Monday, December 29, 2014

Best of 2014: Paranormal Perfection and Sci Fi Superlatives

HOW ARE WE SO CLOSE TO 2015? Je refuse. Je demande a redo. Fetch me my Time Turner and TWIST. But then, there were a lot of great reads in 2014, and I would hate to go back in time and un-read them.

My favorite paranormal reads of 2014:

Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
Gillian's pitch: Series ender full of kissing, heartbreak, banter, heartbreak, magicks, heartbreak, sacrifice, and HEARTBREAK
"Hello, I just read this book that ripped me to shreds and sloughed off 23 years worth of emotional armor and left me cold and shivering and vulnerable and in the fetal position. Here read it."

Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard
Gillian's pitch: Series ender full of kissing, heartbreak, zombies, heartbreak, Egypt, heartbreak, moral grey areas, and HEARTBREAK

Burn Bright by Bethany Frenette
Gillian's pitch: Can you guys just PLEASE read this series? It has demons and superheroes and a cute ship and fabulous friendship and CAN YOU JUST. READ IT?

Bloodlines and assorted sequels by Richelle Mead
Gillian's pitch: Adrian. Fucking. Ivashkov. Sydrian. Adrian and Sydney. Adrian... doing things. Being Adrian. Adrianing about whilst Adrian.

Frostbite and Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
Gillian's pitch: These were my two favorite books in the Vampire Academy series, which I also crazy loved... but (unpopular opinion) my heart truly belongs to Bloodlines (and to Sydrian). NOT THAT I DIDN'T FREAK OUT READING ALL OF VAMPIRE ACADEMY IN ABOUT... OH, A WEEK. I forgot how to sleep/eat/breathe/person.

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker
Gillian's pitch: The swamp. Eats. People. There's magical realism, then just straight up magic, Southern Gothic goodness, and prose you want to eat with a spoon.
This book is the definition of "atmospheric" and I loved it to pieces.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Gillian's pitch: Flawless Book, Book Flawless

Between the Spark and the Burn by April Genevieve Tucholke
Gillian's pitch: I can't exactly put my finger on why these books work for me, but they say do. I think the sequel addressed a whole bunch of issues present in the first, there was a suuuuuper cute boy, the WRITING, the creepies, the atmosphere--yes please.

And now, my favorite science fiction reads of 2014:

Ignite Me by Taherah Mafi
Gillian's pitch: Okay, so obviously I don't need to sell you on this series, but this book was like a big delicious GIFT of Warner Juliette empowerment Warner and hot scenes and Kenjiness and sure it's not perfect but Warner and hot scenes and Juliette empowerment and Kenji like what else do I need in life

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
Gillian's pitch: I binge-read this entire series wayyyyy back in last December/January. Seriously, three books and two novellas in three days. ROAR. ARIA. THE EVERYTHING. OH BOOK HOW I LOVE YOU.

Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis
Gillian's pitch: Though I rated this three stars, this sci fi Snow White was pure entertainment, super cute, very voicey, and totally funny. I just can't resist redux fairy tales.


  1. I'm glad you put Burn Bright on here. I was really upset when I heard that they were only releasing the third one in that series via ebook-not because I don't have an ebook, but because I'm sort of OCD about having a complete physical set. Seriously, that series is so underrated.

    Loved all your other picks too. I sort of did the same thing with Stitching Snow gave it an iffy rating, but it ended up being one of the better books I read this quarter in retrospect.

  2. Bloodlines and Sydrian owned me more than Vampire Academy did, as well. Surprisingly, because while I enjoyed Adrian in VA, he didn't completely own me until I finished with the that series. And Ignite me! Yes I loved Juliette in that one and Kenji and Warner and you're right what else is there to need?! Nothing. I've only read Cinder so far but it is my goal to finish up the next two with the new year. >.< I'm excited for both Scarlet and Cress!

  3. I am still so disappointed that I have not yet read Stitching Snow! arg!

  4. I LOVED Strange and Ever After, too, but yeah *so much heartbreak*!!!!! Also, the cover of Stitching Snow is beautiful!

  5. Unmaaaade!!! I still need to read Strange and Ever After... I don't know why I didn't dive right in because now I've forgotten so many details about the first two books. Bother. Burn Bright was so awesome! Very underrated series, I can't wait for Fire Fall in a week. BLLB BLLB BLLB BLLB BLLB. I didn't love Between The Spark and the Burn as much as the first book. I do agree that it addressed a lot of issues, which I liked, but it felt unfinished to me and there's no word of a third book so that hindered my enjoyment.

    CRESS FOREVERRRRRRR. I still love the total Laurie and Amy scene between Thorne and Cress. "I promise to kiss you before you die." I DIE. Really need to read Under the Never Sky and I'm still curious about Stitching Snow despite the mediocre reviews.

    I always love your lists :) Great picks!

  6. Ughhhh, I really need to get back to reading the Lynburn Legacy. I loved everything about the first one (Kami + Jared + the banter = eeeeeeek <3). I guess I'm afraid it's gonna totally rip out my heart and force me to eat it.

  7. Haha, you fangirl hard (what a brilliant quality to have! :D). Ignite Me LOOKS SO GOOD (and hotness? Yes please.) Beware the Wild looks haunting, "atmospheric"? Count me in. Man I really do need to start on the lunar chronicles - everyone's already onto Cress and I'm here twiddling my thumbs and waiting for Cinder. Gah.

  8. Hello my dahling, I am here to judge your taste. In paranormal, I am side-eying VA, but I will do that forever and also that other thing, but yes yes yes to the rest of it. The next Dark Star book must be coming out soon, right?? I NEEDS IT. I guess I'll have to preorder it. I don't want to mess with Disney.

    Oooh, this is making me wish I'd read Stitching Snow. I also haven't read Ignite Me. HOW DID I MISS 50% OF THESE. I am much ashamed.

    Also, it's always super tragic how few sci fi faves I have. There are not enough sci fis.

    But why or why did you put Cress in sci fi? It's obviously a fantasy.

    *ducks and runs*

  9. YAAY :D Awesome post Gillian. <3 So many amazing books. I loved Blue Lily, Lily Blue. <3 And Cresssss. So much love :D Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

  10. I've read a number of the books included in this post, and it makes me happy that I generally agree that they are Amazing with a capital A! I loved reading your summary/thoughts/feels on each. THAT is by far the best part of this post!


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