Friday, June 6, 2014

2014's Best Books: Nico's Top 5 So Far

Nico finishes out our look at our favorites of the year so far.

So, you may have noticed me blogging about reading slumps, there's a reason for that. I'm still trying to shake off the reading blahs- but that's not the books of 2014's fault! There have been a number of great titles that I'm so glad I picked up. Here's a look at the ones that I hope you'll take a look at:

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour (see our interview with the author)
When I was in high school, I used to want to be a set dresser. This book made me want to revisit that dream. Emi's life as a production assistant, finding the perfect music stands and couches for a room sounded pretty amazing to me. Emi and her friend Charlotte are spending the summer after their senior year in Emi's brother's apartment, working on movies and trying to come up with something epic to do in their remaining time together before college. When they come across a letter that belonged to a classic Hollywood star, it leads them to Ava, a girl who seems like a mysterious and tragic starlet. But when they get to know her, Emi starts to fall for the regular girl behind the mystery.

This is a book that just feels like staying up all night on the longest days of the year with friends. It's buzzy and cool, what more could you want in your summer read?

Fan Art by Sarah Tregay (see our full review)
This seemed like it was going to be a run-of-the-mill boy meets boy love story, but instead it tackled a lot of delicate subjects that totally surprised me and made this a stand out.

Jamie is in the closet not necessarily because he doesn't think he won't be accepted, but because he doesn't want to deal with all these people knowing about his personal life especially when he's about to leave them all behind. It's also about what happens when other people treat his relationship with his best friend like it's theirs to mess with. There's a lot of drama and mistakes made, but everyone involved is allowed to be a real person.

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord (see our full review)
Who doesn't want to be the best friend of a platinum record selling superstar? Open Road Summer lets you climb aboard the huge tour bus of a teen phenom through the eyes of the sarcastic, tough and bruised Reagan. Reagan's friendship with Dee (who is known to millions of fans as Lilah) is strong and supportive and really fun to read about. Also fun to read about is Dee letting her guard down to let a former boy band member get to know her. When this was done I spent the rest of my week listening to country girls with guitars.

Roomies by  Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando (see our reviews)
A book about the time between the end of high school and the beginning of college, told mostly in emails and written by two stellar ya authors? Of course it's on my top five. EB and Lauren are two girls with lots of BIG changes coming at them at warp speed. Following along as they tackle them head-on makes for one great read.

Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols (see our full review)
Jennifer Echols writes some of my favorite ladies of YA and flirty, hilarious, tough Tia is no exception. One of the things I liked about this book was how it seemed to turn some romance tropes on their heads. Tia's the one who keeps saying she doesn't want to be in a serious relationship; she's the class clown who avoids responsibility; she's the one who is a little rough around the edges. In a lot of books I feel like this role would be filled by a studly dude in a motorcycle jacket, but not here. Tia is just another in the pantheon of real, complex young women that Echols writes. I'm pretty excited that there will be several other books from her in this series publishing SOON.

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