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2014 YEAR-END REVIEW: Ami

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FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR: 

Enlightened” by Joanna Chambers

Enlightened

One word. Murdo *sigh*. The last book in an outstanding trilogy that actually opened my eyes to the beauty and wonder of historical M/M romance. Me. A reader that has been proclaimed to be a non-fan and non-reader of historical romance (except if they have a paranormal/fantasy element). But this trilogy was amazing and the last book just perfect.

4.5 & 5 STAR BOOKS OF 2014:

Ami2014

Overhyped book of the year

(What’s all the fuss about?):

I don’t have any – because this year I made sure to avoid hyped books. I would not read books that seemed to be the “it” book; unless not during the time where everybody was reading and praising them. I knew I can’t really be objective about it. So there are books that are still waiting for me to read, but I will wait until nobody else is talking about them

 

Underhyped book of the year

(Why haven’t more people read this?):

Similar to Cornelia Grey (who was my under-hyped author of 2013), I thought K.Z. Snow was an under-hyped author as well. I wish that more people were reading her books, because she truly has a great writing quality that’s almost flawlessly poetic, artistic and non-formulaic in storytelling, with characters that are not always perfect. She tackled some important topics over the years, from abuse to addiction. And this one book I read this year, Resurrection Man is another sample of that. She brought life to a story about a homeless young man who finally finds the meaning of himself through the eyes of people who meant a lot to him. It’s a magically beautiful story.

Best surprise of the year

(didn’t know what to expect or the story caught you off guard or anything that just…surprised you…):

I was pleasantly surprised with Sarina Bowen’s Understatement of the Year (The Ivy Years, #3). Maybe because it was self-published (and I am a bit of a snob when it comes to self-pub books) and it was a New Adult novel (not exactly a favorite genre of mine) with a story of an athlete that suffers from internal homophobia (again, not exactly a favorite trope of mine). But I ended up quite charmed by the story and I thought the whole internal homophobia was handled really, really well.

Auto-buy authors

(I’d buy anything these authors write, without a doubt):

Kaje Harper

K.J. Charles

Kate Sherwood

Cornelia Grey

Anyta Sunday

My reading experience in 2014:

The year 2014 was my 6th year of reading M/M and I admit that I had been slightly jaded with this genre. It was hard for me to get pleasantly surprised anymore since the books released sounded like the same old same old. Too many overused tropes, too many new authors for me to care about. This year I was getting pickier – and tended to stick to what I knew I would enjoy. If you saw my 4.5 & 5 star reads last year for M/M, the number might be similar this year. But in details, the books that I rated 5* significantly dropped (I had more 4.5* reads). I didn’t care about hype; if it didn’t sound like my ‘book’, I wouldn’t read it, no matter how great the reviews were.

It wasn’t all bad – I did challenge myself to read MM outside my comfort zone. I discovered that I actually enjoyed M/M historicals. I tried reading M/M/M too, back in March (though I couldn’t say it was a success). I formed a Whatsapp group with a bunch of Indonesian M/M readers in Jakarta and Surabaya, and read a couple of books that they recommended. I did a Twitter buddy read this December and had fun with it. So 2014 still offered some memorable M/M reading moments…

What I’m hoping for/looking forward to in my 2015 reading journey?

I think I am hoping for great books – who isn’t? – I am hoping for new-to-me authors that immediately become auto-read. I am planning to have some personal reading challenges too. But other than that, I don’t know. I am actually picturing myself slowing down a bit in M/M and actually reading other genres (le gasp!). But you know how it is with the 7-year-itch… :)

13 comments on “2014 YEAR-END REVIEW: Ami

  1. llesarlorraine
    December 26, 2014

    Can you read book 3 in the Joanna Chambers, as a standalone or do you have to start from book 1?

    Like

  2. TracyTG
    December 26, 2014

    Great write-up, Ami! I still have to read Enlightened. It sounds awesome! (Mmmmm…Murdo!)

    Like

    • Ami
      December 27, 2014

      Yeah, Murdo is just LOVE

      Like

  3. kveta
    December 27, 2014

    Thanks so much for the post! I totally agree with you about Sarina Bowen’s “Understatement of the Year”. Such great story.
    And I’m adding Joanna Chambers’s “Enlightenment” series on my to-try list!

    Like

    • Ami
      December 27, 2014

      Yes, I was pleasantly surprised with “Understatement of the Year” … And I have been reading the genre for 6+ years :-). I hope you enjoy the “Enlightenment” series!

      Like

  4. Carolyn
    December 27, 2014

    Ami, seeing all these people who haven’t read the Enlightenment series reminds me of when I was just reading it, and you seem surprised I hadn’t yet. Look at you now spreading the word. It’s such a great read, makes me happy to see so many people adding it to their tbr.

    I’m so with you on the K.Z. Snow love. Her writing just clicks with me. I haven’t read Resurrection Man yet, and every time I see it, I think, “Why haven’t I read that yet?” I REALLY need to do that soon.

    I totally have recs outside m/m, so we need to talk!

    Like

    • Ami
      December 27, 2014

      The more people reading “Enlightenment” series, the better *lol*. Because yes, it was a great trilogy, the ultimate kind of romamce, you know? And Murdo…. Ah, Murdo *melt*

      Why haven’t you read “Ressurection Man”?? Go, correct your mistake!

      And yes, we need to talk outside M/M too…

      Like

  5. katinka
    December 28, 2014

    You’re one of the fans from the first hour that have seen the genre grow and expand. How exciting! I can imagine how at some point — especially after 6 years — it can start to feel like you’ve read it all before though. Hopefully 2015 will bring you new books that will rock you off your socks!:)

    Oh and, yes to Murdo!<3

    Like

    • Ami
      December 28, 2014

      Yeah, I started reading the genre in 2008. Part of the “early” readers in GR too with few of MM readers who became my friends. The MM Romance Group at GR has not even established yet!! You are right, at some point, it feels like everything is rinse and repeat situation… But I am still hopeful!! Besides, I still have fanfic for backup haha

      Like

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