December 18, 2014

YA Superlatives Blogfest: Day 4

It's that time of year again! Time to look back over a year of reading and celebrate the awesome. Here's what it's all about in Katy's words: "The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest (hosted by Jessica LoveTracey NeithercottAlison Miller, and me) runs Monday, December 15th through Thursday, December 18th and will highlight favorite books published in 2014 using a variety of fun superlative categories. The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest is all about promoting the extraordinary young adult books published this year, so if you haven’t already, draft a post and sign up to participate... We can’t wait to see your favorite reads of 2014!" It's always a lot of fun and a great way to add books to that ready-to-topple-over TBR pile.

(All book titles are linked to their respective Goodreads pages.)

A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU
(Claudia Gray)

I remember when this cover was revealed and how I was bowled over by
how beautiful it was. I love the watercolour effect and the mirror image
thing it has going on as well. The magenta/purple colouring really pops.
Still need to read this one, but it's hard not to judge it by its great cover.

Honourable Mention:
THE WINNER'S CURSE
(Marie Rutkoski)

I love the perspective looking down, the gorgeous dress, the way Kestrel's
fingers are curled around the "R" that is vaguely reminiscent of a treble clef.
(There's a strong musical component to this book, so it feels fitting.) Bonus
points for the amazingly cool black title and acknowledgement pages and 
the use of vertical versus horizontal font for page and chapter numbers.

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FRANK + EMILY from SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE
(Morgan Matson)

Something about these two just won me over.♥

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WE WERE LIARS
(E. Lockhart)

There has been so much talk about this one
and deservedly so. It's a National Book Award
finalist and a Printz Award honoree, so y'know...

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IGNITE ME
(Tahereh Mafi)

Okay, true confession time. I actually didn't love this
series finale. SHATTER ME totally blew me away,
but this one had me questioning certain aspects of it.
All that aside, as with each installment in this trilogy, I
read it in a single sitting. And, yes, I missed my bedtime.

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CRESS
(Marissa Meyer)

This series just keeps getting better and better.
I loved pretty well everything about this sequel.

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INTO THE STILL BLUE
(Veronica Rossi)

This trilogy is fantastic from beginning to end.
Veronica Rossi knows how to avoid those saggy
sophomore novels and, man, can she end a series!
(A relief as I was disappointed by so many this year.)

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JOSH + ISLA from ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER
(Stephanie Perkins)

Just to be clear, I preferred Anna + √Čtienne and Lola + Cricket
over Isla + Josh, but holy cannoli, these two were super steamy!

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THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN
(Meredith McCardle)

I won a signed copy of the lovely Meredith McCardle's debut from
Katy Upperman and thoroughly enjoyed it. Can't wait for Book 2!
Time travel, top secret government organizations...so awesome!

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REVOLUTION
(Jennifer Donnelly)

OMG, you guys. This book! I honestly have no idea why I
didn't read this book, like, four years sooner. Seriously. It's
not only the best book I read all year, it's probably the best
YA book I have read period. It's so wonderfully written!

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A MAD, WICKED FOLLY
(Sharon Biggs Waller)

The synopsis for this book didn't jump out and grab
my attention immediately, but after hearing some
great things about it, I gave it a go, and I'm glad I did!
Suffragettes, pre-Raphaelite art, super swoonworthy boy...

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THE KISS OF DECEPTION
(Mary E. Pearson)

"Two mysterious and handsome strangers" vie for Lia's affections,
but we don't know the actual identity of either of them until close
to the end of the book. Do we ship Lia + the assassin sent to kill her
or Lia + the prince she was supposed to marry but had never met?
Definitely the most creative use of a love triangle I've ever seen.

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MORE THAN MUSIC
(Elizabeth Briggs)

My favourite outlier for 2014 was actually a NA read by the
incredibly talented Liz Briggs. If you haven't read this debut,
what are you waiting for?! So much swoon and so hard to put
down! Liz just revealed the cover to MORE THAN MUSIC's 
companion book, MORE THAN COMICS, yesterday! (HERE)

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PICK YOUR OWN SUPERLATIVE...
THESE BROKEN STARS
(Amie Kaufman + Meagan Spooner)

I always feel bad for the late arrivals because they often just
miss out on end-of-the-year favourites lists. This one released
partway into December, so most of us didn't have the chance
to include its awesomeness on our lists. And listworthy it is!
If you haven't read this swoonworthy space opera, get on that! 

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MANY THANKS TO THE AWESOME HOSTS OF 
THE 2014 YA SUPERLATIVES BLOGFEST!


December 17, 2014

YA Superlatives Blogfest: Day 3

It's that time of year again! Time to look back over a year of reading and celebrate the awesome. Here's what it's all about in Katy's words: "The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest (hosted by Jessica LoveTracey NeithercottAlison Miller, and me) runs Monday, December 15th through Thursday, December 18th and will highlight favorite books published in 2014 using a variety of fun superlative categories. The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest is all about promoting the extraordinary young adult books published this year, so if you haven’t already, draft a post and sign up to participate... We can’t wait to see your favorite reads of 2014!" It's always a lot of fun and a great way to add books to that ready-to-topple-over TBR pile.


(All book titles are linked to their respective Goodreads pages.)

CRESS
(Marissa Meyer)

I chose CINDER for this category in 2012, and I'm still envious!
They may be based on tales "as old as time", (BatB, FTW!) but
these re-imaginings are pretty unique and pretty darn awesome.

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(Or, the setting you definitely would NOT want to visit.)
EARTH + ERETZ from DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS
(Laini Taylor)

Hell to the no. 
Angels and chimera at war?
Um, no thanks.

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(Or, the setting you'd happily travel to.)
NYC, EDINBURGH, PARIS from THE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME
(Jennifer E. Smith)

Oddly, these are all destinations I've been to in the last three years,
and they're all places I would happily travel to again! Because I loved
these destinations in real life, I wish they were 'explored' a bit more
in the book. While good, this is my least favourite of Smith's books.

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WE WERE LIARS
(E. Lockhart)

This was my first (and so far only) E. Lockhart read. The
prose was lovely enough and the plot compelling enough
that I will definitely be picking up more of her books soon. 
Next up: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

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CRUEL BEAUTY
(Rosamund Hodge)

"I was raised to marry a monster."

- AND -

ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER
(Stephanie Perkins)

“It’s midnight, it’s sweltering, and I might be high on Vicodin, 
but that guy—that guy right over there—that’s him.”

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EMILY from SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE
(Morgan Matson)

Pre-Sloane Emily was totally a turtle tucked up tight in her shell.
After her BFF disappears, Emily has to learn to live and thrive solo.
And she does a pretty darn good job of it. I loved seeing Emily evolve.

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So, this isn't a 2014 release, but I read it in 2014...
DANGEROUS GIRLS
(Abigail Haas)

I was going to go with WE WERE LIARS here, but while the ending
was sort of twisty and surprising, I wouldn't say it was jaw-dropping.
Nope, that title definitely has to go to DANGEROUS GIRLS, despite
the fact that it's a 2013 release. So I guess I'm cheating. #sorrynotsorry

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ROAR from INTO THE STILL BLUE (Veronica Rossi) &
ZIRI from DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS (Laini Taylor)

Both of these books (and series) have great supporting characters,
so I went with a tie between two of my favourites: Ziri and Roar.

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DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS
(Laini Taylor)

If you want to go with a straight-up good vs. evil theme, I think this
series tackles it in a way that turns everything we have been taught
on its head--angels good, demons bad. (With chimera stepping in for
demons here.) In this series, both sides are good/bad in their own ways.
Not sure what point if any Laini Taylor was trying to make when she
wrote this, but it's an interesting exploration of the theme nonetheless.

AND I'm just noticing how many times I categorized this book today. Oops!

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