Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2014

Stand-Out Books of 2014!

Time to find out what I personally recommend to you, my lovely bibliophiles!!!

After what I hope was a bookish Christmas full of gift cards and novels wrapped in pretty, festive paper, I am bringing to you the fifth annual Stand-Out Books of the Year post!

Being that I am working full-time and sadly have less time to read than I used to, a lot of my numbers have dropped when it comes to statistics.

However, what has not changed is the fact that there are a whole lot of books that stood out to me in 2014!

As always, the books don’t have to have been released in 2014 – I’ll just have read and/or reviewed them in 2014.

So:

How many books did I read?

120

That's 45 less than in 2013.

How many pages did I read?

41,186

That's 15,123 less than in 2013.

How many pages, on average, did I read per day?

113

That's 41 less than in 2013.

Like I said – far busier as I get older – but a bibliophile I shall always be!!!

This year there are a whopping 44 books on the Stand-Out Books of 201…

Love Me

Love Me is the second book in the YA 1930s Hollywood Starstruck series by Rachel Shukert.

As this is a highly serialized series, I strongly suggest that you read Starstruck – reviewed in October - before Love Me. Ya hear?

If you have yet to read Starstruck, avert your eyes from this synopsis…

After becoming an overnight sensation and sparkling movie star, Margaret Frobisher is now truly Margo Sterling. She’s also involved with heartthrob Dane Forrest – someone whose picture was over her bed back in Pasadena not that long ago. Now the issue is not losing it all…

Amanda Farraday is nursing a broken heart after her seedy past as Ginger was revealed to Harry Gordon, hotshot screenwriter. She’s sure if she could only talk to him she could convince him that the love they have overcomes her scandalous former life…

Popping pills and downing alcohol is getting easier and easier for childhood vaudeville star Gabby. She’s still waiting for her big break after Harry Gordon decided to go in a diff…

Princess of Thorns

Princess of Thorns is a YA fantasy Sleeping Beauty retelling by Stacey Jay.

Sleeping Beauty’s story did not end with Happily Ever After.

Instead, she sacrificed her life in the arms of her seven year old daughter Aurora in order to give Aurora her fairy magic – and a chance to survive the coup of the murderous ogres.

Now, ten years later, Aurora has learned that magic always has an unexpected, bitter result – and though it has given her excellent fighting skills and a merciful heart, it also has barred her from ever having true romantic love.

When her younger brother, Jor, is captured by the Ogre Queen, she sets off to raise an army to rescue him while dressed as a boy and hunted by the Ogre Queen’s followers.

Meanwhile, Prince Niklaas is searching for Aurora – his life depends on it. A curse laid down by his own father leaves him with only days before his fateful eighteenth birthday – a birthday that will claim his humanity, as it did his ten older brothers.

His only hope, as he was…

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is a middle grade fantasy for all ages by Catherynnne M. Valente.

Twelve-year-old September has gotten rather tired of the sameness of each day – washing the same dishes, sleeping on the same pillow, etc.

That is why she leaps at the chance to go to Fairyland when the Green Wind and his flying leopard extend an invitation.

Adventure at last!

Yet Fairyland is in turmoil – things are not as they once were now that the evil Marquess is ruling after the suspicious disappearance of the beloved Queen Mallow.

With the help of a dragon-like creature who has memorized A-through-L of the encyclopedia and a blue boy who is almost, but not quite, human – September will try to restore Fairyland back to its former glory.

Days after finishing The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making I am still thinking about it!

The prose and plot is astonishingly rich in its cleverness, inventiveness and beauty. I had to …

Percy Jackson and the Olympians # 1: The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief is the first book in the middlegrade contemporary twist on Greek mythology series Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.

Considered a troublemaker, twelve-year-old Percy has been thrown out of more schools than he can count – with his dyslexia and penchant for a temper he finds it difficult to fit in. Even at a school for misfits.

Before being kicked out of his latest school, though, he notices some rather odd occurrences. He knows weird things have happened around him before – but having a teacher turn evil, attempt to kill him, dissolve into tiny bits when defeated and then no one remember her being a teacher at his school in the first place is only the latest.

And, admittedly, the strangest.

Before long, Percy realizes that the mythological monsters and gods of Mount Olympus are not just something to be studied in his textbook – but are real and walking around.

Or trying to kill him.

Pulled into this stunning revelation, Percy is brought to a place whe…

What Happened to Goodbye

What Happened to Goodbye is a YA contemporary novel by Sarah Dessen.

When Mclean made the decision to live with her dad after her parents painful, shocking divorce a couple of years ago she knew she was taking on a life of moving.

As someone who is assigned struggling restaurants to get back in tiptop shape or close up, her dad is sent to various different towns – and so is she.

From the first move, Mclean decided it was an opportunity to reinvent herself. Each move, each short stint at a new high school, Mclean introduces herself with a different nickname and quickly picks a persona – cheerleader, drama crowd, etc.

She makes easy, quick exits when a new assignment come up – never saying goodbye or feeling particularly attached to anyone or anything.

With their most recent move, though, it doesn’t go as smoothly. She finds herself struggling to pick a new identity and her real name begins being used before she manages to correct them with a new nickname.

Mclean soon recognizes that it…

The Fire Wish

The Fire Wish is a YA fantasy novel – the first of the Jinni Wars – by Amber Lough.

Princess Zayele of Zab does not wish to leave her little brother or her home but has been selected to be the bride of the prince of Baghdad. As she travels to the palace in a locked caravan, she longs for nothing more than to return home.

And she won’t pass up an opportunity.

Jinni Najwa has just been admitted to a band of spies as her unusual ability to access an area of the human word no other Jinni can is revealed.

When Najwa uses her magic to glimpse the human world for a mere moment, Zayele sees her, captures her and makes a wish.

The wish does not go according to plan.

Zayele and Najwa – already remarkably similar in looks – have traded places. Najwa is now the princess on her way to marry and Zayele is suddenly expected to help with the war against humans by using a talent she does not have.

Now they are both in terrible danger amongst their enemies…

The Fire Wish is covered in flattering quo…

Love, Lucy

Love, Lucy is a YA contemporary novel by April Lindner that will be released in January 2015.

In exchange for giving up her dreams of being an actress to become a business major in college, Lucy’s father has funded a backpacking through Europe trip.

Desperate to soak in as much culture and beauty from a trip that traded away her aspirations, Lucy finds herself absolutely besotted with Florence, Italy.

…Not to mention a certain handsome traveling street musician named Jesse Palladino.

Before long, Lucy is swept into a whirlwind summer romance that feels like more – though Lucy steels her heart as much as she can.

After all, she has to return home. She has to go to college and take business courses.

She has to be practical.

But are their feelings more than a vacation fling?

Yet again, I am impressed with Lindner’s ability to create just the right atmosphere.

In Jane and Catherine she had that gothic vibe mixed with a contemporary setting – here we have a fantastic sense of Italy and tr…

Parched

Parched is a sci-fi dystopian YA novel by Georgia Clark.

Born and raised a privileged Edenite, sixteen-year-old Tessa Rockwood left everything behind after the sudden, violent death of her scientist mother to escape to the Badlands.

The Badlands are outside the lush borders of Eden – where water is a precious, rare commodity, as is privacy, prosperity or nearly anything that comes easy in Eden. After years of the Trust – those that govern Eden – leading Edenites to believe the Badlands are simply an exotic, humbler place, Tessa now knows the ugly, brutal truth.

So, when she is approached to return to Eden and secretly fight the inequality by joining a rebel group called Kudzu, Tessa does. She attempts to swallow down her gnawing guilt at the secrets only she knows about her mother’s death and tries to slip back into her old life by showing up at her uncle’s home.

It’s tougher than she expected to return, though.

And as it’s revealed that the Trust may be tinkering with artificial in…