Thursday, January 1, 2015

Year in Review: 2014 Favorites

It's that time of the year again! Unlike most years, where I cheat and list multiple books per question and often repeat those same books in nearly every question, I actually stuck to picking just one book per question and didn't repeat a single book either. If that isn't the achievement of the year then I don't know what is! ;) 

Number Of Books You Read: 304
Number of Re-Reads: 5? 6? 7? Not sure...
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy & Contemporary


1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

Every year, picking just one favorite book is always a tough decision but this year, I knew from the moment I finished Isla that I wasn't going to find a book I loved nearly as much as this one. I know not everyone loved it and I will not deny that the negative reviews for this novel bring up excellent points about the flaws abundant within this narrative, but it worked for me and simply spoke to me in a way no other book quite has this year. 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I loved the first novel in this series, Omens, when I read it last year and was sure this was going to be a promising sequel but the romantic developments really ruined this one for me. What a disappointment. 

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

Was this really written by the same woman who wrote Tiger Lily? Trust me, The Vanishing Season was a bad surprise. 

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

I couldn't stop talking about this one, probably because it was so different from everything else being published in YA but still managed to be so relateable and integral to the age group it targeted. Seriously, this book kicks ass. Read it.

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

I fell hard for this novel when I first read it and though the rest of the series hasn't quite lived up to the potential this one promised, Mystic and Rider ranks among my favorite books of the year as well as one of my favorite fantasy novels and romances ever. 
House of Sand and Secrets is such a good sequel that it far surpasses its predecessor. If you don't fall apart emotionally during this novel and yet close its covers with the greatest grin on your face then you're reading the wrong book.
Banished the Dark is a perfect series ender. I couldn't find a single flaw within this novel and the Arcadia Bell Quartet is among my favorite UF Series ever.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

I read all three of these books this year, in the order they appear above. What's more, I genuinely loved all of them. Needless to say, Heather Demetrios has become an auto-buy author for me now and I cannot recommend her work enough.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I don't read a whole lot of non-fiction so this was certainly not my typical read. But, how could I not love it? It's Mindy Kaling! :)

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

A lot of the books I read are typically slow builds or straight out romances so Into the Darkest Corner is a definite change from that. It's more psychologically thrilling than anything else and I was so engrossed in it that I couldn't stop reading until I knew what would happen to these characters who I quickly became attached to.  If I remember correctly, I stayed up till the early hours of morning to finish it. (It was completely worth it!)

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

The Laurentine Spy is such a delightful novel. A story of two spies who play their roles in the enemy's court to a fault--so well, in fact, that though they are falling in love with one another in the darkness where they receive their assignments, they do not realize they are both spies for the same country in court. It's an emotional romance, all set against a backdrop of betrayal and deception which makes it the perfect book to curl up with and re-read. I can't get enough of these characters or their love story.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

Dred is amazing. Seriously. A kick-ass woman who rules her own expanse of territory in a prison and manages to keep order through her own ruthlessness. Yet, she's fair, isn't really a criminal, and is capable of love. Yup, can't forget that one. After all, there's a reason these are the Dred Chronicles. ;)

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

Stiefvater's prose is poetry. What more possibly needs to be said?

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

I kept meaning to read The Caged Graves last year, which is why I forced myself to get to it early this year and I loved it. It's a true hidden gem in the world of YA historical fiction. 

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

So Stephanie Perkins writes the most romantic acknowledgements ever and what she wrote in Isla basically made me want to find the love of my life right then and there.  
"Finally, thank you to Jarrod Perkins. I'm crying now just because I typed your name. I love you more than anyone. Ever. Times a hundred million billion. Etienne, Cricket, and Josh--they were all you, but none of them came even close to you. You are my best friend. You are my true love. You are my happily ever after." 

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

 Could it have been anything else? ;)


Titus and Iolanthe truly prove their OTP status in this novel and I ship it so hard! 

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

I loved the romantic relationships in this novel--seriously, they slayed me--but at the heart of this novel is a strong sibling bond that completely gutted me. It's beautiful. 

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Courtney Milan has long been a favorite romance author of mine and Talk Sweetly to Me, a novella of the love story between an intelligent young black woman besotted with astronomy and a male feminist columnist basically rendered me speechless in awe. Milan not only writes some of the best historical fiction out there, but it's always so on-point with social norms and constructs and she's able to make readers swoon and walk away with revolutionary ideals. I mean, male feminists? YES, PLEASE.

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

I feel like people were going on and on and on about this book and I just had to read it to see what all the fuss was about. It was worth all the hype. ;)

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Mateo from Love, in English. *fans self*

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

Half a King isn't Abercrombie's debut, but it is his YA debut, so I'm going to count it. It's amazing so you should read it. Now. 

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Sharon Shinn is impeccable. I read Troubled Waters in the beginning of the year but I haven't been able to forget the vivid setting and rich culture of the fantasy realm Shinn created in this novel. Lovely.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

This book is not only intensely romantic, it's also wonderfully sweet, charming, and lovely. It's a friends-to-lovers romance of the best variety and has just a touch of drama, but not too much. It's my favorite of Johnson's romances, though I've enjoyed all of her work. Nearly a Lady contains the type of characters that force a smile onto your face. It's that cute.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

No one else is quite guaranteed to make me tear up the way Laura Florand is. I adore her work and the emotional impact she is able to garner, even from a novella, is astounding. 

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

What I Thought Was True hasn't gotten nearly as much attention as Fitzpatrick's debut, My Life Next Door, but in my opinion, it's a far better novel. Not only does it contain a great romance, which is always a draw (let's be honest), but it also features a diverse cast of characters with cultural heritage, a sex-positive relationship, and teens who possess more than one friendship and whose future plans aren't set in stone. 

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Fault Line was so hard to read but it also really deserved to be read. 

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

Chasing Shadows is told through both prose and comic style and while it didn't work for me, it's still highly unique.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

The Red Wedding, the death of Oberyn Martell, the framing of Tyrion Lannister, etc. Of course I was mad! Doesn't mean A Storm of Swords isn't the best fantasy novel I've ever read, though... ;)

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

With the Paper Towns movie being filmed as I write this, I really have no excuse not to read this. It's my last John Green novel, which is perhaps why I keep putting it off, but I absolutely want to read this before the movie releases. 

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 ?

Lair of Dreams may have gotten the worst cover on the planet (and is overdue by at least a year in terms of release dates) but it's Libba Bray and I'll forgive everything as long as this will land into my hands. I adored The Diviners with a passion when I read it back in 2013 and I have yet to complain about any Bray novel so I know this is going to rock my world. 

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

I just need answers, dammit! 

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

Maybe finally attend an author event? I know I keep hoping to achieve this but maybe 2015 will be the year it happens! Who knows? ;)

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:



  1. Happy New Year Keertana! I wish you nothing but the very best for this year and hope you get to read some awesome books!! I have yet to read Blue Lily Lily Blue but I do plan to read it sometime this year! I've heard so much about The Storied Life of A.J. Firky. My friend won a copy of it and lent it to me and I guess it will be another one that I have to read! Enjoy the rest of your break and hopefully we can chat about the last Hobbit movie soon!

  2. I meant to do this one but it was so long ;)

    Love the choices

  3. Fabulous choice of books! Some of these I still need to read but I am so excited about starting them!
    Happy New Year Ivy!

  4. Wow, I love that you didn't repeat any books. that's quite an achievement!! I really loved Isla as well- and that quote Stephanie wrote about her husband; so beautiful. I totally agree!


  5. Wow you read so many books this year! Amazing!

    I actually came across Troubled Waters because of you, and I really enjoyed! TPS was an epic sequel and I've been thinking about picking up the Mindy Kaling book, but like you I don't usually read non-fiction books so I wasn't sure...might have to give a go though seeing as you enjoyed it!

  6. Rites of Passage turned out to be such refreshing surprise. You read some awesome reads! Let's hope 2015 rocks the books!

  7. You have some amazing books listed there. Some on my wishlist, some I just adored like you did. I'm so bummed that the Arcadia Bell series is over too. Still, one series I do think I'll reread sometime in the future!

  8. I'm so amazed by how much you read, little lady! :) I don't think I'll ever stop being amazed. And every time I visit you, I know I'll be adding more to my TBR! Naturally, with this survey, I'm leaving with a lot more than I can handle, but that's okay. ;) It's a problem I'm willing to live with!

    Gosh, but if there's anyone I need to make a priority this year, it's going to be Heather Demetrios! The fact that you READ AND LOVED all 3 of her books, says so much! I can't wait!

    Ohhh...I'm so glad Rites of Passage made a great impression on you, K! As you know, I loved it too! Of course, Maggie Stiefvater is always a hit! Blue Lily was my absolute favorite of the year! There is just so much win where The Raven Cycle is concerned! I can't even! lol!

    I hope 2015 is another year full of wonderful moments and beautiful stories. I can't wait to see what's in store for us! Take care, little miss! <3

    Marlene @ The Flyleaf Review

  9. Fabulous choices Keertana! <3

    I've been meaning to read Isla for such a long time, but it's given off a sort of chick-lit vibe, which isn't really my cup of tea. However, having you choose it as your favorite book of the year has definitely persuaded me to give it a try!

    And I totally agree about The Vanishing Season. Tiger Lily is one of my favorite books of all time, and, like you said, if it wasn't for the gorgeous prose, I'm not sure what I would have done with this. :|

    And Heather Demetrios! I've read Something Real and Exquisite Captive and adored them both, so I'm highly, highly anticipating I'll Meet You There! It sounds like such a beautiful and touching book, and, of course, Demetrios can do no wrong, right? ;)

    And if Dangerous Girls wasn't the most shocking book of the year, I don't know what was! ;) I don't think there's a person who read it who didn't read the last sentence with a chill in their spine and their jaw dropped. Such a twisted, yet wonderful, read.

    Thanks for sharing Keertana, and great choices! ♥

  10. OH yes EVERYONE needs to read Rites of Passage. That book is just so bloody fantastic and evoked so many emotions.

    Burn! I need that book oh so bad and like you, I WANT ANSWERS! No doubt Weston will deliver.

    I still need to read The Vanishing Season. I've read so mixed reviews on it but I think I've gotta give that one a go for myself.

    Loved your answers, Keertana! <33

  11. Hope your year has been fabulous so far, Keertana! I know I still need to reply to the message you left on my Goodreads wall, but I will start with a response to this post. Your prolific reading impresses me; even if you did not read as much as you wanted to because of college, you still read so much, and that inspires me. You also maintain a great diversity within fiction: adult, young-adult, fantasy, romance, realistic fiction, you read it all.

    While we both enjoyed Martin's Storm of Swords, we disagree on I'll Give You the Sun and Isla, both books you liked way more than I did. However, I always appreciate your detailed and thorough reviews because they just reinforce the idea that people can walk away with different reactions from the same book, and that disparity acts as a good measure. So excited to see what you read this year and what you think of it all.

    Are you still studying Biology? Any interesting or difficult challenges from your first semester of college?

  12. One-book answers and no repeating answers is DEFINITELY an accomplishment!
    Rites of Passage, Exquisite Captive, and The Caged Graves are among some of the top books I need to read this year.
    And we're 2015 anticipated debut twins. :) It looks so freaking good - let's just hope it is!

  13. I have to get to the Arcadia Bell series very soon! I have the first & last book. Shadowed Heart made me cry, too! Laura Florand always manages to squeeze my heart! I have Love in English and I do love Karina Halle's angsty reads! I'm also looking forward to Libba Bray's sequel to The Diviners! It's been a long time coming! I have the audiobook and the e-copy of Into the Darkest Corner (bought after your stunning review) you just reminded me to get on it! Great post here, Keertana! :)

  14. I love how varied your post is! So many good recs to add to my TBR.

    I need to get to The Storied Life!I am procrastinating it as it just seems like it is not my thing at all, haha.

    I'm actually reading Rites of Passage now and... I don't know. About 20% in and I am kind of waiting for the awesome to show up.

    One author I am suddenly seeing everywhere is Heather Demetrios. I am so hanging out for her contemporaries as I am such a contemporary girl

    Seriously love the cover of Crimson Bound <3

    I am so hanging out for Paula's book too! Rafa and FINALLY all the reveals!

    Thanks for the recs xo

  15. I love that you picked ISLA for your favorite, because of how well you connected to the story. One of my favorite aspects of reading is getting emotionally involved in a book and characters and loving them despite technical flaws. I need to read the Arcadia Bell series like yesterday! I agree about Heather Demtrios, she's my favorite new author too. We are anticipating all the same 2015 books - can't wait for more discussions. And I'm going to work up to reading Crimson Bound! xo Happy New Reading Year!

  16. Caged Graves has such an intriguing title and cover art - after I read the premise, I had to add to my to-read list, which is surprising considering I think the last time I read a historical YA was probably Hush by Donna Jo Napoli back in 2009.

    I am holding myself back from devouring all of Milan's books which is the only reason I haven't read Talk Sweetly to Me yet, though I am sorely tempted.


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