Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 Best Reads by Isa

This wasn't exactly the greatest year for me, and that, unfortunately, reflected itself on how much I read, and subsequently reviewed here (thank God for Susana, for keeping this boat floating!).

Still, there were quite a few very nice books I had the privilege of reading!

This book was such an absolute delight!
It's been nearly a year since I've read it, and I still think about it.
Not only is the artwork AMAZING, but it holds a special place in my heart among all mermaid stories.
In The Mermaid and the Shoe, Minnow, our little mermaid (and isn't Minnow just the greatest name for a little mermaid?) finds a shoe and makes it her mission to find out its purpose. 
The thing is, once she finds out what shoes are for, she's just as horrified as her mermaid sisters! Feet?! What horrible things! It's much nicer to have beautiful fins!
And isn't that an unusual thing to find in a mermaid story? Mermaids who are happy to be as they are and can't fathom the need to get icky things like feet?
You can read my review here!

I was lucky enough to start off the year with what turned out to be my favourite book of 2014!
It's been 11 months since I've read it and I can't even contemplate re-reading it because... all these FEELS!
Lilac and Tarver are almost up there with Katniss and Peeta as an OTP. Which is something I thought would never happen...
This book... I laughed, I cried, I lived every moment along with these two, I was scared, I was hopeful, I felt like I was there.
I like how the authors avoided the pitfalls of contemporary YA books: the romance isn't the main focus, survival is the main focus, a strong and clever heroine, a non-creepy and clever hero... I could go on and on, but I'm just going to say: read this book!
You can read my review here!

Kamala Khan! The girl of the year!
There were a lot of people who thought this incarnation of Ms. Marvel would fail because Kamala is a young woman of colour and a follower of Islam.
They were SO WRONG!
Kamala is one of the cutest, strongest characters in Marvel. She's just so relatable! There are no absent parents, no life-time neglect, no tragic beginnings, no social pariah status, no social butterfly status either. She's just a normal girl, with very concerned and loving parents, a few great close friends, and a passion for writing Wolverine fanfiction.
She's so funny! She takes to heart her religious teachings and uses them to try to make this a better world. How can anyone not fall in love with her?!
You can read my review here!

I'm just so thirsty for anything within The Faerie Rebels/Swift universe!
Ivy is still lovely, and strong, and determined, and fun!
And of course, Martin is still Shakespeare obsessed and prone to theatrical histrionics.
The adventures continue, and all those pesky feelings the character have are kept contained so they can properly angst over them, and we along with them. 

I can't wait for the next one!!!

Read my review here!

I requested this book from Netgalley and the author was kind enough to allow me to read it. 
I have to admit, though I was interested (therefore my request) I'd been a bit... tired of fantasy with its tired tropes and the ever present male gaze describing the world. 
Thankfully, The Bone Road is what I'd call feminist fantasy/sci-fi and omg I loved it.
The book would get 5 stars for the flawless worldbuilding alone, but Holland, not satisfied, added a forbidden love affair, adventure, a dangerous mission, intricate and distinct cultures within the same world...
Read my review here!

 I don't make this comparison lightly, but did you like The Hunger Games? Then you'll like the In the After duology!
The plots are nothing alike, it's true, besides both being dystopias. But the feel of it... you know?
These books did something I absolutely LOVED: the main relationship? It's between two girls who adopted each other as sisters. Boys? Whatever. All Amy cares about is the safety of her sister in the crumbling remains of our world. 
The setting and plot will keep you on the edge of your seat. From their house, locked away from the world, to an internment camp, to a psych ward, to a prison. Amy gets no breaks, but she never gives up on her sister.
Read my reviews here!

Okay, I can't accurately review this book because I'm a little crybaby. 
Do you remember The Ring? That creepy girl climbing out of a well? Turns out that's a common legend across several asian countries. This book explores one such legend and how it flows into our time. 
Okiku, the girl from the well, hunts down child murderers. 
This is the book of creepy children, which is a horror trope I love because it scares the pants right off me. 
So, I don't know, gather your courage and go read it!
You can read my review here!

Yeah, I know this book was Twilight fanfiction. The only thing this makes me feel is ashamed of myself, for had I known this fact I would have missed this amazing book!

I love how Ehd has about 3 lines of dialogue in the whole book but it's so well written that it doesn't matter.
The love story was so sweet! 
And the plot took its time to develop these characters, their world, their trials and tribulations, their love, the happiness and sadness of their life together. ...And the end, omg!
You can read my review here!

When I reviewed this I predicted it would be a great Christmas book and it certainly was, since I've re-read it recently (naughty me, who should have been reading ARCs).
When Bettina's parents have to leave her taking care of her baby sister there is no one who thinks to feed the Nisse living in their barn. Nisse are little gnome-like creatures who need a warm bowl of porridge every year or else they'll get up to mischief around the house.
And the last thing Bettina needs is more trouble!

This is a great book for Middle Schoolers, and for adults who like to read books full of childlike wonder :)

You can read my review here!

These weren't the greatest months, book-wise :(

Who among us has never yearned to own a pet sloth? All of us am I right?!
The little protagonist of this book had to reasearch for the pet who'd be easier to care for and ended up owning a sloth.
But Sparky, the sloth, wasn't like other pets. Sparky didn't play fetch, Sparky didn't perform tricks... 

Sometimes it would be days before Sparky eve woke up at all.

But, learning to appreciate Sparky, our little girl protagonist comes to see that Sparky is the best pet in the world!

See my review here!

Lady Amelia, a bossy and nearly omniscient lady decides it's time to finally find a husband. And what better place to choose one but the Sheffield's Christmas Ball? 
Lord Sheffield, a very organised rake, isn't exactly heartbroken when a lightning strike destroys his ballroom.
He is, however, intrigued by Lady Amelia's attempts to managed his ruined ball until it's the success it's meant to be.

This is a very funny, lighthearted, historical romance!
Go read it!

You can read my review here!

Yes, I have never ever read The Hungry Caterpillar. Until this year, that is.

It was super fun, and I understand how it would be such a success with little kids!

You can read my review here!

Okay, admittedly I marathoned the entire Over the Garden Wall series before reading this, but I suppose it can stand on its own.

Wirt, his little brother Greg, and Greg's multi-named frog get lost in The Unknown: woods full of eccentric characters, animals, towns, several monsters, a few witches, several demoniacally possessed characters, a sarcastic bluebird named Beatrice, and, of course... the BEAST.
This book takes place between the first few episodes, and captures the magic of a darker wonderland the series possesses. 

Read my review here!

And that was it for 2014! I hope I read many more great books in 2015!

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