13 for 2013

I read a lot of good books this year so coming up with a top 10 13 list was exceedingly difficult.

My 13 Most Favorite books from 2013 (in no particular order):

The Lost Sun by Tessa GrattonNever Fade by Alexandra BrackenHero by Alethea KontisVicious by V. E. SchwabThe Archived by Victoria SchwabThe 5th Wave by Rick YanceyEleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

  1. The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton: I’m not even sure how I heard about this one but I’m so glad I did. Gratton’s writing totally blew me away.
  2. Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken: Although this was definitely a book 2 in every sense, I really enjoyed this second installment in Bracken’s dystopian series. It kept me on my toes and it brake my heart and then put it back together.
  3. Hero by Alethea Kontis: This series was a big part of my year. I really enjoyed the first book Enchanted as well but since this one came out in 2013 it only made sense for it to make the list.
  4. Vicious by V. E. Schwab
    The Archived by Victoria Schwab: So yes. I have two books by the same author because when I had to make a choice between the two I found it was impossible. I might as well have tried to pick my favorite eye. They’re both so excellent.
  5. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey: I don’t read a lot of alien books. Especially ones I like. But wow this one was great. It really deserves all of the hype.
  6. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: This book is so awesome. It reminds me a lot of Stargirl but it’s so clever and unique all on its own that I don’t want you to think it doesn’t stand on its own. Because it does.
  7. Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel: A blend of fairy lore with Depression era settings, this is one of my favorite books and one of my favorite trilogies. I can’t wait to see how it all ends in the final book!
  8. Pivot Point by Kasie West: I almost didn’t read this book. Then Andi started raving about it and I had a chance to get an ARC. I’m so happy I gave this one a chance. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite time travel/alternate reality titles to recommend.
  9. The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni: A spooky, historical murder mystery this book was refreshing in how decidedly NOT supernatural all of it was.
  10. Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers: It’s hard to say because I liked so many of these books so very much but this might be my favorite book of the year. (Don’t tell the others.) This was one of my first reads in 2013 but it’s also one that I still think about constantly. LaFevers is a great author and this book really demonstrates her masterful grasp of writing historical fantasy.
  11. Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff: Another early-in-the-year read that has kept me thinking. I didn’t know what to expect from this story with a ghost, a serial killer and a girl trying to make her way. But in the end I loved it. This book sealed Yovanoff as an auto-read author.
  12. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: This is another book I read early on that has stayed with me. I love reading about WWII and I adored this book. Wein is a genius with the intricate plotting and pacing here. Interviewing her on the blog (and meeting her at BEA) were two highlights for my blogger self this year.
  13. In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin: I love this series so it was bittersweet to read the final installment. This is one of my last reads of the year but also one of the best. I didn’t know what to expect from this conclusion to a favorite series but Zevin did not disappoint.

Dust Girl by Sarah ZettelPivot Point by Kasie WestThe Caged Graves by Dianne K. SalerniDark Triumph by Robin LaFeversPaper Valentine by Brenna YovanoffCode Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinIn the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin

You can also find my list on Pinterest.

Honorable Mentions (the books that didn’t make my main list but were very enjoyable all the same):

The Demon Catchers of Milan by Kat BeyerPerfect Scoundrels by Ally CarterBorn of Illusion by Teri BrownFangirl by Rainbow RowellAcross a Star-Swept Sea by Diana PeterfreundThe Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee

  • The Demon Catchers of Milan by Kat Beyer: I still haven’t seen a lot of people talking about this one but it was a lot of fun and a great blend of fantasy and travel.
  • Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter: Is there ever a time when Ally Carter’s books aren’t fantastic? Another great installment in one of my favorite series.
  • Born of Illusion by Teri Brown: A supernatural/historical set in 1920s New York? Why yes it is as fun as it sounds.
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: Obviously Rowell already made my list so it seemed unfair to give her books two spots.
  • Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund: Another great post-apocalyptic retelling. This time with 100% more spying.
  • The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee: It’s strange to say but this book is both incredibly sad and incredibly hopeful. Not for the faint of heart but a very satisfying book all the same.

Buzzworthy Titles (the ones everyone else is talking about):

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly BlackThe Dream Thieves by Maggie StiefvaterThe Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black: Honestly, when I finished this book I wasn’t even sure that I liked it. It’s icky and scary and I’m not sure any of the characters are redeemable. But Black is so good at what she does  that it doesn’t even matter. I’ve been thinking about this one a lot since I finished it.
  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater: I went into this book thinking I wanted more Blue and Gansey than I would get. But then, it turns out, Ronan is quite charming when you get past the death glares and everything.
  • The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider: I really enjoyed Schneider’s voice and her riff on the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. I waffle sometimes about whether I loved it or just really liked it but even after a few months I am still pondering it.

You can also see my list on Pinterest if you’re into that sort of thing.

Winter Break Book Blogger Challenge 10: Look Back – Did you meet any goals set for yourself?

My blogger/twitter friends Andi and Amanda are hosting a blogger challenge this winter and I’m participating so for the next few days you can admire their lovely challenge graphic and follow along with my posts:

I didn’t set a lot of goals for myself this year personally or as a blogger. It’s not my thing. All I have really wanted (beyond the usual good job, good health, etc.) is to build a community for myself–something I’ve been actively working on for the last few years because 2009 and 2010 were two of the worst years and some of the loneliest times–and I never wanted to feel like that again. Happily that is a goal I am slowly meeting.

I’m starting 2014 with a few more traditional goals which I’ll mention in my January 1st post for this challenge.

But returning to 2013 I’m actually really proud of  the work I did as a blogger this year.

There were a lot of cool things that happened like my interview with Gabrielle Zevin appearing in the paperback editions of All These Things I’ve Done and Because it is My Blood. I also got to meet a slew of my favorite authors in person at events and BEA which was fantastic and a bit humbling because some of them also knew who I was (still one of the coolest feelings ever). And, thanks to Twitter, I even am sort-of-but-probably-not-really friends with a few of my favorite authors which is another nice feeling.

I decided this year to go big or go home for author interviews. I reached out to authors I wouldn’t usually bother to approach because of an expected rejection. I even asked on Twitter sometimes. And, you know what? Most of the authors said yes. And it was awesome.

I also decided back when this year was starting that I wanted to blog more and maybe about non-book things sometimes. Those goals fell off a bit in the last couple of months because of everything else BUT overall I did meet my goal and I think it really shows in the quality of work I’m putting out with every post.

Want to follow along with the challenge? All of my entries can be found linked on this post.