Saturday, December 20, 2014

My Favorite books of 2014


I’ve read almost a hundred books this year and I loved many of them. There were many sleepless nights, tears, laughter but also shouts of frustration, anger and sadness.

Reading isn’t just about passing the time, to me it’s about feeling emotions, living in different worlds and witnessing incredible things. I have feared touch with Juliette in ‘Shatter Me’, I’ve loved with Laney in ‘Pretty Reckless’, I have mourned with Liesel in ‘The Book Thief’, I’ve been hurting with Madoc and Fallon in ‘Rival’, I have had passion and love with Emily in ‘Rules of Protection’, I’ve witnessed magic with Iona in ‘Black Witch’, I have danced with Horatia in ‘His Wicked Seduction’, I have learned about first and second loves with Robin in ‘The Next Breath’, I have learned about new worlds with Kara in ‘Lichgates’ and I have fought for my place with Morgan in ‘Henge’.

There are a lot of new books on my favorite list this year. I couldn’t possible put all of the books that made this year’s reading experience so amazing into one post. So I decided to make a top ten. Read about my favorite books this year and maybe get some ideas for your ‘To-Read’ list next year! 

My Top Ten:

 

These are my favorite reads of 2014. Even though some are first I don't have a number one, two etc. This is just the order I read them in.

 'Shatter Me' by Tahereh Mafi

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13455782-shatter-me
(Read from April 06 to 07 2014)

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

'What makes this book really good is the fact that it is never boring or without excitement. '

'This book keeps you sitting on the edge of your seat, shushing everyone who tries to get you from reading further. '  

'Pretty Reckless' by Jodi Linton 

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22439034-pretty-reckless?from_search=true(Read from April 10 to 12 2014) 

Welcome to Pistol Rock, Texas where everyone knows secrets last about as long as the sporadic west Texas rain showers.

Laney Briggs has long been considered reckless by the denizens of her hometown, but she’s finally turned it all around—she’s happily engaged to the local veterinarian and she’s become a Pistol Rock deputy sheriff. Everything’s fine and dandy—until a dead body turns up and her ex, Texas Ranger Gunner Wilson, decides to stick his boots into the town’s first murder case.


Of course, the troublesome cowboy’s rugged good looks and T-shirt-straining muscles are already leaving Laney knee-deep in hot water, but she’ll be damned if she lets Gunner trample all over her turf. She’s decided that, instead of conflict, she wants a contented, steady life with her vet—a life in which Gunner Wilson and his seemingly endless ability to undermine her resolve and her libido plays no part. Still, it’s hard to keep her head as forbidden sparks ignite and suspicions arise between old rivals and old flames. And when the bodies start to pile up, Laney has to ask the lethal bad boy for a hand—and a truce in exchange for his help.

But after uncovering the pack of lies surrounding not only her job but her heart…  Having an ex-boyfriend as an ally might not be the best idea, but it’s certainly the most reckless, and Laney has always been pretty reckless… 

'I loved the little town, everybody knows everybody, mentality. And I always loved a good cowboy story. ' 

'I loved the story, I loved the characters and I loved the setting.'

'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19063.The_Book_Thief?from_search=true(Read May 29 to June 07 2014)

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still. 

By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery.

So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel's foster family hides a Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up, and closed down.

' But soon I was completely compelled by this book. I couldn’t get enough and I really wanted to know what would happen with Liesel, Max and Rudy.'

'I grew up with stories about the second World War but reading this book it made me only realize more how hard it must be to life in that time. And how scared people must have been.'

'Rival' by Penelope Douglas 


(Read August 14 to 21 2014)https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18129852-rival?from_search=true

Madoc and Fallon. Two estranged teenagers playing games that push the boundaries between love and war . . .

She's back.

For the three years she's been away at boarding school, there was no word from her. Back when we lived in the same house, she used to cut me down during the day and then leave her door open for me at night.

I was stupid then, but now I'm ready to beat her at her own game . . .

I'm back.

Three years and I can tell he still wants me, even if he acts like he's better than me.

But I won't be scared away. Or pushed down. I'll call his bluff and fight back. That's what he wants, right? As long as I keep my guard up, he'll never know how much he affects me . . .


'I loved how I slowly came to understand the story of Fallon and Madoc. Nothing is the way is seems and it just made it really enjoyable for me.'

'I loved the way Penelope Douglas wrote the story and how this book pulled you in immediately.'


'Rules of Protection' by Alison Bliss

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22859182-rules-of-protection?from_search=true
(Read August 27 to 30 2014)

It’s rule breaker Emily Foster's birthday, and like everyone at The Jungle Room, she just wants to get some action. Unfortunately, she stumbles on the wrong kind, witnessing a mob hit. To protect her, she's entered into the Witness Protection Program with by-the-book Special Agent Jake Ward as her chaperone.

When the location of their safe house is compromised, Jake stashes Emily deep in the Texas backwoods. The city-girl might be safe from the Mafia, but she has to contend with a psychotic rooster, a narcoleptic dog, crazy cowboys, and the danger of losing her heart to the one man she can’t have.

Jake's as hot as he is infuriating, and she can't help but push all his buttons to loosen him up. Their mutual, sizzling sexual attraction poses a dilemma: Jake's determined to keep her safe and out of the wrong hands; she's determined to get into the right ones—his.

‘This book was really incredibly amazing. ‘Rules of Protection’ is the kind of book you start reading and just never want to quit. This book is full of romance, action and it’s just really funny.’

‘This book needs to be on a bestseller list because it really is that good. I just really want to read it again!

 

'Dark Witch' by Nora Roberts

 

(Read September 24 to 28 2014)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16158558-dark-witch?from_search=true

With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.

Ireland.

County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.

Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.

When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horseman, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.

Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…

‘I loved how Nora Roberts wrote this story and the way the past and the present became one. But most of all I loved reading about Ireland, the horses, the nature and the witches and magic. This story pulled me in and I just didn’t want to stop reading. 

‘Nora Roberts did an amazing job in writing about Iona’s ramblings. Those parts really made me laugh.

 

'His Wicked Seduction' by Lauren Smith

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23253662-his-wicked-seduction?from_search=true
(Read November 07 to 08 2014)

Horatia Sheridan has been hopelessly in love with Lucien, her brother’s best friend, ever since he rescued her from the broken remains of her parents’ wrecked carriage. His reputation as London’s most notorious rakehell doesn’t frighten her, for under his veneer of cool authority she has glimpsed a man whose wicked desires inspire her own.

Lucien, Marquess of Rochester, has deliberately nurtured a reputation for debauchery that makes every matchmaking mother of the ton quake with fear. His one secret: he is torn between soul-ripping lust for Horatia, and the loyalty he owes her brother.

That loyalty is put to the test when an old enemy of the League threatens Horatia’s life. With Christmas drawing near, he sweeps her away to his country estate, where he can’t resist granting her one wish—to share his bed and his heart.

But sinister forces are lurking, awaiting the perfect moment to exact their revenge by destroying not only whatever happiness Lucien might find in Horatia’s arms, but the lives of those they love.

This second book in ‘The League of Rogues’ series is just as great and seducing as the first book. From the moment I started reading about Horatia and Lucien I completely fell in love with their story.’

‘The writing in this book was yet again very addicting, seducing but also really funny at times.’

 

'The Next Breath' by Laurel Osterkamp


(Read November 12 to 18 2014)https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23208650-the-next-breath?from_search=true

I kiss him, choosing love over honesty, which is a choice nobody should ever have to make…"

Robin loves sweet, responsible Nick, with his penchant for Beethoven and Ben Folds Five. But she also still loves her college boyfriend Jed, an irreverent playwright plagued with cystic fibrosis. Now Robin is struggling to reveal her secrets and confront her past, as she finally performs in the play that Jed wrote for her, eleven years ago. Will Robin have the strength to keep her promise and stay true to her heart?

Alternating between present-day scenes, college flashbacks, and segments from Jed’s play, this tear-jerking yet uplifting tale illustrates how life is finite but love is infinite, and the road to recovery begins with the next breath.

‘I expected to read about a girl struggling with her feelings for two different guys, I expected hurt feelings and tears but what I didn’t expect was to be completely blown away by this story. 

‘Laurel Osterkamp was completely able to make me feel the emotions Robin was going through. I even cried at some of the moments in this book. This book made me feel so many different things and I really loved every part of it.’

 

'Lichgates' by S.M. Boyce


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12900806-lichgates?from_search=true
(Read December 03 to 08 2014)

The final page will leave you breathless.

When Kara Magari uncovers a secret door in the middle of the forest, she discovers (and trips through) a portal to a hidden world full of terrifying things: Ourea. She just wants to go home, but the natives have other plans for her. She clashes with immortal shapeshifters, is carried off by a dragon, nearly dies on several occasions, and somehow becomes the master of an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire. Every time she thinks she's safe, her new "friends" show their true colors.

Kara needs an ally, or she might not survive Ourea's monsters. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn't know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.

For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this stranded girl, there's something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire. Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.

‘From the moment I started reading I was completely hooked. This book is just amazing and in seconds you find yourself in a completely different world.'

‘Lichgates’ is a very original story about a young woman lost in a fantasy world filled with dragons, shapeshifters, muses and many other creatures. S.M. Bryce created a totally different world and was able to completely pull me into Kara’s story.’

'Henge' by Realm Lovejoy

 

(Read December 10 to 14 2014)https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23151530-henge

Modern-day Camelot. Where knights no longer carry swords. Magic is dangerous. And those who seek control are not to be trusted.

Sixteen-year-old Morgan le Fay is a fire user. An ordinary girl with an extraordinary skill, she has the ability to create and command fire at will. Her dream is to become the Maven—the right hand of the future King Arthur. In the chance of a lifetime, Morgan is selected to join Arthur’s Round, an elite group of young magic users from which the new Maven will be chosen.

Along with the other fire, water, and wind users in Arthur’s Round, Morgan is rigorously trained and tested. The handsome Merlin, a brilliant water user, takes a particular interest in her. Is his friendship to be trusted, or is Merlin simply trying to win the position of Maven for himself? Among the many rivals Morgan faces is the current Maven, Mordred, who seems determined to see her fail.

But Morgan has a secret—years ago, her mother was executed for using fire magic, and Morgan’s desire for justice makes her more than ready to take on the challenge before her. Can she prevail in Camelot’s tests of survival and magic? Only time—and Morgan’s powerful fire—will tell. 

‘I loved Morgan’s character. I loved how passionate and determined she was and the way she just didn’t let herself be distracted.’

‘This book is definitely a must read for every fantasy, magic and Arthurian legend lover out there. This book will blow your mind.’

These where my favorite books of 2014. I hope to see you next year! ;) 

Thank you for visiting Maureen's Books!

 

6 comments:

  1. Thank you so much, Maureen! I appreciate you naming my book as one of your Top Ten for 2014! That's awesome! <3

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    1. You're very welcome. It definitely belonged on my list :D

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  2. Ooh..So many beautiful books..I am definitely going to read these in 2015..:)
    Thanks for sharing this cool list, Maureen :)

    -Njkinny @Njkinny's World of Books & Stuff

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for checking them out. I can't wait to hear what you think of them. They are really amazing ;)

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  3. Great list! I loved Shatter Me, such a unique style!

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    1. Thank you! 'Shatter Me' is definitely a very unique book. I can't wait to read the next book in the series :D

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