Thursday, January 1, 2015

Ranking ALL of the Books I Read in 2014!

Hey, y'all! So, the making of this video has been a very, very long process. It's been pretty much a year in the making. Throughout 2014, I've kept a running ranking of every single book I read. Each time I finish a book and give it a rating, I add it to my list and put it in the spot I think it deserves. And finally, at the close of 2014, and after finishing my last book of the year, I finally have the list complete and am ready to rank my 2014 reads.

This list will include all of the books that I read this year, excluding re-reads. Because that just wouldn't be fair to the new books I read this year, since I re-read several of my all-time favorite books this year. I've also ranked every book on an individual basis, rather than lumping a series or trilogy into a single spot. This also means that it's not just books released in 2014. As long as I read it for the first time in 2014, it counts, regardless of when it was released.

On top of this, I also made a video where I discussed my top 14 reads of 2014, so once that goes live on YouTube, that video will appear below. Without any further adieu, let's jump into the list!



#33: Looking For Alaska
by John Green

Rating: 4/10

I'm probably going to get a lot of hate for this, but I really didn't like this book. I know a lot of people really liked it, but I just didn't. I didn't like any of the characters. I felt like Alaska was trying way too hard to be the stereotype of the cool introspective girl. And I really hated Pudge. I hated Pudge. And none of the twists surprised me. I just was not impressed at all. 


#32: Shatter Me
by Tahereh Mafi

Rating: 6.5/10

I really don't get all of the hype surrounding this book. I liked the rest of the trilogy a bit more, but this first book just isn't that great. I thought that the stream of consciousness writing was interesting, but I thought that Tahereh Mafi tried to be too metaphorical for her own good. Some of the metaphors were just really really dumb. And on top of that, the instalove was ugh and it really felt like nothing happened.


#31: Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury

Rating: 7/10

People like to say that Brave New World, 1984, and Fahrenheit 451 are the big, important, classic dystopians. In my opinion, this is by far the worst of the three. The world wasn't developed enough for me, and the first 3/4 of the book wasn't very interesting. And even when it did get interesting, I wasn't super invested in it. And the whole book is just Bradbury's commentary about how he thinks TV will destroy your life, which is just silly now.  




#30: Allegiant
by Veronica Roth

Rating: 7/10

This was definitely my least favorite in the Divergent trilogy. I just wasn't a fan of the direction that it took the trilogy in. I liked both of the first two books, but then we got to this book and I just wasn't feeling it. And not just because of that thing that happened at the end. I didn't like the thing that happened at the end, but it wasn't what made me not like it as much. There were unnecessary deaths, characters acting out of... character..., and I hated the dual perspective. I didn't hate the book, but I just wasn't impressed with the way the series ended.


#29: Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore
by Robin Sloan

Rating: 7/10

This book was just... weird. And not really in a good way. I didn't hate it, but I also didn't exactly like it. Nor will I probably re-read it. It was alright. It was certainly interesting. It just really wasn't my thing. 


#28: The Giver
by Lois Lowry

Rating: 7/10

With The Giver, I had some of the same problems that I had with Fahrenheit 451. I thought that the world wasn't developed enough for me. It's also a really short book, so I didn't feel like I had enough time to care about the characters either. The plot was mildly interesting, but it wasn't nearly exciting enough for me. 


#27: You Are Not So Smart
by David McRaney

Rating: 7.5/10

I thought that this book was very interesting. As a music and psychology major, I found all of the different concepts to be really interesting. However, I had the same problem with this book that I tend to have with most non-fiction books. Because it's non-fiction, it lacks that excitement and curiosity and the "whoa what's gonna happen next?!?!" factor that fiction books have. Some of the things that get me so invested in fiction are the plot and caring about the characters, and those don't really exist in a non-fiction book. That being said, I really enjoyed the author's voice. He was amusing, funny, and sarcastic. It was one of the most entertaining voices I've read in a non-fiction.


#26: Horrorstor
by Grady Hendrix

Rating: 7.5/10

This was a very quick, fast-paced read. It kept me interested and intrigued the whole way through. The formatting was really cool as well. However, the actual story didn't feel very unique. The characters were very basic. It felt like there wasn't really much of a plot. It just felt like a quick read with no substance. 


#25: Insurgent
by Veronica Roth

Rating: 8/10

This is a good book, but it's definitely a step down from the first book. I thought that the plot was fast-paced and exciting and that it was a nice continuation of the trilogy. My biggest complaint was that the relationship drama got on my nerves. Overall, it was a perfectly good book, but nothing particularly special.


#24: Unravel Me
by Tahereh Mafi
Rating: 8/10


I was really disappointed by Shatter Me, and this was a definite step up from the first book. I really appreciated the character development and actually became invested in the series. This book isn't incredible, but it's good and I did enjoy it. Although, there is one quote that I really hated and felt the need to share:

"Sometimes I wonder about glue. No one ever stops to ask glue how it’s holding up. If it’s tired of sticking things together or worried about falling apart or wondering how it will pay its bills next week."

Seriously, that's possibly the most ridiculous quote that I've ever heard. Why would ANYONE wonder how glue is paying its bills? It's glue!



#23: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs

Rating: 8/10

I went into this expecting a really creepy, mysterious book, and I got something very different. That doesn't mean that I didn't like it. I definitely enjoyed it. However, it was a very slow book. If we were getting a ton of world-building, I would have enjoyed that. Even though we did get some character development and world building, I thought that it wasn't nearly enough to sustain the large chunk of the book that was slow. The last couple chapters were really great because they finally became more fast-paced and set the scene for the next book. But overall, though it was interesting and I enjoyed it, I wasn't overly impressed.


#22: 172 Hours on the Moon
by Johan Harstad

Rating: 8/10

I think I expected a little too much from this book. The first half was very slow. A couple intriguing things happened, but the first half just took a while to get through because it was very slow. And then when we got to the second half, it seemed like everything happened almost instantaneously. There was no suspense, it was just one thing after another happening. And not in a way that felt fast-paced and exciting, but rather in an underdeveloped "This happened. And then this happened. Next this happened." way. I'm not sure if that made sense, but it was hard to explain. I've complained about this book quite a bit, but aside from the pacing and some really annoying instalove, I enjoyed it. It kept me guessing. I had no idea what was going on until it was revealed. And the ending was really impressive too. Overall, like the other 8 starred books, I liked it but wasn't overly impressed.


#21: Hollow City
by Ransom Riggs

Rating: 8.5/10

This sequel was definitely better than the first book. Some really cool and exciting stuff actually went down in this book. Rather than just seeing the kids and learning about them, we actually get a really cool adventure. We got to explore this really interesting and unique world that Ransom Riggs has constructed within our own world. I think that the one drawback for me with this book, and the series as a whole so far, is that I don't feel personally connected with it. I've read so many books where I fell in love, cried, had book hangovers, etc. and I don't get that at all with this series. I enjoy them as I read, and I was interested enough that I decided to continue on to the second book after reading the first, but I didn't feel any need to have the third book ASAP or have any extremely strong feelings afterward. And it wasn't hard for me to pick up my next read. That's a real test for me. When I really love a book, I dwell on it for days after finishing it, and often need at least a day to move on, if not more. And when I do move on, I'm still thinking about that other book. With this one, I easily detached myself and continued to my next read.

That was a very long explanation, but I hope that someone else out there knows what I'm talking about here.


#20: Carrie
by Stephen King
Rating: 8.5/10

This is a book that really makes me question liking vs. appreciating. And I think that for me, I appreciated this more than I actually liked it. Which is why it didn't get a slightly higher rating. I really loved the way it was written. Sometimes, I don't like King's writing style. But it really worked in Carrie. I loved the back and forth between the plot and the interviews, book excerpts, etc. after the incident. I thought it was really well done. However, I can't see myself reading this one again. I didn't fall in love with it, but I did think that it was pretty good.


#19: Mockingjay
by Suzanne Collins

Rating: 8.5/10

This was definitely my least favorite of The Hunger Games trilogy. By itself, I think it was pretty good and I had only a few problems. However, it was just such a huge shift in focus and tone from the first two books that I had trouble enjoying it as much as I might have if there had been more buildup to the conclusion of the trilogy. I'd heard that a lot of people disliked it, and while it's my least favorite in the trilogy, I didn't hate it at all, and did enjoy it, even if it wasn't my favorite. 


#18: Ignite Me
by Tahereh Mafi

Rating: 9/10

This was, by far, the best book in the Shatter Me trilogy. While I definitely wasn't blown away by this series, I did really enjoy this last book. I loved the growth that the characters displayed. I flew through this book, and really came to care about several of the characters. Also, I did come to appreciate the love triangle present in the trilogy. I think that it was really well done. I do wish that we had gotten more world-building though. While the romance was the important factor in the trilogy, we did get a little back-story in this book, and I wished we would have gotten the full back-story while Tahereh Mafi was at it. Overall, I thought it was a pretty solid conclusion to the trilogy.


#17: Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn

Rating: 9/10

I think this is another of those books where I lean closer to "appreciation" rather than "like". Maybe it's because it's hard to fall in love with such messed up characters, maybe it's because it's not in my normal genres, who knows? My point is that even though I probably won't re-read it, I'll definitely recommend it to others. I really enjoyed Part 1, because it kept me the most intrigued, with the "did he or didn't he" plot. This book was really well-written and intriguing, and I thought it was pretty good. 


#16: Shades of Earth
by Beth Revis

Rating: 9/10

Although I love all three of the books in the Across The Universe trilogy and gave two of them the same rating, this one gets slightly lower because of my slightly more mixed feelings about it. I fell in love with the setting/world surrounding our characters in the first two books, and was sad to not be within that in this one. It also took the series in a completely different direction. And that's not a bad thing! I thought it was a really great conclusion. However, the tone shift and the setting change made me question whether I truly didn't like the changes or if I was just trying to adjust to changes (because change is not my forte). In the end, I thought it was a really good book, but it did take me a while to adjust to the things that were different.


#15: Across The Universe
by Beth Revis

Rating: 9/10

Like I said, this one and Shades of Earth are mostly equal. I had one major complaint with this book, and it was that I figured out who the villain was when I was about 30 pages in. I figured out their identity so easily that I was halfway convinced that Beth Revis was going to go "NOPE!" and make someone else the villain. But alas, she did not. However, I feel like this didn't really detract from my enjoyment of the book, because the world is just so well-developed and insanely interesting, and I loved it. I just wish the villain wouldn't have been SO obvious.


#14: City of Lost Souls
by Cassandra Clare

Rating: 9/10

This isn't the worst book in The Mortal Instruments series, but it is probably my least favorite. So that should tell you how much I love the series, since it got 9/10. I'll be vague in an attempt to avoid spoilers. My favorite character isn't exactly themself throughout most of this book, and that made it really hard for me to read it. Most of the time, I just wanted to throw it against the wall, because I hated what that person was doing. Also, on top of that, some relationship drama goes on that did not please me at all. Ugh it upset me. If you've read it, you know.


#13: 1984
by George Orwell

Rating: 9/10

This is my second favorite of the big 3 classic dystopians, although I do tend to go back and forth about whether or not I actually like Brave New World more than this. 1984 has one of those endings that I'm not a huge fan of story-wise, but I really like the statement that Orwell was making with it. Overall, the world was really great, and I really enjoyed it.


#12: Clockwork Angel
by Cassandra Clare

Rating: 9/10

It's my least favorite book in the trilogy, but it still gets 9 starts because the trilogy is just that good. Seriously, I absolutely love the Infernal Devices trilogy. The characters are great, the world is amazing, and the plots are awesome too. This one is slightly less amazing than the other two, but not by a lot.


#11: Catching Fire
by Suzanne Collins

Rating: 9.25/10

There were some things that I liked better in Catching Fire than in The Hunger Games, and some things that I liked better in The Hunger Games than in Catching Fire, so I found it difficult to decide on a rating for this. I really liked all of the political strategery in Catching Fire. It was really clever and exactly what I love from dystopians. However, *HUNGER GAMES SPOILER AHEAD!!!* I didn't like the games as much in this book. Although they were definitely more cleverly designed, I thought that they weren't as fast-paced. Overall, the book was really great, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


#10: A Million Suns
by Beth Revis

Rating: 9.5/10

A Million Suns is easily my favorite book in the Across The Universe Trilogy. The entire trilogy is really great, extremely underrated, and leagues better than most of the young adult trilogies that are getting a ton of hype right now. And this book is definitely the best of the trilogy. There are so many secrets that are revealed, and there are so many issues going on with the ship and the characters. It's just an extremely awesome book, and possibly the only trilogy I've read where the second book is the best in the trilogy.


#9: Clockwork Prince
by Cassandra Clare

Rating: 9.5/10

Before we even get into the book, can we just talk about this beautiful cover? This is, by far, my favorite of the Infernal Devices covers. It's just so pretty, and it has Jem on it. And who doesn't love Jem? (Idiots, that's who!) Anyway, this trilogy just gets steadily better and better. You find out so many things about the characters in this book, and the plot just gets more complicated, and I couldn't help but love every second of it.


#8: Fangirl
by Rainbow Rowell

Rating: 9.75/10

Yes, I know that my star rating is extremely specific here, but I just felt like it was better than a 9.5, but not quite a 10. And 9.75 is kinda my cut off for giving books 4 or 5 stars on Goodreads (fun fact that I thought I'd just throw in there for you). Anyway, although I tend to enjoy contemporary novels, they're by no means anywhere near my favorite genre. But I fell in love with this book and these characters. Cath is just so incredibly relatable. When I went to college, I was basically Cath. I was really introverted, wrote fanfiction, and didn't really want to deal with meeting new people. And I feel like a lot of young adult readers are really similar to Cath, and a lot of them are also closing in on the time that they'll be going off to college as well. All of the characters are just so real and lovable. I really like this book.


#7: The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins

Rating: 9.8/10

I really wish that I had read this book before watching the movie, because I think that would have given me the full enjoyment of this really great book. If I hadn't known the way it ended, the twists and turns, and the deaths, I think I would have given this 10/10. But either way, this was a really fast-paced book, with lots of twists and turns, and I really enjoyed it. 


#6: The Diviners
by Libba Bray

Rating: 9.8/10

I wasn't sure how much I'd enjoy this book going into it. I'd heard a lot of people raving about how great it is, but I was a little skeptical about if I'd like it because historical fiction isn't really my fave (unless it has paranormal/fantasy elements, which explains all of the historical fiction on this list) and I'm also not a huge fan of the 20s in general. It's not that I hate the 20s, but rather that I generally prefer the current time unless the different time setting makes a huge difference. But I absolutely loved this book. I didn't think it was as creepy as everyone thought it was, but that's not really a good or bad thing. I loved the paranormal elements, I thought the characters were great, and I even loved the setting. And I can't wait for the second book to come out in April. Can it be April already, please?!?!


#5: Divergent
by Veronica Roth

Rating: 10/10

I fell head over heels in love with this book. I started it and just could not put it down. I fell in love with the world and the plot more than anything. It's just such and interesting and exciting and fast-paced read, and I absolutely loved it. I just wish the rest of the series was as good as this one.


#4: City of Heavenly Fire
by Cassandra Clare

Rating: 10/10

If Cassandra Clare knows how to do one thing, it's how to write an amazing conclusion to a series. Every single series conclusion that she's written has been absolutely incredible, and without question, the best book in its series (including City of Glass, since that was originally supposed to be the conclusion of The Mortal Instruments). As I was reading the last bit of this book, I was just sobbing because it was so beautifully bittersweet. And I loved the tie-ins with the Infernal Devices.

Even though I've already listed a few 10 star books, the top 3 on the list are my ultimate, absolute favorites of the year...


#3: Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline

Rating: 10/10

This book tho... THIS. BOOK. It's so absolutely incredible. OASIS is just basically the coolest thing ever and all of the 80s references are fantastic, and the world is so insanely interesting, and it's so fast-paced, and all of the puzzles are so awesome, and I seriously can't say enough awesome things about this book. After I finished it, I wanted to read something else just like it, but it's such a unique book that there wasn't really anything similar. So this was so amazing that it actually put me into a reading slump. Too great. Love.


#2: The Bone Season
by Samantha Shannon

Rating: 10/10

I first saw The Bone Season in a book haul that Regan from PeruseProject did, and the second that she put dystopian and fantasy in the same sentence, I was sold. I immediately went online and bought a used copy and then read it over Thanksgiving break. It was amazing. All of the different types of clairvoyance are so cool, and I fell in love with the characters. It was just so incredible. I need the Mime Order like NOW. I don't want to wait a month. It's my most anticipated book of 2015.


#1: Clockwork Princess
by Cassandra Clare

Rating: 10/10

This book. This book. THIS BOOK. This was more perfect than any conclusion that I could ever have thought of. The epilogue was probably the best epilogue I've ever read. I've said it a million times, and I'll say it a million more- Cassandra Clare knows how to write the perfect conclusion to a series. It was beautiful. It was (dare I say)... perfect. I read it in a single day and was sobbing for at least half the book. It was too amazing. I loved it. 



So there you go, those are my rankings of all of the books that I read in 2014! Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? What were your favorite reads of the year? Let me know in the comments!

I've started doing Booktube a little as well, so if you want to check that out, you can click HEREI plan to post most of my videos to my blog, but just in case I miss one or decide not to post it on here, that will keep you up-to date. 

I've also created a Facebook page for my blog, so if you want to check that out and like it, you can click HERE. I'll try to keep that pretty up-to-date with new posts and such.

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