This isn't the list of my favourite books published in 2013 - but my favourite books read in 2013. There are quite a few oldies in here because I was only lucky to find them this year.
In 2013 I read 243 books, not too bad!, so this will be a bit long...
I have to start with my absolute favourite of the year:
's The Vintner's Luck
(click here for my review
) was one of those books which absolutely change who you are. I like to think of my life like that: not only a succession of events (good and bad) which turn me into who I am, but also all the books (again, good and bad) which change the way I see the world by presenting points of view which are not my own.
The Vintner's Luck is one of those where I finished reading and I wasn't the same person, I felt like I was more. Those books are so rare and precious, I just want everyone to read them!
The ones that follow are also dear to my heart and they are among my favourites but in no particular order.
Stacia Kane's Downside Ghosts series, including short stories. Yes. It took me until 2013 to read this series. What is wrong with me, right?! How could I have been missing out on this? This series, besides breaking my heart on a regular basis (in the best possible way!), also left me with a deep distrust of my fellow reader friends. You jerks had been reading this since forever without me! What else are you hiding from me greedy bibliophilic hands?!
has the knack to write children's books which should come with the warning, "NOT FOR ACTUAL CHILDREN
" - Fortunately, the Milk
is the exception. It is for children and it's fun and light-hearted, and original and it won't leave any of the adult readers with nightmares forever (like Coraline
did). (click here for my review
of Hyperbole and a Half
makes owners of simple dogs everywhere feel less alone in their plight with her wonderful stories featuring her simple dog (of course), plus her unfortunate everyday situations, and horrifying childhood recollections. Easily one of the funniest books I've read last year. (click here for my review
Demitria Lunetta's In the After gained about 546703785654368975 points for making the main relationship of a YA dystopia be between two girls who adopted each other as sisters. I love romance, I really do, but do you know how tiresome it becomes to read book after book after book where a girl's life is changed because of a boy? Where a girl's relationships wither away because there is only space in her life for a boy?
Don't get me wrong, this book does turn a bit into the usual cliché for the last few chapters or so, but for the great majority of it it's all gloriously about surviving the Apocalypse with your sister. (click here for my review
Ginny Rorby's Lost in the River of Grass is like a YA Bear Grills' episode (without piss drinking!) with an interracial romance, and if that doesn't make you want to read it right now, then tell me: how have I failed you???
Yes, I was the last person on Earth to have read Marissa Meyer's Cinder. Luckily, that meant I could get my hands on Scarlet right away, so ha! Of course, I now suffer with the rest of you waiting for Cress...
But anyway, do you like Sailor Moon - stupid question, of course you do! - so go read this!! (click here for my review)
I wasn't one of the last to have read Susan Ee's Angelfall, because I actually had to wait for World After, and let me tell you, it's 2014 where is my time machine?! I shouldn't have to wait for books!
In Penryn and the End of Days
we follow Penryn dealing with her mentally ill mother, her disabled sister, and the little matter of the END OF DAYS brought by angels who are basically what they're like in the Bible: warriors of God. Sucks for her, great for us, go read it! (click here for my review
Brian K. Vaughan
and Fiona Staples
(vol. 1, vol. 2 and vol. 3, so far) is one of the best (the actual best, imho) graphic novels in recent times. Two soldiers of opposing factions at war for generations fall in love with each other. You'd think basically Romeo and Juliet in Space or something, but NO, it's so much more than that! A half ghost! A robot prince! A spider lady! A talking cat who always knows when you're lying! And Fiona Staples' amazing art which makes anyone who ever doodled anything feel like they are simply not worthy. (click here for my review
So, one of my all time YA favourite happens to be a little known series called Flora Segunda
by the incomparable Ysabeau S. Wilce. If there were any justice in the world that series would be topping bestseller's lists everywhere forever and ever, but alas... I thought I'd never find anything of that calibre but lo and behold, Cassandra Rose Clarke stepped into the literary picture with the amazing Annana who is not beautiful and perfect, but who is capable, and brave and stubborn! Who has better things to do than moon over some pretty boy, but develops a very healthy and credible relationship with an assassin (no one's perfect, come on). It figures that one of my favourites would only be a duology... (click here for my review
's The Bone Flower Throne
is just trigger warning after trigger warning, so here it goes: rape, incest, victim blaming, self harm, gore, violence. I'm probably forgetting about 15 other warnings, but... you know. Despite that, I found this to be a very brave book. It's difficult to get over those things while reading it, but they are important to the plot, which is, by the way, amazing. Think of an Aztec Mists of Avalon and if it appeals to you, go for it! (click here for my review
I really, really like Sherry Thomas' books, I would love them if not for the fact that, without fail, every single one of her male leads ends up doing something unforgivable which the female lead always forgives and forgets, but which I just want to be like, "lol kill him and keep his money!" Harsh but true.
The Burning Sky
, however, is YA, and so far (I think this is the first of a trilogy) the male lead, despite being a bit of a jerk, hasn't done anything which makes me wonder why the female lead isn't punching him in the dick. Let us hope it remains that way! (click here for my review
Whenever I'm waiting for something and I don't have time to invest myself into a book with a sequential plot, I just pick The Thick of It: The Missing DoSAC Files and re-read bits of it. If you haven't watched The Thick of It, you need to stop reading right now and go watch the whole thing, because it has to be the funniest political comedy since Yes, Minister.
All hail Malcolm Tucker.
Chelsea M. Campbell
has to be one of the funniest YA writers, both The Rise of Renegade X
and The Trials of Renegade X
cannot fail to make the reader laugh. Add to that the complex relationships (especially between family members!) portrayed... you absolutely have to read these books! (click here for my review
I am a HUGE fan of Hero Jarvis - yes, she is not the main character (in the first few books, the latest she's kind of co-main character). If you like Regency with no nonsense ladies, tight plots, actual mysteries that make you go "I never would have guessed that!" and romance, go read this C.S. Harris' Sebastian St. Cyr series!
My cat Erin won an ARC of Untold
for me, so thank you, Erin! And of course, thank you Sarah Rees Brennan
! But on to why you need to read this book: lady sleuths, bad boys, great parenting, evil sorcerers, a whole town in on a mystery, ladies being actual friends with other ladies, JOKES, romance, and it's written by Sarah Rees Brennan. (click here for my review
*cue REM's it's the End of the World as We Know It* but the main character of This is Not a Test does not feel fine. In fact, she doesn't feel much of anything, because that's what domestic abuse does to you. Courtney Summers took the post apocalyptic genre, with its usual hordes of the undead salivating for the protagonist's flesh, and made it into a social commentary on what kills more women than all the wars, diseases, and accidents combined: domestic violence. All my respect to her.
This is practically a Vera Nazarian appreciation blog, because both Susana and I LOVE her writing style. So go read one of the many posts regarding the Cobweb Bride books we've already made, because I can't write any better than that...
Hey, remember when children's books were things kids' read and taught life lessons like, "look both ways before crossing the road", and stuff like that? Where did those books go? Unlike Neil Gaiman, Claire Legrand does write children's books for children, which incidentally, happen to tear out then stomp on the hearts of any adults who happen to read them, as did The Year of Shadows. So you should read it right now, is what I'm saying. (click here for my review)
So here's hoping 2014 will be just as great if not, dare I say it, even better!