I’m doing this post a week early because I’ll be traveling for Christmas (attention crazies: my house will not be empty!) and I’m sure I’ll be playing catch-up when I return. As of today, I’ve read 104 books. I’ll probably squeeze in a couple more before the end of the year, but we’ll go ahead and call it for the purpose of listing my favorites for 2014 :). So here are my top middle grade and young adult reads, not necessarily published in 2014:
5. Real Mermaids series by Helene Boudreau – I started reading this series a couple of years ago and finally got back to it. I’m so glad I did! The magic and mystery and teen friendship and first love all blends together so well. I wish there were more!
4. STILL LIFE by Jacqueline West – This was the conclusion to another series I love, The Books of Elsewhere. If you haven’t read it, start with the first book, THE SHADOWS, and read all five.
3. ALL FOUR STARS by Tara Dairman – I had been looking forward to this book for two years, and it certainly delivered. Now I can’t wait to read it to my daughter in a few years. She’s only four, but she’s already decided she wants to be a chef thanks to Master Chef Jr. I have a feeling this book will be a favorite!
2. EVERBLAZE by Shannon Messenger – Anyone surprised? No, I didn’t think so. An excellent third installment in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, and the best part is: it’s not the end of the series!
1. AT YOUR SERVICE by Jen Malone – I met Jen Malone when I won a critique from her, and then I ended up winning an annotated e-arc of her book on another blog. It was so fun to read a behind-the-scenes version of the story. But even without that, I would have loved AT YOUR SERVICE. Really, check this one out!
So, I’m cheating in more than one way. First of all, I couldn’t quite narrow it down to just five, so I’m giving two honorable mentions. And then, most of these are series anyway, so it’s really like twenty books. Hey, I read more than 100 books this year!
First Honorable Mention: THE LIAR SOCIETY series by Lisa and Laura Roecker – So, the main reason I’m putting this as an honorable mention instead of in the actual list is because I only read the last book in 2014. It was split over the end of the year, but I’ve been using this series as a comp title all year, so it deserves another mention.
Second Honorable Mention: The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare – I had The Mortal Instruments series listed as my top YA read last year, and I did finish that series this year, too, but I loved this one even more. It had one of the best love triangles I’ve ever read in a series with a resolution that just … well, I’m not spoiling anything.
Ok, on to my real top five (or thirteen because I only read five of the Gallagher Girl books this year) YA reads.
5. HEX HALL series by Rachel Hawkins – I loved this series! It was one of those where I was laughing on the first page, and I couldn’t read through the books fast enough. I also started the spin-off series and am anxiously awaiting future installments.
4. THE PRINCESS IN THE OPAL MASK and THE OPAL CROWN by Jenny Lundquist – Secret twins who switch places! Princesses! An arranged marriage! Intrigue! Ok, I just love all of these things, so of course I was going to love these books.
3. CRESS by Marissa Meyer – I can’t get enough of this series. A book from The Lunar Chronicles has been in my top five for the last three years. I was privileged to see Marissa in person a second time this fall, so I now have all three books signed. I can’t wait for the last two books in the series, both of which are coming out in 2015.
2. Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter – I don’t know how I was so far behind the curve on this series. I’d read The Heist Society series and loved it and picked up a few of these books at the Scholastic Warehouse Sale last year. Once I finally started reading them, I couldn’t stop. I mean, a secret spy school for girls? Who wouldn’t love that?!
1. THE BURNING SKY and THE PERILOUS SEA by Sherry Thomas – I love it when a beta reader recommends a book to me and it ends up being a favorite. I would never have picked THE BURNING SKY up otherwise, and I’m so glad I did because it, along with the second book in the series, were my favorite YA reads of the year. The blend of romance and tension and magic and a mysterious villain and, well, I could go on, but you should just read them yourself.
What were your favorite reads in 2014? Did any of my favorites make your list?