happen that knocks you way off that path. Yet people still expect you to play a certain part. There’s something that happens in the very first chapter that had me yell out “What? Did that just happen? CAN that happen? I’m never going on that ride…” You’ll see if you read it.
Inexcusable by Chris Lynch. I have other books on my goodreads shelves that I rated higher than this one, mostly because I wanted more from the ending of this one. However, it’s a really thought-provoking read. What happens when a boy is constantly allowed to get away with things and continuously told that everything he’s done wrong is okay or not his fault? You get a boy who thinks he’s a “good guy” even though his actions prove otherwise. And he ends up taking things too far.
Landline by Rainbow Rowell. One that isn’t YA! I have Rowell’s Fangirl and Eleanor and Park on my keepers list for 2013 and if you haven’t read them, you need to. Landline is a totally different book, since I didn’t expect a book out of the YA genre and one that asks you to suspend reality and think of what would happen if the grown up version of you could have conversations with the version of your husband from before you were married.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. If you look on Goodreads, everyone loves this book. Everyone I know loves this book. But I didn’t like it, at all. Oh how cute, like Sheldon from Big Bang in love. But I feel like the main character was too stereotypically Asperger’s. To the point where he was more of a caricature than a real person. And having his friends ask him if his lecture on Asperger’s reminded him of anyone… it felt like he was being made fun of. And then oh look, love can change him. It was a very uncomfortable read for me.
Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers. How did that perfect girl go fall from grace so quickly? What happened to cause her rapid downward spiral? Intriguing premise but I couldn’t muster up any sympathy for the main character, found the retelling of “that night” boring, and the climax fell flat for me.
God Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo. This is another that’s highly rated on Goodreads that just didn’t resonate with me. When Trixie was 12, a fortune teller told her that her one true love would die young and leave her all alone. She meets Jacob and… well, I just couldn’t make myself like these characters.
You can see my other book ratings over on Goodreads or check out my keepers and stinkers suggestions from past years:
- Keepers and Stinkers 2009
- Best and Worst Books 2010
- More Keepers and Stinkers 2011
- Best and Worst Reads 2012
- Best Books 2013