Last year, was a fairly strong reading year for me. I read 100 books, 10 of which were rereads. I read more broadly than I have in the past, spending more time browsing the adult fiction shelves and reading outside my comfort zone. I also spent a lot more time reading for me instead of reading because I felt I had to for work or a committee or a book club. It was liberating, and I hope to continue the trend in 2015.
Since I did read so much more adult fiction than I usually do, I have split my list in half. Without further ado, here are my top five favorite adult fiction titles and top five favorite YA fiction titles.
1) Written in Red and Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop - I have loved Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy for years, but put off reading this until December, when I finally caved to peer pressure. I’m glad I did because this is urban fantasy at its best.
2) Night Broken and Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs - The Mercy Thompson series continues to be one of my favorites, and 2014 brought two new additions: a novel and a book of short stories. I loved both, although Night Broken did break my heart a little. And, since Shifting Shadows came out on my birthday, it was the perfect gift to myself!
3) The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, aka J.K. Rowling - These were, by far, the best audiobooks I listened to in 2014. Robert Glenister’s narration is absolutely perfect and I repeatedly found myself so engrossed by the story that I would just lay in my bed, listening. I need more Cormoran Strike novels, now!
4) Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover - My New Adult experience is pretty minimal, but surely this is one of the best out there. So many swoon-worthy moments in this book! And the soundtrack is definitely one of my favorite CDs from 2014.
5) Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James - The best Simone St. James novel so far. I was completely captivated from start to finish.
Young Adult Fiction:
1) Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour - This was a beautiful novel about first love and new love. It was also a refreshing addition to the LGBTQ genre in that it didn’t focus on coming out, but on living.
2) Cinder and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer - I had been waiting to read these until the last book came out, but a book club I co-host read it in December. I never did make it through the plodding tome that is Cress, but these first two books are fantastic. The fairy tale aspect is well-written, the heroines are multi-faceted, and Prince Kai and Wolf are so dreamy.
3) For Darkness Shows the Stars and Across the Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund - Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel, so I’m actually surprised I didn’t start this series sooner. Peterfreund’s world building in each novel is so startlingly unique and fascinating. I would give the edge to the first novel, but both are fantastic.
4) Winger by Andrew Smith - This book played with my emotions in a cruel, cruel way, but I loved it anyway.
5) The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas - I put off reading this one for a long while because I wasn’t in the mood for such a long book. (Sometimes, I’m a little lazy.) But it was so well-written, creative, and fast-paced that it hardly felt like it was long enough. I can’t wait to see what else Thomas does with this world she’s created.
Venetia by Georgette Heyer
The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Easy by Tammara Webber
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf