Since we’re now into July – halfway through the year! – and I’m 50 books through my 100 book challenge for this year I thought it was time to stop and review my top picks from the first half of 2014.  So without further ado, here they are.

My top five books of 2014 – so far…The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher
Series: William Shakespeare's Star Wars #2
Also in this series: The Jedi Doth Return
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Various
Genres: Classics, Contemporary Fantasy
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Evelynne's rating: five-stars

My first pick for my top books of 2014 so far is Ian Doescher’s William Shakespeare’s Star Wars.  This includes Star Wars: Verily a New Hope and The Empire Striketh  Back.  For those of you who have not read my reviews, Doescher has taken George Lucas’s epic space opera and rewritten it in the style of William Shakespeare, compete with iambic pentameter and nods to Shakespeare plays.  It’s incredible how well the Lucas’s epic saga works in Shakespearean language.  The audiobook by Random House Audio is a full cast radio play complete with John Williams music and sound effects and is a must-listen.  It narrowly missed out on the Audie audiobook award.  The Jedi Doth Return is released on July 1st and I’m fairly confident it will make my top audiobooks list, too.  Check out Doescher’s Educator’s Guide for more background info.  I wish these had been available when I was studying English at school!  Check out my full review.

My top five books of 2014 – so far…Cress by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Also in this series: Cinder, Scarlet, Fairest - Levana's Story
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Young Adult
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Evelynne's rating: five-stars

Next up is Marissa Meyer’s Cress, the third in her Lunar Chronicles series.  For those unfamiliar with this YA series, it’s a retelling of classic fairytales with a twist.  In choosing fairytales, Meyer has a strong foundation for her story – there are good reasons why stories like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel have stood the test of time.  The Lunar Chronicles has strong good vs evil storylines, fantastic characters and is a whole lot of fun.  This is another series I particularly enjoyed in audiobook format. I’m looking forward to the prequel, Fairest and final book in the series, Winter.  I have written reviews on the series.

My top five books of 2014 – so far…The One by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #3
Also in this series: The Selection, The Elite
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Amy Rubinate
Length: 7 hours and 25 minutes
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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Evelynne's rating: five-stars

The One by Kiera Cass is the final book in The Selection series, which was my guilty reading pleasure.  The Selection is a cross between The Bachelor and The Hunger Games.  I found the world Cass has created fascinating and was wholly invested in the characters even though they annoyed the heck out of me sometimes.  The love triangle was especially annoying.  However I just couldn’t put it down, and enjoyed the real character development throughout the series.  For more details go read my series review.

My top five books of 2014 – so far…Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #1
Also in this series: Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, Last Sacrifice
Format: eBook
Pages: 340 pages
Genres: Supernatural, Young Adult
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Evelynne's rating: five-stars

The first time I read Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead I couldn’t really get into it – I guess I just wasn’t in the mood.  However, the second time I read it I was so captivated by by Richelle Mead’s worldbuilding and characters that I ended up marathoning the entire six book series.  I felt that Mead really understood young adults and the way they interacted.  This turned out to be one of my favourite YA supernatural series.  More details in my reviews.

My top five books of 2014 – so far…Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Series: The Throne of Glass #1
Also in this series: Heir of Fire, Empire of Storms
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Elizabeth Evans
Length: 12 hours and 47 minutes
Genres: Epic Fantasy, Young Adult
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Evelynne's rating: five-stars

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas had been on my TBR list for some time before I finally got round to reading it despite rave reviews from the BookTube community.  Once I did, I was so happy I took the plunge.  Celaena is an awesome character and so fun and sparky.  Yet it’s clear she has her own issues and buttons that can be pressed.  I enjoyed that more focus was placed on the characters than the magic system, but there was still the hint of the supernatural to add some interest.  Go read my full review.

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