Let’s get a little personal for a minute…2014 wasn’t the best year for me. In truth, it was actually one of the hardest years of my life, and quite frankly there were moments I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through. It was a year I spent in a long distance relationship (that is, after living together for 5 years, we were forced to live 4 hours apart due to career choices). It was the year I obtained my DREAM JOB, and also the year I lost said DREAM JOB only a month later. It was the year I had to reevaluate everything I had been working toward for years, I was forced to make decisions that nearly had me throwing up from anxiety, but I did it, and am better for it. 2014 was filled with angst and “I don’t think I can do this anymore” moments, but it was also filled with so much love. It was one of those years where it was imperative to surround myself with loved ones who could help carry the burdens I was attempting to shoulder. Those of you who read my blog know that Amy (Tripping Over Books), Brittany (The Book Addict’s Guide) and myself are very close. To be quite honest, I cannot put down in words how much these two have helped me over the past year. They listen to the same stories over and over, always offering encouragement and support. They often offer to Avada Kadavra anyone who is annoying/hurting me and most importantly, they remind me of my strengths. They are quite literally, sunshine on my cloudy days. To come full circle, I will remind you all that the three of us wouldn’t be friends if we had not started blogging, we would not be here as a group to offer you our #samepage feature, and I would be missing an integral part of the person I am today. I feel blessed to have the kind of people in my life who have become soul friends. Despite the darkness of 2014, I look forward to what 2015 will bring.
Now, let’s get into the more bookish stuff, shall we?
Overall favorite book of 2014: This is a hard one, but I think The Lies of Locke Lamora. I will leave you with my initial review: So very good. Incredible, even. It was as if The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Kingkiller Chronicles had a baby. The relationships were some of the best that I have ever read, loyalty at its best. The plot was driven, and interesting, Lynch left clues throughout that made up a very detailed plot. Also it must be said, the language was fantastic! Some may find curses to be vulgar, but let me tell you, The Lies of Locke Lamora is enriched by stellar insults and perfectly timed sailor language. In short, read this book, read it now.
Favorite BAMF: Well I am just getting into the (long) series but I really love Nynaeve and Egwene from The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. They were especially coming into their own in book two, The Great Hunt and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Favorite debut author: Rosamund Hodge. I loved Cruel Beauty so much, the writing and the darkness of the story were all things that spoke to me.
Books with Pictures: Definitely Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. It was GORGEOUSLY illustrated and written and completely an “Alyssa” book.
BFF: I should say BFFs, as in bromances, because Locke and Jean take the cake for this one. I love their friendship immensely!
Most swoon-worthy lad: OH, Jared from The Lynburn Legacy. I loved him so much that upon finishing book one in the series, I immediately picked up the third and fourth.
Biggest disappointment: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Oh, I wish I liked it more, I really do. While I went into this novel preparing myself for overwhelming emotion and heart wrenching characters and what I found was a dull novel filled with characters I couldn’t connect with. I hate that it happened – trust me because it took me ENTIRELY TOO LONG to get through this book – and I wish that I had connected more.
Worth the hype: I would say Jackaby by William Ritter. Jackaby was a fantastic read. So many times we hear comparisons and “this popular fandom meets this other popular fandom” that make you run want to away screaming. Well you can stop running, because Jackaby delivers. The novel was fast paced, and funny, with the perfect amount of mystery and macabre. I read it in one sitting and couldn’t get enough.
Glad I gave it a try: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, you guys know that I am not much of a contemporary fan but I really enjoyed Eleanor & Park so I thought I would give Fangirl a try and I adored it so much. There was so much about this book that hit close to home in good and bad ways and oh boy was Levi oh so swoony!! I shall leave you with this quote: “That moment,” she told Cath, “when you realize that a guy’s looking at you differently—that you’re taking up more space in his field of vision. That moment when you know he can’t see past you anymore.”
Book that had me LOLing: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, I listened to the audiobook and it was hilarious and charming. It is one of those books that you will gain more with each read (or listen) and I can’t wait to listen to the full cast narration very soon!
The kissy bits: There were so many swoons throughout The Lynburn Legacy books, but the swoons that took the cake for me are probably those found in Mortal Heart. The angst and kissy bits between Balthazaar and Annith were just so wonderful.
Favorite new to me genre/book: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, we read this for one of our On the Same Page posts as it is Amy’s favorite and I really enjoyed it! I liked that it had an old school fairytale feel.
Book I wouldn’t have picked up on my own: The Book of Kindly Deaths by Eldritch Black was surprisingly wonderful. It was gothic, and macabre, and all around right up my alley.
Thank you, Netgalley/Edelweiss!: The Unwritten series is one that I would not have picked up had I not seen the crossover between The Unwritten and Fables on NG. I LOVED The Unwritten and pretty much read the entire series in a few weeks!
Non-bookish THINGS that I loved in 2014:
Penny Dreadful: OMG this tv show. It is definitely a niche sort of thing…if you enjoy dark, gothic, and macabre things then you should go watch this show immediately.
Hmm road trips with my bffs! Amy and I DROVE to IL for Brittany’s wedding and it was the BEST TIME EVER! Honestly only solidified our friendship and I can’t tell you how often I had tears from laughter.
Sherlock! Ugh, I love him so. I have already re-watched the series 3 times and am impatiently waiting for season 4. I often call things/people “dull” and refer to my “mind palace” just as Sherlock does…sigh..
Things you may have missed in 2014…
- Through Gals on the Same Page we started a Secret Sister Project, next batch of signups happening very soon!
- Cat Winters and Dan Poblocki guest posted on the blog during our annual Fortnight of Fright celebration this year!
- As a follow up to my ranking of Disney princes, I ranked the Disney villains!
- I participated in the #100happydays project
What’s to come in 2015…
Well, happy memories I hope! But for you guys, keep your eyes peeled for some more reviews – here’s hoping 2015 doesn’t drain me as 2014 did and I am able to keep up with the posting! Also the gals and I have some AMAZING books picked out for our On the Same Page feature! Here’s a hint, we may or may not be reading about a certain fellow named Étienne St. Clair, and a gal names Alanna of Trebond…