Hope the new year is filled with even more fantastic reads! I can't wait.
Let's start with my #10 book:
10: CODE NAME VERITY
Why I love this book: historical fiction was/is my first love. This book ripped my heart out and glued it back together. I loved how it illustrated genuine friendship, and how that was the main focus of this story. YA is flooded with romantic tales, but rarely stories about two friends willing to risk their lives for each other. This book is slow, and a bit confusing at first, but give it time. And then you will realize how slowly this story grabs at your heart.
Why I love this book: it is the conclusion to one of my favorite fantasy series. In this final installment, Elisa struggles and suffers to protect her country and her people. She begins to realize what is important in her life, and Elisa's character growth from the first book is evident. It is one of the best YA can offer, in terms of a well-rounted, relatable, and DYNAMIC character who actually grows through her experiences. I love it.
Why I love this book: This is a surprising addition, because I didn't like Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Daughter of Smoke and Bone began as a promising fantastastical tale, and it quickly spiraled downward with flashbacks and insta-love that I couldn't believe in. What made this sequel better, though, is how Laini chose to focus on the impending war instead of the romance. Laini is also an incredibly lyrical and talented writer, and her writing was one of the main reasons I wanted to give this series a second chance. I'm so glad I did.
Why I love this book: I wasn't enthralled by Maggie's latest series, The Raven Cycle. But I did like Maggie's writing, and I heard so many things about this book. I gave it a try this year, and WOW. I adored this book. It's not as action-packed as I had assumed, but the characters and their journey toward the final race was still engaging and beautiful.
6: JUST ONE DAY
Why I love this book: This book is filled with a lot of ups and downs--a roller coster of emotion. It's because of this book, that If I Stay is on my "MUST READ" list next year. Gayle Foreman has a way of getting under your skin and evoking all sorts of emotions from the reader.
5: PIVOT POINT
Why I love this book: This was probably the most surprising "best of 2013" book. I thought it would be a fun book, but I didn't expect to love it like I did. The main character, Addie, was fantastic. I think West's talent really lies with dialogue, and I couldn't help but laugh and smile as I continued to read. And the choice Addie makes, in the end, is so admirable and heart-breaking. I definitely recommend this book to those who love their contemporary with a twist of paranormal. This book sort of defies stereotypes, and I love that.
Why I loved this book: for the honest way that Rowell portrays young love. It's powerful, and real, but people grow and life happens. Both Eleanor and Park was perfect for each other, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading as their romance unfolded. Let's be honest though--it's no surprise this book is on my list. It's on a lot of people's lists.
Why I loved this book: the world, the characters, and Leigh Bardugo's writing all combine to make a fascinating story. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole book. And when I reached that cliffhanger ending, I was so distressed, because I have to wait for book 3 to come out. And I don't want to wait. I need to know what happens, NOW.
Why I loved this book: Vicious challenges all your ideals about good and evil. I love that! It's bold, fascinating, and FUN. Eli and Victor are two fascinating characters, with such powerful and strong convictions about what makes a villain. Really, though, who doesn't love a good superhero tale? And this book defines all superhero tropes and stereotypes, which makes it bold and refreshing. I also can't think of a more perfect ending. I closed the book with an evil and satisfied smile on my face. Schwab is, simply put, a genius.
Yet again, Sarah Maas manages to climb up the top of my list for a second year in a row…
Why I love this book: Ask almost anyone who has read the first two Throne of Glass books, and they will agree that this second installment is even better.. It's perhaps the best "second book" that I've read in a very long time. This could do with the fact that the series isn't a trilogy, as it's supposedly a 6 book series. And I do hope Maas gets the chance to write all six books, because I am in love with Celeanea and her quest for self discovery, adventure, and truth. I can also say that, without a shadow of a doubt, this book has made me Team Chaol. Crown of Midnight is filled far more action, intrigue, and revelations (some surprising, some not). I don't remember the last time I had so much fun reading a book. Maas' writing, and flow, in this book is also vastly improved. I thought she couldn't get better, and she did! For meeting and surpassing my expectations, Crown of Midnight deserves to be at the top of my list. And hopefully the book will be added to your reading list in 2014 (if you haven't read it yet).
And some HONORABLE MENTIONS:
- Silver Linings Playbook
- HP Series (I thought it "unfair" to put this series on my list, because it's obviously going to be #1)
- Cress (I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC, but I thought it was unfair to put in on this list, since the book comes out in 2014). Needless to say, I ADORED this book. Even more than Scarlet.