So, even though I have blog posts coming up every day for the next two weeks that are all about books I loved tremendously from the past year, obviously when I saw this post on Kari Bradley’s blog as part of Jamie/the Perpetual Page Turner’s bloghop, I got all jealous and had to do one myself. So, voila!
(As per Jamie, The survey is for books you read throughout the year, no matter when they were published, and is not limited to just books that came out in 2013!!)
BEST BOOKS IN 2013
I’m gonna take a page from Jamie at the Perpetual Page Turner’s post and do my fave per genre, because picking just one is not gonna happen:
Contemporary – UNTEACHABLE by Leah Raeder (NA) and WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart (YA)
Paranormal – THE ART OF WISHING by Lindsay Ribar
Dystopian – DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth
Historical – tie between SEKRET by Lindsay Smith and TSARINA by J. Nelle Patrick. Don’t try to make me choose when it comes to Russia.
Fantasy – FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK by Melina Marchetta
BOOK I WAS EXCITED ABOUT BUT DIDN’T LOVE
CODE NAME VERITY. I so badly wanted to feel everyone else’s love for it, especially since I love histfic and a good friendship book, but alas, it just wasn’t for me at all. The other big one was ROOMIES, which is by two of my favorite authors and has a great premise but again, just didn’t click with me. Subjectivity FTW!
MOST SURPRISING (IN A GOOD WAY!) BOOK OF 2013
THE ART OF WISHING by Lindsay Ribar. I am so, so not a Paranormal reader, and I was on the fence about buying it to start with, but did so because I was at a huge signing where she was one of the authors, and a mutual friend there convinced me it was definitely worth reading. Fast forward to my loving it so much that I refused to put it down even when I was making both me and my husband late. Whatever. Worth it.
BOOK YOU READ IN 2013 THAT YOU RECOMMENDED TO PEOPLE MOST IN 2013?
UNTEACHABLE by Leah Raeder, no question. It’s definitely not most people’s usual read, and I love how many people trusted my recommendation enough to step outside their comfort zones. I don’t think a single person who read it was sorry they did!
BEST SERIES YOU DISCOVERED IN 2013
The DIVERGENT trilogy by Veronica Roth. Being that I’m not a big non-contemp reader, it took me a while to pick this one up. But I finally did, and am definitely glad for it!
FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR YOU DISCOVERED IN 2013
Tough call. I read a lot of great authors for the first time in 2013, but since I read two solid books by Trish Doller for the first time this year, one of which was a five-star for me, I’ll have to go with her.
BEST BOOK THAT WAS OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE OR A NEW GENRE FOR YOU
Given that I copy edit erotica for a living, my “comfort zone” is a little different than other people’s 😉 So, I’m gonna go in the opposite direction from most and say ALL FOUR STARS by Tara Dairman, which was, in fact, the first MG I’ve read as an adult, and is super freaking cute and felt delightfully foodie in a way that didn’t feel downplayed for a young audience.
MOST THRILLING, UNPUTDOWNABLE BOOK OF 2013
DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas. But, I do want to give a nod to some other books I only put down out of sheer necessity and would otherwise have happily read in one sitting this year: NOBODY BUT US by Kristin Halbrook, SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL by Trish Doller, THE ART OF WISHING by Lindsay Ribar, and THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin.
BOOK YOU READ IN 2013 THAT YOU ARE LIKELY TO RE-READ IN THE COMING YEAR
UNTEACHABLE by Leah Raeder. I’ve already re-read it. It’s become my “I’m on the subway and I’m not in the mood for anything else on my Kindle” book.
FAVORITE COVER OF A BOOK YOU READ IN 2013
WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE by Trish Doller. Which is funny because OPEN ROAD SUMMER is definitely a contender for runner-up, and they have the same designer, so, she’s definitely got a fan in me! SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY by Julie Murphy also invokes major cover love from me.
And I can’t not give a shoutout to BEAUTIFUL BROKEN by Nazarea Andrews, because NA covers I love are incredibly rare, but I do love that one.
MOST MEMORABLE CHARACTER IN 2013
Bea from OCD LOVE STORY by Corey Ann Haydu. This is not even a question.
MOST BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN BOOK READ IN 2013
Sorry to be predictable, but UNTEACHABLE by Leah Raeder.
BOOK THAT HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON YOU IN 2013
It’s hard to separate books having an impact on me as a writer vs. as a reader, because, well, I’m very much both. I think what really impacted me this year was the discussion of Unlikeable (female) MCs, and my realization that I’d rather have characters be flawed than unbelievable. The book that really started this conversation in my brain this year was THE DISENCHANTMENTS by Nina LaCour, and HOW TO LOVE by Katie Cotugno is the one that finished it. Incidentially, both were five-star reads for me in 2013.
The clear winner, though, for book that had the greatest impact on me as a person as OCD LOVE STORY by Corey Ann Haydu. It’s taught me what it truly means to have an anxiety disorder, and though Bea’s might be an extreme case, it’s actually pretty amazing how many times I’ve talked myself off the metaphorical ledge by remembering “That is an anxiety disorder. You do not have that. You are going to be fine.”
BOOK YOU CAN’T BELIEVE YOU WAITED UNTIL 2013 TO FINALLY READ
I actually read almost entirely 2012-4 books this year, with the exception of trilogies that are outside my genre, so, I guess AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR by Morgan Matson, just because it’s such a me kind of premise and it came out a whole three years ago.
FAVORITE PASSAGE/QUOTE FROM A BOOK YOU READ IN 2013
“I respect people who get nerdy as fuck about something they love.” – UNTEACHABLE by Leah Raeder
SHORTEST AND LONGEST BOOK YOU READ IN 2013
I’m just gonna have to guess. Shortest was probably NOBODY BUT US by Kristin Halbrook, at 292 pages, and longest was probably WOLF HALL by Hilary Mantel, at 604 pages.
BOOK THAT HAD A SCENE THAT HAD ME REELING/DYING TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT IT
WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart (Thank you, Blythe, for being that someone), and DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas (Ditto, Leah).
FAVORITE RELATIONSHIP FROM A BOOK YOU READ IN 2013
Friendshipwise? Lilah and Reagan’s in OPEN ROAD SUMMER by Emery Lord. Romantically? Caymen and Xander in THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US. Also, the one in FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK that I will not spoil.
FAVORITE BOOK IN 2013 FROM AN AUTHOR YOU’VE READ PREVIOUSLY
WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart. Her range astonishes the hell out of me.
BEST BOOK YOU READ IN 2013 THAT YOU READ SOLELY ON A RECOMMENDATION FROM SOMEONE ELSE
THE ART OF WISHING by Lindsay Ribar (Thanks, Alison!)
GENRE YOU READ THE MOST FROM IN 2013
BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY IN 2013
WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart could’ve been a lot worse if I weren’t in public. AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR definitely got a few tears out of me, as did KK Hendin’s HEART BREATHS. I’m sure I had some scattered through the Divergent trilogy. But I think that’s it? I hope? Maybe?
BOOK YOU READ IN 2013 THAT YOU THOUGHT GOT OVERLOOKED THIS YEAR OR WHEN IT CAME OUT
I think Laura Wiess is criminally overlooked as an author of dark contemp YA, and I continued to feel that way after reading ORDINARY BEAUTY this year. DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas is another one that got shockingly little attention for being so good, but friends and I are definitely working to change that!
BOOK BLOGGING/READING LIFE 2013
NEW FAVORITE BOOK BLOG YOU DISCOVERED IN 2013
Reader of Fictions. Hi, my name is Dahlia Adler and I’m addicted to Cover Snark. And yes, partly because the snark cracks me up, but also because it’s a great way to discover books I hadn’t previously heard of, and I love that it encompasses all different pub paths.
FAVORITE REVIEW THAT YOU WROTE IN 2013
Probably this one for HOW TO LOVE by Katie Cotugno, because it reflects a lot on the conversation I’ve been having with myself that I referenced above.
BEST DISCUSSION YOU HAD ON YOUR BLOG
I love the comments on this post about Power and Responsibility in Kidlit. At the time, I thought people found it annoying/inflating when bloggers responded to every comment, so I didn’t, but there are a bunch of interesting things being said!
MOST THOUGHT-PROVOKING REVIEW OR DISCUSSION YOU READ ON SOMEONE ELSE’S BLOG
Definitely this interview Heather of the Flyleaf Review did with Leah Raeder. It’s such a great discussion of “bad girls” in NA, sexual honesty in YA, and why even “sexed-up YA” might not be such a terrible thing.
BEST EVENT THAT YOU PARTICIPATED IN
The huge author signing at Books of Wonder that was part of Teen Author Festival. I got to meet and have books signed by Diana Peterfreund, AS King, Rainbow Rowell, Lindsay Ribar, Amy Spalding, and Nova Ren Suma, and I even got pictures with a couple of them. I also met lovely agents Sarah LaPolla and Bridget Smith. So, yeah, kinda tough to beat!
BEST MOMENT OF YOUR BOOK LIFE IN 2013
MOST POPULAR POST THIS YEAR ON YOUR BLOG
Cheating a little, I suppose, but by far the most popular thing on my blog this year was Perpetual WIPs: Literary Agents. Views from the first day of that series make up 5% of my total views.
The most popular standalone, non-querying-resource post is Dear Writers: 10 Blunt Messages from Me to You on the Eve of 2013.
POST YOU WISH GOT A LITTLE MORE LOVE
The Great Power and Great Responsibility of Being a Kidlit Author. I love the comments it got, but I definitely would’ve liked some more takes on it.
BEST BOOKISH DISCOVERY
Teen Author Festival. Did not even know it was a thing. Pretty sure I owe Emily Keyes for this one!
I originally set my Goodreads challenge at 75. Then when I saw I was killing it, I bumped it up to 100. Then again, 125. Now I’m past 130 and I’m just leaving it, but yes, I met it.
The other challenges I had for myself were to read five non-contemp books, which I definitely did (THE ART OF WISHING, THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER, DIVERGENT, INSURGENT, ALLEGIANT, FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE, ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, to name a bunch), and five MG books, which, sadly, I didn’t – ALL FOUR STARS by Tara Dairman was my only one.
ONE BOOK YOU DIDN’T GET TO IN 2013 THAT WILL BE A PRIORITY IN 2014
PIVOT POINT by Kasie West. I originally avoided it for being non-contemp but I’ve heard such great things and I know from THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US that I’m a fan of her writing style, so I’ll be grabbing it as soon as it comes out in paperback at the end of the month.
BOOK YOU ARE MOST ANTICIPATING FOR 2014 (NON-DEBUT)
Here are twelve.
2014 DEBUT RELEASE YOU ARE MOST ANTICIPATING
I’ll have a post of these up soon too, but right now I’ll just say POINTE by Brandy Colbert.
SERIES ENDING YOU ARE MOST ANTICIPATING IN 2014
ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Stephanie Perkins.
ONE THING YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH IN YOUR READING/BLOGGING PROCESS IN 2014
Re: reading, I definitely want to keep digging into other genres. NOT A DROP TO DRINK, the last two books of the Mara Dyer trilogy, CINDER, FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS, SHADOW & BONE, DEFY, GRACELING, and FROI OF THE EXILES are all high on my 2014 TBR. And this time around, there are definitely 5 MGs I plan to hit: BETTER NATE THAN EVER by Tim Federle, THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN WITCHES by Lauren Magaziner, WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE by Rebecca Behrens, AT YOUR SERVICE by Jen Malone, and HOOK’S REVENGE by Heidi Schulz.
Re: blogging, I definitely want to blog more about the debut process, once I know a little more. I also really hope to self-publish something this year, and if I do, I’ll certainly be blogging about that!