The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest (hosted by Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller, and me) runs Monday, December 15th through Thursday, December 18th and will highlight favorite books published in 2014 using a variety of fun superlative categories. The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest is all about promoting the extraordinary young adult books published this year, so if you haven’t already, draft a post and sign up to participate at the end of this post. We can’t wait to see your favorite reads of 2014!
2014 Reading List (starred = debut): The Winner’s Curse, *Let’s Get Lost, *Loop, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, *17 First Kisses, Ashes to Ashes, *The Secret Sky, *Behind the Scenes, Isla and the Happily Ever After, *The Only Thing To Fear, Bleed Like Me, The Bridge From Me to You, *Creed, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, I’ll Give You the Sun, *One Two Three, *Of Scars and Stardust, We Were Liars, *Wish You Were Italian, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Frozen, What I Thought Was True, *The Eighth Guardian, *Pointe, *Push Girl, *Open Road Summer, *Far From You, *The Symptoms of My Insanity, Panic, *The Truth About Alice, *NIL, Complicit, The Summer I Found You, The Evolution of Emily, Into the Still Blue, Heartbeat, The Killing Woods, Brown Girl Dreaming
Elements of Fiction
Most Envy-Inducing Plot
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart kept me guessing (even though there were “hints” about “surprises” all over the Internet), and I thought she pulled off the twists and characterizations beautifully. This one’s one of my favorites of 2014. (Honorable Mention to Caroline Tung Richmond’s debut The Only Thing to Fear — loved her reimagining of the outcome of World War II!)
Most Formidable World
Teenagers get exactly 365 days on Lynne Matson’s Nil, a sort of island paradise that reminded me a little of that Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach. But after those 365 days, you’re out — like, presumably dead. The ticking clock aspect of this book amped the tension to almost unbearable levels.
How Kristin Rae’s Wish You Were Italian made me want to travel to Italy! The delectable food, the unparalleled history, the lovely landscapes, and the beautiful boys. I adored this sweet, full-of-voice debut.
Did you have doubts? Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun is gorgeous, full of enchanting imagery and unique metaphors and pretty, pretty prose. I found myself rereading so many passages just to more fully absorb their amazingness.
Best First Line
“She shouldn’t have been tempted.”
Oh, but she was! Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Curse is all about temptation and yearning and torn allegiance. So good!
Most Dynamic Main Character
Theo from Brandy Colbert’s debut Pointe is one of my favorite MCs of 2014. She’s struggling with A LOT of trauma, yet she’s amazingly resilient. She’s a perfect example of the “strong female character” we’re always hearing about because she IS strong, but she’s also layered and complex and flawed. (Honorable Mentions to Sophie From Tess Sharpe’s debut Far From You, Kara from Jessica Love & Chelsie Hill’s debut Push Girl, and Reagan from Emery Lord’s debut Open Road Summer for all the same reasons.)
Most Jaw-Dropping Conclusion
In an effort to avoid spoilers, I won’t say why the conclusion to Stephanie Kuehn’s Complicit made my jaw drop, but I will say that you should read it as soon as possible. (Honorable Mention to E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars!)
Best Performance in a Supporting Role
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – The whole of Lara Jean’s family, plus Peter. I loved this book’s cast so much!
Best Use of Theme
Jessica Love & Chelsie Hill’s Push Girl and Elodie Nowodazkij’s One, Two, Three have similar themes of overcoming the loss of an identifying pursuit due to injury (dance, in both cases). I love that while both protagonists struggled with the unwanted changes to their lives in realistic and complicated ways, neither was weak, and neither gave up.
Click below to add your name and your Elements of Fiction post link to our sign up so we can hop around and check out your selections. Don’t forget — there will be a new link sign-up each day!
17 thoughts on “Class of 2014: YA Superlatives Blogfest ELEMENTS OF FICTION”
I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN’s prose is so rich I just want to bite into it. 🙂 I’m pretty sure the first place I heard about it was on your blog or Instagram, so once again, THANK YOU for talking about it – it’s my favorite book of the year! ❤
And THE WINNER'S CURSE…I loved it! When it first came out I thought it was one of those just-a-pretty-cover books, but the plot is so strong! Can't wait for the next book!
Yay! IGYtS is my favorite book of the year too! I’m not surprised, though, because Jandy Nelson is freaking amazing. And I felt the same way about THE WINNER’S CURSE. I checked it out from the library months ago and returned it without reading it because I just… couldn’t get excited about it. Then I checked it out again a few weeks ago and as soon as I picked it up, I couldn’t put it back down! So, so good. Can’t wait to see your choices for today, Kaitlin!
THANK YOU for the PG love! xoxo
And POINTE is another one I meant to get to this year! Man, I’ll be playing catch up for a while!
Ooh, POINTE is SO good! Unputdownable — I bet you’ll love it, Jess!
I want to read Nil!
It’s a total page-turner! And there’s a sequel coming soon, too!
Great choices! And I am getting POINTE for Christmas and now I’m even more excited! Also, Wish You Were Italian is on my must read list thanks to this blog fest. 😉 So many great reads!
POINTE is excellent — hard to believe it’s a debut, honestly. I bet you’ll love it! And WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN is totally charming. ❤
I can’t wait to read Pointe! It’s been on my list for a while and I’ve only ever heard great things about it. I wish I’d thought of Reagan for ‘Most Dynamic’ (I don’t think I had an answer in the end) because the more I think about it, the more I realise I really, really liked Open Road Summer.
POINTE is truly extraordinary. I had high expectations going in and it totally surpassed them. I bet you’ll love it, Sophia! And isn’t Reagan fabulous? I love that she’s prickly but still vulnerable, and still someone I’d want to hang out with. Cheers to Emery Lord for pulling that off!
Oh, Complicit sounds good. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve added it to my tbr pile.
It’s VERY good, as is Stephanie’s debut, CHARM & STRANGE. It won the Morris Award! Have you read it?
Okay, I think I need to read COMPLICIT now. This is the second mention of it in the jaw-dropping category, which totally piques my interest. Same goes with I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN. I loved Jandy Nelson’s other one (the name is escaping me right now for some reason), so I’m sure I’ll love this one. Great list today, Katy! 😀
They’re both super good, Jaime! Definitely on my Favorites of 2014 list! Let me know what you think. 🙂
Whoah, I think somehow I missed hearing about NIL until just now–that sounds right up my alley!
NIL is super entertaining, Jess — you should definitely check it out!
How have I not read Nil yet? o.O
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