Happy New Year Iggles! I love this time of year, mainly because it’s when everyone posts their top 5/10/100 lists and they’re always so useful as recommendation lists. So I thought I’d post a short list of the top 5 books I enjoyed in 2013. As a rule, I have avoided including any mid-series books. I hope you enjoy my list and maybe use it as inspiration for some reading in 2014 🙂
I read this book towards the end of the year. It came with a rather cryptic synopsis so I didn’t really know what to expect. Safe to say I loved this book! The basic idea is that time travel has been invented, but has fallen into the wrong hands, so our protagonist, Em, must go back to before time travel existed to put things right. Time travel books are so tricky to get right, but this one just nails it. There were no plotholes as far as I could see, but it also avoided being overly complicated. A lot of YA authors often fall into the trap of making plot twists too predictable, but I could not anticipate what was coming next in this book. A true roller-coaster ride of a book and nigh impossible to put down.
“Time travel isn’t a wonder; it’s an abomination.”
― Cristin Terrill, All Our Yesterdays
I think this book is on everyone’s top 10 list this year. It’s been a huge year for Rainbow Rowell, with the release of Fangirl (which Sonya reviewed here) to unanimous applause. But I think it’s still safe to say that Eleanor and Park will be forever what Rainbow Rowell is known for writing. Eleanor is the strange new girl and Park is the lone ‘asian kid’ at school. Though wary of each other at first, they ultimately form a friendship that will change them both forever. This book is the most perfect example of ‘first love’ I have ever read. Say no more. Read it, read it, read it!
“Maybe Park had paralyzed her with his ninja magic, his Vulcan handhold, and now he was going to eat her.
That would be awesome.”
― Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park
In the YA world, we’re tripping over dystopian series‘. Some are great, but many are terrible. Unfortunately, that means some great series’ can easily be overlooked. I remain astounded that no one seems to be talking about the Pure series. The basic premise: a dome is built to encase a pure utopia whilst outside the dome a nuclear explosion has shattered lives and left all survivors with horrific scars, many fused to objects near them at the time of impact. There is nothing like these books out there right now. Brutal, at times horrifying, constantly intriguing and threaded through with one of the most exquisite love stories – read it now before the world finally catches on to just how good this is!
“We each have a story. They did this to us. There was no outside aggressor. They wanted an apocalypse. They wanted the end. And they made it happen. It was orchestrated—who got in, who didn’t. There was a master list. We weren’t on it. We were left here to die. They want to erase us, the past, but we can’t let them.”
― Julianna Baggott, Pure
Disclaimer: Sarah Dessen is my favourite writer of all time. No one can make you love characters quite like her. By the end of a book, they will feel like your family, your friends. She’s just that good. Like so many of her others, this novel is set across a summer and follows Emmaline, who is working at her family’s rental cottage agency whilst trying to handle the sudden re-emergence of her estranged Father. Truthfully, this was not my favourite Dessen novel, but it was still a fantastic read and well worth the wait. Perfect if you’re after a heart-warming standalone.
“When you’ve never gotten love from someone, you don’t know what it might look like if it ever does appear. You look for it in everything: any bright light overhead could be a star.”
― Sarah Dessen, The Moon and More
I think this book was my absolute favourite of 2013. Interesting since it seems to have divided most YA book lovers. Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s greatest assassin. Unfortunately, this means nothing whilst she slowly withers away in work camp for criminals. Hope comes in the form of the Crowned Prince, who arrives with an offer that may just restore Celaena to her former notoriety. This book made me feel like I was reading a very good fan fiction. That’s really the only way I can describe it! A fun, addictive read, provided you don’t like your fantasy too serious. The second book (Crown of Midnight) is pretty damn awesome too.
“Apparently, a woman can only go so long without a sword between her hands.”
― Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass