The Five Best 2015 Books I Read In 2014 & Highly Recommend

I made lists of all my favorite 2014 releases, 2014 debuts and the best backlist books I read in 2014. But what about the best 2015 releases I’ve read so far? I will be talking about these all in greater detail later on in their own post but I wanted to spotlight the best 2015 books I read in 2014 and think you should ABSOLUTELY have on your TBR-list!

 

I'll Meet You There Heather Demetrios

I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Out February 3, 2015

WOW. Just wow. Listen, if you love contemporary and even if you only read it once in a while…you NEED this book on your list for 2015. It is pure perfection. One of the best books I’ve read in a while!!

What It Is About: Skylar has been planning her way out of her small town and the future that would await her if she stayed. She’s gotten into art school and has been working her minimum wage job as summer starts to ensure she gets there — until her mother loses her job and starts slipping back into some bad habits making her wonder if she’ll ever be able to leave her and head off to art school at all. At the beginning of her summer she’s reunited with Josh, a boy she used to work with who is back from Afghanistan after his leg gets blown off, and she encounters a different Josh than the one who has left and they find an unexpected friendship despite their differences.

 

I Was Here Gayle Forman

I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Out January 27, 2015

Ah Gayle Forman. This was quintessential Gayle Forman in that she managed to do something so completely different than everything else she’s written but in that same signature Gayle Forman way — an overload of feels, brilliant and compelling writing and an emotional story that just hits ya hard. This one was heavy but oh so good!!

What It Is About: Meg and Cody were the ultimate bffs. And then the ultimate unthinkable devastation happens — Meg commits suicide and Cody is at a loss because her best friend is gone and she didn’t see it coming. When she goes to clean out Meg’s room at college, she meets her roommates and realizes that there was a lot Meg hadn’t been telling her when she was away for college — a boy who broke her heart and an encrypted computer file that makes her question Meg’s suicide.

 

The Winner's Crime Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Out March 3, 2015

You there! Have you read The Winner’s Curse? YOU SHOULD. Because it’s amazing and this is the sequel to that. A sequel that was amazingly, devastatingly, overwhelmingly fantastic and beautiful and soul-smashing and JUST SO PERFECT. See, it leaves me forming crazy run-on sentences because I CAN’T EVEN PUT WORDS TOGETHER.

What It Is About: Well, it’s the sequel to The Winner’s Curse and I don’t want to be too spoilery. JUST GO READ THAT ONE OKAY? Or read my review of The Winner’s Curse if you need more prodding! Beautiful writing! Great setting! Two amazing main characters! Political craziness!

 

Simon vs the homo sapiens agenda

Simon vs. The Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Out April 7, 2015

This is one debut that should NOT be missed. It made my heart so happy. It was an utterly charming story that I couldn’t put down and Simon is a most endearing character! Definitely one of my new favorites!!!

What It Is About: Sixteen year old Simon is gay and hasn’t yet come out to anyone — until a classmate finds an email of his to Blue, a boy he likes and has been writing back and forth to anonymously from his school, and threatens to out him unless he helps him get a girl that Simon is friends with. Not wanting to screw up things with Blue or let someone else tell everyone that he’s gay, he goes along with it all while trying to navigate this growing relationship with Blue and shifting dynamics amongst his closest group of friends.

 

My Heart & Other Black Holes

My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
Out February 10, 2015

This one was also a great 2015 debut! Very heavy feeling but ultimately hopeful despite the intense sadness that pulses through this book.

What It’s About: The main character has spent much of her life plotting her suicide because she doesn’t want to end up like her father — a man who committed a violent crime that has made her a pariah amongst her peers. She realizes that she won’t carry it out on her own so she finds a website that helps you find a suicide partner which leads her to Roman — a boy so haunted by a tragedy in his family.

 

 

Have you read any of these/are they are on your radar?? Let me know if you added any to your TBR from my list!

Best Of 2014: All Things Not Books!

The past two years I brought you the best of all things NOT books and it was fun so I figured I’d do it again! If you want to read all my best of books posts we’ve got:

End of Year Book Survey (my answers still to come)
Best 2014 Debuts
Best 2014 Releases (Non-Debuts)
Best Backlist Books I Read In 2014
Most Underrated Books Of 2014

 

So let’s get to this:

best music 2013

21 Favorite 2014 Albums

(in no particular order)

favorite-albums-2014

 

Taylor Swift – 1989: I have a long history with Taylor Swift’s music (I saw her at a very small venue when her first album hit which is crazy for me to think about considering how she sells out arenas) and have loved her for a long time. I’ve been nervous about her full descent into pop but I have to say that this album is perfection and I’m so pleased with her new sound and am impressed with how she’s been able to reinvent herself and having a blast doing it!

Hozier — Hozier: This makes me incredibly happy. You see, in my 2013 roundup I named Hozier’s EP as a favorite of the year and I was SO hoping the whole album would be fantastic and IT WAS!!
Broods – Evergreen: If you follow my Monthly Rewinds you know that Broods got listened to a lot by me. Every time a new single was released after their first one (I think it was Mother & Father I don’t know), I fell in love more..and the whole album is just fantastic!
Milky Chance – Sadnecessary: I know everyone fell in love with Stolen Dance when it came out as a single (rightly so I love it tooo) but my introduction to them was first with the song Down By The River and THAT was my pick from the EP rather than Stolen Dance when I highlighted them in my June Rewind — apparently I can’t pick the song that will be the most popular. That and Flashed Junk Mind are just as excellent as is the rest of the album so you should listen to it!

Sir Sly – You Haunt Me: They were excellent live as well and I got Will into them so THAT was a win for me! My favorite songs from the album: Gold, Ghost, & You Haunt Me.
Bleachers – Strange Desire: Okay, so I was reading this music blog I love and in February of this year they mentioned this song called I Wanna Get Better and I LOVED It. Then I add them to my Spotify list and read their bio and OMG HE IS THE GUY FROM FUN!! I didn’t realize he had a new side project so pretty much I stalked them for new singles and every one was SO GOOD. The full album? AWESOME. To be honest, I like Bleachers much better than FUN at this point! Saddest day when they came to Philly to play and I WAS ON VACATION.
Thumpers – Galore: I loved the two singles Unkinder (A Tougher Love) & Sound of Screams when they came out and then I really got into Marvel, The Wilder Wise and Now We Are Sixteen.
Twin Forks – Twin Forks: This album is so fun! I first got into them after hearing the song Back To You on Reign and then I waited impatiently for the full album!
Vance Joy – Dream Your Life Away: I first heard Vance Joy’s single From Afar last year and I freaking loved it and then 2014 became the year of Vance Joy for me because I listened to his music like no other. Getting to see him live was a highlight of my year and I’m excited he is opening for Taylor Swift when I see her this year!! (Favorite songs besides From Afar: Riptide, Mess Is Mine, Wasted Time, First Time)
Wild Cub – Youth: Okay so apparently this was originally released in 2012 but was re-released with more songs this year (I just found hear it this year) and was no longer a self-titled album. It is a band that Keegan DeWitt ( who I love) formed and it’s got a very 80’s feel I’ve gotta say. Fave songs: Thunderclatter, Wild Light, Colour, Wishing Well.
NONONO – We Are Only What We Feel: Last year I fell in love with their single Pumpin Blood (the acoustic version is great too) and then I kind of forgot about them until Spotify let me know their album was released. I was pleasantly surprised actually!! Fave songs besides Pumpin Blood: Jungle, One Wish, Hungry Eyes
Banks – Goddess: I feel like I named her EP as one of my favorites in this post last year.  I actually almost forgot to put her on this year because so many of these songs were in my 2013 playlist. I had to double check and I was like oh right…her album came out THIS year. Favorite songs: Waiting Game, Beggin For Thread, Change, Drowning, This Is What It Feels Like

Mary Lambert – Heart On My Sleeve: WHAT A BEAUTIFUL ALBUM!!! Her voice & those lyrics. I remember as soon as I heard Same Love by Macklemore I HAD to know who that voice was singing the “she keeps me warm” parts. Then I found out who she was and found out that that part was actually part of her song She Keeps Me Warm. And so I hit follow on Spotify and then this majestic album was released. Favorite songs: When You Sleep, Secrets, So Far Away & Wounded Animal.
Paul Otten – Welcome To Life: So I have a playlist called “FULL ALBUM, I NEED YOU” for all these artists I find that only have one or two songs and I’m dying for a full album. He pretty much was the reason I started this playlist despite having a backlist of music..I wanted his new stuff. Fave songs: I Got Your Back, I Can Wait, Who We Are, All the Stars (my all time fave song of his is Girl, You’re Alright but it’s not on this album)
The Colourist – The Colourist: This was another one on the “need a full album” playlist. I’ve featured them a lot on my Monthly recaps. Fave songs: Little Games, Tonight(Young Hearts), We Won’t Go Home, Wishing Well
Lucius – Wildewoman: I love their voices! Reminds me of a lot of the indiepop bands I used to love in college. Fave songs: Turn It Around, Tempest, Two Of Us On The Run, Until We Get There
MØ – No Mythologies To Follow: I actually found them originally because of their cover of Say You’ll Be There (yes the Spice Girls song) and then this album was delightful. Fave songs: Walk This Way, Never Wanna Know, Waste of Time, Slow Love

Jenny Lewis — The Voyager: Jenny Lewis is my queen. HS & College Jamie loved Rilo Kiley (RIP). More Adventurous was one of my favorite albums EVAH. I loved what she did with The Postal Service and also with The Watson Twins. Seriously, I cried when Will and I saw The Postal Service last year and I got to see my queen. LOVED this new album!
Bishop Allen – Time Flies: Their album Charmed School was my favorite when I heard it for the first time my freshman year in college. Almost 10 years later and I’m STILL smitten with these guys! Fave songs: Start Again, Skeleton Key, Crows, Why I Had To Go

Jukebox the Ghost – Jukebox the Ghost: I’ve liked them for a couple years now but I REALLY love this album. Fave songs: The Great Unknown, Postcard, Sound of A Broken Heart, Girl
Andrew McMahon – Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness: I first heard one of his songs on my local alternative radio station and became hooked! He’s coming here this winter and I want to see him! Fave songs: Cecilia and the Satellites , High Dive, Canyon Moon, Driving Through A Dream

 >>More choices on my Fave 2014 Albums<<

 

EPS/Singles I Loved:

The singles that Charles Williams has put out, Ryn Weaver’s Promises, Zella Day, Mighty Oaks EP, BØRNS EP, Eliza and the Bear EP, Little May EP, The Hunts EP, The new CVRCHES single!!!

Concerts I Went To:

I only went to two this year because MONEY but they were good ones.

1. Death Cab For Cutie — Will and I went to Atlantic City around Memorial Day and saw DCFC. They have been a favorite band of mine since high school (early 2000’s) and it was so nice to see them live again because the last time I did was college.

2. Radio 104.5 Block Party — Saw Grouplove, Sir Sly, Vance Joy, Wolf Gang, & Bricks + Mortar. This was so fun AND FREE…despite the fact it rained in the beginning so we were soaking wet for most of the show.


You can see more of my monthly music choices in my Monthly Rewinds

 

tv

Best shows I started watching this year (some long overdue & some new!) in addition to the shows I’m already watching (Parenthood, The Walking Dead, Revenge, The Voice, Nashville, Scandal etc.)

The 100: My favorite show out of EVERYTHING I watched this year and in a LONG time. The pilot is iffy and it took me a couple episodes to get OMG OBSESSED to the point I binge watched it all night and ignored Will! WATCH IT! Seriously..if you take ONE REC FROM ME…ONE…EVER…DO THIS!

How To Get Away With Murder: More Shonda Rhimes goodness (my Thursday night is all Shonda with Grey’s, Scandal and now this!). The storytelling is kind of jarring at first but it keeps me on the edge of my seat and Viola Davis is a BADASS. Thank you Shonda for all these kickass females you’ve given us!

The Killing: Will and I were late to this show and REALLY loved it!! I was really sad for it to end. REALLY SAD.

Sherlock: I watched the first season of Sherlock and REALLY loved it! Can’t wait to continue on!

Chasing Life: This show surprised me! It’s an ABC Family one and I just gave it a try thinking I probably wouldn’t love it but surprisingly got sooo attached to it!

 

movies

Begin Again: Oh this movie! SO GOOD SO GOOD. Mark Ruffalo and Kiera Knightly were perfection. It made my heart happy really. Will even liked it!
Short Term 12: I actually watched this after Rainbow Rowell recommended it and SHE WAS RIGHT. Very good film!
If I Stay: It was amazing to see this book come to life on the big screen! The music translated really well!
Veronica Mars movie: OMG! I was devastated when the show ended how it did. GRRRR. I have been waiting so long for this (and backed the project on Kickstarter) so Will got us special tickets to see it for a (belated) Valentine’s date! It was one of those experiences where I wanted to cry joyful tears (okay I did) from being reunited with characters who feel like family. OMG I AM CRYING NOW. LoVe forever!!

 

ee

 

In past years I had a whole beauty section because I bought more things because I’m a beauty addict. However, this year I again had to limit it to what I NEEDED and also I’m switching over a lot of my stuff to natural beauty products so I’m in transition right now trying to find favorites and finish up when I’m using now (props to Betty for being my on-call guru when I need help).

favorite things of 2014

Yoga with Adriene: I want to go to classes but no $$. So I found Adriene and, while I’m still VERY new to all this, I’m excited that I found her because she is PERFECT!

Fleece lined leggings (got mine from Forever 21): game changers

Aztec Secret Healing Clay: Love making masks with this!

Alima Pure: There’s a brand I really want to try that’s liquid which is what I normally use (I used Makeup Forever & Stila foundations previously) but it’s too much $$ for right now so I opted for this which is a lot like Bareminerals (which tbh I didn’t really love before) because it’s cheaper. Betty doesn’t approve of this one those because of the particles you can inhale 😉

Gelato fiasco torched marshmallow gelato: As I tweeted when I tasted it, I wish I could live in this gelato forever!

Nourish Organics face wash, Shea Butter & Face Lotion: Love this brand! Not the deodorant though. NOPE NOPE.

Trader Joe’s Treats:  Sea Salt Butter Scotch Chocolates // Dark Truffle Chocolate //Watermelon Cucumber Cooler — I LOVE FINDING NEW THINGS HERE. Always.

 

fave-blogs-2013

Here’s five blogs I loved and discovered this year!

1. Oh Sweet Basil

2. Oh My Veggies

3. Young Adventuress

4. The Nectar Collective

5. Dishing Up The Dirt

moments2013

 

1. BEA! Always love spending time with my friends and other bloggers in this community!

BEA-collage-1
2. Chopping six inches off my hair: I had been growing my hair out for as long as I can remember really and I just was really sick of it getting tangled and being a pain in the ass as it got longer. But I was so scared to chop it off for some unknown reason. But I finally did it and it was such a freeing feeling and a welcome change!

hairbeforeafter
3. My sister Angela getting married! I was Maid of Honor and it was so awesome to be part of that day because this is my little sister + I LOVE her now-husband. And Will and I watched their kids while they went away for their honeymoon and had so much fun spending times with the littles.

8937_10204007313597471_3649129177119325781_nstory of my life everyone smiling nicely and I’m a dork!

 

4. YA Runs A 5K — what a great group of bloggers and authors who joined together for this!

Bs6grBxCMAA5ijXWith Susan Dennard & Sarah J. Maas

5. Will getting a new job (ummm and winning Employee of the Quarter already…he would kill me if he knew I was bragging about him): It was such a good move for us — better job, more opportunities, more money. He’s learning a lot and it’s a good company so YAY! And he’s already making a good impression within the first year so that’s always good.

10690224_640304484222_8272314740322117474_nWill & I at his work Christmas party!

 

 

 

 

Tell me if you listened to/watched/used/did these things!! Also, I’m so down for other recs if you think there is something I’d like! Tell me what your best moments were!

10 Best Backlist Books I Read In 2014

So I’ve already shared my favorite 2014 releases (non-debuts) and my seven favorite debut novels of YA! Today I want to talk about all the pre-2014 books I read this year! So I’m defining BACKLIST, for this purpose, as anything that was published pre-2014. It’s important to me as a reader/blogger to not forget about older stuff…plus I always miss SO many things.

So here are my 10 favorite backlist books I read this year!

 

best YA books

 

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch (published 2013) : Oh man this book really got to me! Definitely an underrated one! The sisters in this story just will haunt me — everything they went through. But oh my heart had warm and fuzzies by the end of this!
If I Lie by Corrinne Jackson (2012): SERIOUSLY SUCH AN UNDERRATED BOOK! This one made me sob! It was short and I read it all in one day!
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (2011): This was one of the books on my Halloween reading list. It was not scary to me as the cover made me think it might be (creepy kids!!) BUT all of the supernatural/magic stuff was awesome and it was brilliantly written! Cannot wait to read more of this series!
Saving Francesca/The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta (2006 & 2010): I’m putting these together for one because The Piper’s Son is a companion to Saving Francesca (though it can totally be read by itself though you won’t feel as if you are visiting old friends like you do if you read Saving Francesca first). Marchetta is a genius and I’m glad now I’ve read more of her than just Jellicoe Road (which I super loved). I loved both the perspectives of Francesca and then of Thomas Mackee. HIS STORY HURT ME SQUARE IN THE FEELS.

Throne of Glass/Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (2012 & 2013) : I’m SO happy I finally jumped on this bandwagon because it’s given me this appetite for fantasy now! Heir of Fire (book 3) made my best of 2014 releases list and these books were VERY high on my list this year of books I’ve read. OH MY GOODNESS. They just keep getting better and better.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (2013): This was definitely one of the best adult fiction books I read this year! SO FUNNY and sweet and I just couldn’t put it down!
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas (2013): WOW. If you like thriller/mystery kinds of books, this one was just so twisty and awesome. Took a ripped from the headlines story and just kept me guessing until the final page.

How To Love by Katie Cotugno (2013): This book was incredible! I tend to steer away from teen pregnancy books just because a lot of them don’t seem like my thing but this book just captivated me! Love me some complicated, messy relationships!

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay (2012): Hands down one of the most all-consuming reading experiences I had this year! This book is beautiful and sad and tragic and hopeful and OMG MY EMOTIONS.

How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford (2009): THIS BOOK is such an underrated gem! Friendship! Finding oneself! If you like quirky characters and stories, check this one out!

 

 

Tell me which backlist books you read and LOVED this year! I’m always wanting to make sure I don’t skip excellent books from years past!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...