by Kaitlyn Culpepper
Do you get tired of the “classics” that we’re all forced to read in our English classes? I personally am a fan of Shakespeare, Steinbeck, Orwell, Vonnegut, and the like, but I know not everyone is. It’s a good thing that there are plenty of other options out there-some of which I’m going to describe for you as we go through the very best books of 2014.
There are students here at WHS who think that they dislike reading, when really they may just not enjoy the novels they’ve had to read for their classes. I definitely would encourage anyone to read in their free time, books that they’ve chosen themselves, before they dismiss it as boring. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out where to begin, but I find modern literature a good place to start.
There are a couple of different ways to go about finding the best books of the year. I went by the standard that I figured would interest WHS students the most: those voted online by readers as the most entertaining of 2014.Goodreads.com had readers vote to determine the best books of the year in twenty different categories, from autobiography to horror.
The winner of the fantasy category looks particularly interesting. The Book of Life: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy) by Deborah Harkness features a historian/witch and a vampire scientist working together and received over 50,000 votes.
The Martian by Andy Weir won in the science fiction category and sounds like a story that would get your heart pounding, which tells of the first man on Mars and what happens when his crew leaves him there, thinking he is dead after a dust storm.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart won best young adult fiction of 2014, with the intriguing description, “A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth.”
Perhaps most exciting is that City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments) by Cassandra Clare, the last book in the popular Mortal Instruments series, got over 53,000 votes and won in the category of young adult fantasy and science fiction novels for this year. If anyone is looking for a great series to begin, the six brilliant books that make up this one are certainly an option.
The results for the other categories and summaries of those books, plus runners up as well, can be found at https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-young-adult-fantasy-books-2014. You can also visit http://www.nypl.org/blog/2014/12/05/best-books-teens-year for this year’s books that have been deemed great for teens specifically.