Good Morning!

As the year comes to a close, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite books, in various categories, that I read in 2013. beware, though each category only asked for one book, I, of course, couldn’t pick one 🙂 Also, it’s highly likely that I forgot a book as I’ve been slacking on keeping Goodreads up to date so I’m not exactly sure what books I read in early 2013 vs late 2012 (oops!).

Many thanks to Jaime at The Perpetual Page Turner for starting this!

BEST BOOKS IN 2013

Contemporary – PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL by Kara Taylor (YA), CAMP BOYFRIEND by J.K. Rock (YA) and by ALL OF YOU by Christina Lee (NA)

Paranormal Romance &/or Urban Fantasy –  TOUCH OF DEATH (YA) by Kelly Hashway and GAMEBOARD OF THE GODS by Richelle Mead (Adult – more like an Urban Fantasy/Paranormal)

Dystopian – DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth, THE SELECTION by Kiera Cass, PROXY by Alex London, REBOOT by Amy Tintera, and PAWN by Aimee Carter (technically I’m still reading it but I can already tell it’s going to be one of the best…it has Alice and Wonderland influences, come on (amazing!!!))

Historical –  This is super surprising, me being the history buff I am, but I did not read a single Historical book…that must change

Fantasy – ASH by Malinda Lo, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor, A GAME OF THRONES by George R.R. Martin, THE RED PYRAMID by Rick Riordan, THE SUMMER PRINCE by Alaya Dawn Johnson

BOOK I WAS EXCITED ABOUT BUT DIDN’T LOVE

I really wanted to love Far Far Away by Tom McNeal, but I didn’t. However, I admired the writing and the idea behind the story so this might be one of those books I need to give a second chance. The main thing for me was that I didn’t connect with the characters. I do love the Brothers Grimm though so we shall see if a second read changes anything 🙂

MOST SURPRISING (IN A GOOD WAY!) BOOK OF 2013

THE SELECTION by Kiera Cass. I remember hearing about the book, passing it numerous times in bookstores, yet I never picked it up. Then one day, I needed a book to read, bought THE SELECTION on my Kindle and fell in love. (It was published in April 2012 but I didn’t read it until 2013, my review can be found here!)

BOOK YOU READ IN 2013 THAT YOU RECOMMENDED TO PEOPLE MOST IN 2013?

A tie between PROXY by Alex London and PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL by Kara Taylor, they took my heart and ran with it. Although, I recently finished THE SUMMER PRINCE and you can bet I’ll be recommending it for the rest of the year and onward!

BEST SERIES YOU DISCOVERED IN 2013

The DIVERGENT trilogy by Veronica Roth, THE SELECTION trilogy by Kiera Cass, and the PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL series by Kara Taylor…interestingly enough, the first two trilogies are finished yet I haven’t read the sequels. 2013 was the year of firsts for me, I haven’t mustered the courage to read the rest yet…too scared, after THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy and what MOCKINGJAY did to me, I don’t know if I can ever love a series so much again (haha, of course, regarding MOCKINGJAY, I shouldn’t have been surprised).

FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR YOU DISCOVERED IN 2013

Kara Taylor (author of PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL). You go Glen Coco!

…I want Anne Dowling to be my BFF…seriously, I’ll read anything you write.

And Alaya Dawn Johnson, anyone who can write organic diversity and do worldbuilding like that will have me as a dedicated reader for life!

BEST BOOK THAT WAS OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE OR A NEW GENRE FOR YOU

A MISSING PEACE (YA) by Beth Fred and ALL OF YOU (NA) by Christina Lee. Both are in the Contemporary Romance genre and I’m a hard sell on Contemporary Romances. Sure, one of my all time favorite series is the IN DEATH series (Adult – Romantic Suspense) by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) but, like the IN DEATH series, I like my romance laced with mystery or Sci-Fi, or Paranormal elements. A MISSING PEACE and ALL OF YOU threw all of that out the window. And, thank you for it 🙂

MOST THRILLING, UNPUTDOWNABLE BOOK OF 2013

PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL by Kara Taylor and THE SELECTION by Kiera Cass, loved them, read them in one sitting, and died when I finished. Their endings…my gosh, you’re killing me! But, not in a I-can’t-stop-crying way. Since most of the books I read this year were like that, I was really happy to find a couple that were shocking/clifhanger-ish without ripping me to pieces.

BOOK YOU READ IN 2013 THAT YOU ARE LIKELY TO RE-READ IN THE COMING YEAR

ASH by Malinda Lo and DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor, these two women have a mastery of words. WOW. Beautiful writing, just gorgeous…I felt like I was in a fairy tale. Job well done.

I might even add THE COLDEST GIRL AND COLDTOWN by Holly Black (if it wasn’t so long), PROXY by Alex London (if it wasn’t so sad), and THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater (haven’t finished reading it but again, beautiful writing) to this list.

FAVORITE COVER OF A BOOK YOU READ IN 2013

13453104The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

MOST MEMORABLE CHARACTER IN 2013

Anne Dowling from PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL by Kara Taylor, she’s hilarious, witty, stubborn, and the kind of person who you want to have your back.

MOST BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN BOOK READ IN 2013

DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor. OMG. I put this book down so many times. Not because it was bad, but to soak in the language and study the sentences. It’s so literary yet it’s fantasy. It’s a very whimsical, beautiful, and poignant story. THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN (Holly Black) and ASH (Malinda Lo) are the same way…Little, Brown sure does know how to pick ’em!

BOOK THAT HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON YOU IN 2013

PROXY by Alex London and ASH by Malinda Lo. They told me that not only could a LGBT main character be written who was not defined by their “gayness” but that such a book could sell and that I should keep doing what I’m doing. Also, THE SUMMER PRINCE by Alaya Dawn Johnson which told me that books filled with diversity (not a single white person) not only can sell but can have a POC on the cover and be about a non European based culture.

They were everything I never knew I wanted to read.

BOOK YOU CAN’T BELIEVE YOU WAITED UNTIL 2013 TO FINALLY READ

THE SELECTION by Kiera Cass and DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor…what was I waiting for?!?! (Now if only I can get on those sequels!)

FAVORITE PASSAGE/QUOTE FROM A BOOK YOU READ IN 2013

Every quote from PROXY by Alex London but especially the tagline: “Some debts cannot be repaid.”

Oh and this one from THE SUMMER PRINCE, Gil, the MC’s best friend said it:

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If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.

SHORTEST AND LONGEST BOOK YOU READ IN 2013

ASH by Malinda Lo for the shortest and The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey for the longest.

BOOK THAT HAD A SCENE THAT HAD ME REELING/DYING TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT IT

THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN…that opening/those beginning pages, OMG (bow down to the queen, Holly Black). What a way to set up a book, now that’s how you make a reader not put your book down.

…I learn more about writing from reading than my creative writing classes, though, I do love them! 

FAVORITE RELATIONSHIP FROM A BOOK YOU READ IN 2013

Romance: Wren and Callum from REBOOT by Amy Tintera. It’s kind of slow burn, and I loved seeing Wren turn soft because of Callum.

Friendship: The relationship between Knox and Syd in PROXY. If you’ve read the book, you understand. It’s one of those relationships that creep up on you. I never imagined it would turn out how it did. It’s so real. It’s not like Syd just goes and forgives Knox for everything. It’s very harsh, brutal even, but there’s so much love.

Familial: Carter and Sadie from THE RED PYRAMID by Rick Riordan. They remind me of the relationship I have with my siblings. We’re utter butts to each other yet when we’re on the same side, we kick butt!

FAVORITE BOOK IN 2013 FROM AN AUTHOR YOU’VE READ PREVIOUSLY

GAMEBOARD OF THE GODS by Richelle Mead. I loved Mead’s Vampire Academy series, well, the earlier ones…then I got tired of all the romance. But, GAMEBOARD OF THE GODS, boy do I love books that mish-mash genres. This one did it so well, mystery, sci-fi, dystopian, romance, paranormal…greatness!

BEST BOOK YOU READ IN 2013 THAT YOU READ SOLELY ON A RECOMMENDATION FROM SOMEONE ELSE

PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL by Kara Taylor. It had been sitting on my Kindle forever, but thanks to all my Twitter friends tweeting about how amazing it was, months before it came out, I read it (& fell in love!).

GENRE YOU READ THE MOST FROM IN 2013

Dystopian and Fantasy (Contemporary and Urban to be exact)…I was a YA Spec Fic Cybils Panelist which attributed to the huge surge in Spec Fic I read toward the end of 2013. However, in general, I’m a pretty big Spec Fic reader.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY IN 2013

PROXY by Alex London. When I think about it, I still start tearing up.

BOOK YOU READ IN 2013 THAT YOU THOUGHT GOT OVERLOOKED THIS YEAR OR WHEN IT CAME OUT

ASH by Malinda Lo. It came out in 2009, and I probably read more YA then than I do now. I don’t remember hearing about it at all. I practically lived in the YA section of bookstores. I don’t remember how I found out about it but I do remember finding it in a bookstore was quite the challenge (thank goodness Boston has so many!).

(This, of course, is telling of the need to change how we view books with diverse themes. As in seeing them as books that happen to have, e.g. a POC character, not as “multicultural books”.)

BOOK BLOGGING/READING LIFE 2013

NEW FAVORITE BOOK BLOG YOU DISCOVERED IN 2013

Charlotte’s Library: Fantasy and Science Fiction books for kids and teenagers. Charlotte does a weekly round-up of MG SFF from around various blogs (reviews, discussions, etc…). She also has some wonderful book recs, posts on diversity in MG SFF, it’s great, I couldn’t be happier I subscribed!

FAVORITE REVIEW THAT YOU WROTE IN 2013

This one I wrote for Kara Taylor’s PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL. My love for the book is evident.

BEST DISCUSSION YOU HAD ON YOUR BLOG

It was a post titled White (Straight) Girls in Dresses,  and it was on the lack of diversity in YA.

MOST THOUGHT-PROVOKING REVIEW OR DISCUSSION YOU READ ON SOMEONE ELSE’S BLOG

I really liked this discussion in the comments of the post titled, “On Being a Real Writer” on literary agent Sarah LaPolla’s blog Glass Cases.

BEST EVENT THAT YOU PARTICIPATED IN

LOVED participating in this virtual discussion/roundtable on DiversfiYA on Diversity and Sexuality in YA/NA (it consists of four parts and it’s wonderful…some great writing resources there!).

BEST MOMENT OF YOUR BOOK LIFE IN 2013

My one year blogoversary!!

MOST POPULAR POST THIS YEAR ON YOUR BLOG

My post for THE DREAM THIEVES Blog Tour: Guest Post by author Maggie Stiefvater. It along with the fashion posts I used to regularly post (I almost went to school for fashion design), take up a ridiculous amount of views.

However, the most popular one that I wrote last year that I adore that still gets a significant amount of views is titled, “Teenagers Have Wisdom Too…”

POST YOU WISH GOT A LITTLE MORE LOVE

White (Straight) Girls in Dresses, it’s on the lack of diversity in YA (and kidlit in general). It got a lot of views and some great discussions happened but, of course, I would love more as change is not something that happens overnight, we have to keep pushing the issue and working on it. That being said, sometimes enough is enough, and that was that post for me. The “action” post, in response to my thoughts/feelings regarding the lack of diversity in kidlit can be found here.

BEST BOOKISH DISCOVERY

Austin Teen Book Festival. Didn’t make it this year, though.

READING CHALLENGES/GOALS

I didn’t really have any exact one. My goal was mainly just to “get back on the reading horse”. High School and then college kind of burnt me out of reading. I started this blog partially so I could get back to reading. This year, I was able to really focus on reading and writing. These past two years have been a sort of journey for me in re-finding what kind of books I like. It was hard at first because I had to realize I’m not the same reader I was growing up, I rarely digest a book or two a day anymore. Not only because I rarely have that much time but I like to soak my books in much more than I did then. I aim to really comprehend books. It was definitely a challenge and a shift, but I’m glad I made it. I didn’t read tons of books, like I’m sure I easily did (probably 200) when I was younger. This year I did a lot of writing and reading, and a lot of dissecting of books to see what made me love/dislike them as a way of improving my writing. Basically, 2013 was an all around success!

LOOKING AHEAD

ONE BOOK YOU DIDN’T GET TO IN 2013 THAT WILL BE A PRIORITY IN 2014

Aside from the sequels to all the series I started this year, I would like to read some more contemporary. In particular WONDER by R.J. Palacio and then CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green...bring the tissues. With 2013 being the year of dystopia and 2014 being contemporary soon I won’t have any more tears to shed!

BOOK YOU ARE MOST ANTICIPATING FOR 2014 (NON-DEBUT)

BEFORE YOU BREAK (NA) by Christina Lee, PANIC (YA) by Lauren Oliver, and THE TAKING (YA) by Kimberly Derting (who is fast becoming one of my favorite authors)…luckily, the last two are on my Kindle *evil laughter*

2014 DEBUT RELEASE YOU ARE MOST ANTICIPATING

ALL of these (MG) and these (YA) but especially MONSTROUS (MG) by MarcyKate Connolly,  ILLUSIVE (YA) by Emily Lloyd Jones (it was pitched as X-Men meets Oceans Eleven…I’m in!!), POINTE (YA) by Brandy Colbert, Amy Zhang’s debut (TITLE TBA – YA), and EXTRACTION (YA) by Stephanie Diaz.

SERIES ENDING YOU ARE MOST ANTICIPATING IN 2014

THE ONE by Kiera Cass (THE SELECTION #3)

ONE THING YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH IN YOUR READING/BLOGGING PROCESS IN 2014

I want to read more Contemporary, Historical/Historical Fiction (I read so much of it growing up I probably burnt myself out), and Sci-Fi, being a Sci-Fi fan myself I’m thrilled about the rise of Sci-Fi…oh and speaking of being thrilled, bring on the thrillers. I also am a huge Adult Urban Fantasy fan however I haven’t ventured much into the YA realm of UF. I would like to though so readers, if you have any favorites please do share 🙂

As for blogging, I’ve given up on scheduled blogging. I usually blog weekly, but instead of designating a day, I’ll let the words flow when they do. I also want to start doing more of the type of posts I did when I started the blog, less promotional type posts and more me posts, guest posts from authors, etc…I think college just hit me hard this year but 2014 will be the year of my blog, as well as my writing and many other things.

I want to focus on doing what makes me happy when the mood strikes.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Written by Patrice

7 Comments

Patrice

Aw, I’m glad to hear that, Kelly! You sucked me right in with the mythology mixed with other paranormal elements. It was one of the few books I read last year in one sitting 🙂

Reply
Dawn Brazil

I love a lot of the books you mentioned. Others are in the TBR que. The there’s I haven’t read I’m getting soon because of this post. Great post!

Reply
Patrice

Yes, there’s so much to read…I’m always trying to balance new releases with backlists. Hope your year’s off to a great start!

Reply
bethfred08

I’ve been away at my MFA residency and just saw I made your list! Thanks so much!

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