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2014 YEAR-END REVIEW: Sheri

PersonalizedBannerSheri

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR: 

Ball & Chain” by Abigail Roux

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Such a torturous question: favorite book of the year. It’s almost impossible selecting just one. I’ve agonized over the answer. When I ask myself which single book could I read again and again, I have a small handful that fight for the coveted spot. If I am forced to choose (which I requested of all my friends!) then I have to go with…Ball & Chain by Abigail Roux.

I know it was a book full of controversy, but I freakin’ loved it. Two unparalleled characters, my favorite couple and I got exactly what I desired. Criticism was harsh and heavy, but I didn’t let it melt my smile. I cannot wait for book 9….Bring it on!

4.5 & 5 STAR BOOKS OF 2014:

I don’t think I can proudly wear the star slut crown this year (Sara took the prize for Star Slut 2014!). Nope, I bucked up and put on my critics’ glasses. I am still very much character driven when it comes to my books. I have to connect with them or it’s lukewarm regardless of the plot and writing. I had to leave out some short stories that rocked my world, but there a couple of winners in that pile.

sheri2014

Overhyped book of the year

(What’s all the fuss about?):

Cross & Crown by Abigail Roux. Yes, my favorite book this year was by the same author and I had high hopes for another home run. This one struck out for me. Man, I was bummed that I didn’t love it. I really wanted to love it. Don’t you hate it when that happens? If I’m honest, I was bored. It pains me to say, but I struggled to finish. I sure as hell wasn’t expecting that. Just goes to show, you win some and you lose some.

Underhyped book of the year

(Why haven’t more people read this?):

Hands down….Cranberry Hush by Ben Monopoli. I was clueless going into this one, which everyone should be and I wish everyone would read it. Sixteen, etched forever in my mind, seconds. It’s a magnificent book and I recommend it as often as I can.

For real, go read it!

 

Best surprise of the year

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

One of my favorite reads was not even close to a favorite book. Our buddy read/challenge Something like Winter by Jay Bell was a highlight this year, yet I could barely stand the book (sorry Jay!). It was the author that won me over (love ya Jay!), not the book itself. Bit of a shocker that I had a great time reading a book I didn’t like.

Auto-buy authors

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

Abigail Roux

Jaime Reese

Rick R Reed

T.A. Webb

L.A. Witt

Jo Myles

…with shout outs to Marie Sexton, NR Walker and Damon Suede.

My reading experience in 2014:

It’s over? What?!
Where did this year go? It flew by…page by page and chapter by chapter.

I hope yours have been overflowing with good books and even better books.

Mine has been full of ups and downs. Real life threw me high and dropped me low; thankfully, I was flying more than I fell.
My online life, which revolves around reading, had its fair share of turbulence as well.

I had the unfortunate experience of discovering not everyone is entirely truthful from behind their ‘screens’. It was devastating to find out that someone I cared for wasn’t who I thought they were. It wasn’t merely a fellow buddy reader (though that is how it began), it wasn’t someone that I only knew for a few months (more like a couple dozen months), nor was it idle chit-chat (I shared my life with this individual).

Simply summed up, I was heartbroken.

It forced a knee-jerk reaction in me. I became tremendously protective of my online friends & adopted family that I have held & hugged in the flesh.

I know them and believe the truth in their words.

Suddenly, I couldn’t hold my tongue when I probably should have. I was struck by the urge to stop the tears I couldn’t dry from afar. It sucked.

How did books/reading become so personal? Somehow it did.

My reading experience from the year before was filled with bonding, growth and happiness. This year bombarded me with challenges aplenty.

The whole ordeal nearly forced me to close my computer screen and walk away from it all. Return to my solitaire reading days. Thankfully I didn’t.

Time does indeed heal and I’m grateful for the many blessings this world-o-wonderful-web has brought me; unforgettable books, amazing friends and undiscovered adventures only a cover away.

When I reflect back, I was never truly angry about the fabricated face online, I was just sad. I’ve grieved and moved on. Maybe I should be slightly more guarded with my heart from here on out, but that’s not me.

I love deeply.
I trust endlessly.
I give all I can.
I refuse to change who I am because of who others might be or as the case may be, might not be.

I strongly believe the wisdom in the quote, ‘Life is full of ups and downs. The trick is to enjoy the ups and have courage during the downs.’

Here’s to enjoyment and courage!

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

I am eager for a fresh new year filled with fabulous friends, thrilling stories and yet another book to fall in love with.

Hope to see you along the way.

*cheers* 

Wishing you a year of everlasting smiles and laughs, with a bit of luck, over a good book.

26 comments on “2014 YEAR-END REVIEW: Sheri

  1. bevsutherland
    December 29, 2014

    Great post Sheri. All the best for 2015!! :D

    Like

    • Sheri
      December 29, 2014

      Thanks Bev!
      I’ve added your top three for 2014 to my need-to-read list. I’m really looking forward to The Red Dirt series….love me some NR!
      Wishing you the best for the upcoming year as well

      Like

  2. Ami
    December 29, 2014

    Sher, first of all, I am sorry about your heart being broken. I sorta *guess* about it. It was devastating when you found out things like that.

    Second, OMG, your list is completely and totally 180 degrees different than mine!! *LOL*. None of your list (except Rose Cristo’s) are books that I want to read!! And Special Delivery? It was one of my worst read of 2014!!

    I love you anyway. MWAH!

    Like

    • Sheri
      December 29, 2014

      *hugs* Yeah, my husband told me to be cautious about the uncertainties that come with playing online and he’s *almost* always right….shh, don’t tell him I said that though ;)
      However, the risks have definitely been worth it. I’ve gained much more than I’ve lost.

      Isn’t that crazy? I think one of my not-so-favorite books was one of Katinka’s favorites this year (Protection) and I can’t tell you difficult Ilhem’s favorite (Charioteer) was for me.
      I think that’s one (of the many) reasons we are so awesome…we are all over the place. Diversity is a great thing.

      Love ya too!

      Like

  3. Debra E
    December 29, 2014

    Nice post Sheri. Will have to check out Cranberry Hush since I haven’t heard a thing about it. Hope your 2015 is wonderful!

    Like

    • Sheri
      December 29, 2014

      Ooooo, yes! Ben Monopoli is brilliant. I found the synesthesia quite intriguing. It’s a wonderful read which I recommend to non m/m readers as well as those of us already in love with the genre.
      Thanks and I hope you have an amazing kick start to the new year too. :)

      Like

  4. TracyTG
    December 29, 2014

    I’m so happy you didn’t close your computer, Sheri, because it is such a pleasure to read with you. :-) (Although you are far ahead of me. Look at all that glorious Rifter in your top reads list! I’ve been saving it, but feel I need to jump in soon!)

    I hope your 2015 reading year is full of amazing finds. Thanks for being so wonderful!

    Like

    • Sheri
      December 29, 2014

      Awww, *tight squeezes* thanks Tracy.

      Ooooommmmmmmgggggg! You must must must read The Rifter. BUT! Promise you will read at least the first three before you give into any frustrations. It truly is world-building at its finest and an untouchable tale of destined soulmates. However the unique language adds an extra challenge to the complex series.
      Can’t wait to watch your Rifter journey…..and if you need ANY help staying on track of things, Xing is our team expert!

      I believe 2015 is going to rock, hope yours does as well.

      Like

  5. Jenni
    December 29, 2014

    Must. Read. Cranberry Hush. It’s been on my TBR forever! And! I still need to tackle the rest of the Rifter series. Good stuff, right?!? Here’s to more good books and 2015! :)))

    Like

    • Sheri
      December 29, 2014

      What?! *steers Jen to her ereader* How did I forget that you haven’t completed the journey? The last few books are amaZing….you will not be disappointed. Good stuff indeed.
      And I think you’ll really love Cranberry Hush.

      psstt, let’s tag team something soon, yes? ;)
      Happy New Year my friend
      *muah*

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ilhem3606
    December 29, 2014

    Glad you didn’t shut your screen. I have the Rifter stored up for 2015, too. Here’s to good times ahead!

    Like

    • Sheri
      December 29, 2014

      Thanks sweetie, me too.
      Yippppeeeee, look at all the Rifter lovin’ about to happen. If I could start over (which I will reread again sometime soon) I would read them in the bundle format. They are such short reads individually and pack more of a punch when read in groups of 3. Hope you enjoy the ride.

      *clinks glass*
      To good times!

      Like

      • susanylee
        December 29, 2014

        *psst* Ilhem, I’ll read the Rifter series with you! I’ve been putting it off even though Sheri & Xing loved it sooooo much! I’m ready, I think! 2015…year of the Rifter!

        Like

        • Sheri
          December 29, 2014

          Year of the Rifter…OMG! I love it

          Like

        • ilhem3606
          December 30, 2014

          It’s a date! They have been on my TBR for months. It’s like I am scared to start the goodies and be short on good stuff to read! *nuts*

          Like

  7. susanylee
    December 29, 2014

    Love you, girl! :)

    Like

    • Sheri
      December 29, 2014

      love you more!
      *muah*

      Like

  8. Xing
    December 29, 2014

    *Hugs*
    I hear “Rifter” and here I come. :P

    Like

    • Sheri
      December 29, 2014

      *rubs hands together*
      Do you see? Do you see? Lots of new Rifterians in the making ;)
      *giddy smile*
      better brush up on your classes my friend….I have a feelin’ your expertise will be in hot demand!
      *hugs back*

      Like

  9. Peasblossom
    December 30, 2014

    Ahh, Sheri, <3 you.

    I hope we have another marvelous year of reading together, hopefully with even more chances to catch hold of each other in person. 😘

    Like

    • Sheri
      December 31, 2014

      *squeezes Jelly tight*
      Me too, me too! Beneath the Stain was one of my highlights mainly because of YOU! It was a blast riding that coaster with you and I can’t wait for another special ride with you by my side.
      love you more

      Like

  10. Jaime Reese
    January 1, 2015

    Happy New Year, Sheri (and the BiOB crew)!

    I’m totally honored (and incredibly flattered) to be included as one of your ‘auto-buy authors’.
    THANK YOU SO MUCH <3

    Like

    • Sheri
      January 2, 2015

      Wishing you a wonderful New Year too!
      I tend to miss updates and chatter about new releases from my lack of participation on FB and the other sites (I’m strictly a GR girl) but I keep wandering over to your profile, double checking that I haven’t missed the latest on TMoHH 3.
      It is definitely one of my most anticipated new releases of 2015.
      Can’t wait!! I’m so glad that I found you and your boys last year. You truly rock!
      *hugs*

      Like

      • Jaime Reese
        January 2, 2015

        *hugs back*
        Thank you <3 Then I have perfect timing. LOL I just announced the book 3 release date yesterday. Cole's story releases next month. :) It's titled A Restored Man. It's character-driven so it won't have the secondary suspense story line – it's all about the characters, their relationship and they change as a result of it.
        I hope you enjoy it!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Sheri
          January 2, 2015

          For reals?
          *twirls in a circle*
          You just MADE my day. Cole’s story? ohmygoodnessohmygoodnessohmygoodness
          I have a pretty damn good feelin’ this one is going to rival the first two.
          Thanks SO much for letting me know!!
          *giddy smile*

          Like

  11. Jaime Reese
    January 2, 2015

    For reals :D
    I hope you enjoy it!

    Liked by 1 person

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