Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Since everyone's posting about their favorite books of the year today via the Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish), this seems as good a time as any to share my list! :) I'm going to cheat a little, though, and give the top 14 for 2014. I've read over 80 stories this year, so while I've tried to give an order to this list, just the fact that they're on the list makes them fabulous! The ones near the end were just especially awesome to me for one reason or another.
#14 Dash and Cinder by Bridget Ladd
This is a very recent read for me, and I was totally impressed by the novella! I learned about it from Anne Elisabeth Stengl's blog, when she shared about some of the other Cinderella retellings that didn't make it into the Five Glass Slippers anthology but had gone on to be indie-published. This particular retelling is very vivid and packs such an epic feel into so few pages. I went on to purchase The Lotus Effect and very much look forward to reading a full novel by this author.
#13 Awakening by Tracy Higley
I've been a fan of Tracy's historicals for years now, and this fascinating blend of genres was so mysterious and enthralling. I ended up reading it all one Saturday afternoon/night!
#12 Five Glass Slippers (Anthology)
I had the pleasure of working with Anne Elisabeth Stengl (editor/publisher) and the five authors of this anthology to promote this book via a blog tour. It was a blast! And happily, I very much enjoyed reading the collection of winning retellings. Each one was very creative, and a few in particular swept me away. You can read my full review of the book HERE.
#11 Dinosaur Boy by Cory Putman Oakes
My lips are sealed on this one, as it releases February 3, 2015, and that's when my review will be posted. But let's just say this middle-grade story is awesome! And this is coming from a girl who mostly reads romance novels.
#10 Pilgrimage of Promise by Cathy Bryant
This story wasn't so much a favorite on the "fun" side of the list. But as far as emotional impact goes, it had to be included. Such a poignant romance! You can read my full review HERE.
#9 A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
Kara of Flowers of Quiet Happiness brought this book to my attention, and I'm so glad she did! It's an enchanting middle-grade read. I read it around the time of a big life transition (moving, taking a new job, etc.), and its sweetness and cleverness offered such happy and comforting moments of reading.
#8 Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
This fantasy romance is another one that blogging friends really put on my radar, and wow. What an intense, intriguing romance! I wouldn't say it's for everyone due to the premise of the story and the darker elements, but I found it to be a completely engaging and thought-provoking read. I can't wait for Rosamund's next release!
#7 Cress by Marissa Meyer
This futuristic sci-fi (?)/fantasy series continues to delight me! I believe Scarlet remains my favorite of the series, but I've thoroughly enjoyed each installment, and I'm psyched for the two Lunar Chronicles books releasing in 2015. You can read my snack size review of Cress HERE.
#6 The Thief by Stephanie Landsem
Absolutely wonderful biblical fiction. From the setting descriptions to the characterization to the unfolding of the plot... It's really, really good. I'm eager to see how Stephanie's next release turns out. You can read my full review of The Thief HERE.
#5 The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton
For me, this book is right up there with Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz. Rich, romantic, and epic historical fiction. You can read my full review HERE.
#4 This Quiet Sky by Joanne Bischof
Joanne's novella has so much heart and soul - but in an understated, quietly poignant style. This historical tale is unflinching, honest, and beautiful. You can read my full review HERE.
#3 The Seahorse Legacy by Serena Chase
So...this is the kind of book that makes you want to curl up into the fetal position when you finish because you know you have to wait way too long for the conclusion. I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that Book 4 of this fantasy romance series releases in early 2015, because I am SO ready to find out what happens to these characters! And you can never have too many pirates...or too much of Serena's writing. ;) You can read my full review HERE.
#2 Thorn by Intisar Khanani
Like Cruel Beauty, I wouldn't recommend this book to all of my blog readers due to its darker nature. But man - what a story! Thought-provoking, powerful, unique, raw. You can read my snack size review HERE.
#1 This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
I read a lot of really wonderful, creative stories this year. So why did I list this as #1? While it's hard to say for sure what really stood out as my favorite, I'm naming This Is What Happy Looks Like because...well...it made me happy! It wasn't a "wow" book, but rather an "aww" story that offers such a great blend of authenticity and whimsy. This style is kind of the direction my own writing is taking in the contemporary realm, and Jennifer E. Smith is a fab example of how to rock the YA/NA contemporary romance genre. I still need to finish reading her latest novel, but I have no doubt it will be an enjoyable experience once I really give it my attention. You can read my full review of this book HERE.
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This has been a great year for books! Seven of the titles I listed were indie-published, and I love that a combo of traditional and indie avenues produces such a grand variety of stories for us to enjoy. I'm totally looking forward to what 2015 has in store on the publishing front!
If you're curious about some of the other books I read in 2014, you can see my Goodreads stats or view my "I've read" shelf on Shelfari.
Tell me, what books made your favorites list for 2014?