* This list is in order of date read. *
Now, as you probably know, I'm very enthusiastic about Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spin off, Bloodlines. I waited very impatiently for The Indigo Spell to be released this year and oh man. Was it worth every second of the torture! The Indigo Spell prepared us for a journey that would take this series through to the end. It gave readers (aka me!!) everything we'd been waiting for since the start of this series. And there's even a (mostly) happy ending to boot!
The Eternity Cure took Kagawa's Blood of Eden series further than I could have hoped for after The Immortal Rules. Somehow it made me love Allison even more than I did in the first book. And it even made me fall head over heels for the baddie of book one, the snarky, cynical, self centered Jackal. Oh, how I love me some Jackal! Now I'm only wishing for a little shake up in the romance department, because I'm not a huge fan of Allison's love interest Zeke, but I'll deal if it means getting more of these incredibly badass vampires!
I don't usually read middle grade novels, and while this one is probably meant for the younger YA crowd, it still felt a little MG to me. But, for some reason, I was able to look past my hangups about MG and really enjoy The Heartbreak Messenger. Well, actually, I know the exact reason. It's because Vance's story is a delightful read that I couldn't put down for eve a second! There's something so adorable about Quentin and the way he tries to do the right thing by his single mom by getting a job. And how does he do that, you ask? By being the bearer of bad news in matters of the heart, of course! While it may be unconventional, and more than a little morally ambiguous, he gets the job done, even if it means getting slugged by a girl or two.
Is there really anything about Yancey's The 5th Wave that doesn't shout "Best of! Best of!"? I mean, seriously. Alien invasion, post apocalyptic setting, mystery, action, romance? It's got everything and then some. Cassie's story dragged me in, but Ben and his group of kid soldiers had me holding onto the edge of my seat! Honestly, it's no wonder this book has already been optioned for a movie.
I almost never read adult horror, but Christopher Rice has definitely give me reason to start. The Heavens Rise flashes back and forth between the teenage years and mid twenties of a group of childhood friends who have inadvertently released all kinds of evil (I'm talking really evil) on New Orleans. Swampy parasites that give people the power to control other's minds is definitely not a good thing when the one wielding that power I'd a psychopath (in the truest sense). Marshall is one of the creepiest bad guys I've ever come across in a book. So if you're all about horror, The Heavens Rise is not to be missed.
What comes to mind when I think about Cole's Arcana Chronicles?
Jackson, Jackson, Jackson, Death, Jackson, Jackson!
Oh, and the zombie apocalypse. And twenty two teenagers waging a never ending war between the forces of good and evil. And crazy abilities like controlling plants, talking to animals, predicting the future, flying! It's like a group of super heroes battling it out on Survivor! Who could say no to that?
Kat Falls gave me the biggest surprise of the year when I started reading Inhuman. I went in thinking it'd be all post apocalypse of the infectious variety, but what I got was so much more. Inhuman was a fantasy hidden in a dystopia and I couldn't be more happy about that! With a crazy cast of characters, a love triangle that didn't make me want to kill all three characters involved, and an adventure that made me wish I was there, Inhuman was definitely one of my favorite books of 2013.
If you're a fan of Julie Kagawa's Blood of Eden series, allow me to introduce you to Emily McKay! After McKay's The Farm left me wanting more vampire apocalypse, it's sequel, The Lair, most definitely delivered. After a wee bit of a bumpy start, The Lair quickly won me over with non-stop action, even more gruesome vampire goodness, and an ending I never saw coming.
Do you like romance? How about science fiction? Dystopian? Retellings? If you've answered yes to any of these questions than Across a Star Swept Sea is sure to sweep you right off your feet! Although it is a companion novel to Peterfreund's For Darkness Shows the Stars (which was just !!!!), you don't need to read that one first in order to fall in love with this magical retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel.
Yes, Mead's series is so good it gets two books on my Best of list! The Fiery Heart took the Bloodlines series to a whole new level, starting us off on a long, twisty road to the end of the series. It's the beginning of the end, people, and it's painful, but somehow still agonizingly delicious. This one leaves off on a cliffhanger that anyone who's ever picked up the series had known was coming since book one, but even knowing it was coming didn't stop me from crying my eyes out about it. I'm still so speechless about this book, and all of the amazing things that happened within, that I can barely gather my thoughts enough to write this, but I'll try. The Fiery Heart most definitely deserves a spot on my Best of 2013 list. In fact, I'm going as far as to say it was, by far, my favorite book of the year. (And of the series!)
Honorable Mentions• The Georgetown Academy series by Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz
I fell head over heels in love with Etting and Schwartz's Georgetown Academy series this year. It's sort of like Gossip Girl, but the motivations are political instead of social. In fact, everything these kids do (and don't do) is motivated by political affiliations. Its a guilty pleasure read, one that I'm not willing to give up any time soon. I honestly wish it would get picked up by the CW already. Then I could have the pleasure of watching Brooks Madison every week ;)
• A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger
I very rarely read such heavy books, but once I read the first chapter of this one I knew I needed to read it immediately, proceeded to read it in one sitting and then immediately have it to my neighbor and said read it now! She did read it and basically had the same reaction that I did. Metzger's message is poignant and her telling is creative. And without a doubt, A Trick of the Light deserves an honorable mention on my Best of 2013 list.
What were some of your favorites of 2013?