2014 in Review: Some Not-So-Favourites

Although the vast majority of the books I read in 2014 I enjoyed, there were also a few that I either really disliked, or that I was disappointed by in some way, so to put all those new favourites of mine in perspective, I thought I’d share some of my not-so-favourites of the year (but don’t worry, there aren’t too many).

Rick Yancey//The 5th WaveThere was a lot of hype surrounding The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, and unfortunately I let myself get a bit caught up in it: I was really excited to read this book! And while it’s not exactly a bad book, I found that the characters were flat and the storyline predictable. Even the cliffhanger at the end didn’t really leave me all that anxious to read more. In its defence, the romance between Evan and Cassie was interesting, even if I wasn’t all that invested in it, and I will probably at least read the second book (which is, thankfully, a lot shorter).

Julie Kagawa//The Iron KingThe Iron King by Julie Kagawa was another book that I was initially really excited about, but I thought fell a little short. The main problem in this case was the main character, Meghan, who constantly needed to have everything done for her, and with whom all the other (handsome male) characters seemed to instantly fall in love. I am glad that I kept going with this series, though, because Meghan really came into her own in the third book, The Iron Queen, and so far I’ve really enjoyed the sequel series, Call of the Forgotten.

Leah Hocking//Once Upon a Glass HeartOnce Upon a Glass Heart by Leah Hocking was just something I picked up on a whim, so I didn’t have incredibly high expectations, but after a strong opening couple of chapters, I was hopeful that I’d enjoy it. Needless to say (since it’s made this list), I was disappointed. Bitterly. Once Lily made it to the Kingdom, she spent basically the entire book wandering around completing episodic and unimportant tasks, interacting with utterly unlikeable characters, before ending up right back where she started. By the end of this book, I just felt like I’d wasted my time.

James Dashner//The Kill OrderLast of all is The Kill Order by James Dashner, which wasn’t terrible (I certainly liked it better than the last Maze Runner book), except when you take into account that it was supposed to be a prequel. If it had been advertised as a standalone novel (or even as a companion to The Maze Runner trilogy), I think it would’ve been fine, but I expected it to have answers to all the questions that Dashner posed in the original trilogy, and it didn’t. It didn’t even have any of the same characters (except, briefly, in the epilogue), and it asked a lot more questions than it answered, leaving something of a sour aftertaste. While I know this series has its fans (and the film was excellent), I doubt I’ll be reading anything else by this author.

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October Wrap-Up

Happy Halloween! (Or not. I know it’s not Halloween anymore, but it was technically still Halloween when I started writing this…) This month has been a little slumpy, reading-wise (mostly because there were a couple of books that I was putting off, even though I knew I had to read them…), so I’ve only got eight nine (!) books to show to you, but there are definitely some good ones in there…

William Golding//Lord of the FliesLord of the Flies by William Golding. Slow at the start, but it picked up after the first couple of chapters. I was surprised by how much I liked this one (but perhaps I shouldn’t have been, since my expectations were pretty low after reading the beginning). It was somewhat similar in feel to I’m the King of the Castle by Susan Hill, a book that I read (and loved) when I was in school… Very chilling.4 stars

Diana Gabaldon//Dragonfly in AmberDragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. The second Outlander book! The first part of the story lent a slightly bittersweet undertone to the rest of it, but it was really wonderful to see Jamie and Claire’s relationship develop further. The plot was very engaging and the characters were wonderful, and there was lots of Jacobite drama, which I enjoyed immensely. There was also a slight cliffhanger at the end, so I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next book soon.4 stars

Skye Jordan//RebelRebel by Skye Jordan. The first half dragged a bit, but it picked up towards the middle. Unfortunately I didn’t really manage to connect with either of the main characters, which I think is the most important thing when reading a pure romance novel. Not exactly bad, just kind of disappointing (especially since I was so pleasantly surprised by the first book in the series)…2 stars

Rick Riordan//Blood of OlympusAmy Ewing//The JewelAt this point in the month, the Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon came ’round, and the two books I managed to finish for that were The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan and The Jewel by Amy Ewing. I’ve already written separate mini-reviews of both of these, so if you’d like to know what I thought of them, then click on the images to the left!5 stars4 stars

Holly Black & Cassandra Clare//The Iron TrialThe Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. The synopsis reminded me a little of the Harry Potter series, but the tone was very different – it actually reminded me more of the Percy Jackson books (Call and Percy had somewhat similar voices). I loved both the story and the characters (and I desperately want my own Havoc!). I’m really excited for the next book, even though it’ll be almost a whole year before it’s released… 😦5 stars

James Dashner//The Kill OrderThe Kill Order by James Dashner. This was the second book (the first being Lord of the Flies) that I’d been putting off reading. It was kind of interesting at times, but ultimately unsatisfying. Once again, too many questions were posed and too few questions were answered, and it had surprisingly little to do with the main trilogy. There was very little character development, and the only characters I felt that I got to know were Mark and Alec… Trina, although it seemed from the blurb that she was going to be a main character, really did very little in the book, and was absent for a large part of it. Also, I assumed that the epilogue would wrap up Deedee’s storyline, but instead it jumped back to Thomas… so what happened to Deedee? Are we supposed to already know from the main trilogy? ‘Cause I don’t remember her showing up in any of the other books… :/2 stars

Cassandra Clare//Clockwork AngelClockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. This was a great pick-me-up after reading The Kill Order… I was kind of expecting to enjoy it, since I liked The Iron Trial so much, but I ended up liking it even more than I thought I would. I really liked the romance developing between Tessa and Will, and Jem was such a sweet character (he’s definitely my favourite)! The plot was great – I didn’t see that twist coming at all! – and I’m really looking forward to the sequel.

5 stars

Jon Klassen//This is Not My HatThis is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen. I picked up this book randomly at Waterstones, & though I didn’t buy it (it was tempting!), I did manage to read through the whole thing there… It’s very short (mostly pictures), but it’s the funniest book I’ve read in ages, and it’s also adorable. 😀5 stars