So I started out 2013 with a goal to read 25 books. I kept adding 10 to my goal and finally stopped extending it when I got to 85. I ended up reading 169 books (though there’s still a few days left so this number could go up by one or two). I thought I’d call attention to some of my favorites – and my not so favorites.
FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR – MYSTERY/SUSPENSE: LINWOOD BARCLAY
Linwood Barclay is not a new author, but I just discovered him this year. So far I’ve only read the above 3 books, but they were all consistently good. It’s not just great mystery. He writes really great, relatable characters, too.
FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR – ROMANCE: KRISTAN HIGGINS
I read Just One of the Guys early in the year because it was a free nook book and I enjoyed it. I recently just went on a Kristan Higgins splurge and read every book that she has published. They all pretty closely follow the same outline, but I love them all. I love her character development – particularly her “flashback” style of writing -, her quirky secondary characters, and that it’s romance without being erotic.
FAVORITE RETURNING AUTHOR: RAINBOW ROWELL
Ok, I’m going to share a very unpopular opinion. I did not love Eleanor and Park. It was only just ok for me. But I still love you Rainbow Rowell! And she gave me another excellent book to read this year in Fangirl. Cath and Levi. Sigh.
FAVORITE COUPLE (ADULT): MARTIN RILKE & IVY THAXTON RILKE
I don’t think I can ever say enough how much I love Martin Rilke. He and Ivy were my favorite characters in The Passing Bells and I absolutely loved them together.
FAVORITE COUPLE (YA): DAEMON & KATY
Of course this has to be Daemon and Katy from Lux. They’re sarcastic and adorable.
BEST CHARACTER GROWTH: JOHN TOMASETTI
Tomasetti of the Kate Burkholder series starts off as a barely functioning alcoholic and prescription drug addict that’s just hanging on to his job and recovering from the murder of his wife and daughters. Throughout the series he sobers up (more or less), returns to being the agent he once was, and becomes the stable one in his relationship with Kate.
FAVORITE CAST OF CHARACTERS: THE RAVEN BOYS
Gansey, Adam, Ronan, Noah, and Blue. I love the interactions between this group. What really draws me into this series is the characters. I wish I would’ve come up with them.
BEST FREE BOOK: BACK ON MURDER
I discovered The Roland March series by J. Mark Bertrand because the first in the series was a free nook book at Barnes and Noble (you can get it for FREE here). Bertrand is a solid writer and I gave all three books in this series 4 stars.
FAVORITE NEW SERIES (YA): LUX
I’ve probably mentioned Jennifer Armentrout and her Lux series in this blog more than any other author or series. I love the writing, the characters, the banter, the mysteries, and the action.
FAVORITE NEW SERIES (ADULT): THE KATE BURKHOLDER SERIES
I have to say that part of me loves this series because it’s based in Holmes County, Ohio – not far from where I grew up. But I also love the characters and the mystery.
LIVED UP TO THE HYPE: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
I did not believe that The Fault in our Stars would make me cry. I was wrong. But it was also sarcastic and funny and wonderful.
DIDN’T LIVE UP TO THE HYPE: THE SILENT WIFE
I kept reading things about how this was this summer’s Gone Girl. It was not. It took me about a month to finally finish it.
MOST DISAPPOINTING SEQUEL: THE ELITE
This book actually made me angry. I really enjoyed the first book, but this one was just horrible. America becomes unbearably annoying. Aspen is a doormat. Maxon is a dick. And the rebel subplot… Here’s hoping the end of the series makes up for this book.
MOST DISAPPOINTING END OF A SERIES – RUNNER-UP: REQUIEM
Ugh. This story went so down hill for me in this book. The love triangle in Requiem‘s is the reason I hate them. And though Lena’s choice is obvious, she never actually “picks” him. And half the book was given to Hanna’s POV, who I could not care less about (seriously – I can’t even tell how much I DON’T care about Hanna). I felt like the end was left open for future books instead of concluding the story of Lena. It turned into an obvious and poorly done social commentary on how we need to love.
MOST DISAPPOINTING END OF A SERIES: ALLEGIANT
I was soooo disappointed by this book. I didn’t think it was possible for an ending to disappoint me more than Requiem did, but this one really took the cake. While Allegiant wraps things up in a way Requiem does not, I was still more disappointed with it because I loved this series so much and was so, so expecting it to be amazing. It wasn’t just the fact that I didn’t agree with the ending. It was just poorly done.
FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR – RUNNER UP: UNRAVEL ME
I loved the first book in this series and this one got even better. And even though I hate to admit it, the love triangle in this book actually works. I don’t feel like there’s a clear choice for Juliette and I get that she has feelings for both of them because I have feelings for both of them. Just when I’ve decided I’m Team Warner, she runs into Adam and I suddenly feel conflicted. Because of course I’m Team Adam. But then there’s Warner…
FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR: THE NIGHT CIRCUS
This wasn’t at all what I was expecting it to be. It’s super descriptive which I don’t usually like, but it was done so beautifully in this book that I loved it. The emotional connection I felt to these characters were greater than any others I’ve read this year.