Monday, January 05, 2015

Back to Reading

Besides picking up our book club selections, I had taken a bit of a break from reading for the past few years. With more time on my hands recently, and a lovely well-stocked library in town, I actually read 14 books in 2014. That's probably more than I read in the past several years combined! Sadly, I didn't keep track of my reads during that time, so I don't have an accurate list between 2011-2013.  But I'm finally tracking my reads again, so here's my 2014 list. As you can tell, I still have a love for YA novels. I know, I know, my reading tastes should be more sophisticated now that I'm older. I should be reading the classics or thought provoking novels, biographies, current events…not fluff. But YA fiction, there's just something about it. The books are such fun, quick, and enjoyable reads that I just can't help it!

2014 books

1. The Cuckoos Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling)
This was a book club selection. Most of us are Harry Potter fans and were curious about the book JK Rowling wrote under a pseudonym. It was fairly enjoyable, but was nowhere close to the epic HP world. A little slow at times, and a tad predictable, but not a bad read overall.

2. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
I really liked this book and have been recommending it to friends. It has a strong and likable main female character and an interesting storyline. I just wish this was turned into a series! Although there are two other books in the "Graceling Realm"--Bitterblue and Fire--those can be read as stand-alone stories and do not feature Katsa as the main character. I would love to hear (read) more from Katsa.

3. Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
An adorable short and very quick read by the quirky Neil Gaiman. Yes, I would recommend it!

4. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
I'm a little on the fence about this one. It has an interesting premise and wasn't a bad read, but I don't know, I just didn't love the writing or storyline. I enjoyed it for what it was, but don't think I liked it enough to recommend to others.

5. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
This totally hooked me at the beginning but started to fall flat as the story went on, I wish it could have kept the momentum. Not bad overall though, I enjoyed it well enough.

I enjoyed it enough to be intrigued and went on to read the second one.

I didn't enjoy this next book in the series enough to continue on. 

8. Matched by Ally Condie
Underwhelmed by this book, although it seems to get fairly good reviews. I think it was a little predictable and reminded me of other dystopian worlds I've already read, including Delirium by Lauren Oliver.

9. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
This book kept me engaged and was a page turner. Although I didn't like it as much as Graceling, I still enjoyed this read.

10. Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
Really loved this book and would totally recommend it. Likable characters and just a fun read. Plus, how can you not love it when it has such a great title!

11. Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
Along with another great title, the second book in this series was just as enjoyable as the first. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the third book, Waistcoats and Weaponry!

12. The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
I loved Ann Brashares' "Sisterhood" series. Although this book doesn't quite reach the charm of the sisterhood stories, I enjoyed the time-traveling element in the plot.

13. Atlantia by Ally Condie
Underwhelmed by this one too. Not much to say about it, but it was good enough to finish at least!

14. Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
Very different from Ender's Game, but wonderful in it's own way. Speaker for the Dead was such a page turner, I kept reading because I had to know more about what was happening. I really liked the writing style and how story slowly unfolded. 

And, for the list of books I didn't finish. These are the ones I tried reading, but just gave up partway through. They were that bad... 
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Feed by M.T. Anderson

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