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Top 10 Tuesday: Best Reads of 2014 (So Far)

top ten tuesday hosted by the broke and the bookish

I had to participate this week because it’s like an experiment. Will these 10 books still be on my list in 6 months? Will they be bumped by something else amazing? It’s hard to say and I love the mystery. (Even if I am an impatient person.) I know I am so pumped to see what everyone else is listing today too so, as always, thanks so much to The Broke and Bookish for hosting. 🙂

the five stars

I have a post coming up about this subject (the PERFECT books) but for now, I’m sharing with you the three I read this year so far. I can’t imagine any books really topping them. SO I CHALLENGE YOU BOOKS. Can you possibly be better than these?

Halfway Mark Top Reads of 2014 The Five Stars

(1) Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

LA setting, a main character with the coolest job ever, a unique love story, a great friendship — I could go on. From the minute I started this book, I was totally sucked in and once I finished, I was ready to give Nina’s other book, The Disenchantments, a second chance. I think that says it’s all right there. The writing of this book is SO seamless. It deserves all the readers.

(2) Pointe by Brandy Colbert

I haven’t had an emotional reaction to a book like I had to this one in a long time. Theo is dealing with her best friend returning from a kidnapping, auditioning for dance schools, and surviving the rest of high school. What struck me so much about this book was Theo’s journey to find herself worthy of anything really and also how brilliantly paced her growth was unveiled through the writing. Small details, small epiphanies piecing the story together. It’s truly a masterpiece.

(3) There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos

A book about grief from the POV of a male narrator who has lost his twin sister in a car accident. (Interested in the Diversity in YA campaign? The main character and his family are Filipino.) There’s a bucket list, a girl best friend, a supportive family feeling out this tragedy together and apart, and a school project that really kept the book moving. I cried on the subway, I laughed, and I even swooned. Such heartfelt honesty = blew me away.

the ones that didn’t come out this year

Halfway Mark Top Reads of 2014 Not Released this Year

(4) Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick

I bought this one last year, and it was originally released in 2010. The main character was a bit hard to connect to in the beginning so much that I got a little nervous I wouldn’t finish but I’m glad I hung on. A story of kindness, tragedy, and moving forward with some of the most vivid personalities I’ve ever met in my books.

(5) Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos

I don’t like to compare books to one another much but if you enjoyed WINGER, I think you should try this one out. The character has a unique voice, dealing with depressing, first love, and family. Underneath the sadness there is a layer of comedy and I enjoyed that balance. (I actually lent this one to my mom when I finished.)

(6) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I was petrified to read this because I heard about how much of a tearjerker it is. Don’t get me wrong; it’s definitely a sad story but the main character is more spunky and quirky than I ever could have imagined. There are amazing little details, wonderful friendship blooming, and even that complicated relationship between sisters (and also the one parents have with each of their kids). Everyone was right about this book but I want to make sure I say more than YES IT’S SAD. It’s so much more than that.

the final four: why haven’t you read these yet?

Halfway Mark Top Reads of 2014 Why Haven

(7) Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Everyone is going to have this one on their list, and I’m guessing it will have a lot to do with Reagan and Matt. I loved them together, I did but what really sold me was the honest relationship between Reagan and Lilah. Friendships like these don’t happen every day, especially after wading through all of this crap. But Emery has all the layers down and had me feeling so much. Hands down, one of the best gal friendship stories I’ve ever read.

(8) The One and Only by Emily Giffin

I’m just as surprised as you are. Really. This love story is so unconventional but if love football and complicated romances… Emily has a slam dunk with this one (after a few misses). She writes a lot of exposition in her books (just a reminder) and once I settled in, I read this (very large) book in less than 24 hours. The main character goes through quite a journey (friendship, family, career, love) and tries to deny her heart so many times in hopes of not hurting other people. This one is definitely worth your time. (I do suggest buying the eBook though because the hardcover is super heavy.)

(9) The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner

It’s important to remember the characters in this book are 15 years old. Because they act like 15-year-olds do. They don’t over-complicate what you might think but Frankie is still reeling from the drowning of her little brother and thinks she has found his soul in the new boy she is baby-sitting for the summer. His name is Frankie too, but you can call him Frankie Skye. This book is about the surprising people who come into our life and help us move forward.

(10) Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

Online communities, body image, broken friendships, parents/kids, secrets, loneliness — there’s a little bit of all of this in LBC. Imagine you think you’ve found your safe place and you realize it’s not quite that safe after all. That’s exactly what happens to Tab when she “gives” a secret and is given a task from the online community she has joined. It doesn’t feel like bravery anymore when you are affecting the lives of the people you love.

bonus (can’t help myself)

Halfway Mark Top Reads of 2014 Bonus

** When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds: loyalty, family, friendship, Brooklyn. Packed a punch for a short book (and had me crying).

** The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor: first love, culture clash, finding yourself. Great characters, gorgeous writing.

♥   ♥   ♥

Oh gosh. That was so hard. I’m already thinking of 2 titles I’m missing.

Hope you’re convinced to add a few of these to your “must-read” list! Can’t wait to read everyone else’s picks!

Happy Tuesday!


June 17, 2014 - 9:01 am

The Time Has Come: A Chat with Carrie Arcos - […] week in my Top 10 Tuesday post, I mentioned my 5-star reads of the year so far so I’m super thrilled to have Carrie Arcos on […]

June 13, 2014 - 11:37 am

Vicky - There are a couple on here that I really want to read, such as Everything Leads To You and definitely Pointe! Also, Open Road Summer is definitely a book I want to purchase, so think I definitely will now!

June 12, 2014 - 10:33 pm

Ellice Y - THIS POST! ESTELLE! Reading this post has seriously turned a not-so-great day into a “YAY, BOOKS!” kind of day. I am SO excited about your list because it has so many titles that I haven’t read yet. I trust your (and Magan’s!) taste in books implicitly, so I’m currently adding lots of books to my shopping cart. Haha. I’ve only read 3 of these, Open Road Summer, Me Before You, and Life by Committee, and I loved them so much. I also have The Things You Kiss Goodbye on my Kindle to read very soon, so it just got bumped up to the top of the list. I brought the One and Only home from work because I saw on Goodreads that you really liked it (bahaha, that sounds creepy doesn’t it? I don’t stalk you, I promise!). I’ve read a couple of Giffin’s other books and was always disappointed, so I’m hoping this will be the one that wins me over.

This is my favorite TTT list of the week. Love it!

June 10, 2014 - 11:43 pm

Devyn - The cover of Everything Leads to You is gorgeous! Definitely adding that one (and the rest of this list) to my TBR 🙂

June 10, 2014 - 10:30 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I just got Everything Leads to You from the library today!!! I’m so excited to read it.

June 10, 2014 - 7:24 pm

Alexa S. - I have Pointe and There Will Come a Time in my pile of books to read (surprise, surprise, it’s ever growing) and I’m looking forward to them both! I’m also thrilled that you convinced me to read Life by Committee and Sorta Like a Rockstar. Plus, I loved Me Before You and Open Road Summer! Great selection of books 🙂

June 10, 2014 - 7:17 pm

tabithasbookblog - I’m really interested in Everything Leads to You! I haven’t read anything by this author before (which I’m hoping to fix soon), but I’ve never heard anything bad! And I can’t remember if Open Road Summer made it onto my list, but Lilah and Reagan’s friendship was my favorite thing about that book!

June 10, 2014 - 6:49 pm

Danielle @ Love at First Page - Ah, I haven’t read most of these, but I did really like There Will Come a Time (male pov = win). Open Road Summer has made a lot of blogger’s lists, and it makes me sad all over again how disappointed I was by it. 🙁
I will definitely be checking out these other books, though!

June 10, 2014 - 4:39 pm

Gaby @ Queen Ella Bee Reads - There are so many books here I’ve been on the fence about, but I trust you, lady, and so my TBR list grows and shifts…

June 10, 2014 - 3:02 pm

Kat - Adding several of these to my TBR list! How interesting that in so many of these TTT I’m reading today, there are mostly contemporary stories!

June 10, 2014 - 2:43 pm

Lisa is Busy Nerding - Y’all always have such a fresh mix of books on here. My TBR grows again!

June 10, 2014 - 11:53 am

Kim @ kimberlyfaye reads - Everything Leads to You, Pointe and There Will Come a Time are on my TBR. I’m looking forward to reading them, whenever I get around to it. 🙂


June 10, 2014 - 11:20 am

Stefani @ Caught Read Handed - You’re right: everyone has Open Road Summer on their list, except for me. It’s on my summer TBR list and I cannot wait to read it. I’m even more excited now that I’ve seen it on so many people’s lists. I also really want to read Everything Leads to You. I’ll have to check it out soon.
Great list!
Here’s my TTT!

June 10, 2014 - 11:05 am

Monica @ A Southern Girls Bookshelf - I loved The One & Only! I love any book that showcases my state [TX]. The best book from Emily Giffin…yet!

June 10, 2014 - 10:57 am

jill - Uh-oh, I am writing a review on The One and Only – -there was very little I liked about it :/ I definitely LOVED Me Before You, though, and Everything Leads to You is on my TBR list!

June 10, 2014 - 10:37 am

Ginger @ GReads! - I, too, thought it would be interesting to look back on this list come December and see which books still deserved the top ten slot. I have There Will Come a Time to read and seeing it as a five star read from you has made me very, very eager to read it sooner, rather than later. Yay!

June 10, 2014 - 10:01 am

Ideklinz - The Nina LaCour book is sitting on my shelf & can’t wait to read–and Me Before You is ready to go on my kindle…although I’m gonna need to really prep myself before I read it :*( pointe & Life By Committee are on my TBR list…ya kno, that ever growing list that never stops haha

June 10, 2014 - 9:18 am

Jennifer from YA Book Nerd - Great list – I loved Everything Leads Back to You.

June 10, 2014 - 9:16 am

Meg - I’m totally getting The One and Only ASAP — though you’re definitely right about Giffin’s recent misses, she’s still a must-read author for me — and I’m psyched about this one!

So many other great books here, none of which I’ve read! I see my wishlist growing exponentially . . .

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