Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Class of 2014 YA books: popularity contest

The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest will run Monday, December 15th – Thursday, December 18th and will highlight favorite YA books published in 2014Join us in celebrating great books of 2014 - sign up at any of the hosts' blogs: Jessica LoveTracey NeithercottAlison Miller or Katy Upperman

Today is my favorite part of this blogfest, the character popularity contest!

Villain I Love to Hate

Stitching SnowOkay, this was a tough one this year. The Darkling from Ruin and Rising was my favorite villain, but I couldn't hate him (though I could hate some of the terrible things he did). But most of the books I read didn't have a hateful villain that really stood out, except the king and evil stepmom queen in Stitching Snow, R.C. Lewis. This is "a retelling of Snow White in space, where Snow is a cage-fighting tech-head with daddy issues" and oh man is her daddy twisted.   

Most Likely to Become a Rock Star
The Unbound (The Archived, #2)Wesley, from The Unbound, by Victoria Schwab. There's just something about this guy, both bright and dark at the same time, full of quips but also seriousness (see my review for more Wesley love). I'm thrilled that there will be a free short, Leave the Window Open, coming in 2015 from Wesley's POV.

Favorite Parental Figure
SalvagePerpetue, from Salvage, by Alexandra Duncan. She saves Ava when Ava is running away from her repressors; she flies her own space ship, carries a knife and a wicked knife scar on her face, lives in a floating city in the Pacific, and she's tough and smart but kind. 

Favorite Parental Figure (runner up)
Audrey's mom: she's President of the United States! from When Audrey Met Alice, by Rebecca Behrens.

Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1)Favorite Sibling Figure (my own category)
Reev, Kai's adopted brother in Gates of Thread and Stone, by Lori M. Lee. The ties between Kai and Reev run deep and strong through out the story, and explode at the ending into something breath taking and heart breaking.

Most Likely to Start a Riot
A Creature of MoonlightMarni in Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn. This girl doesn't care what anyone thinks of her and she can resist some serious male attention and charm. Marni learns the price to pay to escape expectations, the price to resist manipulation, the price to having a mind of your own, and the price of vengeance. And she's willing to pay those prices. She'd be willing to start a riot, this girl. 

Biggest Flirt
Prince Nikolai, Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo. He adds so much charm to this dark conclusion to the series... though he also adds quite a bit more than charm, too, though I can't drop any more hints without spoilers. Also, I can't resist sharing this lovely image of three aspects of the story, from Leigh Bardugo's Tumblr. 

Alienated (Alienated, #1)
Biggest Anti-Flirt (or, the cold, withdrawn type who has a hidden heart of gold) 
Aelyx, from Alienated, by Melissa Landers. Here's some of the reasons why I love Aelyx:  that thing with the pulse rate (I'm re-reading it, right now). And the part where he was chanting the periodic table... (I have a whole new appreciation for chemistry now). Oh, and he has his own get-away-space shuttle parked out back. 

DangerousCoolest Nerd
Maisie, from Dangerous, by Shannon Hale: I loved how she wants to be astronaut even though she's born with a disability (a missing hand); and here's a little excerpt that pretty much sums up her incredibly nerdiness that I loved, DEEPLY LOVED: "Luther and I had discovered a Japanese website that appeared to promote teeth whitening. It had a message board no one ever used, because honestly, who sits around discussing white teeth? So we colonized it.  MAIZ: Greetings, friend of Wookies everywhere. How's the weather?"

Fashion King and/or Queen
When Audrey Met AliceAlice, the daughter of Teddy Roosevelt, whose fictional diary plays a big role in When Audrey Met Alice, by Rebecca Behrens. This girl is really more headstrong than fashionable, but she just seem to fit this category. Teddy's famous quote about her: "I can either run the country or I can attend to Alice, but I cannot possibly do both."

Artistic soul (my own category)
Color Song (Passion Blue, #2)Guilia in Color Song, by Victoria Strauss (YA historical): Guilia flees a convent and disguises herself as a boy so she can apprentice to a famous painter in medieval Venice. This definitely a character (and a book) for anyone with an artist's soul that demands everything from you. 

Character I’d Most Want For a BFF
Alienated (Alienated, #1)Cara, in Alienated, by Melissa Landers. I loved Cara's courage (and at the same time I ached for her) as she doggedly sticks by Aelyx when anti-alien sentiment continues to rise at their school, in the town, and even globally. This girl has a big heart, and I just love to see how she cracks open Aelyx's well-bred coldness. 

Character I’d Most Want For a BFF (runner up)
She Is Not InvisibleLaureth in She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick. She's incredibly determined and resourceful and smart AND she's blind. “I am scared, almost all the time. But I never tell anyone. I can’t afford to. I have to go on pretending I’m this confident person, because if I don’t, if I’m quiet, I become invisible. People treat me as if I’m not there.”  LOVED HER. 

Like No OtherCharacter I Wish I’d Dated in High School
Jaxon in Like No Other, by Una LaMarche.  Because he's black, and he reminded me of a crush I was never brave enough to act on in high school; he's smart and funny (see my review for a sample of being in Jaxon's head) and he'll do crazy things for the girl he loves. 

Most Likely to Become President
Maisie, in Dangerous, by Shannon Hale. See Coolest Nerd, above for more about Maisie.

Quirkiest Character (and Class Clown)
Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3)Zuzana, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, by Laini Taylor.  Described by her BFF Karou as a tiny terror. Stormhunter rider. Puppet-maker. Lover of cakes and pastries. Writer of unique personal ads. Willing to become a samurai for her BFF and follow her everywhere. 

Bonus; Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell, was published in 2013, but I didn't read it until 2014, but it would have totally made my character lists last year.  Cath, Levi, Reagan, Simon and Baz probably all would have made my list!

Who was your favorite character from 2014?


  1. Great list! I really want to read When Audrey Met Alice. It looks so cute.

  2. SALVAGE and THE UNBOUND are two books that I really need to read already. Both of them sound fantastic! I have a couple of 2013 (or earlier) books that I read this year that would definitely fit into several categories during this blogfest. Wish I'd read them in the years they were published, but there's just no way to keep up lol. :-)

  3. I'm definitely going to read Alienated. I had a look yesterday and it's not in the cheap Kindle section yet so fingers crossed there's an Amazon gift card under the tree!

  4. I loved that scene in ALIENATED. Favorite part of the book by far. :)

  5. YES, Aelyx is the total anti-flirt. I love it.

  6. I love Reev and Kai's relationship :)

  7. LOVE Zuzana! She's the kind of girl I would LOVE to have as my BFF, but yes, so quirky too!

  8. I always feel illiterate after reading your amazing lists. I need to amend this! (I have read Dangerous, though, and Maizie rocks.) ;)

  9. Oh, Alice is such a great pick for Fashion Queen! I love how she was brought to life in that book -- so fun! And thanks to this blogfest, ALIENATED is high on my 2015 TBR list! Great picks, Margo!

  10. I've seen this blogfest around. Love it! Interesting choices. I've been wanting to read Alienated. Guess I should speed that up!

  11. I've been so crazy with revisions, I'm horribly behind on my reading. I haven't read ANY of these books *sobs* But I get two weeks off at Christmastime and I'm going to read ALL the books. I keep hearing about Leigh Bardugo's series, and I'm getting really excited to start it!



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