Julie:It's that time of year, where we talk about our favorites. A bit delayed because I've been on a reading binge for two weeks and wanted to count as many of those titles as possible. And of course, now that I’m done, I’m cheating a bit. I combined my three favorite companion series into one listing, because honestly, think about it, if I read three books by the same author in one year (more in some cases) don’t they deserve it? I also decided to let the 4 books on this list that I read in 2012, but came out in 2013, a bit separately so I could have my 13 for this year. The list isn’t in favorite order, but some approximation of order I read them.
Read in 2013:
The Archived by Victoria Schwab - Oh Victoria. The world she created in this series is so entirely different from any other I’ve experienced. And her characters were so rich and vibrant. I also had to appreciate that, while there is a sequel, the plot of this book was very much wrapped up. Often I read the first book in a series and feel like I have to read the sequel because the story wasn’t finished. I only want to read The Unbound because Victoria’s a good writer and I love these characters.
The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson - Speaking of sequels, this is the best end to a trilogy I have read in my life so far. I’ve loved Hector and Elise for a long time. All of the books in the series have made my Top lists, in fact. But the way Rae Carson ended this story? It’s magical, guys. I’ve never read such a complete, well thought out end. Ugh. Just ugh. Go read this series.
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith - I fell in love with Jennifer’s last book, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. This one sounded even more like my kind of book because it has a famous person in it. And it’s also like three times as long and practically perfect in every way. I got her older YA, You Are Here, for Christmas and may or may not be prepared to kill a man for her next, The Geography of You and Me.
Picture Perfect/Subject to Change/Drop Everything Now by Alessandra Thomas - Picture Perfect was my first NA. Ever. And it’s probably my favorite. Except then I read Alessandra’s other books in this companion-ology and now I’m really not sure which is my favorite. In each story, the main character has legit college/20s related struggles, not just relationship problems. They’re all so incredibly realistic and about more than just sex and there’s fantastic character development and ugh. Ugh. I’m refusing to wait for her next book. REFUSING.
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell - I picked up this book after watching Rainbow and David Levithan act out a scene from the book. I decided after that magic that it had to be good. And oh, friends. I sat in my bed, procrastinating homework, and read the crap out of that book. Then I finished it and stared at it for several minutes, trying to not cry. Then I shoved my face in a pillow. Then I threw it on to my roommate’s bed. The amount of regrets I have about not sticking around that night to get it signed are immense. IMMENSE.
Infinityglass by Myra McEntire - I know I mentioned perfect endings to a trilogy with The Bitter Kingdom. But this one’s pretty much tied because it went about things in a different way. The perspective was from one character who was rather minor in the previous books and one character we’d never met. They had this amazing chemistry and incredible voices and the stories they had combined beautifully with the overall story arch and it was kind of a masterpiece.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - Yet again, a scenario in which I already loved the author, but this time the plot line was SO more my style. Fangirl is kind of my life. Not word for word, but in spirit. I felt for Cath SO MUCH and then there was Levi. LEVI. And this book is so incredibly perfect I don’t want to hear a single word that says otherwise.
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West - This was definitely a case of Right Book at the Right Time. It was adorable and fluffy and the characters were so wonderful. It’s a really light read that on a normal day may have just been a fluff read, but with the incredible characters and story line and just being read at the right time, it became an instant favorite and Kasie West’s contemporaries will forever be on my shelves.
Beautiful Bastard/Beautiful Stranger/Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren - I’ve talked about my history with this series before. It’s long and immense and the authors are two of my favorite people ever. I don’t think I can really say anything else except that this series just got better with each book and I’m eagerly waiting for both their YA and their next adult series.
OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu - This was a bit of a surprise for me. I expected to enjoy it. I like Corey and a reading she did impressed me. But I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much. I groaned for Bea many times, feeling for her. This also came at a time someone in my life was being diagnosed with OCD after their own rather extreme event, so I really felt like I was getting it. I was getting OCD. It was really incredible how Bea was portrayed and I have to admire Corey for that so much.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusack - I finally jumped on the bandwagon after being invited to the movie screening and Oh. My. God. Oh my God. This book. THIS BOOK. I was up until 6 am reading it and crying and now I’m making all my family members read it before seeing the movie. Another family member has since read it and then gifted it to another family member the same day she told a third family member to read it. DO IT.
Sex with the Queen by Eleanor Herman - This was a bit of non-fiction fun for me. I’ve been really into non-fiction for the past couple of weeks, and this is my favorite so far. The writing style is phenomenal and it balances telling a lot of stories with fleshing out the stories really well. I’m incredibly impressed with Herman and have ordered one of her other books with my Christmas money.
A Little Too Far/A Little Too Much/A Little Too Hot by Lisa Desrochers - Lisa and I go way, way back to the first year or so of this blog. So when I found out she had an NA series? I was THERE. I mean, her YA was incredibly sexy and steamy, so imagine her NA. And she did not disappoint. At all. A Little Too Hot technically comes out next month, but I think it’s my favorite of the three. Mostly because of the plot twist I genuinely didn’t see coming. They’re so, so good guys. SO GOOD.
Read Before 2013:
Deception by C.J. Redwine - Maybe I’m biased, but C.J.’s series is one of my favorite dystopians ever, as proven by the fact I didn’t stop after book 1 and I actually remember what happens. There’s this wonderful balance of action and romance and friendship and it has a fantasy twist to it and just…love. All the love. Logan 4eva.
Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance - I love Pride and Prejudice, so I was obviously on board. It’s also mixed with Veronica Mars, which I love. WHAT COULD POSSIBLE GO WRONG FOR ME? Nothing. Nothing went wrong for me. The characters and the storyline and it was fun and a nice twist on Pride and Prejudice and I loved it so much. I’ve been craving a reread for ages and that really does need to happen. Soon.
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi - Another sequel! Another YA dystopian I adore and remember well. Tahereh has an incredible, distinct writing style and I love her villain. LOVE. This book just gets more twisty and crazy than Shatter Me was and I eagerly wait for Ignite Me. EAGERLY WAITS. *stares down anyone who gets in my way of this book*
Asunder by Jodi Meadows - Basically, 2013 was the year of Book 2 YA Dystopias Julie Loves. This is another that has a fantasy bend to it, but it’s still so different. I think I have a thing for dystopias that don’t fall in line as much. This one is…”softer” I guess? Still has a lot of action, but it felt less intense and violent, but still every bit as addicting and page turning. And the romance between Sam and Ana is one of my favorites ever. EVER.
So, that was my year. There were some romance novels, other NA books, other contemporary YA, and non-fiction titles that almost made the cut, but not so much. And since I loved talking about these books, I may do some full reviews soon.
Lanna:It doesn't feel like I've read many books this year. But, of the books I have read, there's been quite a few good ones. There's even been a few additions to my favourites shelves.
I'm not going to say anything about the books, like I usually do, because with some of them they seemed amazing when I read them but my feelings have dulled a little and I'm not sure which counts for more--that initial reaction, or the way I feel about them now (I will say which ones have made my all time favourites list though, my feelings for those haven't dulled at all).
These are in the order I read them in (I think), not order of preference:
1. Just One Day by Gail Forman
2. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
3. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (Favourite)
4. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
5. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
6. Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty (Favourite)
7. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (Favourite)
8. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
9. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons (Favourite)
10. Carter Reed by Tijan (Favourite)
11. The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty (Favourite)
12. Poison by Bridget Zinn
13. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (Favourite)
And a few honorable mentions:
- Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
- Regency romance novels by Eloisa James. I hadn't really read any of this genre until this year, but I read one of hers and basically, she sparked a love of the genre. I really recommend her fairytales and Duchess in Love quartet (not every book in each series is really good, but they're all enjoyable).
- Jellicoe Road audio book. This is the first audio book I've ever listened to. Jellicoe Road is one of my favourite books anyway and I figured it'd be a good audio book to try first because I already love it. I didn't think I could sit and have a story read to me, but once you get used to having to pay attention to someone else's voice and get over the novelty of it, it's actually really good.
Stock image credit.