Best Books (and adaptations) of 2014

It's round-up time! There have been some absolutely amazing books released this year. Every year, I seem to find a new favourite! Here are some of my top picks from 2014 - I can't wait to see what 2015 brings, and I want to say a big thank you to anyone who has sent me a book this year, either as a gift, a prize or for review. You certainly made my TBR pile scary and wonderful all at once :)

I also want to say that 2014 was made exceptionally brilliant by the existence of YALC. I hope it comes back.

So, onto my favourite titles from the year...

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Why? It was incredibly creepy with a really unique premise. Being scared to see the unknown is one thing, but not being able to survive seeing the unknown is even scarier! I really recommend this book to fans of creepy horror.


My review: http://www.mabismab.com/2014/12/bird-box-by-josh-malerman-review.html



 The Fall by Bethany Griffin


Why? The Fall was incredibly gothic and paid homage to Edgar Allen Poe. In my teenage years, I would have been ALL OVER this book. As an adult, I am hugely thankful it exists. It was a wonderful, sweeping tribute to the original story that enhanced it rather than sacrificed it.


My review: http://www.mabismab.com/2014/10/the-fall-by-bethany-griffin-review.html


We Were Liars by E Lockhart

Why? The language! This book was hit and miss amongst bloggers, but I am definitely on the side of "OMG THAT WAS AMAZING!" The story itself wasn't as good as its presentation, but hey, it wasn't bad either. Dark and twisting, We Were Liars had me hooked.


My review: http://www.mabismab.com/2014/06/we-were-liars-by-e-lockhart-review.html


 Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas


Why? This book was a rollercoaster ride of a thriller. It was fast paced and unrelenting. Dark, twisted, messed up, amazing! I can't recommend it enough. So much outpour of love happened that Mily (The YA Nightstand) and I ended up doing a no holds barred virtual book club to discuss the spoilers, ha!

My review: http://www.mabismab.com/2014/08/dangerous-boys-by-abigail-haas-review.html 


We Used To Be Kings by Stewart Foster

Why? Another one I loved for the writing style, We Used To Be Kings is the emotionally wrought tale of a troubled teen and his younger brother, dealing with issues of mental health and grief. Deep, sensitive and wonderful.


My review: http://www.mabismab.com/2014/02/we-used-to-be-kings-by-stewart-foster.html



 Echo Boy by Matt Haig 


Why? Another fast paced thriller, I loved that Echo Boy was unafraid to ask challenging questions within YA. I loved the characters, and it was one of the few books in which I truly hoped for a romance. I've recommended this book a lot this year!

My review: http://www.mabismab.com/2014/03/echo-boy-by-matt-haig-review.html



PLUS SPECIAL SHOUT-OUTS TO: Trouble by Non Pratt, Tease by Amanda Maciel and The Girl With All The Gifts by M R Carey

And for your bonus films

I couldn't leave my "best of" post without a mention of the year's slew of wonderful book adaptations.
I have to say I think my favorite was Divergent (how could anything with a real life Four not be?!) I felt it kept very faithful to the book, and the cast were great. That said, The Fault In Our Stars, Before I Go To Sleep, Gone Girl and Mockingjay Part 1 were all AMAZING too. What a great film year for book geeks!




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Bird Box by Josh Malerman - review

It's better to face madness with a plan than to sit still and let it take you in pieces"  

Title: Bird Box
Author: Josh Malerman

Publisher: Harper Voyager
Source: Purchased from Kindle Store
Available: Now
Buy it: Here

Synopsis

Malorie is leaving her home with two four-year-old children. She has been training the children to rely on hearing more than sight since birth, and has been planning their route out for years. All of them are blindfolded, and while they are, they are safe. But at some point, Malorie knows, the mask must come off.

Review

Oh wow, where to begin with Bird Box... That this book is a debut novel is unbelievable. It's taut and frightening - playing masterfully on the fear of the unknown. The characters are wonderfully varied and the broken-up structure, giving glimpses of what is to come, is perfect for the mysterious atmosphere the book creates. Bird Box is true horror, complete with suspense, violence, stormy nights and a narrator to root for.

The whole idea of not knowing what the danger looks like, and as soon as you set eyes upon it, it being too late, is so clever. I found it quite mind bending if I thought about it for too long, and you feel the fear of unknown right alongside Malorie. One of the most affecting scenes of the book for me was "hearing" through Malorie the sound of a dog going mad and killing itself. You never "see" a thing, but the implied situation from the description of the sound is very vivid.

Malorie herself is a wonderful narrator. Calculating and thoughtful, she isn't the kind of woman who screams at the slightest sound. She is a determined mother, pregnant throughout most of the book but with the future and safe delivery of her child ever-present in her thoughts and actions. I wanted a successful journey for her very much!

Overall

A really atmospheric and clever horror, Bird Box gives as much attention to atmospheric build up and character motivations as it does to action and gore. Bird Box has a really unique premise and I HIGHLY recommend it to fans of horror writing. Loved it!

Score
 

★★
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Weekly Reflection #63

Hi Everyone - this will be my last weekly reflection of 2014! I'm taking the next 2 weeks out for Christmas, but I will be back sharing my photos again very soon! I have a couple of exciting posts scheduled too, I hope you enjoy them :)


This week saw me turning the ripe old age of 26. I'd like to say I partied hard, but the truth is I was at a team away day for work! So, the week was more of a protracted celebration, that started with me making my own Turkish Delight to share with my colleagues. This was so much easier than I expected it to be, and sooo yummy.

We also had our team Christmas dinner at a restuarant, and I partook in a few cocktails ;)

I got a great present from my parents; a gold Filofax Original! I love it, but I don't know whether to move my work diary into here, or to use it for a new purpose (food diary/meal planning?!) Hmmm!

Bristol celebrated 150 years of the Clifton Suspension Bridge with a gorgeous firework show. This photo looks quite far away but we had a great view. All the fireworks went off to music and it was really pretty.

I also received my #StationeryLoversXmas swap package, which is a swap I organised with Claire from Claireabellemakes. It was such a lovely collection of gifts and I felt really lucky. Big thank yous to my swap partner Val!


My work colleague made me this really sweet "book scarf" book mark. I'm reading a lot of Kindle book sat the moment, but I'm sure I will get to use it soon! (Any excuse to buy books :P)

No birthday is a birthday without cake. My family sent me a "sponge by post" slice which was delicious, and SUCH a good idea! I will be using the company myself in future. (You can tell it's good when I've eaten half of it before the photo haha) I also had dark chocolate and beetroot cake at The Birdcage in Bristol, when my boyfriend took me shopping!

I can finally (officially) use my Noodoll pouch which my brother bougth me from Artbox. Yay!

And lastly, I received my Kawaii Wonderland Lucky Dip, which I have reviewed here.

I hope you all have a good week, Weekly Reflection will see you in January!

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