Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2014 In Books

   Long time no see, huh?

   Blogging is just...weird right now. I've had a lot of topics and stuff floating around in my little head. So much going on and so many words. But...I think there's too much to write, I wouldn't be able to word it. I'm hesitant because I don't know what you want to read and I don't know if I should stick to heavy topics or tell you about my life or write reviews on stuff....I just don't know. (If you have any comments on that...that would be great.)

   But finally I have decided to do a super late post on the books I read in 2014! Wow was that a great year for literature for me. I read so many amazing books. I also reached my goal of reading at least 50 books. I understand you don't want to read all about each book I read, so for this year I'm going to post my favorite books first, in bold, and then the rest will follow. It's going to be hard to pick just a few, but I'm gonna do it. I'll also follow my normal pattern of posting some cool pictures I've taken recently.

   Onward!



   My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
   This is the story of Anna; a girl who was born simply to be a bone marrow donor to her sick sister, Kate. Anna decides she doesn't want to give any more bone marrow, and it leads the family to the court room. Anna is battling for the right to her own body, against her mom who is essentially fighting for Kate's life.
   The movie was good too, but the book was better. Honestly my favorite character was the brother, Jesse, who didn't get as many scenes as I felt he deserved. But both the book and the movie brought me to tears. 5 stars on this one for sure.

   The Lord Of The Rings: The Hobbit-The Return Of The King, JRR Tolkien
   If you don't know what LOTR is about...I don't think I can explain it. Just google it honestly.
   I read all the LOTR books last year, including the Hobbit. I told myself I would never read those books because I heard they were so boring and I suck at reading honestly. but I loved those books. Like, words cannot express my love for them. I wasn't expecting to adore them as much as I did. After reading them, my love for the movies heightened. I was a big LOTR nerd as a young kid, and I had all but forgotten that love until the books rekindled it.
   No matter what anyone says about it being boring, read it. Its not as boring as people make it out to be. But that might not be true because I really have a habit of liking boring books; so it could just be me. Either way, every human needs to read those books.

   Looking For Alaska - John Green
   (Forgive me for being so bad at writing these things. It's hard to remember details from books I read a year ago.)
   Something about a kid going to boarding school and meeting a group of people that become his friends and they pull pranks together and get into trouble. Then something happens that shake them. Something unexpected. Can those friends move on even after what happened? Can they get out of the labyrinth of suffering?
   I loved this book. It explores the purpose and nature of suffering. I read this while I was in the hospital, while I also happened to be reading through the book of Job. (Coincidence? I think not. Well played God.) I will say, it only for a mature audience and if I recall correctly, it wasn't the most appropriate; so if you don't feel right about reading it, don't. However, I think John Green touched on a super deep topic that can relate to anyone, and he did so very well, and also with his usual dash of humor.

   The Outsiders - S.E Hinton
   The story about two rival gangs and the young men that are a part of them; this is a story about violence, brotherhood, and in the end, redemption.
   Its a quick read, a classic, and just overall beautiful. It sheds light on gang violence and discusses the hardships that young people in them face. This is a must read.


   Healthy Tipping Point - Caitlyn Boyle
   This is a nonfiction book, but I highly recommend it. Written by the woman who started Operation Beautiful (also the reason I have this blog!) is an amazing book about healthy living and clean eating. But she doesn't believe in calorie counting, and she believes that health doesn't mean skinny, and it also includes health of mind as well. This book changed the way I saw health and seriously, its amazing. If you've ever struggled with food, self esteem issues, or eating disorders, I would say to pick this book up as soon as you can.

   The Priest's Graveyard - Ted Dekker
   Danny Hanson is a priest. But he isn't like your average priest. He's on a mission from God to eliminate the scum of the earth. Then there's Rennee Gilmore; ex drug addict now bent on revenge. When the two come together they form a team set on killing one man. But what their actions lead to may destroy them.
   This book broke me. Ted Dekker is my favorite author and he never disappoints. This book was sick, full of plot twists that will make you scream, and filled to the brim with spiritual truth. This is the story of forgiveness.

   Hate List - Jennifer Brown
   Valerie Leftman is left to face the crowd after her boyfriend, Nick, shot up their school, choosing his victims based on a list they made together.
   I'm trying to find words for this but I can't seem to find them. Another story about forgiveness and love and just pure awesomeness. (Fancy wording, I know.) This is a book that will make you think. It's one that plagues your mind days after you've finished it. It might even make you rethink everything.

   I Am The Messenger - Marcus Zusak 
   Ed Kennidy is your average cab driver living an average life. That is, until he starts getting playing cards in the mail with addresses written on them. The cards send him on a journey to writing wrongs and saving lives. They transform this cab drivers life into something spectacular. But the only question is, where did the cards come from?
   My friend begged me to read this for the longest time, and when I did...I was left with tears in my eyes, a jaw dropped to the floor, and a head drowning in inspiration. This is the kind of book that makes you think. It makes you want to do more. Be better. This book can inspire greatness.

   Paper Towns - John Green
   Quintin is a nobody who happens to be half in love with a somebody named Margo. When his childhood friend turned popular school girl shows up at his window one night, she takes him out on a night he won't ever forget. But when Margo disappears after their all nighter, Q goes on an adventure to find her; all the while trying to put together the pieces of the puzzle and answer the taunting question. Who is Margo?
   Paper Towns was the book that made me 100% certain that the Fault In Our Stars was John Green's weakest novel. I started thinking it after Looking For Alaska, but after reading this one, I was positive. Margo was such a strong female character, and there was so many profound truths in it, and so much self discovery, I was left wondering where he went wrong with TFIOS. (Not that I didn't love TFIOS, but that's another story for another time.) Paper Towns is an adventure in of itself. And for goodness sakes, read it. Because we all know you're gonna see the movie so you may as well read it first.

   And, for my favorite book basically ever...

   The Reason - Lacey Sturm
   Ex-front woman for my favorite band, Flyleaf, Lacey Sturm shares her freaking amazing testimony in detail like never before. She shares how she went from almost killing herself, to finding a life worth living.
   I cried the whole time I read this basically. Everyone needs to read this. Everyone. I'm currently in the process of sharing my copy to every soul in my church who is willing to read it. It's a quick read, and so worth it! There is so much truth in her words and it will open your eyes to a lot. If you're anything like me, you'll be able to relate to her story. She is what I believe every Christian should be like. She is a woman who follows God with her whole heart. And it just proves that you can love God and scream in a rock band at the same time.
READ. THIS. BOOK. You won't regret it. I promise.

   Thanks for sticking around for that. And if you so desire, here are the rest of the books I read in 2014. I can't wait to read more this year, although I doubt I'll be able to reach 50. I knew '14 would be my last year of insane reading, so I wanted to go out with a bang. With college coming up, I doubt I'll be reading for pleasure as much as I used to. *Sad face* But much like last time, I'll write the book titles and rate them out of 5 stars.

   The Perks Of Being A Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky (re-read) 5/5
   The Screwtape Letters - CS Lewis 3/5
   Go Ask Alice - Anonymous 2/5
   The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader - CS Lewis 3/5
   Adam - Ted Dekker 4/5
   The Merciful Scar - Nancy Rue & Rebecca St. James 4/5
   The Silver Chair - CS Lewis 2/5
   The Bride Collector - Ted Dekker (re-read) 5/5
   Fangirl -Rainbow Rowell 3/5
   Every You, Every Me - David Levithan 4/5
   Start Here - Alex & Brett Harris 5/5
   Winnie The Pooh - AA Milne 4/5
   God Loves Ugly - Christa Black 4/5
   Star Wars: Dark Journey - Elaine Cunningham 4/5
   Star Wars: Rebel Dream - Aaron Allston 4/5
   Star Wars: Rebel Stand - Aaron Allston 4/5
   Be Mature - Warren W. Wiersbe 3/5
   Star Wars: Traitor - Matthew Stover 5/5
   The Iron Thron - Caitlyn Kittredge 3/5
   Star Wars: Destiny's Way - Walter Jon Williams 4/5
   The Maze Runner - James Dashner 3/5
   Mission Of Mercy - Nancy Alcorn 5/5
   Star Wars: Remnant - Sean Williams & Shane Dix 4/5
   If I Stay - Gayle Forman 3/5
   The Nightmare Garden - Caitlyn Kittredge 
   Kindness For Weakness - Shawn Goodman 
   Star Wars: Crucible - Troy Denning 2/5
   I Beat The Odds - Michael Oher 5/5
   Frankenstein - Marry Shelley 5/5
   Echoes Of Mercy - Nancy Alcorn 5/5
   The Weapons Of Our Warfare - 3/5
   Unexpected Dismounts - Nancy Rue 5/5
   Too Far To Say Far Enough - Nancy Rue 5/5
   Star Wars: Refugee - Sean Williams & Shane Dix 4/5
   Star Wars: Reunion - Sean Williams & Shane Dix 4/5
   Star Wars: The Final Prophecy - Greg Keyes 4/5
   Angel Eyes - Shannon Dittemore
   Star Wars: The Unifying Force - James Luceno 5/5
   Star Wars: The Joiner King - Troy Denning 3/5
   Star Wars: The Unseen Queen - Troy Denning 3/5
   The Impossible Knife Of Memory - Laurie Halse Anderson 4/5
   Star Wars: The Swarm War - Troy Denning 3/5
   Star Wars Betrayal - Aaron Allston 4/5
   The Shack - Paul Young 3/5

   What were your favorite books you read this year? Have you read any of the ones on my list? What did you think?

   And, do you have an book recommendations for me?! I'd seriously love to read them. I'm always looking for new stuff to read. (I especially love thought provoking stuff, in case you couldn't tell.) My goal for this year is to read a more vast array of novels, so I could use your help with that.

  That's all for today. Peace out girl scouts.