By Ashley Chan
2014 has finally come to an end, bringing us to the best opportunity to recap on the books that kept us shuddering in anticipation and craving for more. Based on the top 100 bestsellers of 2014 from Barnes & Nobles, The Goodreads Choice Awards 2014, and a few book based Youtubers, like Katytastic and polandbananasBOOKS, here are the literary highlights of 2014.
Starting with the fiction category, Landline by Rainbow Rowell is based on the story of an old married couple, Geogrie and Neal. The book proves that romance at any age can be charming, hilarious, and especially raw as readers felt the hardship of love. Another thrilling fiction novel is Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter. The novel’s central theme is that life, as a general rule, is not beautiful, but that shouldn’t discourage people from trying to live life to the fullest anyway.
Moving along to the second category, the Young Adult section, the novel We Were Liars by E. Lockhart has demonstrated the addictive nature of sadness, as well as the endurance of friendship amidst the temptation of lies. The novel, I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson is a roller coaster of emotions. Bright. funny, and heart crushingly real, the novel ties romance, family bonds, trust issues, loss and betrayal all into one.
The third category in the Best Books of 2014 is Humor, Amy Poehler, the author of Yes Please making a particular mark on the year. Not only is Poehler a hilarious comedian, but a genuine writer as she connects with her readers through the trials and tribulation of friendship, love, and parenthood.
Now, for one of the most popular genre teenagers read these days, Young Adult Fantasy and Sci-Fi Fiction. The novel, City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare is a bulky 725 page read on top of being the last installment of the six book series, The Mortal Instruments. Many have patiently been waiting for Clare to release the last installment, and she did not fail to deliver quite the finale. It was filled with action, agonizing romance, rocky friendships and alliances, heart-stopping scenes that either made your blood boil with anger or made your heart erupt into millions of pieces from all of the character interactions. It certainly made sure to tie all loose ends.
The next book on this list is part of The Starbound Trilogy. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner is a Sci-fi fantasy novel involving a treacherous journey through a whole other planet. Most of the book was a survival story, which was praised for being original and authentic. It was a great start to a trilogy, setting the stage for the next tumultuous installments.
The novel Four by Veronica Roth felt more like a short collection of stories binded by a cover. People recognize Roth as the author of The Divergent Trilogy, with Four being her fourth book of the series, but you don’t need to read the trilogy to read this book. Four works as a stand alone novel which is told from the point of view of the charismatic instructor and love interest to the main protagonist. Veronica writes about Four’s origins, and the novel provides all the background information you couldn’t get from the trilogy which unravels the mystery behind Four’s character.
Of course there are a ton of other books from 2014 that were amazing, but these are just a few that topped the charts. Some honorable mentions include Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Mass, the third installment of the Throne of Glass series. Briefly, this series is centered on the brutal, powerful assassin Celaena who seeks to avenge the death of her friend, but gets trapped in a whirlwind of obstacles. Next is Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins, a light-hearted book about a southern girl living a life dedicated to homecoming and winning pageants with a twist as Harper, the protagonist has a change in destiny where she becomes a bodyguard with enhanced agility, super strength, and lethal fighting techniques that’s going to be used to help protect her least favorite person in the world, David Stark, the school reporter. That’s it for the Best Books of 2014, all of which are recommended and pave the path for a fresh start in the new year.