2014 has ended, and people have started making their top ten lists for a variety of topics: the top ten best books they've read this year, the top ten best songs of the year, and the top ten worst songs of the year, just to name a few. One of my favorite lists is the End of the Year Book Survey, hosted by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner. While I'm not going to do her survey, I've been thinking a lot about the best books I read in 2014, and that's what this post is about. The best books I read last year aren't limited to books that were published in 2014, though most of them did come out last year. My list also doesn't include books that I had re-read in 2014.
It's not easy to say what makes a book so amazing that it's one of the best books you've read. Looking at my Goodreads account, I gave 38 books five star ratings last year, but I realized that I don't actually remember a whole lot about most of those books. A handful of them did stand out, though, and those are the books I've picked as the best books I read.
Prisoner of Night and Fog,
by Anne Blankman. Prisoner of Night and Fog is terrifying, but not in
the typical sense. It's not a horror story; it's historical fiction. But
because it's about a girl whose family is close friends with Adolf
Hitler, it's terrifying, particularly when that girl realizes what
Hitler's beliefs truly are.
Love Letters to the Dead,
by Ava Dellaira. Dellaira is from Albuquerque, and the book is set in
Albuquerque. I loved every word of it, and because of the connection to
Albuquerque, I recommended it to everyone I possibly could.
Of Metal and Wishes,
by Sarah Fine. I like retellings, and going into the book, I wasn't
quite sure what to expect. I definitely didn't think I would enjoy it as
much as I did. What I loved the most was the combination of a Phantom of the Opera retelling set in a meat-packing industry, inspired by The Jungle. It sounds like a strange combination, but the setting lent
itself perfectly to the story.
Blood of My Blood,
by Barry Lyga. I knew I was going to love it, since it's the last book
in the I Hunt Killers trilogy, which is one of my favorite trilogies.
What I wasn't expecting was for Lyga to take the story where he did, and
even though it was disturbing, it also had a wow-factor that worked
I'll Give You the Sun,
by Jandy Nelson. Nelson's first book, The Sky is Everywhere, was
published in 2010. I wasn't sure if Nelson would publish another book,
but then I heard about I'll Give You the Sun, and I knew I had to read
it. Four years is a long time to wait for an author's second book, but
in this case, the wait was well-worth it. I'll Give You the Sun was so
much more than I thought it would be. It was family and heartbreak and
romance and love and self-discovery. It was beautiful and sad and
hopeful. I'll Give You the Sun is the type of book that you will be
fully immersed in, from beginning to end.
The Beginning of Everything, by Robyn Schneider. I read it while I was on vacation, and after I finished it, it took me a good day before I could even start another book. The Beginning of Everything has one of the best opening chapters I've read. The book made me rethink so many things and gave me a new perspective on my life.
Dreams of Gods and Monsters, by Laini Taylor. It might be a cliche to call this book a stunning conclusion to a trilogy, but really, it was. The more I read, the less I wanted it to end, because I knew the ending was going to break my heart.
What were the best books you read this year? Let us know in the comments!