Sunday, July 13, 2014
Blogger Spotlight: Skylar Finn
I’m not really the kind of person to make New Year’s resolutions or goals for the year because, honestly, I accomplish more by setting short-term goals. And even then it’s….hm, what’s the right word? Debatable, whether I’ll get it done then too. Queen of procrastination right here. Buut, there’s one thing I did make a goal for this year. You’ve probably heard of the Goodreads Challenge, where you set a number of books you want to read in the year. My goal this year is 150 books. And THESE are my favorites out of what I’ve read so far.
My Top Ten Books of 2014 (in no particular order)
1. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Boys has received a lot of hype. And while that grabbed my attention and made me want to read it, it also worried me because what if it didn’t live up to it? It definitely lived up to it. This book is easily in my Top 5 of the year. I loved all of the characters! (Especially Blue and Noah.) And they were all so unique which is really hard to do when you have so many characters for one book. The Scottish mythology and the whole seers thing was also extremely interesting. Stiefvater also has a really unique voice—describing all these intangible things well but also somewhat vaguely. What wrapped this amazing book up and made it even more fantabulous were the plot twists. Oh. My. Gosh. THE PLOT TWISTS. That is all.
2. Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
I read another book by Lindsey Leavitt first—Princess for Hire. I loved her humor and the main character so when I read the Going Vintage blurb and saw the cover I was so totally going to read that. It’s a fabulous contemporary (I don’t read those a lot). The main character Mallory is awesome. She has an epic sense of humor and sarcasm, a hilarious way of describing things. But even with these contemporary-ish things like high school break-ups and cute guys and parades, the process of Mallory discovering herself and that she was a strong person, an individual, by herself was great. She was boss and by the end of the book, she finally knew that about herself too. Plus, she hated walking unnecessarily. We are so twins.
3. Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel
Dust Girl has a creepy cover. Very, very weird. But what’s inside is awesome. I would describe it as a fantasy set in the time when there was a Dust Bowl and people there had to battle, well dust, every day. The main character is a slightly younger lead for Young Adult (I think she’s fourteen) but she’s really mature. Also there are fairies, a zombie, and other fantastical things that I’m not sure how the author pulled together so beautifully. I was floored by how she took something that’s written about all the time (aka fairies) and made it so original.
4. The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
First, Finley Jayne is an awesome main character (you’re probably coming to see a pattern here…characters are the most important factor for me). Second, look at that cover. Look at it.
This book has so many things going for it in my opinion that it’s hard to sum it all up. The book is set in 1897 England, steampunk England. Complete with automatons and all things gears. There are also super-powers, a rag-tag crew, and the Aether. The clothes were awesome too. Okay, maybe I’m getting a little off track. Finley isn’t intimidated by anything. She’s determined and great at come-backs. She’s the perfect heroine for a stiff England.
5. The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney by Suzanne Harper
This is another book dealing with spirits and seers. Sparrow has the ability to see, hear, and talk with dead spirits (as opposed to, you know, live ones). She was such an individual in her style and I kind of (really) ship her with a guy in the book. After I got over him being a jerk. The story itself is so unique though, it combines spirits and a mystery and good old high school angst.
6. Indelible by Dawn Metcalf
If you read the book, you will understand why the title is relevant. Do it. The world-building was amazing! It was described so well and I couldn’t get enough of reading more about all the things living in the same world, er…almost same world, as us but staying invisible to the human eye. It was a world within a world. Indelible Ink and Invisible Inq (brother and sister) were extremely alluring too, because they were so otherworldly. The whole idea of certain markings being put on many people without the people knowing was awesome and complex too.
7. Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
I didn’t think I’d like Juliet Immortal when I saw it. I’m just not the type of person to like reading books focused fully on romance-everything, it’s not my thing. But the blurb of this book was SO interesting. This is a complete debunking of the “Romeo &Juliet” story. It’s a PARANORMAL re-telling. Not only is this amazing, but the story also tackles the idea that if you only ever do things for other people, you will never be the person you are meant to be.
8. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
I think Michelle Hodkin tackles writing for a supposedly “crazy” person extremely well. I was on Mara’s side from the beginning but at times I would wonder whether maybe she had the potential to become bad for the sake of doing good. There was a point where I even thought, Maybe she is a little….unsteady. Mara also can’t remember anything that happened at a certain accident. She hallucinates. The author wrote these scenes very well…to the point that I couldn’t tell if what Mara was seeing was real or a hallucination. Which made me doubt my judgment, just like Mara did.
9. Something Strange & Deadly by Susan Dennard
People gush about how this book is steampunk but, honestly, I don’t see that many steampunk elements in this book. What grabbed my attention was that this book had a historical setting and zombies. ZOMBIES. (No, I’m not normal. Why do you ask?) The plot twists and villains were also done really well. I couldn’t guess who the bad guy was no matter how hard I tried. The cover is gorgeous too!
10. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The shortest most accurate way I can think of to describe this book is this—it’s a modern To Kill a Mockingbird. Now here’s the long version….the reason I loved this book is because it showed how much of an impact a person can have if they’re determined. It showed how much you can learn if you look at things from a different person’s point of view. It showed that humans can be so cruel and think that they’re doing nothing wrong. It showed that there are many ways of being angry and each one has the potential to destroy the person who’s angry—and the potential to re-make them. And most of all, it taught me that beyond all gaps and social walls, people can overcome differences and become family.
Skylar Finn is the pen name of a recent high school graduate (who never gets tired of saying she's graduated). Her real name is top secret because she's secretly a spy. That does spy stuff. Secretly. When she's not spying, she blogs about books, life, and chocolate at Life of a Random. Skylar loves talking with bookworms about everything so don't be shy. She's probably weirder than you anyways.