Last week, I started my "Best of 2014" list (Just a note: the books on that list were not necessarily published in 2014. They were the "Best of My 2014". This installment of the list is going to be all 2014 books). This week, I'm continuing it with the Best Realistic Fiction from 2014.
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson--Hayley and her dad, Andy, move from town to town, trying to settle down as he struggles with PTSD from his time in Iraq. This book was really tough to read at times, because it made me ache for Hayley and Andy. But the emotional moments were interspersed with cute, funny moments between Hayley and her friends. I could not put this book down.
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira--This was another very emotional book. Laurel has to write letters to dead people as a school assignment, and she chooses people her older sister loved--Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, etc. The emotion I mentioned comes from the fact that Laurel's sister, May, is dead. As a younger sister myself, this was heartbreaking. Read it with a box of tissues at hand.
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson--Emily's best friend, Sloane, disappears and leaves Emily with a list of things to do in her absence. Emily is introverted and doesn't want to do any of this, but she thinks it might help her find her friend. This book was such a fun read! (It was also the first Morgan Matson book I'd read, so extra points there for introducing me to a new author.)
Noggin by John Corey Whaley--Where to start with this book? Travis died, but had his head frozen so it could be re-attached to a different body once technology gets that advanced. Technology gets that advanced in five years. So Travis comes back, still in high school, while his best friend and girlfriend have moved on with their lives. Okay, so not only was this a fantastic idea for a novel, but it was also touching and thought-provoking. I recommended this to many, many people this year, and I'll probably continue that into 2015.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart--I love E. Lockhart. This book only reinforced that. It's about a girl named Cadence and her family members who vacation on their grandfather's island every summer. Something happened when Cadence and her cousins were fifteen, and Cadence has amnesia as she's telling the book, two years later. The story is revealed a little at a time until PLOT TWIST. I think I stopped reading and just sat for a long time, thinking about everything that happened. Do yourself a favor and read it.
A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall--Two college kids have a "will they or won't they" relationship. And everyone on campus, from their Creative Writing teacher to the barista at the coffee shop to the squirrel in the park, is rooting for them to get together. I loved this one mostly for the creativity, but also for the sugary-sweet moments between Lea and Gabe.
Play Me Backwards by Adam Selzer--Okay, I don't know if I can classify this as Realistic Fiction or not. You decide. Leon is a slacker, and to get the girl of his dreams, he's enlisting the help of his best friend, Stan. Who thinks (and acts like) Satan. This book was hilarious and sarcastic and wonderful.
What Realistic Fiction did I miss this year? Let me know what you think!