The Young Folks team has come together to list the very best in entertainment and pop culture for the year 2014!
From The Bone Clocks to Grasshopper Jungles, our tastes in books may slightly differ, but there’s no doubt that 2014 gave us a great amount of the best and most thought-provoking novels. Click through the slideshow to see each writer’s list, and sound off in the comments with your favorite books of 2014!
[tps_title]Maxwell Haddad’s Top 10 Books of 2014:[/tps_title]
- The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
- Revival by Stephen King
- Yes Please by Amy Poehler
- I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
- One More Thing by B.J. Novak
- The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
- Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
- Lucky Us by Amy Bloom
- Can We Talk About Something Pleasant? by Roz Chast
[tps_title]Leigh-Ann Brodber’s Top 10 Books of 2014[/tps_title]
- Remake by Ilima Todd
When Nine discovers the truth about life outside of Freedom Province, including the secret plan of the Prime Maker, she is pulled between two worlds and two lives. Her decisions will test her courage, her heart, and her beliefs.
- A Different Me by Deborah Blumenthal
Allie Johnston’s secret wish since the day she was twelve was to have her nose done. But she hasn’t told anyone—not her parents, or even her best friend, Jen. But when she starts visiting a plastic surgery discussion board on the web, she finds people who get her, for the first time in her life. Her new friends, including two girls her age with vastly different backgrounds, share her obsession with changing their faces—but for very different reasons. A sharply written, insightful book about learning to be happy with who we are.
- Stronger Than You Know by Jolene Perry
After police intervention, fifteen-year-old Joy has finally escaped the trailer where she once lived with her mother and survived years of confinement and abuse. Now living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in a comfortable house, she’s sure she’ll never belong. Wracked by panic attacks, afraid to talk to anyone at her new school, Joy’s got a whole list of reasons why she’s crazy. With immense courage, Joy finds friends and grows closer to her new family. But just when hope is taking hold, she learns she must testify in her mother’s trial.
- Worth the Wait by Laura Jackson
Ellie Lansing has a picture-perfect life with a close-knit family and the perfect boyfriend. But her world is suddenly knocked off center when her drool-worthy boyfriend cheats, and her always-has-it-together mother is diagnosed with cancer. Ellie doesn’t get it. She always does the right thing – doesn’t God owe her a happy life? Through her heartache, Ellie learns that sometimes what seems like the end is really just the beginning and that what God has for us is always worth the wait.
- Believe by Erin McCarthy
Robin used to be a party girl… until she got black-out drunk and woke up in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend. Now she’s faced with being THAT girl, and couldn’t be more disgusted with herself. She can’t even tell her friends the reason for her sudden sobriety and she avoids everyone until she meets Phoenix—quiet, tattooed, and different in every way that’s good and oh, so bad…
Phoenix is two days out of jail when he meets Robin at his cousin’s house, and he knows that he has no business talking to her, but he’s drawn to her quiet demeanor, sweet smile, and artistic talent. She doesn’t care that he’s done time, or that he only has five bucks to his name, and she supports his goal to be a tattoo artist.
But Phoenix knows Robin has a secret, and that it’s a naïve dream to believe that his record won’t catch up with them at some point. Though neither is prepared for the explosive result when the past collides with the present…
- Overwhelmed by Perry Noble
No one ever said life was going to be easy. Between financial struggles, marital issues, health scares, and the regular, run-of-the-mill problems of everyday life, it’s easy to feel weighed down and trapped by your circumstances. In times like these, it’s tempting to just throw in the towel and quit. Well, don’t do it! Perry Noble has stood at the edge of the abyss himself, and in Overwhelmed, he shares the keys to unlocking the chains of anxiety and despair once and for all.
- Fangirl_15 by Aimee Roseland
The Dark Riders is one of the bestselling paranormal romance series of all time, and it was destined to have eight installments, one for each of the brothers-in-arms. Lucien’s story was supposed to be book eight, where he’d finally find true love and live happily ever after. Except the writer died before his story was published. Worse yet, book seven was finished by some poser that thought killing off one of the main characters would bring a more modern twist to the finale.
Chloe is absolutely devastated by the news that one of her “friends” is dead and that the series is canceled. She has a quasi-nervous-breakdown at work and ends up falling asleep in the lounge. Her midnight escape from the locked office lands her in a deserted parking lot after hours where an unseen force has been waiting. Just. For. Her…
The devastating attack strands her in an alternate reality where the Dark Riders are real and the horrible ending created by the publisher hasn’t happened yet.
- Double Negative by C. Lee McKenzie
Sixteen-year-old Hutchinson McQueen is trapped between an abusive mother and an absentee father. Shackled by poor vision and poor reading skills, he squeaks through classes with his talent for eavesdropping and memorizing what he hears. After another suspension from school and suffering through one of his mother’s violent attacks, he escapes to a friend’s house that turns out to be a meth lab. The lab is raided and Hutch lands in juvenile detention. When the court sentences him to six months in a new juvenile program, he meets a teacher with Alzheimer’s who will change his life and hers.
- The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft (not Croft) by Lola Salt
After losing her job and her boyfriend on the same day, Lara’s beginning to wonder if her life can possibly get any worse. Then along comes Jamie, a childhood friend, offering her a job delivering mysterious packages to random destinations around the world, and suddenly things are looking up.
Lara packs her bags and sets off on an epic adventure, meeting billionaire Arabic Princes, rugged cowboys, a sparkling wannabe vampire, a love guru with sex on the brain, and Angelina Jolie’s bodyguards along the way. But though trouble always seems to find Lara, it seems love is rather more elusive.
- Fake it with Confidence: How to use Improv Comedy to be More Confident in Social Situations by John Freund
What do improv comedy and socializing have in common? EVERYTHING!! Fake it with Confidence offers you ten core principles of improv comedy, and shows how they can be used to create confidence both on stage and in your social life. Each chapter highlights a different principle, and uses specific examples from the author’s experience performing improv, and from his personal life as well. Fake it with Confidence is an insightful look at the world of improv comedy, and how it can impact your world right away!
[tps_title]Gabrielle Bondi’s Top 10 Books of 2014 [/tps_title]
- Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith – It’s the first book I read this year, and nothing else I read this year was able to top this epic adventure about horny grasshoppers taking over the world. Seriously.
- The DUFF by Kody Keplinger – It’s not a 2014 release, but it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year. Keplinger writes a funny and sweet romantic comedy with genuine message. We’re all DUFFs; embrace it and love it.
- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – Another rom-com makes the list; this adorably sweet story stayed with me for a while. Han has a way of creating characters that feel real and nuanced. With To All the Boys, she does that and more.
- Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins – The final companion piece to Perkins’s lovely romantic YA trilogy was worth the wait.
- Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor – Taylor closes out her high-fantasy trilogy with a hell-of-a-novel. We meet new characters and revisit old ones; Karou and Akiva try to end a centuries-old war.
- The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness – Another favorite trilogy ended on a high note as we see Diana and Matthew connect the past and present to discover the ultimate truth of their species.
- Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle – The sequel to Better Nate than Ever is another empowering and hilarious look at the life of a young theater aficionado.
- Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead – It may have been a short, fast read, but it was heart-stoppingly romantic.
- Cress by Marissa Meyer – With each new installment to The Lunar Chronicles, it continues to get better and better. Cress and her relationship/infatuation with Captain Thorne was wonderful to read, in addition to the adventure they embark on.
- The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey – This book got me thinking in a way I had not expected. I’m not entirely sure what went down, but it sure was interesting.
[tps_title]Jenna Johnson’s Top 10 Books of 2014[/tps_title]
Isla and the Happily Ever After
Blue Lily, Lily Blue
This Star Won’t Go Out
City of Heavenly Fire
The Infinite Sea
The Cure for Dreaming
Love Letters to the Dead
[tps_title]Jon Espino’s Top Books[/tps_title]
1) The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer
2) Yes Please by Amy Poehler
3) The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison
4) Prince Lestat by Anne Rice
5) The Martian by Andy Weir
6) Serenity: Leaves on the Wind by Zack Whedon
7) A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
8) The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
9) The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore
10) All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
[tps_title]Bri Lockhart’s Top Ten Books of 2014[/tps_title]
- Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
- Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
- Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King
- Noggin by John Corey Whaley
- The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
- Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
- Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
- Hook’s Revenge by Heidi Schulz
- Cress by Marissa Meyer
- Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano