Monday, December 30, 2013

My 2013 in reviews!

Since there’s one more day left in the year, instead of a review I’m going to make a list: my fave books of 2013!

Usually I’m not a fan of dreamy, surreal mindscrew-type books, which is why this one was a complete surprise. It grabbed me from page one and refused to let go—and if you expect the typical trite YA paranormal resolution, the ending will blow you away.

Hehe, this is a book that really did turn out to be worth the hype. I had my gripes about the (attempted) love triangle, but it did not spoil my enjoyment of the alien invasion post-apocalyptic goodness.

From the realistic end of the spectrum: Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick. I read this after I read her zombie series… and liked it more than the zombie series. Yep, a contemporary. And it managed to be darker than a post-apocalyptic zombie book. Of course, there’s also a very morally ambiguous student-teacher romance. Speaking of which…

(The one NA entry on the list) Unteachable by Leah Raeder. I’ve squee’d about it far and wide, and if you like NA you’ve probably heard of it unless you live in a box. It also centers around a student-teacher romance, but it’s handled with such finesse, intelligence and authenticity that you will find yourself rooting for the leading couple even though, like them, you know it’s wrong. Or maybe because of it. (Also, bonus points for the lack of misogyny and slut-shaming so inherent in NA. We need more characters like Maise!)

And back to spec…

A truly fantastic fantasy novel (I know it’s redundant, but it’s hard to find a better word to describe it. Stupendous? Splendiferous? You get the idea.) Pantomime features an elaborate world and a protagonist the like of which you don’t often meet in either YA or fantasy. Which is why it’s a must-read for both YA and adult fantasy fans. Oh yeah, and the sequel comes out in January. You’re welcome.

A YA urban fantasy with a deliciously evil villain protagonist who feasts on human souls and won’t apologize for it while kicking ass left and right and being sassy as @#$%.

And finally, possibly the best thing I read all year…

This horror novel in the vein of Stephen King is perfection on paper. Ambitious for a YA novel, it revolves around a large cast of characters rather than a single first-person protagonist we’re used to seeing—and all of them are utterly fascinating. This novel is less about the jump scares and more about the shudder-inducing darkness that hides within the human soul and lays dormant till it has a chance to rear its head. I literally held my breath as I read (which was problematic since I couldn’t put it down… for all 450 pages.)

There were many more (if you follow my reviews, they’re all there) but I felt like these seven deserved a special mention. And you? What did you read in 2013 that should be on this list?


  1. 17 & GONE and UNTEACHABLE were definitely on my list too! Other faves were OCD LOVE STORY by Corey Ann Haydu, DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas, HOW TO LOVE by Katie Contugno, THE ART OF WISHING by Lindsay Ribar, and THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING by Robyn Schneider. Quite the lovely year for YA!

    1. Three of these are in my TBR pile already! Might move them up now :)