Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Read In 2014

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Today’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Books I Read In 2014 (Overall, By A Particular Genre, 2014 Releases).

I decided to go with all of my highest rated reviewed books. It’s interesting to me that looking back, some of the ones that I rated so high aren’t necessarily my favorite books of the year. I still love them, obviously, but my usual rating system (a star rating averaged from Plot, Characters, Readability, and Enjoyability) skews more towards best written, rather than most enjoyed. I’m doing a top 12 since these are all the books I’ve read so far this year that got above a 4 Star rating. Still no books this year got 5 stars from me.

Landline

1. Landline by Rainbow Rowell. 4.5 Stars

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

2. Cress by Marissa Meyer. 4.44 Stars

The Last Letter from Your Lover

3. The Last Letter from your Lover by Jojo Moyes. 4.375 Stars

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

4. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan 4.375 Stars

Criminal (Will Trent, #6)

5. Criminal by Karin Slaughter. 4.375 Stars

Me Before You

6. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. 4.375 Stars

Perfect Lies (Mind Games, #2)

7. Perfect Lies by Kiersten White. 4.25 Stars

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

8. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi 4.25 Stars

Illusions of Fate

9. Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White. 4.125 Stars

One Plus One

10. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes 4.125 Stars

Dangerous Girls

11. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. 4.125 Stars

The Dead Will Tell (Kate Burkholder, #6)

12. The Dead will Tell by Linda Castillo. 4.125 Stars

What are your top books of the year? Agree or Disagree with any of my choices?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Boookish is: Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year.

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

1. Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Rees Breenan. This is easily my favorite book I’ve read so far this year. The premise. THE CHARACTERS. Kami Glass. The dialogue. I. Love. It.

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

2. Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi. This is how you end a series!

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

3. Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer. This series just gets better and better with every book.

Perfect Lies (Mind Games, #2)

4. Perfect Lies (Mind Games #2) by Kiersten White. Another great end to a series. And Fia. Crazy, crazy Fia.

The Last Letter from Your Lover

5. The Last Letter from your Lover by Jojo Moyes. Oh the emotions!!

Criminal (Will Trent, #6)

6. Criminal (Will Trent #6) by Karin Slaughter. Finally the answers I’ve been looking for!

Fear the Worst

7. Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay. Another stellar effort from one of my favorite myster/thriller/suspense writers.

All the Truth That's in Me

8. All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry. This is such a unique, emotional book. It’s really great!

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, #3)

9. Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi. Another great end to a series.

Triptych (Will Trent, #1)

10. Triptych (Will Trent #1) by Karin Slaughter. The first book in one of my favorite series.

What books are your favorites from this year?

Review: Criminal (Will Trent #6) by Karin Slaughter

Criminal (Will Trent, #6)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Will Trent is a brilliant agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Newly in love, he is beginning to put a difficult past behind him. Then a local college student goes missing, and Will is inexplicably kept off the case by his supervisor and mentor, deputy director Amanda Wagner. Will cannot fathom Amanda’s motivation until the two of them literally collide in an abandoned orphanage they have both been drawn to for different reasons. Decades before, when his father was imprisoned for murder, this was Will’s home. It appears that the case that launched Amanda’s career forty years ago has suddenly come back to life—and it involves the long-held mystery of Will’s birth and parentage. Now these two dauntless investigators will each need to face down demons from the past if they are to prevent an even greater terror from being unleashed.

I read some mixed reviews about Criminal before starting this book, but I have to say that it’s my favorite Karin Slaughter book yet!

The story is told in alternating views and timelines, but all revolves around the same case (or cases involving the same villain). One timeline focuses on Amanda Wagner, Will’s boss at GBI, in the seventies when she was just starting out. When women were employed by the force, but not treated like cops. When Amanda and fellow female cop Evelyn (Faith’s mother – before she was Faith’s mother) realize a murdered woman was wrongly identified, they start their own investigation.

I really enjoyed the chapters from Amanda’s past. She’s been such a frustrating, inscrutable character thus far in the series and it was great to see her origins story. We get to see her influences, her emotions (yes, she actually has them), her growth,  and most importantly, her connection to Will Trent.

In the current timeline, Will is finally happy, settling into his relationship with Sara (despite that pesky detail that he’s technically still married to Angie). However, the happiness is short lived when news is announced that a young girl has been abducted and his father has been paroled from prison.

From both timelines we get a lot of background on Will – on his parents, on his childhood, on his career with the GBI. Everything that’s been lacking for me in Will’s backstory was satisfied in this book.

Overall, I really enjoyed Criminal. There were times the story got a little bogged down with too much detail (especially in the forensic explanations) and I still find it off-putting that Sara and Will fully committed to their relationship before Will even tried to divorce Angie, but those were really the only parts of the book I didn’t like. The story was fast-paced, the mystery was interesting – especially how it connected to the present – and the character backstory and growth was very satisfying.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 4
Characters: 4.5
Readability: 4.5
Enjoyability: 4.5
Overall Average: 4.375 stars