12.17.2014

YA Superlative Blogfest 2014: Elements of Fiction


About the blogfest: The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest will run Monday, December 15th – Thursday, December 18th and will highlight our favorite YA books published in 2014**. The week will conclude with the lovely hosts Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller, and Katy Upperman giving away 2014 books to a few blogfest participants. Click the banner for more info!

If you join in, don't forget to link up at one of the host blogs!

**Disclaimer: I tried to choose books published in 2014 (Alz isn't participating this year because she's been in a year-long reading slump), but I will also have older books since I read A LOT LESS this year & many were not books published in 2014. I'll make a note if the book is NOT 2014 pubbed. In some cases, it was the last book in a series that came out in 2014, but I may talk about the series as a whole.


The topic of Day 3 is ELEMENTS OF FICTION, and these were my favorite books of 2014 for these categories.


Most Formidable World: INTO THE STILL BLUE



I'm pretty sure I've picked the Never Sky world for this category before and for good reason. Basically, I wouldn't survive because it's a post-apocalyptic landscape, and that's not even taking into account the aether storms and cannibals.

Honorable Mention: This book is not YA, and it's more an anthology of horror comics, but Emily Carroll's collective "woods" in her book Through the Woods are eerily beautiful but NOT a place I would like to find myself wandering through at night...or ever, really.


Wanderlust-Inducing (Or, the setting you’d happily travel to.): BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE

Even with all the murder, magic, and general mayhem happening around Henrietta, I'd still risk it to get a glimpse of the talking trees of Cabeswater. Maggie Stiefvater makes this place seem so real.


Loveliest Prose: BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE

If it's not a Laini Taylor book (which isn't here because I didn't get around to reading Dreams of Gods and Monsters), then it'll be a Maggie Stiefvater one. Maggie's prose is transporting. There's something about the precise description and cadence of it that even if the words aren't flowery or lyrical, they take you magical places.


Best First Line: WE WERE LIARS / HEIR OF FIRE

We Were Liars: "Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family."

Heir of Fire - "Gods, it was boiling in this useless excuse for a kingdom."

Two choices for different tones: We Were Liars for its simplicity. It immediately sets the stage for the rest of the story. Heir of Fire because it's funny and so quintessentially in Celaena's voice.


Most Dynamic Main Character: Alina in RUIN & RISING

Exclusive Ruin & Rising poster for the Grisha Trilogy, illustrated by Irene Koh.
There were a number of choices even with my limited reading this year, but I have to give this category to Alina because this girl has been through a lot over the course of these 3 books. And I have to give her props for being someone I didn't really like in the first book to someone who I respected. Like I said, I loved the conclusion to this trilogy, and a big part of that was because of Alina's transformation.

Honorable Mention: Celaena in Heir of Fire and Kestrel in The Winner's Curse because they both had their worlds turned upside down in their respective books. Celaena was forced to confront her personal demons and own her heritage, and Kestrel was made to question her beliefs, her society, and her heart.


Most Jaw-Dropping Ending: WE WERE LIARS / MORTAL GODS

This is a tie because We Were Liars was, well, it was something else. The whole book is a mystery, so when the big reveal comes at the end, it's shocking to say the least. Mortal Gods, on the other hand, isn't shy about where it's heading, but the cliffhanger this book ends on? I was not expecting it to actually be like a cliffhanger like that!


Best Performance in a Supporting Role: Nikolai Lantsov in RUIN & RISING

Because I adore him, and he brought a much needed lightness to the dire situations of this final installment in the Grisha Trilogy.

Honorable Mention(s): It's hard to pick because I tend to love a lot of side-characters, and some of these books have ensemble casts, who kind of are different kinds of supportive. So to list a bunch of supporting characters I love - Odysseus in Mortal Gods (because I have mentioned how much I love the Odyssey, right?); any of the Raven Boys & the women of 300 Fox Way in Blue Lily, Lily Blue; the enigmatic Factory Ghost of Of Metal and Wishes


Best Use of Theme: WE WERE LIARS



I love a well-crafted literary, and We Were Liars is one of those. I talked about themes at length in my review of the ARC. But I loved how the structure of the book mirrored the themes - about memory and personal narratives and how we deal with tragedy and grief.


Come back tomorrow for the Best in Show category.

Previous 2014 YA Superlatives posts:
Day 1: Head of Class
Day 2: Popularity Contest

7 comments:

Fifi Islaih said...

I love HEIR OF FIRE!

Jessica Love said...

Great choices! I agree...Maggie Stiefvater and Laini Taylor for prose all the time. <3

Katy Upperman said...

"Maggie's prose is transporting." <-- Yes, totally! It's so beautiful and readable and unique. She will forever and always be an insta-buy author for me. Awesome choices one again, lady!

Alison Miller said...

I was immediately drawn to that transporting description too. Great, great choices! And yes - I would LOVE to visit Cabeswater!

Sophia L said...

I chose We Were Liars for best use of theme too. It was so very well crafted - much deserved of all the praise and awards that are surely in the pipeline.

amy said...

Great list! That is a good first line for Heir of Fire.

Simply Sarah said...

Maggie Stiefvater does have some of the most gorgeous prose ever. Looks we enjoyed several of the same books!