Monday, February 10, 2014

In Which I Pick Books

I read a crap ton of books in 2013. 103 or so, to be exact. I didn't know I had it in me. My goal was 62 and I thought that was going to be a stretch.

Guess I was wrong.

But in my usual spirit of things, it's time to pick the top 5 books I read in 2013. It's going to be harder than usual BECAUSE there are so many great books on my list, but nonetheless, it must be done.

Here they are, in no particular order:

WHITE CAT By Holly Black

This is one of those books that I wish I'd written. That's how much I loved this book and the whole trilogy. I've always been a fan of mob families and these books have that is spades, combined with magic.

STUPID FAST By Geoff Herbach

I read this book on my kindle, so I had no idea what it was about other than a kid who played football. Turned out it's sooo much more than that. Geoff Herbach said that he didn't even realize it was a sports book until he saw the cover

LOVE THIS BOOK. I seriously think everyone should read it. The voice is awesome, and there's sports and mental illness and discovering your past and all this awesome stuff that just makes a great YA book. I don't know anyone who doesn't like this book. Added bonus, Geoff Herbach is hilarious and amazing in real life.

OKAY FOR NOW By Gary Schmidt

This is one of those books that I would have never read on my own. It was on my MFA reading list and I dragged my feet a bit about it. I read the dust flap like 4 times, each time thinking "this is not going to be for me". But it turns out I was dead wrong. I was immediately hooked. So hooked that I started blabbing about it to twin almost immediately and made her read it, too, before I returned it to the library. She also loved it. Gary Schmidt does not treat his characters easy, and there is a lot of darkness, but also a lot of heart in this book. Don't let the cover or the dust jacket description fool you.

SPLIT By Swati Avasthi

I really wanted to like this book. I'd heard good things about it. Luckily my expectations were beyond met. Another book I made Twin read before I returned it to the library. I also plan to buy my own copy sometime in the future. It's nice to see a book on domestic abuse where things aren't wrapped up tidily and where there are permanent repercussions, sometimes, for kids who grow up surrounded by violence. Also, I love a good brother story.


I'd heard mixed things about this one. Mostly regarding the ending. I was told that pretty much the whole book was a prologue. I don't know if knowing that going in altered my opinion at all, but I loved this book. I loved the world, the characters the writing. Reading this book made me wish I could draw better so I could draw some badass fanart of the characters. I also love books where major magical things happen and the rest of society takes notice. It's refreshingly realistic for a book rooted firmly in the fantasy.

So, that's it! There were probably another 5 more that made the short list, and a few that I felt really bad that I couldn't include, but these were the books that I thought about all year after I finished them so I think they earned their place on my list.

How about you? Have you read any of these books? And what were some of your top reads you read this year?



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I haven't read many young adult books. Dig the title Stupid Fast. I'll have to check out that one.

Maria Zannini said...

I went back in time and read Ken Follett's The Pillars of Earth. All 816 pages of it--in tiny type! :)

I was sure I wasn't going to like it, but eventually I became absorbed into the story telling.

Josh said...

Oh man, did I love "Okay for Now." Gary Schmidt WAS kind of a jerk to his characters (and readers) with the emotional roller coaster, but it was well done. Also, seeing Geoff Herbach in person cemented my desire to read the "Stupid Fast" books. He is awesome.

Rena said...

Hmm, I haven't read any of those, so I'll have to go find them. I did read looking for Alaska, which was all feels and stuff, but also Redshirts and Old Man's War by John Scalzi. Those were AWESOME (very different, but both very awesome).

Nate Wilson said...

Excellent. Now I have some fine options the next time I plunge into YA.

I know I read plenty last year, but the only one I can remember right now is the last one I finished: The Poisonwood Bible. Maybe someday I'll start keeping track.

Anyway, thanks for the recommendations!

Katy Upperman said...

I love DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE so much. Who cares if it's all a prologue? It's a REALLY good one! I just bought WHITE CAT the other day. It was only $3 at Books-A-Million and it's definitely one of my most shameful gap books. I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the recs, lady. :-)

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Oh more book recommendations! Love it.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, excellent to have some good recommendations! Your tastes and mine overlap a lot, so this is a good list!

CourtneyC said...

So glad you posted this. I'm off to Amazon! :-)

LisaAnn said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today... I have missed your face! Of this list, I have only read DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE. Loved it, and clearly have more reading to do now!

Jamie Gibbs said...

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was really good - and surprised me since I'm not a fan of this genre at all. I'm reading Days of Blood and Starlight at the moment :) Are you taking part in the GOodreads reread?

Ninja Girl said...

I see I need to get reading lol! I haven't read a lot of these, but Holly Black's book(s) always sound so good to me. Also, Stupid Fast grabs my attention every time. Must check them out!
Ninja Girl

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