Well, my first post might as well be about books, right? 2014 was a wonderful year for reading–I actually read 48 books! Not too shabby for having still been in school. My New Year’s resolution two years ago was to read more, and I’ve stuck with it. I seriously can’t get enough, and I actually feel guilty when I’m not actively reading something. BookTube is probably (partially) to blame for that. That’s the bookish community on YouTube, in case you didn’t know. I’m far too scared to make my own videos, but that doesn’t stop me from watching them all the time. Like, too much. Anyway, I’ll probably talk more about that some other time.
I’ve managed to read so many amazing books over the past year, so it’s pretty difficult to narrow them down. And it doesn’t help that I’ve literally always been terrible at picking favorites of anything. But it’s worth a shot!
1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
What a beautiful, heart-wrenching story. It features memorable characters that feel so real, and it’s narrated by Death. Yes, death. Exquisitely done. It’s impossible to do this novel justice with a short description. It’s a must-read. And please don’t let the subject matter (Nazi Germany) turn you off! Also, prepare to cry. A lot. But seriously, read it.
2. Persuasion by Jane Austen
Oh man, I took a film & literature course on Jane Austen in the fall and it made me fall in love with Jane Austen. I love this one. Anne Elliot is a great heroine, and there are quite a few memorable side characters. As always, Austen’s dialogue is brilliant. I think this could be a great Austen novel to begin with, since it’s quite a bit shorter than her others.
3. Solanin by Inio Asano
One of my first graphic novels and my first-ever manga! Reading it ‘backwards’ took some getting used to, but I eventually got the hang of it. Beautiful, poignant story. It really captures the confusing time of early adulthood, so I could really relate to it. It also made me cry, which I wasn’t expecting from a graphic novel. Loved it.
4. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Let’s be honest, it seems that Gaiman can do no wrong. I’ve now read four books of his and have loved every one. This is an imaginative children’s/middle-grade story a la The Jungle Book, but with ghosts and other paranormal aspects. Gaiman creates this otherworldly-yet-familiar feeling in his novels that I find amazing. I don’t know how he does it. Brilliant.
5. Saving June by Hannah Harrington
This is a contemporary story about a girl dealing with her sister’s suicide. It’s realistic and beautiful and heart-wrenching. It has some great, relatable characters, and it features some talk about music, which I always appreciate in books. A well-balanced story that offers much more than I expected. Absolutely loved it.
6. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Two hunky guys, a kick-ass heroine, and magic. What more could you want? I’ve been impressed with the world-building in both Throne of Glass and this second installment, and the plot keeps me guessing. I’m itching to read Heir of Fire soon.
7. Angelfall by Susan Ee
This novel shoves you right into the craziness of a world ravaged by fallen angels. It was my first angel book, and it’s gotten me intrigued to read more. Raffe and Penryn are both spunky and memorable characters. World After is calling to me on my shelf!
8. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
This is my first New Adult read and, because of how great this was, it won’t be my last. This love story features a main character who is deaf, but it deals with so much more than that. The story was sweet and they have great chemistry. It didn’t feel like insta-love, which is a huge pet peeve of mine. I think it could be a great pick for someone else’s first New Adult read.
9. Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Fun, fun, fun! It made me want to go to The Strand bookstore in NYC and/or leave a notebook somewhere for a stranger to find. Fun characters, fun plot, such a great wintry/holiday read.
10. Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Another one of my first graphic novels! What a fantastic start to a series. Beautiful art-style, exciting plot. I finally have my hands on the next two and I can’t wait to dive in!
Well, this was fun! More bits of prose and whimsy to come…