Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Racquel's 2014 Favorite Books

2014 was the year of A LOT of highs and a lot of lows, which in my opinion are not books that I despised, but the meh books who I immediately forgot one second after I finish them. 2014 was also the year of historical romance and western romance and that's only because I read so many amazing contemporary YA books back to back at the beginning of the year and burnt myself out and had to switch genres. Historical romance has long sharp claws because once I start a historical romance, I won't stop reading historical romance until 20 books later. But most importantly, 2014 was the year of THE BOOK. Yeah, the book that set my favorite books list on fire and claimed EVERY SPOT. This book: 

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas: favorite book, boom. Done. We can all go home now. I 10000% hesitate to put Dangerous Girls on the list because it's not a "favorite". It's a "all time, to infinity and beyond favorite, I will be buried with this book along with what I treasure most in life: Blue-Eyed Devil, Nutella, and my favorite red lipstick". There are only two books and a chapter on that list: Blue-Eyed Devil, Dangerous Girls and the last chapter of What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long. Yeah, it is not easy to get on the list. Books like this only come every few years if not more. Dangerous Girls is a psychological thriller mystery and it's not my favorite because it gave me one of the biggest shocks of my life but because the entire journey of learning who killed Elise is fascinating and you don't read this book just to get to the end but the whole story captivates you. PLUS, it's a double mystery: who killed Elise? What will happen to Anna? This book is a true gem. 

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCaffetry: JESSICA DARLING! MAAARCUS! Y'all were right, this series is the best. Jessica Darling is the best. MARCUS FLUTIE is the best. This book encompasses why I love contemporary YA. If you're one of the few left who haven't started this series, what are you waiting for? It's funny and it's realistic. Win!

There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos: Out of Reach by Arcos was in my top faves 2 years ago and I didn't have a doubt her next book would also be on here. Thanks for always making me cry, Carrie. Mark, lost his twin sister in a car accident and now he has to move forward without his twin. Arcos' portrayal of Mark's grief, high school, and just LIFE, is so so so candid and one of the reasons she's one of my favorite authors even though I've only read 2 books by her (I need to love at least 3 or 4 books by an author to call them a favorite!). If you are a contemporary YA fan, you must read Carrie Arcos.

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway: It's 2014 and I finally read this book! and I loved it! I would never doubt y'all again. It was cray cray but in the best way possible that even seemed realistic. Because while the situation and plot are 1-in-a-million, the character's are so real and their reactions are so authentic. Once again, this is the type of book that reminds why contemporary YA is my favorite ever. 

The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt: VEGAS! Cutest dialogue ever ever ever. I put sticky notes on practically every page of the book because I LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT it which I was not expecting AT ALLLL.

Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt: has all my favorite things: alternating POV between the girl and guy, set in 24 hours, and even though I HATE plots that rely super heavily on misunderstandings (and this one is 100% misunderstandings), it was so well done here! It's not just a fun book but its also such good portrayal of the stereotype of cliques. 
Audacious by Gabrielle Prendengast: this is an awesome, amazing, bold verse YA novel. Diversity peeps, read it! It's a Racquel book through and through because its pretty bold plus the heroine is for sure a "challenging" main character. Meaning, MY FAVORITE.

Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil: magic word: this is Aussie YA. Do you need to hear more? Are you already in love with this geeky, nardtastic book?

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes: realistic heroine... can I get a holler up in here OR WHAT? Lainey is judgmental, enclosed in a tiny bubble of her high school group of people and Stokes portrayal Lainey's growth from a shallow 17 year old to one who's aware of others around her REALLY SPOT ON. Plus Micah. Micah, y'all. M-I-C-A-H.

Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols: I HIGHLIGHTED in the book. I took a highlighter and put it down to the page. When sex positive statements come at you, YOU MUST HIGHLIGHT THEIR GLORY! Jennifer Echols, you're the queen.

Hard Time by Cara McKenna: I've said this already but I'll repeat it for the fiftieth time: the hero is in prison and the heroine is a librarian who meets said hero in prison. How delicious is that set up? Of course I was going to love Hard Time

Love, In English by Karina Halle: If like my books served in one flavor, that flavor would be FUCKED THE FUCK UP and that is Love, In English. So yeah, I hearted Vera and Mateo big time.

When Harry Met Molly by Kieran Kramer: probably the most unexpected book on this favorite list. I went into this book hoping I'll at the very least tolerate but I did not expected to laugh out loud and be completely charmed by rakes and their mistresses!

Silk is for Seduction by Loretta Chase: R-E-S-P-E-C-T! The hero respected the heroine and what she does! What is this miracle?! Okay the respect came when they grew to know each other but STILL! It was glorygloryglorious.

Slightly Married by Mary Balogh: love me some arranged marriage!

The Unexpected Duchess by Valerie Bowman: I never wanted it to end. I was actually DREADING its ending. Delightful has never applied to a book more than now. Utterly charming and its why I love Miranda. She always recommends books I'll love.

The Magic of You by Johanna Lindsey: I was in the mood for a May-December romance and I came across The Magic of You. Best. Discovery. Ever. The heroine spends the entire book wooing the hero and it was HILARIOUS to witness. What an original take on a romance.

Nicholas by Grace Burrowes: Darius is my first Grace Burrowes book and it really didn't blow me away. But it was a unique book which made me pick up another Burrowes and thank god for that because my heart was SO HAPPY while reading this!

The Heir by Grace Burrowes: after Nicholas made it to my favorite list, I tried my luck again with Burrowes with Th Heir and what would you know... another win!

Eyes of Gold, Eyes of SilverBeautiful Bad Man, and Without Words: these are historical western romance and the take slow burn to the next level. There is nothing I like more than slow burn and Ellen O'Connell is easily my favorite western romance writer and I'll never tire of her books!
Julie Anne Long is in the impossible to break to "not even death will do us apart" favorite books list so DUUUH! the three new-to-me books by her I read in 2014 are new favorites. And I've already reread them too. Duh.

How the Marquess was Wonthis is book 6, after What I Did for a Duke, meaning I was expecting to hate it because WHAT can live up to the gloriousness of The Best Historical Romance Ever Written*? But I should have known to not doubt Julie Anne Long, Rockstar Historical Authors who gives the best a run for their money. I daresay that Julie Anne long is up there with her Majesty Lisa Kleypas as historical romance queen. RESPECT.

It Happened One Midnight wow that paragraph of a love letter and I have two more to rave about! Lets do this: Miles Redmond *might* be my favorite Pennyroyal Green hero and I dismissed his younger brother Jonathan as being disappointing but I'm only human and once again doubted JAL's greatness for always and forever delivering The Best That The Historical Romance Genre Has to Offer. I like my books quiet and subtle but It Happened One Midnight  was quite an adventure and I loved every second of it. Tommy was a rockstar and JAL made me love Jonathan with the same intensity that I love Miles. 

Between the Devil & Ian & EverseaI learned my lesson by the time Ian rolled around so I knew JAL would deliver another historical romance that rivals the best of them and I WAS RIGHT. Plus this is Ian Eversea! Of course I wanted to see the rascal who set the events that created The Best Historical Romance Ever Written into motion, become a hero.

*What I Did for a Duke! Have you not been paying attention?!
Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan: I picked Warprize on a whim after I came across it for the first time and saw that it had a lot of positive reviews. Thank god for whims because I ended up reading one of the most delicious romances out there.

The Star Thief by Jamie Grey: SPACE! CRIMINALS! SEX POSITIVE! BAD ASSERY! I WEEP TEARS OF JOY! My love for this book is OUT OF THE WORLD. Which is fitting considering where its set...

The Fiery HeartSilver Shadows by Richelle Mead. ADRIAN IVASHKOV. SYDNEY SAGE. THE OTP OF OTPS!!!! My true favorite of the two is The Fiery Heart, which is now my second favorite of the series after The Indigo Spell. Silver Shadows ranks third but its a favorite because omg REASONS. I read these back to back and they put me in a reading slump that lasted 4 months. When I read The Ruby Circle, I will be ruined forever. Y'all, if I'm asked at gun point, I will dare and say Adrian Ivashkov is my #1 YA book boyfriend. I KNOW, big claim but it's 4:30 in the morning and I love him that much!

Written in Red by Anne Bishop: I really shouldn't like this book because its fantasy, it has a lot of world building, not a whole lot of romance, too many POVs but I absolutely never wanted to end. What an amazing world Anne Bishop has created!

Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost: the audiobook is AMAZEBALLS. I love audiobooks and best place to listen to them is on my drive to school but that means sacrificing my EDM time which is really hard for me to do because EDM is what makes me happy, I HAD to listen to Halfway to the Grave at every moment! I would even arrive to school and set in the basement of the parking garage because I didn't want to turn the book off. Cat is a badass, Bones is a hottie... I LOVE IT.

Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay: if this book is not in your life and your favorite list, then you've FAILED. It's super imaginative with amazing writing, characters and the romance KILLS. This book should have a cult following.

So these are A LOT of favorites but I did start around 150 books so having 32 favorites is only 20% of what I read! Plus I read 3 different categories, adult, NA, and YA AND a million genres like historical, contemporary, western, paranormal, dystopian! So of course, my list of favorites is long.

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