BEST BOOK YOU READ IN 2013
Two books that just blew me away this year were The Girls of No Return by Erin Saldin and Golden by Jessi Kirby. Both were beautifully written and wonderful stories that I was able to get completely lost in. However, I also loved The Lucky Ones by Anna Godbersen, Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, Game by Barry Lyga, and Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara. These six books were the books that really stayed with me days, even weeks, after I had read them.
BOOK YOU WERE EXCITED ABOUT AND THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO LOVE BUT DIDN'T
It wasn't YA, but I was really excited for The Never List by Koethi Zan. The premise sounded awesome, but the writing just wasn't where I wanted it to be. Ultimately, it was a major disappointment for me.
MOST SURPRISING (IN A GOOD WAY!) BOOK OF 2013
The Girls of No Return, by Erin Saldin, was the one book that I didn't think I would like but ended up loving. I had tried to read it once before but couldn't get into it--I gave up on it around 100 pages. But every time I was shelving YA books at work, I was drawn to this one, so I finally checked out it again. I'm glad I did, because the second time around, I had no problem getting into it, and I completely fell in love with it.
BOOK YOU READ IN 2013 THAT YOU RECOMMENDED MOST TO PEOPLE IN 2013
Days of Blood and Starlight, by Laini Taylor. I recommended it to everyone I possibly could. Also, The Bright Young Things trilogy by Anna Godbersen.
BEST SERIES YOU DISCOVERED IN 2013
I've been trying to avoid series books lately, but I adored The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd. It wasn't really what I was expecting, but I love retellings, and it's the type of book that makes me want to read the original, The Island of Dr. Moreau. I can't wait for Her Dark Curiosity.
FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR YOU DISCOVERED IN 2013
I feel like I have so many new authors I discovered this year who I love. Erin Saldin and Amy McNamara are at the top of the list; I can't wait to find out when their next books will be out.
BEST BOOK THAT WAS OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE OR WAS A NEW GENRE FOR YOU
Honestly, finally reading Forever by Maggie Stiefvater was something that brought me out of my comfort zone. I struggled with my decision to read it, but I finally decided to just do it, and I'm really glad I did. I had already read the first two books in the series, Forever had been sitting on my shelf for well over a year, and I finally decided that I was going to read it, regardless of what other people were saying about the book and author (which is a long story that I won't get into). I ended up loving it, and I wish I hadn't waited so long to read it just because someone else's opinion of the book/author made me hesitate to.
MOST THRILLING, UNPUTDOWNABLE BOOK IN 2013
Game, by Barry Lyga, was by far one of the most thrilling books I read this year. I had a hard time putting it down--I'm pretty sure I ended up reading it in one sitting. Books about serial killers are right up my alley--they're one of my favorite types of books, actually--and Game did not disappoint. Lyga blew me away with the premise, and the cliffhanger it ended on is, as I said when I finished the book, "killing me!" (No pun intended.)
BOOK YOU READ IN 2013 THAT YOU ARE MOST LIKELY TO RE-READ NEXT YEAR
The Girls of No Return, by Erin Saldin, which I already want to re-read. I'm convinced it is just what I need to get out of the reading slump I'm still sort of in. It was beautifully written, inspiring (though very sad in some ways), and really messed with my emotions (in a good way!).
FAVORITE COVER OF A BOOK YOU READ IN 2013
MOST MEMORABLE CHARACTER IN 2013
One of the characters who really stuck with me was Parker Frost from Golden, by Jessi Kirby. I felt like I was able to relate to her in so many ways, and I loved her. Another character who's been really memorable for me is Bea from OCD Love Story, by Corey Ann Haydu.
MOST BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN BOOK READ IN 2013
I read so many beautifully written books this year: The Lucky Ones, by Anna Godbersen; Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara; Golden, by Jessi Kirby; The Girls of No Return, by Erin Saldin. My favorite, though, was Lovely, Dark and Deep. It was so poetic and beautiful that I fell in love with it immediately. I'm a poet, and I could tell immediately that Amy McNamara is, as well, based on her writing in Lovely, Dark and Deep. And for me, her ability to use poetic elements in a novel is what makes this the most beautifully written book I've read this year.
BOOK THAT HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON YOU IN 2013
I'm not sure if I can pick just one. The Girls of No Return made me long to start spending time in nature again (hiking and snowshoeing, here I come!). Wild Tales: A Rock and Roll Life by Graham Nash (autobiography, not YA) renewed my love and passion for music. Emotionally, I was wreck after finishing The Lucky Ones by Anna Godbersen.
BOOK YOU CAN'T BELIEVE YOU WAITED UNTIL 2013 TO FINALLY READ
Fracture, by Megan Miranda, was awesome. I wish I had read it when it first came out. I also wish I hadn't waited so long to read Forever by Maggie Stiefvater.
FAVORITE PASSAGE/QUOTE FROM A BOOK YOU READ IN 2013
You can't make anything if you're lost to yourself. (Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara)
The funny thing was, Gia might have thought she was really telling me something about herself. But the stories didn't tell me anything about the way she felt at night, when she stood completely alone on the beach and looked toward the thin black line of the shore that rimmed the other side of the lake. Or how she felt when she came upon a rabbit's delicate bones on Red Dot Trail. bleached and picked clean by other scavengers. Or what images filtered through her mind just before sleep, when the body has little resistance to the memories and desires that are kept at bay in the waking hours. And that--that--was what I really wanted to know. (The Girls of No Return by Erin Saldin)
SHORTEST AND LONGEST BOOK YOU READ IN 2013
Shortest: Weather Central by Ted Kooser (104 pages)
Longest: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (544 pages)
BOOK THAT HAD A SCENE IN IT THAT HAD YOU REELING AND DYING TO TALK TO SOMEBODY ABOUT IT (A WTF MOMENT, AN EPIC REVELATION, A STEAMY KISS, ETC. BE CAREFUL OF SPOILERS!)
The end of The Lucky Ones by Anna Godbersen. OMG, guys. I was such an emotional wreck over the way The Bright Young Things trilogy ended, and I had no one to talk to about it, because no one I know had read it. This book had me dying to talk to someone about it that I started a book group with my friends (but sadly, we have not read this book, and probably won't).
FAVORITE RELATIONSHIP FROM A BOOK YOU READ IN 2013 (BE IT ROMANTIC, FRIENDSHIP, ETC.)
I'm not really sure that I have a favorite relationship (romantic or otherwise) from any books this year. I did really like the friendship between Lida and Elsa from The Girls of No Return, and the way the book ended with them took my surprise and depressed me--so maybe that was my favorite, just based on the way their friendship affected me emotionally.
Also, even though they didn't actually know each other, I enjoyed Parker Frost's relationship to Julianna Farnetti. Parker's fascination with Julianna was fascinating for me, and I loved how it shaped Parker.
FAVORITE BOOK YOU READ IN 2013 FROM AN AUTHOR YOU'VE READ PREVIOUSLY
Golden, by Jessi Kirby, hands down. I loved Moonglass and In Honor, but Kirby really stepped up her game with Golden. It's easily her best book yet. As beautifully written as Moonglass and In Honor were, Golden was even more beautifully written. I am so in love with this book. It's one of those books that I wish I had written.
BEST BOOK YOU READ IN 2013 THAT YOU READ BASED SOLELY ON A RECOMMENDATION FROM SOMEONE ELSE
Spiritual Solutions by Deepak Chopra. I wouldn't have read it at all if one of my coworkers and best friends hadn't recommended it to me.
GENRE YOU READ THE MOST FROM IN 2013
Contemporary YA--it's my favorite and the most of what I read.
NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH FROM A BOOK YOU READ IN 2013
It might be a weird one, but I kind of had a fictional crush on Danny Torrance from Stephen King's Doctor Sleep.
BEST 2013 DEBUT YOU READ
Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo. SO. GOOD.
MOST VIVID WORLD/IMAGERY IN A BOOK YOU READ IN 2013
Contemporary: Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara. So many beautiful images.
Fantasy: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
BOOK THAT WAS THE MOST FUN TO READ IN 2013
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores by Jen Campbell. I worked in a bookstore and now as a librarian, I knew just where the booksellers were coming from when they submitted the weirdest things customers have said to them for this book. I read it in one sitting and was laughing throughout the entire thing.
BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY, OR NEARLY CRY, IN 2013
The Lucky Ones by Anna Godbersen. It was almost an All the Feels book, but it definitely devastated me at the end.
BOOK YOU READ IN 2013 THAT YOU THINK GOT OVERLOOKED THIS YEAR OR WHEN IT CAME OUT
Maybe I never saw it, but I don't remember anyone talking about The Girls of No Return or Game by Barry Lyga when they came out. I don't remember anyone talking about Lovely, Dark and Deep, either.
Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2013 (optional)
NEW FAVORITE BOOK BLOG YOU DISCOVERED IN 2013
I didn't actually discover it this year, but I started reading Anna's blog, Anna Reads, more this year.
FAVORITE REVIEW THAT YOU WROTE IN 2013
I didn't write very many reviews this year, but there are two that I like: If You Find Me, by Emily Murdoch, and Speechless, by Hannah Harrington. I loved both novels, and my reviews are better when I feel as passionate about If You Find Me and Speechless as I did.
BEST DISCUSSION YOU HAD ON YOUR BLOG
I very rarely have discussions on my blog, and I didn't have any this year. So, none.
MOST THOUGHT-PROVOKING REVIEW OR DISCUSSION YOU READ ON SOMEONE ELSE'S BLOG
I don't think I have one. I read a lot of discussions around the time a well-known blogger was found plagiarizing another blog, and that was certainly thought-provoking, but I don't know that I can those discussions my "favorite."
BEST MOMENT OF BOOK BLOGGING/YOUR BOOK LIFE IN 2013
Well, I started a book group with some of my coworkers, which has been awesome. I also found a signed copy of a Sarah Dessen book at a local bookstore, which made my day. I also met some awesome authors this year; Cory Doctorow was my favorite, though Brandon Sanderson was awesome to the point where he signed extra posters for me to give away to patrons at my work.
MOST POPULAR POST THIS YEAR ON YOUR BLOG (WHETHER IT BE BY COMMENTS OR VIEWS)
By comments: Stacking the Shelves (2)
By views: Review: A Shade of Vampire
POST YOU WISHED GOT A LITTLE MORE LOVE
All of them, especially my reviews. I've found it difficult to really find my place in the book blogging world, and that's something I want to work on in the upcoming year.
BEST BOOKISH DISCOVER (BOOK RELATED SITES, BOOK STORES, ETC.)
Not sure that I have one, unless we count the fact that I started reading the blog Anna Reads more often (I didn't discover her blog this year).
DID YOU COMPLETE ANY READING CHALLENGES OR GOALS THAT YOU HAD SET FOR YOURSELF AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS YEAR?
Yes, but I don't know that it means I was successful. My goal was to create a feature for my blog that would help my blog stand out, so I came up with Spotlight Saturday, a feature that I would use to debut self-published authors/authors published by indie publishers. I had several authors express interest, and while I did post a few Spotlight Saturdays, it didn't take off the way I wanted it to. Of course, it didn't help that I took my blogging hiatus shortly after launching the feature, but even then, I had authors express interest but not actually commit, which made it a little harder to get the feature going.
ONE BOOK YOU DIDN'T GET TO IN 2013 BUT WILL BE YOUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY IN 2014
Sever, by Lauren DeStefano. I'm not sure why I haven't read it yet, but I don't think I'll be reading it by the end of the year.
BOOK YOU ARE MOST ANTICIPATING FOR 2014 (NON-DEBUT)
#scandal, by Sarah Ockler. I love her books so, so much. Also: Isla and the Happily Ever After, by Stephanie Perkins.
2014 DEBUT YOU ARE MOST ANTICIPATING
Learning Not to Drown, by Anna Shinoda. It sounds amazing.
SERIES ENDING YOU ARE MOST ANTICIPATING IN 2014
I don't really have one. Some of the series' I know will be ending soon, I haven't read. Still trying to avoid series books as much as I can right now. Though, if Pretty Little Liars happens to end next year, then that would be my answer. I enjoy the books, but it should have ended a long time again.
ONE THING YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH OR DO IN YOUR READING/BLOGGING 2014
This one's easy: become a more active participant in the blogging community, while making sure it doesn't take over my life the way it did before. I love reading and blogging, but I also love the new hobbies I've acquired, and I don't want to give them up!