Wednesday, December 31

My Favorite Books of 2014

It's New Year's Eve! We're only hours away from 2015. Did anybody else feel like this year went by pretty fast?

So, I thought I'd go ahead and give a totally biased favorites post about the best books published this year for each age group (teen, middlegrade, kids, early readers, and picture books). The choices aren't based on any awards they should win or professional critique, just pure and simple favoritism.

And if you trust my opinion, you may just like these, too.

Teen Favorite

Sarah J. Maas
(9781619630659, Bloomsbury)

"I wish I could write the way Maas writes, because I don't see how I'll be able to properly convey the way I feel about these books. This. This book. It's like....I forget where I am. Maas puts me in a world so richly depicted, in the head of a character so deeply's amazing. It's agonizing! Yet, I LOVE it. Because the talent required to do that is phenomenal." (See rest of original review here)

The third in the series. The series that has won me over wholly and completely. I just love them! Heir of Fire wasn't necessarily my favorite book in the series, but it is EASILY my favorite YA book published this year. I had some other good ones, like Kiss of Deception and On the Fence, but really. No competition.

Middle Grade Favorite

Sheila Turnage
(9780803736719, Kathy Dawson Books)

"I love this book. A positively chilling ghost story, but with enough humor to make me laugh out loud. Like, a lot. Have I mentioned that I love this book? The southern wit, amazing characters, and intriguing mystery—just like Turnage's first book—make it a favorite." (See rest of original review here)

A bit stiffer competition in this category, what with Brown Girl Dreaming, Rain Reign, and A Snicker of Magic drawing each five-star reviews. But really, I love that Ghosts could get me laughing, problem-solving, and sentimentalizing all in one book. I just love those characters! The second in the series, and both are AMAZING.

Kids Favorite

Herman Parish, Lynne Avril
(9780062095060, Greenwillow)

"I grew up on Amelia (who didn't?) and was excited for this new Amelia character. Turns out: she's even better! Mr. Parish takes a dash of the literal-understanding old housekeeper and adds the adorable precociousness of a kid to create a hilarious, outgoing, lovable Amelia Bedelia." (See rest of original review here)

To be honest, my favorite favorite kids books that I read this year weren't published in 2014. So I had to look a bit harder. The new Amelia Bedelia chapter books are always going to be a favorite. They're a perfect evolution form the original Amelia with just the right amount of humor and believability. I did also love Princess in Black for it's kick-butt action paired with perfect princess tranquility (but it does skew younger). And other close favorites included a variety of poetry (If It Rains Pancakes, Ode to the Commode, and M is for Monster).

Early Reader Favorite

Mo Willems
(9781423199571, Disney-Hyperion)

"I think I have a new favorite Elephant & Piggie. Not necessarily because of the way it's written but because of personal preference. See, I think Piggie's surprise is the best thing in the whole universe, so I was a fan the minute I finished the book." (See rest of original review here)

Surprise! Elephant and Piggie! Yes, if you know me, Elephant and Piggie will win everytime. But this one, the newest one, might actually really be my most favorite yet. It's a bit more sentimental for me...*sniffle*. And it still teaches a valuable lesson in patience. Just genius. Fix This Mess and the new Pete the Cat were pretty good, too.

Picture Book Favorite

Richard T. Morris, Tom Litchenheld
(9780316213608, Little, Brown)

"It’s hilarious. And you know how much I love hilarious picture books. The subtle jokes, the overall comedic plot line…it's just so good! Plus the illustrations are also fantastic, and fit well with the story. They’re done in a color pastel that adds the perfect amount of texture to this story in the woods. Besides the funny-ness, and pretty-ness, it is actually an educational look into movie making" (See rest of original review here)

K, this one was really hard. Like, really really. So many amazing new ones just this fall! And a new one from Peter Brown and HervĂ© Tullet. But you know....This is a Moose was just plain fun. I became better acquainted with the work of Tom Litchenheld. I read it in storytime and to my husband and over and over. And I just think I like it best. Hard to put my finger on it... It's just plain great.

So yeah, completely biased, but hey, that's the whole point behind favorites! What's your favorite book from this year?

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