At the writing of this post I have read just over a hundred books this year. I kept trying to figure out the best way to sum up my favorites for you guys -- even my list of 5-star rated books on goodreads seemed really long. So I decided to pick my favorite(s) from each category and share those with you. Many, but not all of these were published in 2014.
Top Five Teen books
I mostly read teen novels so this was really hard but I decided to narrow it down to my favorite 5:
5. I hunt Killers by Barry Lyga (First in a series) - Dark and gritty and packed with insight from a very charming teen who was groomed to become a serial killer by his serial killer father and is trying to catch a new serial killer.
4. Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills - Transgender teen with a love for music and radio DJing trying to show his B-side after living the A-side for so long. Has an excellent example of a mentor relationship with an older man.
3. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson - Amazing magical world-building and great middle-grade book where chalk drawings come alive.
2. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith - to be honest Winger and 100 Sideways Miles would also be in my top five if I didn't care about it being overrun with Andrew Smith books. This one is my favorite because it is sooo very weird so if you don’t like super weird books where giant, horny, ravenous, people-turned-praying mantis monsters take over the world then you probably want to try one of his other books.
1. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (The Reckoners) - Super villains, an uprising, lots of cool gadgets, and a great twist ending that I didn't see coming. Ok so lets just call this the Brandon Sanderson and Andrew Smith show, because for reals they are my definite favorites of the year.
Funniest - Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosch - brilliant. hilarious (seriously, laughing so hard I was crying many time throughout the book). simple dog is my spirit animal. but it also talks about depression in a very real way which I definitely related to.
Most fascinating - Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty - A very real look at the death industry through the stories from a young Caitlin Doughty’s first job in the industry as a crematory operator. It’s sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and definitely made me think about what I want to happen to my body when the time comes.
Coolest format - Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris - It’s NPH in choose your own adventure format! Ok so in all honesty the format was cool for one time through the book but then I had to get the audiobook because I got annoyed with trying to read through the book and the appeal of NPH reading it outweighed trying to read the book. I loved it!
Cookbook - Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon - One of the best vegan blogs I read made into one of the best vegan cookbooks that I now own thanks to Sheldon getting it for me for Christmas. I was a bad librarian and kept checking out the library’s copy before that.
Crafts - Lucky Spool's Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making: From Color to Quilting: 10 Design Workshops by Your Favorite Teachers - Excellent tips for modern Quilters.
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt - Cheeky and disgruntled crayons write letters of displeasure and a resourceful little boy makes everyone happy. A smart book that will be enjoyed by children and adults alike.
Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson - Teenage girls at a camp much like Gravity Falls fighting monsters and taking names. Great strong female characters. Perfect for middle school girls. (I read the individual issues. The 1st volume doesn't come out until April 8th)
Rat Queens by Kurtis J. Wiebe - strong women. crass. blood. humor. great artwork. epic questing.
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll - Perfectly spooky tales with awesome illustrations! Reminded me of my childhood love of the Scary Stories books.
Wallbanger (The Cocktail Series) by Alice Clayton - A completely hilarious and sexy romance novel (perhaps even light erotica - it gets pretty steamy) There’s a chapter written completely from the protagonist’s cat’s point of view which I loved. I’ve read (well actually listened) to a few from this series and they are all pretty good for silly romance novels.
The worst book I read this year (because they can't all be perfect)
We were liars by E. Lockhart - Many people have loved this book and it's on every top list this year but I absolutely hated it. I’m pretty sure it is a love or hate book, so definitely make your own decision on this one.
What was your favorite book this year?
Disclaimer - All links are Amazon affiliate links.