Top 10 Books I Read in 2014

bestofedit I don’t have as many books to choose from as some people do, but I did read 30 this year and I definitely have my favourites. This post isn’t just going to be books published in 2014, it is going to be a list of the top ten books I have read this year despite when it was originally published. Alright, no more rambling…let’s do this:

10. Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney

As soon as I saw this book in the bookstore I knew I needed it in my life. I thought it was really funny and resonated with me as someone who is in the same shoes (more or less) as the author. While the book does deal with boys and dating life – or lack thereof – it really brings home the value of having great friends who you can trust and love. It is a great book to pass around with your girlfriends.
Favourite quote:
“In fact, I think that’s probably what the Bermuda Triangle is up to. It doesn’t mean to do any harm, and it’s actually pretty nice once you get to know it. It’s just that Bermuda doesn’t know how to handle itself when somebody sails into its territory, because that hardly ever happens.”

9)  American Gods by Neil Gaiman 

When I started this book I didn’t think it was going to make it on my list of favourite books of the year, but here we are. My love for this book was a slow build from beginning to end; I didn’t realize how much I was enjoying it until it was suddenly over. The book was just so good and different from anything I have read and I feel like, if you haven’t already done so, you should read it too. Be sure to check out my review of American Gods!
Favourite Quotes:
“All your questions can be answered, if that is what you want. But once you learn your answers, you can never unlearn them.”
“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore it knows it’s not fooling a soul.”

8) The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

It has certainly been a long time coming with this book. I’m ashamed to say how long it even took my to realize this series of books existed – I’m pretty sure when it was starting off I was in my Harry Potter bubble that no one could even think of entering. Well, now that I’ve started the series I’m definitely going to enjoy slowly making my way through it. I’m excited to see what other adventures the sassy Percy and his gang get up to in future books!
Favourite quotes:
“It’s funny how humans can wrap their mind around things and fit them into their version of reality.”
“Deadlines just aren’t real to me until I’m staring one in the face.”
“Even strength must bow to wisdom sometimes.”
“Humans see what they want to see.”

7) Attachments by Rainbow Rowell 

This is the first, but certainly not the last Rainbow Rowell book you will be seeing on this list. Attachments was the first of Rowell’s adult books that I read and I really, really enjoyed it. It was adorable, funny, and had – as per usual – fantastic characters that you can’t help but love. Seriously though, this guy is clearly one of the earliest cyber-creepers but you can’t help but love him. It was a super fast read and I just can’t wait to finally pick up Landline this year so I can say I’ve read all Rowell’s books to date.
Favourite quotes:
“Every woman wants a man who’ll fall in love with her soul as well as her body.”
“I believe that worrying about a bad thing prepares you for it when it comes. If you worry, the bad thing doesn’t hit you as hard. You can roll with the punch if you see it coming.”

6) Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I told you Attachments wouldn’t be the last Rowell novel you will see (spoiler: this isn’t either). Rowell definitely became an instant buy author for me this year. This untraditional love story was so good all the way through. The characters and their stories were so great that you can’t help but feel for and with them. One of Rowell’s strengths is her characters and that is why I love her writing so much. I wrote a review of Eleanor & Park so feel free to check that out!
Favourite quotes:
“I just want to break that song into pieces and love them all to death.”
“You saved me life, she tried to tell him. Not forever, not for good. Probably just temporarily. But you saved my life, and now I’m yours. The me that’s me right now is yours. Always.”

5) Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

2014 was also the year I became obsessed with Mindy Kaling. Not in a weird way, but in the way where I’m pretty certain if we ever met we would be instant best friends (with Jennifer Lawrence too). After binge watching The Mindy Project in less than a week and watching as many interviews with Kaling on Youtube I could find the next obvious step would be to read her memoir…and I wasn’t disappointed. I found my self laughing out loud while reading this book – as expected. This series of essays about Kaling’s life has me impatiently waiting for her next book which I believe will be coming out later this year!
Favourite Quotes: 
“There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it.”
“There Has Ceased to Be a Difference Between My Awake Clothes and My Asleep Clothes”

4) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I told you there was more Rowell to come; Fangirl was definitely my favourite of her books I read this year. I just found the main character to be so relatable and, I mean, who wouldn’t love to find their own Levi. It’s a great read for all fangirl’s alike and even though I didn’t think the fanfiction aspect was super strong, the actual plot and characters brought Fangirl to my number four spot. I wrote a review on Fangirl which you can take a look at!
Favourite quotes:
“There Has Ceased to Be a Difference Between My Awake Clothes and My Asleep Clothes”
“You’re never going to find a guy who’s exactly like you—first of all, because that guy never leaves his dorm room.”

3) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 

This. Book. I think my top three books of the year are pretty interchangeable so this book could easily fill the second or first spot. I honestly didn’t think this books was going to make it so high on my list of favourites when I first started reading it. I found I was having a really difficult time getting into the story…but then, all of a sudden, I was hooked and the rest is history. I cried for a solid 20 minutes after finishing this book. It was so beautiful and utterly heartbreaking. If anyone ever says anything bad to me about young adult fiction ever again I’m going to throw this book (and the next book on the list) at their face and just watch their minds change as they read this story. SO GOOD.
Favourite Quotes:
“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”

2) More Than This by Patrick Ness

Patrick Ness was also added to my list of instant buy authors – and that was only after one book! I mean, I already own two more of his books, I just haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. I have a feeling they will probably be on my 2015 favourite list though if this book is any indication. I flew through More Than This and I really, really loved it. I went into the story not knowing a single thing about the plot and I can honestly say I was not expecting this book to be the way it was, which made it so much better. I love being taken aback by a story. I think that everyone should read this book because a) I say so and b) it’s awesome. You can’t argue against that. Check out my review of More Than This here.
Favourite Quote:
“A book… it’s a world all on its own too. A world made of words, where you live for a while.”
“Know yourself and go in swinging.”

1) The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

I couldn’t just pick one. It wasn’t happening. I am SO happy I read this series this year (in 10 glorious days if we are going to be exact). It is everything you could possibly want in a (older) YA fantasy series: a super badass lead female character who is still super feminine, a plethora of good looking men to read about and argue over, great action sequences, and AMAZING world building. I simply can not wait any longer for the next book in the series; I need it now. If you are interested in seeing my review of the first book – Throne of Glass – click here and I promise I will try and get the reviews for the rest of the series up ASAP! I’m not going to include a favourite quotes section here because it will take FOREVER to pick.

And those are the top ten books I read in 2014! Ok, so I cheated a little by including a series but we can just overlook that little detail.

Let me know what your favourite books of 2014 were or send me a link to your list because I (clearly) need to add to my TBR list! Here’s to another year of great books!


Getting Through the Pile One Book at a Time: September Wrap Up

Wrap Up

We are already six days into the month of October and I still can’t quite believe that it’s here already. Time just moves so quickly I can’t deal with it. My reading game wasn’t too bad this month; it could have been better and could have been worse. I managed to read almost all the books on my September TBR and I’ve become obsessed with a new series (like Hunger Games and Harry Potter level of obsessed), but more on that later.

So without further ado – here are the books I finished in September:

The Death Cure by James Dashner
Quick Review:
I think this was a pretty good conclusion for the trilogy…give or take a few things of course. This book was definitely a slower read than the other two and I didn’t like it quite as much. And Thomas frustrated me to no end. To see my full review of The Maze Runner trilogy click here!
My Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

More Than This by Patrick Ness
Quick Review:
I. Loved. This. Book. LOVE IT. Like I want to climb to the top of a mountain and yell about my love for all the world to hear. One of the best books I’ve read all year. Patrick Ness has a new fan in this girl; I can’t wait to read more of his stuff. See my full review of the novel here!
My Rating:
A perfect 5 out of 5 stars

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Quick Review:
It took me a while to really get into this story, but once I did I enjoyed it. That being said, I do think that its reputation ruined it a bit for me – just wasn’t as good as I was expecting. I will have a full review of this up sometime with week as well as an Adaptation Report for the film!
My Rating: 
3.5 out of 5 stars

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Quick Review:
Kind of cheating with this one as I finished it on October 1st, but SHH. There isn’t much to say other than: I’m obsessed. Totally and completely obsessed. I’ve already finished Crown of Midnight and I can’t deal with it. A review will be up ASAP! SO MANY FEELS. AND CHAOL. Okay, I’m done.
My Rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars

And that’s that! The only book I didn’t end up getting to was The Lightning Thief (aka the first book in the Percy Jackson series), but I did just start that book as I wait for Heir of Fire to arrive in the mail. October may pan out to be a good month as I’ve already finished two books (technically 3) and it’s only the 6th!

What was your favourite book last month?

Review: More Than This by Patrick Ness

Book Details:
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Pages: 480
Released: May 1st 2014
Goodreads Rating: 4.05

Goodreads summary:
A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies.
Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive.
How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place?
As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?

My Thoughts:
This book. I honestly don’t know what more I can say about this book other than it is definitely one of the best books I have read this year so far.

I’m not going to give anything away in this review because I think the best way to go into More Than This is without a lot of knowledge about what to expect. I only went into the book having read the blurb on the back and with recommendations from friends – whose judgements I trust – saying the book was fantastic.

I didn’t put this book down. I couldn’t. I was so entranced by this story and the characters’ lives that I had to find out what was going to happen; I needed to know the truth.

You can definitely say I was obsessed with this story and when it was finished I can honestly say that I wanted more! I wanted to know what happened next, I wanted to know more than this (badumtis).

It’s beautiful, thought provoking, funny at times, scary in others; it is the whole package and then some. Like John Green said, “Just read it.”

As I previously mentioned, I don’t want to give anything away, just know that I am officially on the Patrick Ness fan-wagon and I could not be more excited to read more of his work.


My Rating:
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars. It has definitely been added to my go-to recommendations pile because I think everyone would enjoy this whether or not you like sci-fi or novels in the YA category.

Favourite Quotes:
“A book… it’s a world all on its own too. A world made of words, where you live for a while.”

“Know yourself and go in swinging.”

“You said we all want there to be more than this! Well, there’s always more than this. There’s always something you don’t know.”

“Real life is only ever just real life. Messy. What it means depends on how you look at it. The only thing you’ve got to do is find a way to live there.”

“We have to lie to ourselves to live. Otherwise, we’d go crazy.”


Getting Through the Pile One Book at a Time: September TBR


Alert the press: I finally have time to read! I’m hoping that my reading game is strong in September and I manage to catch up on my year challenge on Goodreads – I’m six book behind *gulp*. This month is just going to find me applying for jobs (I need money to buy more books after all), writing, reading, and maybe contemplating setting up a book vlog. Maybe. (Seriously though, let me know if that is something you want to see). I’m going to be making this list a little hefty because I want to challenge myself this month to read as much as I possibly can! So without further ado, here is my September TBR:

Continue reading

I came, I crawled, I conquered: IBW Bookshop Crawl & Haul

In celebration of independent bookshops around the UK I took part in Independent Bookshop Week’s bookshop crawl today (how many time can you use independent in one sentence, am I right?).

I travelled to four of the five bookshops (unfortunately I ran out of time) in Edinburgh that were involved in IBW 2014 and did some shopping. Unfortunately I couldn’t do as much damage as I wanted to because I am going home to Canada in just under two months and my suitcase is already under a lot of threat of being overweight…so you see the issue.

I was so happy I was able to participate in this event because there really is nothing better than going to bookshop to pick up a physical book, and I always find the experience in independent bookshops to be so great. In the shops I visited I engaged in conversation with the workers; gushing over recent favourite reads, complaining about movie covers, and really just enjoying some chat with people who understand your crazy love for books.

It is always a much more intimate experience shopping in an independent bookshop because you know every book there was carefully selected for one reason or another.

The four bookshops I visited were The Edinburgh Bookshop, Looking Glass Books (the only place with IBW stickers, oddly enough), Word Power Books, and Golden Hare Books.

Now on to the fun part….the haul! Here we go:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Black Swan
Released: September 8th 2007
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Pages: 560
Goodreads Description (blurb on back):  1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
It’s a small story, about: a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.
Goodreads Rating: 4.37 out of 5
Why I picked it up: I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while now and since there is a movie out I think it is time for me to read this bad boy. Also, LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFUL COVER.
More Than This by Patrick Ness
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Released: September 1st 2013
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopian
Pages: 480
Goodreads Description (blurb on back): A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies.
Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive.
How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place?
As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?
Goodreads Rating: 4.04 out of 5
Why I picked it up: A few of my friends have read this book and recommended it to me. I’ve also heard great things about Patrick Ness in general and wanted to start reading some of his work. Super excited to get started on this one.
BONUS BOOK: When I purchased this from Looking Glass Books I got a copy of Freight Books’ 101 Uses of a Dead Kindle by Adrian Searle and Judith Hastie and it is just as good as you think it is.

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
Publisher: Borough Press (HarperCollins)
Released: May 9th 2013
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Pages: 314
Goodreads Description (blurb on back): ‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’
Debut novel about one man’s descent into mental illness, following the death of his brother in childhood. Filer is a mental health nurse with a unique and startling insight into mental illness, and this book highlights a much-neglected subject.
Goodreads Rating: 3.86 out of 5
Why I picked it up: I watched a great review of book by Peruse Project’s Regan and I knew it was something I needed to read.

And there you have it.Those are the books I picked up today and, honestly, they all sound like tearjerkers. I guess I was in a mood. I can’t wait to read all these books and I hope everyone who participated in today’s bookshop crawl had as much fun as I did!