Happy New Year everyone!!! 🙂
I’ve been doing my end-of-the-year top ten lists (My Top Ten Movies Of 2014 & My Top Ten Movies Watched At Home In 2014). I can’t do a top ten here as I only managed seven so here are My Top (Seven) Books Read In 2014. I’ve never been great at writing book reviews and, of these, I only managed to review The Giver. As I probably won’t ever get around to doing full reviews of most of these, I’ll do a brief mini-review of each of them now.
7. The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year by Sue Townsend
I mainly read things like Stephen King, a tiny bit of sci-fi, and Young Adult fiction. This book isn’t very “me” but I thought it would be good to read the type of book that women my age are MEANT to read. Well, this is why I don’t fit in amongst women of my age, I guess… 😉 I’m sure most middle-aged women absolutely adored this book and I do think Townsend wrote some truly funny & witty bits. However, the characters are SO hateful, including the “heroine” at times. You’re meant to feel for her & you do at first but, by the end, you just think “Get out of bed & the HELL away from your horrible family full of assholes!” It’s well-written and I assume Townsend probably has better books with better characters? As always, it’s hard to enjoy a book if you don’t like at least ONE person in it but it does have its funny moments (although it’s a very British sense of humor).
My Rating: 2.5/5
6. Paper Towns by John Green
I know John Green is a very big YA author and I did really like The Fault In Our Stars book (which I reviewed HERE). I’m also kind of a sucker for a decent-looking book cover and Green’s books always look so good sitting on the shelves in book stores (shallow, I know). Unfortunately, I found Paper Towns quite disappointing. Like The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year, this was full of characters I didn’t really like. The main boy was fine, at least, but the object of his affection (and obsession) is extremely selfish and it’s very hard to understand why he would feel so strongly about her. I also didn’t like how it ended – it just sort of fizzled out. However, I’ll still give more Green books a shot as I know Zoe of The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger is a fan but she also didn’t like this one so much. She’s done a good full review of the book, which you can read HERE. Yep, we agree on this one, Zoe!
My Rating: 2.5/5
5. The Night Rainbow by Claire King
This is another one that’s not exactly “me” but I thought it was fairly good. However, it’s totally heartbreaking. I don’t really want a book that’s going to make me cry and leave me horribly depressed by the end of it. For some reason, I wasn’t expecting this to be as sad as it was after reading the description on the back and, when something quite obvious finally hit me toward the end of the book, I felt stupid for not realizing sooner and also incredibly sad about the situation as I think it’s probably a somewhat common thing. I know that was incredibly vague but I always try to stay spoiler-free. It’s very much another “middle-aged woman” book but, if you’re of that age and especially if you’re a mother and you like bittersweet dramas that may make you weep (a lot of women seem to like that sort of thing – I’m not sure why!), this book may be worth a read for you.
My Rating: 3/5
4. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Yeah… 2014 really was a year of me reading books that aren’t very “me”. This is another one. 😉 I just can’t get into these “older lady books”! I was also once again taken by the cover of the book plus I liked the sound of the “fairytale” aspect of the story. It’s inspired by a Russian fairytale of an old childless couple who build a daughter made of snow who comes to life. It’s no Stephen King so was never going to be my favorite book in the world but I thought it was actually very good and I can see a lot of people (okay, women) loving it. It would make a great movie. It’s also a little heartbreaking, although it didn’t leave me nearly as sad as The Night Rainbow did. If it sounds at all like the type of story you’d like, I do recommend this one.
My Rating: 3.5/5
3. The Giver by Lois Lowry
I won’t go into this one much as I’ve already done a full review HERE. “Young Adult dystopian future” book! Much more my type of thing. Plus this is one that came along years before the current trend of copycats. It’s aimed at a younger age than things like The Hunger Games (probably about age 11) and is a book I’d happily give to a kid of that age to read before they read the more current books in the genre. Anyway – I really liked The Giver and highly recommend it over the movie, which changes quite a lot of the story.
My Rating: 4/5
2. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
I’m actually not sure what to say about this one other than: Can you believe I’d never read it until now?! I know it’s such a HUGE teen classic for people of my age and the generation before mine. I’m not sure if it’s as popular with teens these days as well but it does deserve its status as a classic. I LOVE that Hinton was only 16 when she wrote this and I wish that teenagers still had this same sort of ambition and creativity these days. I don’t know… Maybe some of them do? Anyway, I’m not sure why I never explored Hinton’s stuff plus I’ve also never seen Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of this. This is shocking as, even though it’s not had the best reviews, it’s from 1983 and full of so many famous actors from my generation. Okay, I’ve actually managed to not say a thing about this book. I plan to watch the movie sometime this year so I’ll try to do a full review of the book at the same time too.
My Rating: 4/5
1. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Of course this was going to be my favorite… No, it’s not as good as The Shining but I think it’s a decent enough sequel. I liked re-visiting characters from The Shining and liked the main girl, Abra, and her relationship with Danny plus I thought the “villains” (The True Knot) were very effective, especially their leader Rose the Hat. This was the first book I read in 2014 so I finished it quite a while ago. I of course thoroughly enjoyed it while reading it but it’s already fading from my memory a bit as it just didn’t grab me in the way other King books have. I’m not sure why… It’s good but I think King has written better books in recent years. I think 11/22/63 is a better book overall plus I possibly enjoyed Duma Key and even Cell slightly more than Doctor Sleep, although I’m sure I’m very much in the minority there. (I also had a lot of fun with Joyland, the only King book I’ve ever reviewed so I suppose I should mention it). Doctor Sleep is certainly one of King’s better books overall but it’s probably not QUITE up there with my very favorites although I was hoping it would be. By the way, Brian, I’ve given it some thought and The Dead Zone is possibly my favorite King book although I also love Salem’s Lot, The Long Walk, The Shining, The Green Mile, and I love his short story collections almost more than his full novels sometimes. It would be possibly be a big favorite except for ONE bit I really don’t like in it. Night Shift was the first thing of his that I read and that’s what got me hooked. I’m sure you all wanted to know my Stephen King history, right?? 🙂
My Rating: 4/5
I got a load of books for Christmas & they’re much more “me” than most the stuff I read in 2014. I can’t wait to read them and, so far, I have to say that I’m LOVING Ready Player One. Has anyone read any of these?
I just finished reading Ready Player One a few weeks ago. I hope it gets made into a movie – I can totally see it happening!
I’m about 100 pages in. Love it! 🙂 Would definitely make a great movie. They’re looking into making it into one – Christopher Nolan was the latest one they wanted to direct it.
Great, Chris. You might think of moving the “The Martian” up the stack. My favorite read of 2014. Happy New Year.
Thank you! Hope you’re having a Happy New Year. 🙂 The Martian is very high on the list – I love the sound of it! And I believe the movie is coming out this year. 🙂
You into audiobooks? If so, The Martian has a fine audio release. I’ve an extra if you like to give it a go. And yeah, the story is going to make a great film adaptation (if they don’t mess it up).
It’s weird – I’ve actually never listened to an audiobook! Not sure why. I better read the book since I got it for Xmas. 😉 I’m really looking forward to it. 🙂
Understandable. Hope to hear how you liked it. Thanks.
I really hope you enjoy The Book Thief because I loved it. Don’t feel bad about not liking Sue Townsend. Chick lit is for the weak!
It does sound very good. I’ve held off on watching the movie as I want to read the book first. Lol – yeah…. I really don’t understand “chick lit”…
Nice to see King @ # 1 – loved the book thief!
King will always be at number one for me. 🙂 Really looking forward to reading The Book Thief!
I LOVED Ready Player One, I’m an 80s arcade kid at heart so it made me nostalgic! Single White Male is great, but not quite as good as the wonderful Kill Your Friends.
I’m about 100 pages into Ready Player One now. Love it so much! I wasn’t as big on video games but I’m a huge lover of all things 80’s so I adore all the 80’s references. 🙂 I believe my hubby has Kill Your Friends – maybe I should read that too!
Imagine Patrick Bateman crossed with Simon Cowell and you’ve got the lead in Kill Your Friends. Very black humour!
Hmm. I might have to check that out before the movie comes out! 🙂
Never heard of any of these. I’ve never read a book because they’re filled with evil and lies.
Ohhh. So…. Like the Bible?
I actually haven’t read The Dead Zone. I liked Doctor Sleep, but it never seemed like the main characters were in all that much danger. Everything always seemed to work out for everyone.
Well then I definitely recommend The Dead Zone! I loved it. However, it’s probably almost 20 years since I read it so maybe don’t listen to me. What you say about Doctor Sleep makes sense – I agree with that!
Great work lady! Totally envying your gift pile! I know I am so far behind on reading and I need to catch up to everything, work starts next week so I should be able to again lol.
Yeah, Paper Towns was quite the let down, to be sure. But his other stuff is really great.
Get on that Hill stuff! He is so freaking good, he has become an all time favourite author of mine. So creative.
I actually have The Outsiders up on my to-read list, and The Giver after you said it was so good. So many books!!
So many books, so little time! Wow – you really DO like Hill! He’s fairly high on the list but maybe I’ll bump him up even more. 🙂 Both The Giver & The Outsiders are quick reads – you’ll probably finish them in a day! 🙂
YESSSSSSSSSS. I would love to hear what you think of his work.
Hmmmmmm, I might bump them up a bit on my list then 😛
You know I’ll let you know when I start one. 🙂
Glad to see you liked Doctor Sleep despite some misgivings. I seem to either love or hate King’s books. But The Shining is my number 1 or 2 of his, so am really keen to give the sequel a read really soon.
I’d be interested to know what you think of Doctor Sleep, then. I’d have to say I love King 99% of the time – there were only maybe a couple I wasn’t crazy about. Don’t expect Doctor Sleep to be as good as The Shining but I did enjoy it. 🙂
I need to read your top three! Especially that number one. I’ve been very curious about Doctor Sleep…Also, your stack o’ books is AMAZING. Of course, you know I’m gonna push you to read the Hill stuff first. 😉 Seriously though, NOS4A2 is amazing. Horns, too. And Game of Thrones! And I am curious to see what you think of The Maze Runner, too! As for The Martian–did you know a movie for that is coming out this year? My mom’s super excited about that because she loved the book. ARGH. NOW I WANT TO READ EVERYTHING. I like the book I’m on, but I’ve been stuck on it for a couple months now. I am terrible about reading. 😦
…Wow this has turned into kind of a rant, huh? Haha. Anyway, I hope your 2015 is splendid so far! Happy reading! 🙂
Lol! That’s okay – I love a Cara rant! 😉 Yeah, I love the sound of The Martian & figured I better read it before the movie comes out. You know I’ll probably read the one written by Hill’s dad first but Hill is pretty high on the list. 😉 I’m loving Ready Player One! What are you reading now? It tends to take me at least a month to read a book.
I’ve been reading The Historian for more than a month. Haha. Have you read it? I like it, but it’s kind of hard to get into at first. Plus, sometimes I feel like the main characters/author come off as a little snooty…
Never even heard of it!!! I have no culture… Lol 😉
LOL. Nonsense!! You are a classy lady!! Also, this is a book about vampires, so no need to assume it’s high art. Bahaha.
Haha! Ohh… It sounded like some “smart people” book. 🙂
Well, there’s a lot of history stuff, which, given the title, I guess is pretty obvious…lol. But it tells you pretty much everything you need to know. A little slow sometimes, but it’s interesting.
Hmm. Think I’ll read Game Of Thrones instead when I’m ready for that HUGE commitment!!! Lol 🙂
Good call. GoT trumps all. 😀
I cant believe that u never read (or watched) The Outsiders (1983) 😦
and you call yourself a kid of the 80s!!! 🙂
I loved the book as a teen and can rewatch the movie over and over.
Haven’t read (or heard of for that matter) any of the other books on your list. I use to be a big King fan, but stopped finding his stuff interesting about a decade ago.
Happy 2015, Rob! 🙂 I know I have loads of comments from you (and everyone else!) to catch up on. Was taking a bit of a break over Xmas. 🙂 I know…. I really need to see The Outsiders now! I was just a bit too young when it came out then never saw it later. You should really try King again – he’s had some great stuff in the last decade!
Yep. The ones I mentioned in the review! Lol. 😉 Most guys seem to really like 11/22/63…
Im a big conspiracy theory fan so ive contemplated it for a while. Right now im focusing on reading harry potter since I never made it past book 3 first time around. Today i just finished the 2nd one.
Well then you missed the best one – I loved Goblet Of Fire! 🙂
Thats my favorite of the movies. Plan on reading that soon
I shall be adding The Outsiders to my list. Thanks 🙂
You’re welcome! I do recommend it – it’s definitely a classic. Happy New Year, btw! 🙂 I’m soooo behind on the blogs (including mine!) 😦
No worries. I even took a break from mine for a while. if you only look at one post I’d go for the Anime quiz. Something tells me you’ll ace it haha.
Lol – I really don’t know any at all beyond the Ghibli stuff! 😉
I still think you’d get all six. Quite a few are from your list haha
The Outsiders yes!!!! haha so old school you will love it. #ponyboy
Hehe. I know! Can you believe I’ve never seen it?! #the80srule 🙂
What the hell! That just doesn’t make sense you gotta see it.
The Book Thief and Maze Runner are awesome so you should totally check those out 🙂 Game of Thrones is pretty good, just really long. It took me almost a month to finish.
I’ll definitely be reading the first two Maze Runner books in time for the next movie (September I think). Didn’t see The Book Thief film – I’ll read the book first. Hehe… Yeah… I think Game Of Thrones is the last one I’ll read from that stack. Such a big commitment!!! 🙂
The Book Thief is an awesome book. I haven’t seen the movie though. Its kinda just sitting in my Netflix queue..haha! I’m really bad with dramas, need to find the perfect motivation.
Hope you like the reads! 🙂
I loved the Maze Runner trilogy! I haven’t read the fourth book yet. I know it’s gotten a lot of mixed reviews, so it’s farther down on my list. I could go on about how brilliant Game of Thrones is all day, but I’ll just say this. It’s in a class by itself. I really enjoyed Revival even though there’s no true horror until the end. It’s more a character study, which King does so well. I have to agree with your favorites by him, although I’d add The Stand to my list. I have to go look up The Martian now as everyone’s been raving about it. I hope you’re enjoying your books!
Thanks for all the comments! 🙂 The Martian is great! You should check it out before the movie comes out. Game of Thrones is starting to make me mad (the TV show) so I should switch to the books. I love King! Agreed – he writes such great characters. He’ll always be my favorite author. I’m enjoying the Maze Runner books. 🙂 Not in a big hurry to finish the rest quite yet, though – I’ve just finished The Scorch Trials. Going to read another Joe Hill book next (NOS4A2).
I’ve got the Martian on hold for me at the library! I’ve gotten way behind with the GoTs tv series. I left off with the last episode of Season 1. I’ve loved the books though. I really enjoyed Joe Hill’s book. I’m interested in hearing what you think when you finish.
I’ll let you know! 🙂 I’ll review all the books I’ve read this year eventually. I’m terrible about getting around to reviewing books! Find them a lot harder than the movie reviews. Would love to know what you think of The Martian! 🙂
I find it difficult doing book reviews also. I wind up doing only 2-3 a week because I’m usually posting reviews on NetGalley, Goodreads, and Amazon, as well as my blog. By the time I’m done, one review takes me on average 2-3 hours. I’ll definitely let you know as soon as I read The Martian. 😊
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