So I decided to wrap up my year of reading by sharing my top 5 books with everyone.
These are listed in the order that I read them. No fancy countdown here. (But I’m going to do a drum roll on my desk anyway because I feel like it.)
World After (Penryn and the End of Days #2) by Susan Ee
I’ve been noticing a pattern in young adult books lately. You know how sometimes the heroine and hero get separated? The author can’t let all that hunky man flesh go to waste so they introduce the hero’s point of view in subsequent books. Not only do you get your hero, you also get to see how much the hero is silently gushing over the heroine. It bugs me.
Susan Ee bucked that trend in World After and, as a result, exposed Penryn’s story for what it really is: a story about survival and family. And yeah, there’s some guy who happens to be a super attractive and dangerous angel. But the romance doesn’t overshadow the plot. Penryn manages to successfully drive her own action, motivated as she is by her sister and the mundane things going on in her world … like an angel invasion and what may or may not be the apocalypse.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
I picked this book up at the Lifeline Bookfest on a recommendation from my friend Rhiain. I didn’t really know what I was expecting but when I started reading I was completely blown away. Guernsey is written as a series of letters between various characters and you have only the way they craft their correspondence to understand who they are. Each voice is so unique and nuanced that these characters could not feel more real if they were standing beside me and reading the story aloud.
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead
How many times did I see these books on the shelf and dismiss them because of the original covers? I stopped chiding people long ago for judging books by their covers because I do it too. Often without realising. After seeing the trailer for the movie, I decided to read the first book and see if I liked it. I devoured the entire series in less than a week (even while working every day).
Romance is a big part of these books but there was a lot more to them, and they reminded me a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, actually. And that is always a good thing.
The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #4) by Rick Riordan
I remember looking at the Percy Jackson books in a store once, years ago, and having some random person tell me that they were much too young for me. Whoever that was, they clearly hadn’t read Percy Jackson and the Olympians because I freaking love this series.
My favourite book by far was The Battle of the Labyrinth, for all the reasons I gush about in my review here. But this place on the list may as well be for the entire series because I’m so glad I finally read them.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
This book was rescued from my sister’s place when she was moving. It sat on my shelf untouched until the last week of 2014. I thought I knew what was going to happen but with two unreliable narrators I was kept guessing until the very last page.
There’s no definitive good guy and bad guy because everyone is so messed up and everyone has justifications so strong I found myself nodding along, understanding the motivations for their actions. And then I would shake my and say, ‘No. You, sir/ma’am, are a human cowpat.’
There you have it: my Top 5 for 2014. Honestly, now that I look at this list, almost none of the books on here are the ones I imagined when starting this post. But apparently I subconsciously fell in love with them all and I’m not even mad about it.
Here’s to many more great books in 2015!