Believe it or not, it’s 2015. I spent New Year’s Eve on a plane, but that’s a story for another day. Maybe I’ll write a poem about it. For me, 2014 was a pretty awesome year. I started Clara’s Book Reviews. I read a lot. I reviewed a lot. I started 8th grade. I read some more. I finished applying to high schools. I read even more. I even met (through email, but still) one of my favorite authors ever! To celebrate 2014 and the first year of CBR, I am going to recognize and reflect on my favorites of 2014.
In 2014, I consumed a bunch of books. Tons of them. Of the ones that I reviewed, I have to say my favorite one is Walk Two Moons. Sharon Creech spun up a beautiful novel that had me thinking for weeks. The language was elegant and the plot was stunning. Creech used imagery to really immerse the reader in the story. I remember especially loving the way I had to keep reading further into the book to piece the plot together. I was so taken with Creech’s writing after reading this that I came home from the library the next day with a bag full of her books! Hint hint, more of her books will be reviewed this year :).
Coming in second is… The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury! I’m a huge sci-fi nerd, and this book was so eerily, hauntingly good that I couldn’t stop reading it. Its underlying darkness, while kind of creeping you out, makes you question what will come in the future of humankind. While knowing I wanted to have one of the top three be a sci-fi, I was torn between Bradbury’s and Asimov’s writing. They are both incredible, but I enjoy Bradbury’s writing even more because it pokes at a part of your brain that sends chills up your spine.
And, in third place, Counting by Sevens by Holly Goldberg Sloan. (Quick book reference… Sloan?! Think Mother Daughter Book Club 🙂 ). While reading this book, I was basically a zombie, walking around, talking just in grunts, totally lifeless, with my arms outstretched in front of me, holding this book. Counting by Sevens captured my heart. Reading this book puts you on an emotional roller coaster. It is so sweet, sad, and filled with hope. The web that Sloan creates between the characters reminds the reader that no matter how different people may be, they can still come together and be a family.
Again from Counting by Sevens, Willow Chance, the protagonist, is my favorite character; not from the book, or from my reviews, or from 2014, but from All of Time and Space. While under the trance of this book, I was constantly quoting her. She sounded just like me. Take this, for example: “Ordinarily, I don’t even eat ice-cream cones. And if I do, I obsess in such a precise way as to prevent even a drop of disorder.” YES! YOU GOT IT, WILLOW! I would keep quoting her, but then I would just have to read you the entire book. Willow is a wise, funny, and strong character. She is a genius and is often misunderstood because she is “weird.” She has basically no friends, and spends her time tending her huge garden. And then her parents die. And she still stays strong, preserving her inner character. Even though she is fictional, I really look up to her as a character, and wish I could meet her in real life.
As I mentioned before, one of the high points of 2014 for me was interviewing Candy Gourlay, one of my favorite authors ever. The reason I didn’t list Tall Story above is that I chose to commend Candy instead as my favorite author. Before I talked to her, I just knew her as a wonderful writer – now, I know that she is also a wonderful person. Candy was super helpful and friendly when I was interviewing her, and gave thoughtful answers to my questions. I’m looking forward to reading her new book, Shine, when it comes to my library. A future review, for sure!
2014 was a great year, and I would love to feature more books, but to be frank I got a Kindle for Christmas and I’m spending every waking minute reading on it. What were your favorite things of 2014? I’d love to know – just email me! 🙂