I’ve spent some time going back through all the books I read in 2013…all 120 of them. Not including the books I re-read throughout the year which I obviously love, I’ve come up with a list of the best books and best series that I either started, continued or finished. It was hard to pick out just one, so in some areas I chose the best for that book type. So you might see a selection for YA and a book for adult. I definitely went through some phases during 2013. I read a lot of New Adult books, which likely aren’t for everyone but I love them. I also continued with my love for the YA genre. I generally try to read a few nonfiction books throughout the year but I wasn’t very successful with that in 2013. I’m hoping to do better in that area for 2014.
Best overall books for 2013 (what I loved, not necessarily what you will love)
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma – I recommended this book to a few people throughout the year and unfortunately no one liked it as much as I did. It’s a difficult topic to read about and can leave the reader with some seriously conflicted feelings. I wasn’t the only one who felt this way, other reviewers on Goodreads were dealing with the same conflict. I’ll admit, I felt a bit strange because of the feelings I was having toward the situation and the characters. While it’s an uncomfortable topic to read about the intense feelings of grief and loss I experienced at the end of the book made me look differently at the story. I feel like a book that can cause so much emotional turmoil and strife within me as the reader is deserving of a recommendation. Basically here is what happened, I cried the last 75 pages of the book. Then I cried for two hours after finishing it. Then, a few hours later I tried to tell someone about it on the phone and I cried again. And if that wasn’t enough, a week later when I tried to tell another person about it, I started to cry again. I would probably start to cry now if I had to really talk about it. This is officially a YA book but I would only recommend it to very mature teens. I recommended it for the adult book club at my library. Parents may want to read it before they allow their children to read it because of the subject matter.
The Archived by Victoria Schwab – This is the first book in the series. The second book The Unbound is due out in 2014. This book gets the award for the most original series. Maybe I loved it because there are librarians and I’m a librarian. But I found the book completely addicting. I’ve recommended this book several times throughout the year and most people have been receptive to the book. This is a great series for all ages.
Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson – This is the second book in the Shades of London Series. This book was amazing!! In fact, I’ve found myself thinking about this book multiple times over the past few months and I desperately want to read it again. I’m going to have to buy this book so that I can do just that. I’m eagerly awaiting the third book in the series which is due out in 2014.
Bully by Penelope Douglas – This is a New Adult book that I randomly purchased. It was cheap and it sounded interesting. I love when I buy a cheap book that turns out to be wonderful. This book was heart-wrenching, scary and yet redeeming in the end. I loved it.
Where She Went By Gayle Forman – This is the companion novel to If I Stay, which is being made into a movie starring Chloe Grace Moretz and is set to be released in 2014. You should read If I Stay before reading this book. I loved the first book, but it was so heart-wrenching that I almost couldn’t bear to read this one. It sat on my bookshelf for almost a year before I decided to pick it up. I just couldn’t take that sort of heartbreak again. In fact, I asked a fellow staff member if it’s the type of book I should only read in my house with no other person around because I didn’t want to look like a blubbering fool in the middle of Starbucks. This book takes place several years after If I Stay ends and it’s told from the male character’s perspective. I loved it. It’s sad and heart-wrenching but not the same way the first book is. This book brings everything together and eventually there is acceptance, understanding, forgiveness and redemption. I loved it.
The Mephisto Covenant Series by Trinity Faegen – There are three books out in this series right now. The Mephisto Covenant: The Redemption of Ajax, The Mephisto Kiss: The Redemption of Kyros, and The Mephisto Mark: The Redemption of Phoenix (rereleased as Only You). The first two were classified as young adult and the third was originally released as a YA but then it was rereleased a couple of months later under a new title under the new adult genre. I would classify all of this series as new adult because of the subject matter. This was a very surprising series. I didn’t expect to love them as much as I did. Each book in the series focuses on one brother but all the characters from the previous books are still in the storyline. It’s a complicated storyline and with each book focusing on a different brother it’s hard to tell you much more than this. It’s a great storyline, and each book is different enough for you to stay interested in the series. These books are for mature readers because of the subject matter.
Gods & Monsters Series by Kelly Keaton – This was probably the best full series I read in 2013. I devoured these books over Thanksgiving. They had everything you could want in a YA series. And when I say everything I mean everything, witches, vampires, shifters, gods, and a myriad of other monsters. In addition it had a hot, brooding male and a strong female heroine. Even the location was great, New Orleans after it’s been abandoned by the U.S. Government because of a series of hurricanes that destroyed the city. IT HAD EVERYTHING!!! Read them. They are great. I’m secretly hoping Keaton will write a new series from Sebastian’s point of view.
- Faves of 2013 (bookgoonie.com)