2014 was an excellent reading year for me as it saw me reading more books than I’ve read in a year before. A grand total of 40 books of which I loved the majority, although there were a few books that I absolutely detested and I did go through a bit of a reading slump towards the start of August. Here are my top 10 books which I read throughout 2014 (not all books published in 2014).
1. A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness
There are no words to sum up how much I love this book. I sat for a good half hour after finishing A Monster Calls and sobbed my heart out at how beautiful the story is.
Whilst sleeping one night, a boy is awoken to find a monster awaiting with 3 stories to tell him across the span of a few weeks. As you go through the story, you learn that the boys mother has cancer and her condition is getting worse, but throughout the nights, the monster keeps appearing with another story to tell.
A Monster Calls is not only one of my favourite reads of 2014, but is one of the best books I’ve ever read
2. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend – Matthew Green
This book is so unique and cute and wonderful, it left such a deep impression on my heart. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend is now the book that I shall be telling everyone to read when I am asked for a recommendation.
The story follows Budo and his friend Max. Budo is Max’s imaginary and only friend. The story follows Budo and Max throughout their friendship as they are faced with an unexpected challenge.
Trust me, go into this book with no knowledge about the storyline other than that the book is heart warming and beautiful. If you don’t like it, I will be surprised!
3. Legends of the Tour – Jan Cleijne
Legends of the Tour tells the history of the Tour de France in the form of a graphic novel and it’s exceptional. The art in the graphic novel is insanely gorgeous, to the extent to which I recommend this book based on the graphics alone. I am not a fan of the Tour de France, I bought this book as a present for my boyfriend but I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as did he. It’s a great history of the sport as well as a beautiful piece of artwork and I would recommend it to art lovers and sports lover alike.
4. The Book Thief – Markus Zuzak
Despite having already seen the film adaptation and being aware of the sadness that I was undertaking when icking up the book, I still found this utterly heart shattering. There is no other way to describe the effects of this book than heart shattering. Gut wrenching. One of the best books I’ve ever read and one of the saddest.
The Book Theif follows Liesel as she is sent to a foster family during the second world war, following the death of her baby brother. You see the relationship between Liesel and her foster family develop, the love she has for them grow and her friendship with Rudi grow into something special. Their world is turned upside down when a young jew arrives on their doorstep seeking refuge from an old family friend.
This book will leave you in tears with your heart in a million pieces on the floor around you. I’ve never read a piece of historical fiction as good or as enchanting as The Book Thief.
5. Afterward – Rosamund Lupton
Aterward is a brilliant , suspense filled thriller that will have you guessing from the moment you pick the book up until all is revealed at the end. I found Afterwards almost impossible to put down after my Mum thrust the book upon me and told me to reead it as soon as possible!
Afterwards follows the aftermath of a school fire, in which a mother and her daughter are left critically ill and the police with no idea as to who started the fire. That is all I am willing to tell you on this book, you should go into this book blind.
6. Between Shade of Grey – Ruta Sepetys
Sse, surprise. Nicole is including yet another historical fiction book in her best books of the year list. I absolutely loved this book, I went into it not knowing much about the persecution of Jews in Russia during world war two and I was stunned by the end of the book. The atrocities carried out during world war two still stun me every time I read historical fiction about the period. Every time, without fail.
Between Shades of Grey follows the story of a young Russian girl and her family as they are captured and forced into concentration camps, ending up in the desolate camps in Siberia. This story will have you believing in the power of humanity in no time at all and will leave you shocked, stunned and amazed at all the things us humans are capable of doing.
7. Maus – Art Spiegelman
When I say Maus, I mean both volumes of the Maus series, as they are both equally stunning and breath taking as each other. I cannot believe I had not picked up this graphic novel series until this year, as it’s right up my street and it was quite simply amaxing.
Maus follows the experiences of Art Spiegelman’s father and mother throughout the atrocities of the world war two concentration camps. Written (or should that be drawn?) from the perspective of Nazi’s as cats and Jews as Mice, Spiegelman portrays a unique first hand account of what the inside of the concentration camps were like and the horrible manner in which the Jews and other minority groups were treated during World War Two. Maus, to me, is perfection in a graphic novel form.
8. Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi
Or rather, the shatter me series by Tahereh Mafi as I read all of the series this year.
Trilogy follows Juliette after her release from imprisonment for killing a child with her touch. The ruling power plan to use Juliette as a weapon, however, Juliette has no intention of being used as a weapon at the hands of the government.
I recommend Shatter Me to all young adult lovers, as it’s a wonderful series.
9. You’re the One That I Want – Giovanna Fletcher
I must admit, I went into Giovanna’s second book cautiously as I didn’t enjoy her first novel. But I ended up loving this book. It’s the perfect girly read and would make a great summer beach holiday read as it’s easy to read but hard to put down at the same time.
The book opens at the main female protaganists wedding as she’s walking down the aisle to her future husband. As she walks with her father, she questions whether she’s marrying the right guy…whether she should be marrying the best man rather than the groom.
Not the most intelligent book but that’s not always a bad thing. I love a good piece of chick lit every now and again and this book is perfect to satisfy that craving.
10. Pushing The Limits – Casey Stoner
Stoner’s autobiography tells of his struggles and success within the MotoGP circuit and across his life too. He tells of how his family gave up everything to support him in his dream, living out of a car due to lack of money and the determination he had to succeed. He certainly holds no boundaries dishing on his opinions of his ex team mates and riders and about the reasons he left Ducati.
Whilst this book is only really for Moto GP lovers, it is a brilliant book about how hard work determines results and how this is one of the most important lessons in life.
To follow my 2015 reading journey, click here.