Saturday, November 22, 2014

#BookBlogWriMo - Day 20 - #TBT - Best Books of 2014

So this is going to be a difficult blog post for me. I don't keep track of my "best books." I don't make lists like that. I also don't frequently have the problem of not being able to get into a new story because I'm stuck in an old one, which would likely qualify that book for a top books list like this is supposed to be. The best thing I can do here, is to look at my Goodreads ratings, and decide from there what the best books of 2014 were for me. At the moment, I don't know how many I'm going to include, but it will probably not be an even number.

*Update* Just went through my "read" books list on Goodreads, and selected my top 18 books, so it is an even number, but not divisible by 10. Looking at the list, most of my top books were read simply for my pleasure and not the blog. So here we go!

Number 18 - Fae - The Wild Hunt by Graham Austin-King - In spite of only receiving four stars from me (too many typos for the book size), this was one of my definite stand out books of the year. "For me it was a lot like A Game of Thrones, but with more mythical creatures." Full Review

Number 17 - Underestimated by Jettie Woodruff - This felt like a monster of a book, coming in at just under 600 pages, but it was gripping the whole way through. This was one of those books where I loved the story, but hated one of the main characters. "It was incredibly well written and put me in Morgans shoes throughout the book." Full Blog Review

Number 16 - Intractable Souls by Tricia Daniels - This was another big book at a little over 500 pages (please don't think I'm complaining about book size because I really love big books, I've just grown accustomed to romance novels being a bit on the shorter side.) So sexy Irishman, need I say more? Honestly, this book was wonderfully written with relatable characters. "It made me laugh with the sharp sarcastic wit, it made me frustrated when the characters fought against what was so obviously supposed to happen, it made me happy when things finally started to go right, and it made me want to throw my Kindle when things got all messed up." Full Review

Number 15 - Spritzerville...Ohio? by Jason R. Koivu - This is the only other book that made the list in spite of only receiving four stars from me (again, too many typos for the size of the book). This book is hilariously absurd. "I imagine this is what The Hobbit would be like if it had been written by Douglas Adams." Full Review

Number 14 - Wind Warrior by Jon Messenger (Currently FREE) - Wind Warrior led me to think of things outside of the realm of the story itself, and I find that to be a great characteristic in a book. "I found the basic idea behind this story to be very intriguing, that there are select supernatural castes of people sent to the Earth to see it through specific phases of development." Full Review

Number 13 - Backward Compatible by Pete Clark and Sarah Daltry - I'm a bit of a nerd and am a gamer in the sense that I will play Mario Bros. 3 on the original Nintendo until the wee hours of the morning (unfortunately I just can't handle the number of buttons on current gaming system controllers. I'm getting old). "It had me laughing out loud, a lot, even when I didn't really get the references." Full Review

Number 12 - The Gathering: Book 1 in the Lia Fail Chronicles by S.L. Dearing - This was another long book coming in at just under 500 pages, and it has a big cast of characters, but they are fairly easy to keep straight for the most part. "If you took Divergent, A Game of Thrones, and The Stand and smushed them together, you would get The Gathering." Full Review

Number 11- 'Twas the Night by Robin Reed - This book falls at number 11 simply because it was a novella and because this ranking my favorite books thing is getting harder and harder. Really, it's for the birds. Honestly, I do not understand how other people do it. Back on topic. "Even though this novella is only about 35,000 words, it had humor, suspense, mystery, action, and horror, all woven together in an almost perfect little satirical Christmas story package." Full Blog Review

Number 10 - The Trials of Hercules: Book 1 in the Osteria Chronicles by Tammie Painter - People always say that history repeats itself. What if that were literally true and after the apocalypse or whatever happens the Greek Gods returned to Earth to start us over? That is part of what Ms. Painter has imagined in The Trials of Hercules. "I am really looking forward to reading more about the world of Osteria, and would definitely recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good action packed mythical story." Full Review

Number 9 - Donners of the Dead by Karina Hall - I won this book twice in different giveaways sponsored by Karina Hall prior to it's release because I wanted to win a copy so badly that I entered every giveaway I found for it on Facebook, and the odds apparently were in my favor. This fictionalized account of what REALLY happened to the Donner party when they were trapped in the Sierra Nevadas was quite comical, and made a certain amount of sense. "This tale of almost terror had me hooked from the title because of my thing for zombie books, and movies, and plant based iPad apps." Full Blog Review

Number 8 - Objective by K. Larsen - I read this book back at the beginning of April, so details are a little fuzzy now, but I can say without a doubt that this book made me a K. Larsen fan. Honestly I'm ashamed of myself for not finding the time to read any other K. Larsen books yet this year. The characters have amazing depth while being completely relatable (at least to an extent). "This book has action, suspense, a surprise twist, and a little bit of romance just for good measure. " Full Blog Review

Number 7 - Seconds Before Sunrise by Shannon A. Thompson - This is the second book in Shannon A. Thompson's YA Timely Death Trilogy, and rather than clearing up questions that I had at the end of Minutes Before Sunset, it added to them. This book made me second guess my suspicions and had me constantly thinking. "I love how this series makes me really think and play detective while I'm reading instead of making everything obvious." Full Blog Review

Number 6 - Good Side of Sin by K.S. Haigwood - Very early on in our blogging days, Courtney and I read Save my Soul (FREE) and Hell's Gift for the blog and they were both excellent and compelling stories. Going into Good Side of Sin, I had my doubts that Ms. Haigwood could maintain the momentum that she built in the first two books of the series. I'm happy to say that she surpassed my expectations. "This book had me hooked from the beginning and only the threat of facing the Syde of Sloth in the afterlife was enough to get me to put it down to do my daily housework." Full Review

Number 5 - Fly Like You've Never Been Grounded by S.J. McCoy - This romance is on the sweeter side, which is how I like them. "I loved the dialogue between the characters, especially Smoke and Laura. It was realistically witty, not feeling forced or unnatural like the author was just trying to make us chuckle." Full Blog Review

Number 4 - The Bondage Club by Alexandrea Weis - You know how they say you should never judge a book by it's cover? This book is the reason why. The book you think you're going to get based on the cover is not the book you actually receive, it's actually better in my opinion. "With a title like The Bondage Club, you know there are going to be at least a few sex scenes. Most of these were hilariously awkward and they help to bring to light a little known problem sweeping the nation since 50 Shades of Grey made it's epic debut." Full Blog Review

Number 3 - Destiny's Wings by D.S. Schmeckpeper - This epic fantasy novel was a nice break for me from the romance that I find myself drowning in for the blog (please remember that romance is not my favorite genre although I do still enjoy it). It's also a great debut novel for D.S. Schmeckpeper. While it's in the epic fantasy genre, it has a strong romantic storyline as well, that's just not the focus. "I thought the characters were really well developed, I loved the relationships between them, I appreciate that the author wasn't afraid to kill off some favorites because it's just too unrealistic for all the good guys to survive when there's fighting and stuff." Full Review

Number 2 - Rival by Penelope Douglas - I don't think it's a secret that I'm a huge Penelope Douglas fan. I believe I have mentioned that she is the reason that I read indie books now after all, and until she publishes a book that just completely disappoints me on all levels, I will continue to be one of her biggest fans. So it should be no surprise that Rival made this list. "I cried on three separate occasions, and I'm not normally a crier." Full Review

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for (or possibly the moment that you have skipped ahead to because this is a rather long blog post). The book that narrowly beat out all the other books on my list to gain the Number 1 spot for 2014.

Number 1 - Taste Test by L.B. Dunbar - Taste Test is a modern twist on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, where a female is the beast, and a male is the beauty. That alone is enough to intrigue me since Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney movies. But beyond that, I feel like I really connected with both main characters almost on a visceral level. "The story flowed smoothly with enough mystery to keep me firmly hooked, wanting to know what would happen next and if Ethan and Ella would ever find a happily ever after." Full Blog Review

So there you have it. My top 18 reads of 2014 because I like to be different. So what have been your top reads this past year? - Katie


  1. OMG Thank you for the wonderful list. Three of my favorites are on it. I PA for one and review for the other two. Congratulations to everyone, especially my pals, Tricia Daniels, Alexandrea Weis and LB Dunbar!! Well deserved!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing Seconds Before Sunrise. I am honored, and I am also excited by this list for all the great novels I will have to check out now. :]

  3. What a HUGE honor to be included in your list...and thanks for plenty of other great suggestions to add to my To-Read pile.