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2014 YEAR-END REVIEW: Rachel

PersonalizedBannerRachel

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR: 

Violence Begets” by PT Denys

violence begets

If I had to name my favorite book of 2014 two weeks ago, it would have been one of the lot in SA McAuley’s Borders War series. But Denys’s little known, self-published YA that I randomly grabbed for free from Amazon on Black Friday is so haunting that despite it being the 4.5 starred book against solid 5 star competition, will take home my award for favorite of 2014.

4.5 & 5 STAR BOOKS OF 2014:

 Rachel2014

Overhyped book of the year

(What’s all the fuss about?):

Anything by Voinov and Witt (as a team). I still love Voinov solo, but I have tired of this partnership this year. In my opinion, Unhinge the Universe and the first two Market Gardens started out strong … and then it has just been downhill from there.

 

Underhyped book of the year

(Why haven’t more people read this?):

Violence Begets by PT Denys

Best surprise of the year

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

KJ Charles. The lovely Another Place in Time Anthology woke me up to finally make introductions with Ms. Charles. And I am glad I did. After reading her contribution to the anthology, I devoured her works. Sorry I originally passed on The Magpie Lord last year, thinking the magician aspect would not be to my liking. My bad, I am caught up now.

I keep mentioning it, but it is because I keep thinking about it. Violence Begets by PT Denys was unexpected and took me off guard. I picked up this Black Friday freebie, thinking it would be just an angsty YA. To say it has angst is an understatement. It is well written, smartly contrived, brutally raw and I will never reread it – but it is one that I have and will continue to think about.

Auto-buy authors

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

Manna Francis writes it, I read it.

KJ Charles surprised and impressed me this year, I have gobbled up her works and look forward to more of her writings.

CS Pacat also has yet to disappoint me … and she better not in 2015.

 

My reading experience in 2014:

Real life took center stage for me this year and demanded my attention, leaving me otherwise occupied and exhausted.   Quiet moments to escape into a book were few and far between and when I had time to relax my mind was often too distracted to concentrate on words on a page. The start of the year brought me pleasant surprises with Henriette Clarke’s The Truth About Riley and IsaK’s Guttersnipe. But the coming months brought a plethora of reading disappointment starting with Voinov and Witt’s long awaited release of Payoff, which eked out a generous three stars from me and was followed by a wobbly road of two stars including Tenino’s Frat Boy and Toppy, Waite’s Crazy and Doyon’s The Byte of Betrayal. After a few more mediocre reads, by the latter half of summer I gave up and sat myself down on the beach with my knitting and socializing to entertain me. As fall approached, Hassell and Ais’s Director’s Cut of Evenfall revived me, despite not living up to my expectations. And then … I picked up One Breath, One Bullet by SA McAuley and since then have managed to find myself in a sea of four and five star reads one after another. I even wandered into the rabbit hole of Sterek fan fiction (Thank you GR friends) which made this fan fiction hater back track on barring all fan fiction from her library.

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

Captive Prince III

Book 8 & 9 of The Administration Series

Feeding my new found Sterek addiction

The first three quarters of 2014 were rocky for me in terms of having time to read and enjoying what I read when I did have time. As real life and me have now begun to work out a routine to strike a reasonable balance between the attention it demands and a few moments here there for me to drift into a book now and again, I look forward to continuing my love affair with reading and all it has to offer in adding to my lust … for life.

12 comments on “2014 YEAR-END REVIEW: Rachel

  1. Barbra
    December 28, 2014

    I’ve read good things about Manna Francis for years…maybe I’ll give it a try. I’ve also never heard of CS Pacat so I’ll Google that too. I’ve already checked out Violence Begets and I don’t think I’m ready for that kind of angst so I’m giving it a pass for now. Thanks for you list.

    Like

    • Rachel
      December 28, 2014

      Yeah, you definitely have to read Violence Begets only if you are in the right mood for it. Honestly if I had realized quite what it was before hand it probably would have sat on my TBR for a while. Manna Francis’s writing is just so flawless and her The Administration Series is online for free: http://www.mannazone.org/ Pacat (now CS formerly SU) wrote Captive Prince, volumes I & II are brilliant read together, many have a frustrating time getting through I, but II is well worth it and the third edition is eagerly awaited for. Hope you enjoy them and happy reading!

      Like

  2. Katie Mc (@KatieMcAtGR)
    December 28, 2014

    I think we have a similar wish for 2014, although I haven’t fell into the Sterek rabbit hole. Yet.

    Like

    • Rachel
      December 28, 2014

      I think you would especially enjoy Lisa Henry’s (aka Discontented Winter) contributions to Sterek. Entanglednow is my current favorite Sterek author though. Basically what I am saying here Katie, is that don’t stand too close to that rabbit hole – ’cause I will shove you in. ;)

      Like

  3. katinka
    December 28, 2014

    “Captive Prince III

    Book 8 & 9 of The Administration Series

    Feeding my new found Sterek addiction”

    Talk about two peas in a pod! Damn! :D

    Like

    • Rachel
      December 28, 2014

      Yeah, we’re awesome. ;)

      Like

  4. Ami
    December 28, 2014

    Another Place in Time anthology is amazing, isn’t? And I am happy that it introduced you to KJ Charles because she has definitely become one of my favorites.

    Like

    • Rachel
      December 28, 2014

      Me, too. I used to be really into historical M/F’s and wavered off of them when I stated reading M/M. APiT definitely opened my eyes that I had just been reading the wrong historical M/M authors and introduced me to the ones I should have taken note of.

      Like

  5. TracyTG
    December 29, 2014

    Wonderful write-up, Rachel! I loved reading about your book journey over the year. (And I hear you about the juggling the life while grabbing respite time to read.) Here’s to you having a fantastic 2015 with just the right amount of time to enjoy many wonderful reads (including CP 3!!) :D

    Like

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2014

      Thanks Tracy! Same to you and fingers crossed for the release of CP3.

      Like

  6. susanylee
    December 29, 2014

    Violence Begets sounds like it would TEAR ME APART! ha! I wonder if I could handle it…

    And yay…another Borders Wars fan! Xing and I both love that series! :) Do you find it Special Forces’esque…kinda sorta?

    Like

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2014

      VB is tough, towards the end it gets a bit “over dramatic” which actually allowed me to step back from it a bit and not go down on its sinking ship oddly enough, but definitely don’t pick up if you are in a jolly mood.

      I do see the SF (kind of meets Hunger Games) type of connection and honestly I feel like it is even better than SF (though I was only a fan of the first SF) . It is less vulgar, but just as intense. Has a refinement that SF lacked. I am looking forward to the fourth edition – which I thought was supposed to have been out this month, but have yet to have seen it. I will be happily excited with you and Xing for the rest of this series.

      Like

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