January 3, 2015

Favorite reads of 2014

In my last post, I summarized the books that I read in 2014. 29 of them received 5 stars, including 9 that were indie published. Among those 5-star books read in 2014, here are my top ten:

1. Horde - Ann Aguirre
This was an awesome conclusion to the great Razorland series, which I highly recommend, even if you're not a fan of zombie books. You really need to read all of the books in the series to appreciate the character and story development that led to Horde being such a fantastic finale!

2. Fire & Ash - Jonathan Maberry
If you've been following my annual top ten lists, it should come as no surprise that Fire & Ash, the last book of the Rot & Ruin series, ended up on this year's list. After all, the other three books in the series were all among my favorite reads during the years when I read them. This is another series that I highly recommend to everyone.

3. Cress - Marissa Meyer
I was wondering how Marissa Meyer was going to add a third main character into this series (after Cinder and Scarlet) and still keep readers interested in everything that's going on. I didn't need to worry because she did a masterful job of weaving all of the story lines together. This was yet another great book in a great series.

4. Ruin and Rising - Leigh Bardugo
I honestly thought that the first two books in this series were only pretty good, but I loved the conclusion. Ruin and Rising wrapped up the series in a way that made sense, and the relationship between Alina and Mal was well played out.

5. This Song Will Save Your Life - Leila Sales
I'm not a big fan of contemporary fiction, but I was surprised by how much I liked this book! It drew me into the story and made me care about the main character in a way that few books do. All YA readers should read it.

6. Parasite - Mira Grant
I've raved about Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy in the past. This year, the first book in her new series makes my top ten list. You get the same great writing, story-telling, and social commentary as the Newsflesh trilogy, but with parasites instead of zombies!

7. Frost - Kate Avery Ellison
I discovered Kate Avery Ellison's books this year and have really enjoyed what I've read so far. Frost has been my favorite, and it's the top indie-published book I read this year. I recommend that fans of YA speculative fiction check out her works!

8. The Believers - Katie French
Katie French's The Breeders was one of my top ten favorite reads last year, and its sequel, The Believers, follows in its footsteps. The book is a fast-paced page-turner that will leave you wanting more. Fortunately, the third book in the series was recently released, and I'm about to read it. Don't be surprised if it ends up on my list of favorite reads of 2015.

9. Champion - Marie Lu
Legend was my top favorite read of 2013, and while Prodigy didn't measure up to its high standards, the series finished strong with Champion.

10. The Selection - Kiera Cass
I admit that, before I read it, I didn't think I'd like this book. The description reminded me of shows like The Bachelor, and I abhor those types of reality shows. However, this turned out to be a well-written and engaging book with a protagonist who I could root for. I even came to have more than a passing interest in the result of the contest, but alas, there are more books to go before I'll find out who wins.

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