Man oh man, 2014 was an epic year for YA books! I read so many amazing books and got into some great new series. So here are my top 5 YA books from the last year. What amazing books did you guys read? As always, I love recommendations, so please let me know!

 

the winner's curse

 

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski  -Kestrel is a General’s daughter in an empire that enslaves the people it conquers. On a whim, she one day purchases a slave, not knowing quite who he was before he was enslaved. A tale of secrets, politics and the struggle for power or freedom.

I suppose you could force The Winner’s Curse into the fantasy genre, but honestly, this book doesn’t really fit within any genre. There isn’t much world-building here, so if you’re looking for a rich, fantasy land, then look elsewhere. More character-centric, but, for once, not romance-centric. This book is about politics and it doesn’t really shy away from it. What I liked most about it was how powerful Kestrel, the protagonist, is despite being a young woman. She duels, she strategises and, if she chooses not to marry, she is free to follow her Father’s footsteps and enter the military. So it’s a clash of the archaic and the progressive within a world that embraces both slavery and feminism.

The second instalment, The Winner’s Crime, is out in March.

Since Youve Been Gone cover

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – When Emily’s best (and only) friend, Sloane, disappears at the start of what was supposed to be their best summer ever, Emily is completely at a loss what to do. But Sloane leaves a list for Emily to complete over the summer. Could the list lead Emily back to her best friend?

It’s common knowledge I adored this book. A perfect summer read complete with beaches, romance and a quest. Read it, read it, read it!

city of heavenly fire

City Of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare – In our own world, downworlders (vampires, werewolves and fae) walk the streets in disguise and it is the calling of the Shadowhunters of each city to keep order amongst the downworlders and banish any demons. Clary Fray has only recently discovered her own Shadowhunter heritage as well as the love of her life, Jace Wayland…

The last book in the Mortal Instruments series and good Lord was it a belter! In an aim to avoid spoilers, let me assure you that when it comes to ending series, Cassie Clare has it down to an art. Satisfying whilst also painfully heartbreaking, I was genuinely saddened to have to bid goodbye to so many beloved characters. I love this series with all my heart and can never be swayed otherwise. Definitely my most anticipated book of 2014 and a fairly good pre-cursor to her next Shadowhunter series, The Dark Artifices.

we were liars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – Um…

Okay, no synopsis here. I’m afraid you’re gonna have to go on faith and trust me that this book will potentially blow your mind. A very quick read that everyone is talking about. Believe nothing, just as the title warns you.

to all the boys I've loved before

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – Lara Jean has been in love a few times throughout her young life, but she has a sure fire way to get over it. By writing letters to each of the boys she’s loved, she can file that part of her life away in a pretty hat box and move on. But when the letters somehow get sent to the boys, Lara Jean finds herself with a lot of explaining to do.

I’ve read other Jenny Han books and really not enjoyed them, but this one had me hooked from the start. The dynamic between Lara Jean and her two sisters is really fascinating, and the struggles of a widower trying to raise three daughters is something I haven’t read before in YA fiction. Lara Jean is naive, but believably so, and her progression through this book leaves you rooting for her before you know it. The book ends on one of the most horrific cliffhangers I’ve ever experienced but at least the second book, P.S. I Still Love You, is out in 2015.