Best of Lists

The Half-Year Mark: Best Books of 2014 (so far)

Hello everybody! It is almost July, which means it is that time of year again: time for us to look back at our reviews and list our favourite books of 2014 so far.

Without further ado, we present you with: our Best Books Read, Reviewed and Published in 2014 (so far); our Best Books Read & Reviewed in 2014 (regardless of publication year); and, our Honorable Mentions.

Ana’s Best of 2014

So far this year I have read and reviewed 71 books/stories – there’s been a small decrease in numbers in comparison to previous years but not as much as I was expecting considering how busy I have been. That said, I might have read fewer books than I hoped but I am really happy with the overall quality of what I’ve read: my average rate is 6.9, which is my highest ever (this was probably brought down by the couple of books I either refused to finish or rate because they were so bad – Moon is a Harsh Mistress, I am looking at you). I’ve already got 4 top 10 books, and several wonderful, honorable mentions. This has been an excellent year so far and I am really looking forward to the second half.

Best Books Read, Reviewed and Published in 2014

Cuckoo Song Trading Rosemary

1. Wake by Anna Hope, 9 (Historical Fiction)
2. Trading Rosemary by Octavia Cade, 9 (Science Fiction)
3. The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison, 9 (Fantasy)
4. Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge, 9 (Fantasy)

Best Books Read & Reviewed in 2014 (regardless of publication year)

Dawn 2 Fat Angie

1. The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne M Valente, 8 (Fantasy)
2. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, 9 (Historical Fiction)
3. Lab Rat One by Andrea K Höst, 7 (Science Fiction)
4. Caszandra by Andrea K Höst, 9 (Science Fiction)
5. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina, 8 (Contemporary YA)
6. Selkie Stories Are For Losers by Sofia Samatar, 8 (Fantasy)
7. The Water That Falls On Your From Nowhere by John Chu, 8 (Fantasy)
8. Jaran by Kate Elliott, 8 (Fantasy)
9. Fat Angie by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, 7 (Contemporary YA)
10. Dawn by Octavia E Butler, 9 (Science Fiction)
11. The Waiting Stars by Aliette de Bodard, 8 (Science Fiction)
12. The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, 8 (Science Fiction)
13. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, 9 (Contemporary YA)

Honorable Mentions of 2014

Nightingale's Nest Other Bound

1. Mistwalker by Saundra Mitchell, 8 (Fantasy)
2. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith, 8 (Science Fiction)
3. Nightingale’s Nest by Nikki Loftin, 8 (Science Fiction)
4. The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer, 8 (Contemporary YA)
5. Zero Sum Game by S L Huang, 8 (Science Fiction)
6. A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn, 8 (Fantasy)
7. Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall, 8 (Science Fiction)
8. Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis, 8 (Fantasy)
9. Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour, 7 (Contemporary YA)
10. We Leave Together by J M McDermott, 8 (Fantasy)

Thea’s Best of 2014

This year has been tough for me, work-wise, and I haven’t been able to read and review as much as I would like. That said, I still have 67 reviews under my belt since January 2014 – a feat that makes me pretty proud, all things considered! Of those titles, my average rating is also 6.9 (!), like Ana. Pretty nifty. There are some notable lows, but also some truly great highs – my top 10 of 2014 is already filling out nicely. I cannot wait to see what the second half of the year has in store!

Best Books Read, Reviewed and Published in 2014

The Girl with All the Gifts The Glass Casket

1. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, 8 (Horror)
2. The Martian by Andy Weir, 8 (Science Fiction)
3. Nightingale’s Nest by Nikki Loftin, 8 (Fantasy, MG)
4. The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman, 9 (Fantasy, Horror, YA)
5. The Goblin Emperor by Kate Addison, 8 (Fantasy)
6. Expiration Date by William Campbell Powell, 8 (Science Fiction, YA)
7. Cukoo Song by Frances Hardinge, 9 (Fantasy, Horror, YA)
8. The Bees by Laline Paull, 9 (Speculative Fiction)

Best Books Read & Reviewed in 2014 (regardless of publication year)

The Courtship of Princess Leia (Original) Zahrah the Windseeker

1. Dawn by Octavia Butler, 10 (Science Fiction)
2. Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor, 9 (Fantasy, Science Fiction, MG)
3. Stray by Andrea K Höst, 7 (Science Fiction, YA)
4. Lab Rat One by Andrea K Höst, 8 (Science Fiction, YA)
5. Caszandra by Andrea K Höst, 8 (Science Fiction, YA)
6. The Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverton, 6 (Science Fiction)
7. Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel, 8 (Historical, Fantasy, YA)
8. Golden Girl by Sarah Zettel, 8 (Historical, Fantasy, YA)
9. Jaran by Kate Elliott, 8 (Fantasy, Science Fiction)
10. The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere by John Chu, 8 (Speculative Ficton)
11. The Kairos Mechanism by Kate Milford, 8 (Historical, Fantasy, Horror, MG)

Honorable Mentions of 2014

Bluecrowne Authority

1. Bluecrowne by Kate Milford, 8 (Historical, Fantasy, Horror, MG)
2. Red Rising by Pierce Brown, 7 (Science Fiction, Dystopia)
3. Earth Star by Janet Edwards, 7 (Science Fiction, YA)
4. Bad Luck Girl by Sarah Zettel, 7 (Fantasy, YA)
5. Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall, 8 (Science Fiction, MG)
6. Authority by Jeff VanderMeer, 7 (Horror, Speculative Fiction)

There it is – our lists and favorites of 2014 so far! Now we turn it over to you – what books have YOU read and loved this year? We’ve got 6 months to catch up on any titles that we’ve missed out on so far!

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  • Stephanie Burgis
    June 30, 2014 at 5:28 am

    I loved re-reading JARAN this year, spurred on by your reviews! My favorite new-to-me MG/YA books this year so far have been Rachel Neumeier’s BLACK DOG, Susie Day’s PEA’S BOOK OF HOLIDAYS (the final book in a really wonderful early-MG series – totally charming, delightful & funny & with a lot of diversity, too), and Natasha Farrant’s FLORA IN LOVE (sequel to AFTER IRIS, which was also wonderful). And in adult books, I just finished devouring every single one of Laura Florand’s romances, almost all of which are set either in Parisian chocolateries or in pastry kitchens in Provence. Mmm. (I’ve been eating a LOT of chocolate in response to reading those books!)

  • Cindy
    June 30, 2014 at 6:48 am

    So. Many. Books. No wonder I always yield to the siren’s song of the bookstore after reading your posts!
    My favorites of 2014 so far, regardless of publication year, are “Passion Blue” by Victoria Strauss, an historical YA set in the Italian Renaissance, “Geek Girl” by Holly Smale, which makes me laugh so hard (even in the train..) and the “Slated” trilogy by Teri Terry – the second book was incredible. Thank you for all your recommendations!

  • Camilla
    June 30, 2014 at 7:24 am

    What a wonderful, but dangerous list! I’ve now had to add another 20 books to my already sky-high TBR mountain ?
    My favourite books this year so far (regardless of publication date) are The Wasp Factory (disturbing and brilliant), Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, World After (can’t wait for the next installment!) and The Girl With all the Gifts (for all the reasons you’ve already mentioned) ?

  • hapax
    July 1, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Hmm. Favorite of this year so far? In addition to GOBLIN EMPEROR and CREATURE OF MOONLIGHT (already on your lists) I’d definitely cite Leah Cypess’s DEATH SWORN and Eleanor Glewwe’s SPARKERS.

    Oh, and have you read Edward Carey’s HEAP HOUSE? Definitely *not* my usual thing — pseudo-Dickensian middle-grade Gothic and incredibly creepy — but I kept thinking that this a definite candidate for Smuggling. And I loved it despite myself; thrilling and at times hilarious and the prose is just gloriously over the top.

  • hapax
    July 1, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Well, I definitely seemed definite in my last comment!

  • Ana
    July 2, 2014 at 3:51 am

    So many recommendations! Thank you, all

    Hapax – That’s great about Heap House, I’ve held that book SO MANY TIMES, every time I see it at the book store, now I will actually get it the next time I see it.

  • Joshua Lee
    July 19, 2014 at 11:50 am

    You’ve bumped up my reading list some with this. Thank you for the recommendations 🙂
    My favorite this year has been S. R . Howen’s Medicine Man II from the series. I find that I am often disappointed by sequels in a series but this really was a wonderfully written novel with impressive attention to detail and great character depth. I am fast becoming a big fan of Howen. In the paranormal genre I don’t think I have read anything better. Well worth the time to read up on some reviews.

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