2014 Book List

Completed Books:

1.White Girl Problems by Tara Brown
A cute, funny teen book about a spoiled rich girl who gets into trouble one to many times and is sent to stay with her aunt the summer before her senior year.
2. Silence by Natasha Preston .5
Oakley stopped talking 11 years ago when she was five and no one knows why.  Well, I guessed- but I kept reading to see if I was right and to see what broke her silence.  And I liked it enough, that I’ll read the follow up book before I start something else to see how her story plays out.
3. Broken Silence by Natasha Preston
This takes place four years later, and deals with Oakley returning to her hometown for the trial after living elsewhere since she broke her silence.  Not quite as good as the first.  Pretty predictable.
4.  Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky .5
It’s 2060 and no one leaves their houses because there’s no reason to.  Everything is done online- even school.  But Maddie meets a boy who doesn’t agree with this way of doing things and thinks people need personal, face to face interactions.
5. Serena by Ron Rash
I wanted to like this more than I did, because I’d heard good things about it and it’s being made into a movie. But all of the logging was kind of boring and I felt like I was just slogging through it until the last 15% or so. Then it picked up, but eh. It’s about newlyweds in 1929 who, lead by the ruthless wife, pick off anyone who gets in their way- including the husband’s illegitimate child and his mother.
6. Dust by Hugh Howey .5
The conclusion of a trilogy- it was better than the second book (Shift) but not quite as good as the first (Wool). It tied together the groups from Silos 1, 17 and 18.
7. The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult’s books always leave me with something to ponder after I read the last word, and this was no different.  The topic this time: the Holocaust.  The story weaves between present day, memories of the 1940’s as told by a Nazi officer and a Jewish prisoner at Auschwitz, and a fictional fairy tale written by one of the characters.
8. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I wrote a full blog post review of it here.
9. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon .5
This book encompasses several genres- sci-fi (time travel), historical fiction, romance, etc.  It seems that people either love or hate this book, which is the first in a series, and I was left feeling more indifferent than anything else.  I might read the rest, but I won’t be upset if I never find out what happens to the characters.
10.  Invisible by Cecily Anne Paterson
Despite being called ‘Invisible’ this book was more about the main character (13 year old girl, partially deaf, father died 4 years ago, at a new school) coming out of her shell and growing into her own and becoming visible.
11. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld .5
In a world where everyone gets an operation at age 16 to turn them pretty, Tally gets caught between wanting to do what everyone else does and have the surgery and following a friend to the outskirts of civilization to live.  Although this is YA and more juvenile than I usually enjoy, I am curious to see where the author goes with the story.
12. The Believers by Katie French .5
I enjoyed the first book (this is the second in a series) as well as the little freebie short story about the series a little bit more than this one.  It continues the story of Riley and her group after their escape from the Breeders.  They end up captured by a religious prophet who runs a community with some bizarre stuff going on.
13. The Lake by AnnaLisa Grant
Layla’s parents died when she was 12, and she went to live with her grandparents. 5 years later, they’re both dead too and she goes to live with an aunt and uncle she’s never met. The writing was a bit drawn out, and this book ended on a cliffhanger.
14. The Selection by Kiera Cass .5
I struggled with what to rate this book because while I really enjoyed it, it’s part of a trilogy and there was really no satisfying end to this if it were read as a standalone. It’s a YA dystopian where what was the US is now a monarchy and in an effort to find a princess for the prince, 35 girls from all castes are entered into a reality TV show-like contest.
15. The Elite by Kiera Cass .5
This book directly follows The Selection, and continues the story where it left off, with the remaining 6 girls.  Throughout the course of the book, only one more is eliminated, leaving us waiting for yet another installment in this series.  This book really dragged out, and while I enjoyed the first, by the end of this one I stopped caring about the main characters.
16. Exalted by Tara Elizabeth .5
The Exalted spend their lives preparing to protect the citizens, but Mena learns that in order to do so, they’re deprived of their emotions. Now that she knows the truth, she must decide what she should do about it.  Be prepared to read the next book, because it just… ends.
17. Denounced by Tara Elizabeth .5
Picking up at the cliffhanger ending of Exalted, Mena returns to the Republic intent on changing things from the inside.  The creepy leader takes a liking to her, she learns Ryker hasn’t been honest with her, and like book one in the series, this book ends on a cliffhanger.
18. Defect by Ryann Kerekes .5
In a future world where criminals are weeded out by mind scans on their 16th birthday, Eve proves to be an enigma when her scan is unreadable.  Unsure what to do with her, she faces various tests and trainings until they can decide.  While it was refreshing to read a stand-alone book in this world of YA dystopian trilogies, the ending felt entirely too squished and rushed.
19. The Maze Runner by James Dashner .5
The first in yet another YA dystopic trilogy.  Oddly enough, the main character is a boy this time.  I really wanted to like this book more than I did, and the premise and the whys and hows kept me going.  The characters and writing style?  Not so much.
20. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner .5
I made myself read this one because I had to know what happened next. The boys are out of the maze, and have moved on to the next trial- crossing a desert. I started to dislike those characters that I felt just eh about in the first book.  I  thought the storyline moved more fluidly this time though.
21. Hidden by Catherine McKenzie .5
At the opening of the book, one of the three narrators is hit by a car and killed. The other two are his wife, who was in a previous relationship with his brother, and ‘the other woman’. I enjoyed reading this book, even if it was hard to tell who’s point of view the chapters were coming from sometimes, but found myself wondering what the point of the story was at the end.
22. The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman .5
Patience Murphy leaves behind her city lifestyle and becomes a midwife in the middle of nowhere, West Virginia, around the time of the Depression. I enjoyed the midwifery elements to the novel, but found the main character’s back story interesting, if a bit unbelievable. That didn’t bother me, since it is fiction after all. But I found her acceptance about things that are still issues today distracting, as well as the fact that she spoke/thought like we do now and not as a woman in the 1930’s would have.
23. Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich
Number 16 in a series- just another quick read about Stephanie Plum, the bounty hunter. One of those books you pick up when you don’t want to have to think too much and just be entertained.
24. The Boy Who Stole from the Dead by Orest Stelmach
I was looking forward to this book since I read the last- which totally spurred my obsession with Chernobyl. Adam, now Bobby, is playing hockey in the US and living with his guardian, Nadia. Everything is going well, aside from the reporter determined to figure out his past and the fact he is thrown in jail for murder. Another great read, I couldn’t put it down.
25. Little Girl Lost by Brian McGilloway .5
It’s the middle of winter in Ireland and a female police officer finds a little girl wandering, shoeless and in blood splattered pajamas. She won’t talk and in the process of trying to identify her, realize she’s connected to another case- or two.
26. Labor Day by Joyce Maynard .5
Thirteen year old Henry lives with his mom, who is emotionally damaged after her divorce from his dad. She doesn’t like to leave the house and they get by with only taking a trip out maybe once a month for food. One one of the outings, over Labor Day weekend, they’re stopped by a bleeding man who asks for their help. He happens to be an escaped convict and the next few days change their lives.
27. Killing Ruby Rose by Jessie Humphries .5
A fun, easy read about a high school girl obsessed with finding out exactly what happened to her recently killed SWAT team father and solving his unfinished cases. OH, and shoes.
28. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld .5
The first one was better. I felt like this one was a lot of nothing, and could have been whittled down to a few chapters. I get that the author is trying to make his own phrases and expressions that the kids would use, but using ‘bubbly’ in every other sentence is so not fetch.  It’s dizzy-making instead.
29. Matched by Ally Condie
I’d wanted to read this book for quite awhile, and don’t know why I really waited to pick it up. So I guess I had it built up as something amazing, and instead found it to be rather dull. The ending “cliffhanger” was even eh. I feel like it was a build up to the rest of the series.
30. Donor 23 by Cate Campbell Beatty
Joan was basically created to be a donor for the rich governor’s daughter, who is an athlete. Her job is to stay fit and healthy so that if her sponsor gets injured, she donates that part of her- such as a leg or shoulder muscle. But then she finds out that her sponsor wants her lungs and heart- since they are superior to her own- making her next donation the last. Joan flees the relative safety of the nation’s walls, and has to learn how to survive while being hunted. I really enjoyed this book, and it left me wanting more.
31. The Selected by Rebecca Hope
In a world where society is split up into the Elite and the Miasma, Rory is unfortunately not one of those privileged. Finding herself imprisoned after her best friend dies, she is thrown into the Underground world, something she only heard rumors of- and also learns she’s one of the few Selected. I enjoyed the storyline, but found the writing a bit elementary, with short sentences and repetition at times.  Part of a series, the ending was a bit brief.
32. Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie .5
When Emma’s mother dies, leaving her with a trip to Africa, she reluctantly takes leave of her high paced lawyer career to go on the month-long excursion. She gets stranded in a remote town after getting sick and an earthquake hits- for another several months. During this time, she’s presumed dead, so when she finally makes her way home, her boyfriend moved on, her apartment has been leased to someone else, and her office was given to her rival. Emma has to pick up the pieces of her old life and integrate them with the lessons she’s learned during her ordeal in Africa. I found this book fun- chick lit with a unique and intriguing story that I read in one sitting.
33. The Awakening by Rebecca Hope
A continuation of The Selected, this book delved more into what exactly being selected meant. Like the first one, it also ended quite abruptly and the writing was meh.
34. Flowertown by S.G. Redling
Following a pesticide spill, a small containment area is built to keep the affected in isolation. Subjected to drug treatments, testing, and forced to live as if they were prisoners, the people there have been separated from society for 6 years. Ellie is living out her days in an ‘I don’t give a shit’ sort of way. Doing the minimal amount of work at the ‘job’ she’s assigned, sleeping with one of the guards, and smoking pot. With her paranoid best friend and her farm girl roommate, they try to figure out what is going on when the supplies stop coming in to town.
35. Stolen Grace by Arianne Richmonde
It was as if two people wrote this book- the one that wrote the bulk, in simplistic, almost innocent tone, and the other, who wrote these elaborate and graphic sex scenes that came out of nowhere.  The explicit erotica was totally unexpected, and distracting as well- probably since I read the book thinking it was a suspense/mystery about a child abduction.  And to set those scenes next to the ones from the 5 year old’s point of view- awkward.
36. Arranged by Catherine McKenzie .5
While everything else in Anne’s life is going smoothly, she finds she’s got issues with her love life. After a series of disappointing relationships, she ends up using an arranged marriage service. I enjoyed the other book I’d read by the author (Forgotten), and I’m glad that this was just as good. Fun, easy to read chick-lit with a unusual plot and good storyline. Another one of those ‘summer reads’ that suck you in.
37. Aberrant by Ruth Silver  .5
While this book kept me reading, I struggled to find it’s own voice within the YA Dystopian world.  I felt like it was bits and pieces of every other best seller- a bit Hunger Games, a bit Matched, a bit Divergent, and then there’s the rebel alliance (Star Wars?).  There were a lot of things that made no sense- like healing a stab wound in minutes, but they can’t figure out why women are infertile?  Perhaps these things will be addressed in the rest of the series.
38. Frost by Kate Avery Ellison  .5
A YA Dystopian book- part one of five- that sucked me in and had me reading it through completely in a day.  While it left a lot of unanswered questions, it totally set up the series.  I’d have liked it more if the author had expanded on the characters, they were pretty undeveloped, however with it being the beginning of a series, maybe they’ll be fleshed out more as I read on.
39. Thorns by Kate Avery Ellison  .5
The second installment of The Frost Chronicles, Thorns picks up where Frost leaves off. We get to learn more of the secrets, more about the characters, and more back story about why the world is the way it is. On to book 3 for more answers…
40. Weavers by Kate Avery Ellison
This is the third book in this series- and more and more expainations are coming out. They are still holding my interest, and I plan on continuing to find out what happens by reading the rest.  I’m not a huge fan of the love triangle, but it’s a minor part of the story.
41. Bluewing by Kate Avery Ellison .5
Book four… the series is starting to drag. I feel like with as fast as I can read these short books, perhaps the author could have condensed it into a trilogy or something. It did pick up from the last one, and I’m hoping the series ends with a bang.
42. Damocles by S.G. Redling
Because I’d really liked another of this author’s books, I branched out from my usual genre to read this sci-fi book about a group of five astronauts attempting to make contact with an alien humanoid race.  The two main characters are a woman linguist and a male nerdy alien, who forge a bond and attempt to work out a way to communicate- a process I found fascinating to read about and thoroughly enjoyed.
43. Aeralis by Kate Avery Ellison
I was ready for this series to end, so I’m glad this was the last or perhaps I wouldn’t have continued.  I didn’t ever really care much for the love triangle, which still dragged on through this final book.  And that epilogue?  Oy.  I could have done without that.
44. 3 a.m. by Nick Pirog .5
This was shorter than a novel but longer than a short story- I think they’re called novellas. Regardless, I loved it. The main character has a disease in which he is only awake for an hour a day- from 3-4am. He witnesses what he thinks is the President of the US leaving a murder scene during one of these hours, and from there the mystery unfolds- an hour at a time. I found the author funny and engaging, and immediately downloaded a box set of his trilogy when I was done because I couldn’t get enough of his writing.
45. Unforeseen by Nick Pirog
This was the first in the trilogy and like the short story that prompted me to download it, it was a witty, sarcastic, funny thriller.  Thomas Prescott is facing off with the presumed dead killer of eight women that was thought to have died exactly a year ago.  With crimes mirroring the killing spree last year, this year, it’s personal- and women that Thomas knows.
46. Gray Matter by Nick Pirog
The second of the Thomas Prescott trilogy, I found this one just as good as the first. I really find this author funny and his stories engaging, and I liked learning more about the main character.
47. Afrikaans by Nick Pirog .5
While still a good book, this didn’t suck me in like his previous two Thomas Prescott books did. I like that the secondary characters are just as entertaining as the primary ones.
48. Crossed by Allie Condie
I was disappointed with the first one, so I’m not entirely sure why I even picked up this boo- it’s number two in the Matched series. The back and forth narrative and the love triangle get really old really fast.
49. Ticker by Lisa Mantchev .5
Set in a funky steampunk society, Penny has a clockwork heart- which may give out at any time. Before it does, she needs to find out a few things- like why her parents are kidnapped, why the doctor that gave her the heart is suddenly killing people and in jail, and then all the other stuff that comes along with being a 16 year old girl. The story was faced paced and entertaining and the setting was intriguing. I’d love to read more.
50. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I picked this up because it was made into a movie and I’d heard others talking about it. I will admit the story was engrossing, but none of the characters were particularly likeable and the ending… well the ending left me wanting to bash the two main characters heads together.
51. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty .5
This was a fun, chick-lit-ish sort of book that was more engrossing than the typical books of this genre by weaving a mystery throughout the story. The ending was not something I saw coming, but was more serious and fitting than the general butterflies and rainbows that usually grace chick-lit.
52. 3:10 a.m. by Nick Pirog .5
I LOVED the first book- and plowed right through this one and the next one loving them just as much. They are not as long as a book, but longer than a short story. In this one, Henry Bins learns about the mother who abandoned him and his father when he was little.
53. 3:21 a.m. by Nick Pirog .5
The third Henry Bins book, and this one is set in Alaska. Henry and his girlfriend have made the trip so that he can watch the sunrise- something he’s never seen since he’s only awake between 3 and 4 am. Of course, as usual, trouble finds Henry and his cat, Lassie. I can’t wait for the next installment.
54. The One by Kiera Cass
Book three of The Selection series. Much better than the second one- which I found boring- and therefore almost didn’t read this one. The contest of who will marry the prince comes to a close in this one, but not before tensions heat up from the rebels. I was happy the love triangle ended, and look forward to the next book if it’s leading where I think it is.

In Progress:

 

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Previous Lists:

2013 Book List
2012 Book List
2011 Book List
2010 Book List

Stars:

= had issues finishing this piece of crap.
= had a few redeeming qualities.
= liked it.
= loved it.
= OMG you have to read this! One of the rare books I would read more than once.