Saturday, January 10, 2015

2014 Book of the Year Bracket Challenge: Elite Eight

Everyone still hanging in there? The pain of giving up good books is real. And now you get to thrash away another eight. Whee!

Found any fun surprises yet? I'm finding some interesting ones this round. I actually dismantled this section of the bracket three different times before I made up my mind on these ones. There are some toughies. Ready?

This is where I started. Just call it the bracket of young adult fiction...

Four really rough decisions this time. Seriously. I'm such a waffler. Gah.

1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell vs. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor this one was a little different from the rest. You see, Fangirl was rated at 4 stars while Daughter of Smoke and Bone was rated at 5. Should've been an easy decision, right? Well, wrong.

If you look back at the Sweet Sixteen reduction, when I decided between The Boyfriend List and Landline, I said of Landline, "I loved the imagination of this one. I loved it more than Eleanor and Park, but less than Fangirl (with the exception of the ending that cost it the 5th star)." So obviously, I liked Fangirl a lot. It should have been a 5 star. But that darned ending...just...blerg.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone? Whoa. Awesome. I loved it. I will be moving into reading the second in the series sometime in the next few months. Great description and imagery and a crazy, imaginative story. I'm a big fan of this one.

So...I had a bit of a struggle with myself. I went back and forth between these two THREE times. Ridiculous. But now, I've decided. Winner, winner, chicken dinner? Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Final answer.

2. Insurgent by Veronica Roth vs. How to Love by Katie Cotugno

Oh Veronica Roth, you just keep showing up. And making me struggle. Insurgent was a solid sequel. I enjoyed it just about as much as the initial novel, Divergent. (Don't get me started on Allegiant, there's a reason it didn't make it out of the 32. Karsyn knows what I'm talking about.) Another great world with good, strong characters. A very good female lead. A contender.

How to Love. I already told you how I could just rock this book to sleep. I nearly tear up just thinking about it again. It's kind of like how I feel about 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, but less depressing.

This one was a little easier than the Fangirl dilemma. My gut just steered me in the direction I needed to go. Once again, an emotional decision. How to Love by Katie Cotugno takes the win.

3. Finding Alice by Melody Carlson vs. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Ah, my obsessive love of all things Alice makes it to the Sweet Sixteen and then manages to get pitted against a book I gushed over. Rats.

Finding Alice was like reading a book from inside the rabbit hole, if you know what I mean. It was so incredibly, crazily well written. The point of view choice is really powerful and smart. Crazy, crazy, crazy, but in a good way. Not a downer, but still a great view of mental illness. An Alice winner.

One of the first books I swooned over in 2014 was Amy & Roger's Epic Detour. I obsessed about this book for a little while. I even have a playlist on my Spotify of the songs listed in the book. Yep, a little overboard, but what are you going to do. 

To those of you who have been reading my posts for the past year, though it was a difficult decision and I was sad to bid Alice adieu, it should be no surprise that Amy & Roger will be moving on into the next round.

4. Real, Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart vs. Landline by Rainbow Rowell

I think E. Lockhart and Rainbow Rowell have it out for each other. Last round, Landline went up against The Boyfriend List. In the first round, it took out The Boy Book.

I hurt a little inside for E. Lockhart on this one. It's nothing personal I swear. I just really liked Landline. As much as I am a super fan of Ruby Oliver, she just can't beat this book out, no matter how hard she tries.

Landline, once again, smacks down a Ruby Oliver novel to take the win. So mean...

And now, with only seven more difficult decisions left ahead of me, here is where we're at. Ladies and gentlemen...the Elite Eight for 2014.

Link up to your Elite Eight Bracket in the comments below!


  1. I do know the reason. It clouded my vision on the rest of the books, had I read them this year I don't know that I could have included Divergent. Maybe, in the first round, but probably not after that.

    Here's my Elite Eight.

    1. If I had read Divergent as a standalone, it would've been strong without any doubt. I had to use that reasoning to rate it. I got totally swayed by Allegiant otherwise.

  2. I haven't read any of these, but man, sounds like this was pretty agonizing. Mine took me a while too - I'll be putting it up later!

    1. That's always how this goes. I never want to let them go when it gets down to a small handful. So sad to wave goodbye to a good book.

  3. Here's my elite 8. These were all books I loved this year. The next round was such a hard elimination.

    You still have so many amazing books to choose from. I think some of the decisions you had to make would make a hard decision.

    1. I like having to rethink the books. Makes it nice when it comes time for me to decide on a reread. :)


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