Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: This feels like a no-brainer. I joined in with the Isla Is Coming Readalong, hosted by some of my favorite bloggers, and gave this companion series a shot. I didn’t like the old covers and would always pass them by in the store (ahem, what does that say about judging books by covers). Once they upgraded the covers and I saw this readalong, I had to get going. I am so happy I did! Anna was hands-down my favorite book of the year (even though it wasn’t published in 2014). It’s just the cutest, swooniest, fluffiest contemporary I’ve ever read and I’m so so glad I did.
Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke: This is definitely my favorite book published in 2014. The minute I read the synopsis, I knew I’d love it. It’s just a LAUREN book. Multiple universes created every time you make a decision? That’s literally my favorite thing to talk about ever since I saw that episode of So Weird. It was really well-executed and explained in the coolest way – awesome world-building. I absolutely can’t wait for the second book to come out next year!
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: The COVER of this book, though. Come on. Gorgeous. I am a big fan of Jenny Han (hehe) so this was a must-read for me. This actually is also the first book I read as an e-book and then bought the hardcover because it was so amazing and pretty. I used to think buying multiple copies of books was stupid, until I became a book blogger. ANYWAYS this book was perfection. The characters were amazing, the story was adorable, the boys were cute – win, win, win. I desperately need the second book like yesterday.
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally: Even though this is the first book in the companion series set in Hundred Oaks, I read this one second. I can’t believe it took me SO long to read a book centered around football. It’s my favorite thing ever. I loved the characters in this book, especially Jordan and Henry. I smiled my head off throughout the book as Jordan interacted with her family and teammates, talked about football, and found who she really was. It was amazing, guys.
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson: Ahhhh, this book. I definitely cried a few times. It was a really family-oriented story that will certainly break your heart. Their family grew and changed so much over the course of the summer; the character development was stellar. Of course it also had some friendship and romance aspects to it, but the bottom line is about family coming back together when it matters most. This book made me laugh, cry, highlight MANY quotes, and really appreciate my family/life.
Aspen by Rebekah Crane: This was a surprise, under-the-radar hit for me. This was one of the first books I got approved for on NetGalley and I’m so glad I decided to read it. Out of all of these books, I think Aspen had my favorite cast of characters. Her and her friends were so funny! Aspen was so fun to get to know and I really wanted to crawl inside the book and become friends with them. She had a unique dynamic with her hippie, pot-smoking mother, that was really fun to read. This book strayed away from the predictable and definitely stands out as a favorite for me.
Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally: Yep, she makes it on here twice. I originally planned on staying away from this book because I really hate running… but then all of the fabulous reviews came in. I had to give it a shot. It was a GREAT book for audio because the narrator’s voice really captured the feelings of Annie. It had an amazing slow burn romance, getting over the grief and guilt of losing someone, and building/re-building friendships. Annie was a lovely character who we got to see grow so much. The book took place between the end of her senior year and the beginning of college. It felt well-paced and flowed nicely.
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty: One of the few adult books I read this year really blew me away. I absolutely loved the way this story came together through multiple perspectives. My favorite kinds of stories include multiple characters lives who intertwine and the reader slowly learns how. It was a nice balance between funny and sad, happy and heartbreaking. I really loved Moriarty’s style of writing. The epilogue is an absolute KILLER that blows your mind. She’s an auto-buy for me now.
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver: This book will hold a special place in my heart because it’s really one of the books that made me decide to write a book blog. I had just started getting back into reading and wanted to see how others felt about this book. Anyways, the concept of this story was REALLY cool and well-executed. I definitely cried during this one too. I stayed up very late reading this book, which was uncommon for me at the time, because I really couldn’t wait to see what happened next. The main character “lives” seven more of the same day after she dies and tries to make things right. It was a story of “mean girl reformed” in the best way possible. I’m sensing a reread next year.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: Definitely out of my comfort zone, Gone Girl definitely blew me away. Every chapter ended with something crazy happening and kept me reading like nobody’s business. You can’t say too much about this book without giving everything away, but it was an absolutely wild ride. The movie adaptation was great too!