Saturday, January 25, 2014

My Best Book of 2013!

Hellllooo! And Happy New Year!

I know most bloggers usually do this sort of post at the beginning of January, but I was actually out of the country for the first half of this month. I'm just now settling back into the swing of things and realized I was WAY over due for this post.

So, without further ado, My Top Rated Books of 2013!

Disclaimer: 2013 was a slower year for me, I did not read as much as I usually do (only about 130 books), so there are dozens of books that came out this year I just didn't get time to read. Shoot me a recommendation in the comments below with your favorite reads from this year!

Books marked with * received my highest ratings for the year!

Children's

*Oh, No! by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann*
Love the play on words and how the story progresses. Fantastic illustrations and engaging text. A must read!

House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser, illustrated by Jon Klassen
If there was ever a dynamic duo, it would be Kooser and Klassen. Beautiful text with glorious illustrations.

Red Knit Cap Girl by Naoko Stoop
I just loved the simplicity and color of this story. The wood grain infused illustrations were marvelous.

That Is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems
You can't help but smile when reading this book, especially because you know Willems has some trick up his sleeve. I also loved the way this book mirrored silent films.

This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers
I loved the illustrations in this book as well as the simple and sweet story. Jeffers never disappoints!

I can't get enough of Skippyjon Jones. Love his crazy antics and kooky adventures.

A Big Guy Took My Ball by Mo Willems
Yes, yes, this is my second Mo Willems on the list, but he's just that good. If you've never read an Elephant and Piggie book, you have to pick one up!


Juvenile

*Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan*
This was seriously one of the BEST BOOKS I read last year. I loved it. I'm so glad I picked it up at ALA. The story is moving and poignant and the characterization and narrative were fantastic. I'm betting this will win a Newbery.

*The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech*
Another touching story about family and growing up. Made me cry, but I sure did enjoy it. 

Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington
Sweet and colorful. The story swept you in right from the beginning and was beautifully moving. 

Young Adult
*The Fault in Our Stars by John Green*
I'm not sure how I managed to miss this book in 2012, but I am SO GLAD I got it this year. Absolutely fantastic. Poignant, hilarious, depressing, swoon-worthy, and literary. And they're making it into a movie?!?! Be still my beating heart. This book also has a special place in my heart because this summer I lived in Indianapolis where the book was set and then I also visited Amsterdam too! 

*Cinder by Marissa Meyer*
I had seen this book all over and the hype was definitely garnering my attention, so I eventually picked it up. IT WAS SO WORTH IT. Marvelous retelling of Cinderella and I loved the futuristic elements. Excellent story telling, fantastic characters, and thoroughly engaging plot. Read it!

*Scarlet by Marissa Meyer*
Some second books aren't as good as the first, but this was definitely an exception to that rule. Scarlet was as engaging and thrilling as Cinder. I loved the new characters and setting. It made me all the more anxious for the third book!

*Cress by Marissa Meyer*
I was lucky enough to snag an ARC of Cress at ALA and it was one of the first books I read from my stash. I love how Meyer deftly weaves a new tale with each book while still juggling the old characters and plot. So exciting! But now I neeeeddd the last book. Man.

Stung by Bethany Wiggins
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book...but I loved the thrilling story and engaging characters. I was racing through the pages, trying to see what would happen next. It was one of the most thrilling books I read!

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
I was excited to read this new contemporary thriller from Barnes. Definitely kept me guessing and I loved the exciting plot mixed with the typical teenage dialogue and setting. I'm excited to read the next book!

Pulse by Patrick Carman
This book surprised me - I won a copy through Facebook and was not disappointed. The setting and characters were engaging and I was just as intrigued by the plot as the people in the story.

White Cat by Holly Black
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I loved the blend of magic, mafia, and a contemporary setting. 

Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance
A surprisingly good blend of Jane Austen and espionage. I ended up liking this novel a lot more than I had expected. The dialogue was sarcastic and I laughed a lot.

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
So much historical detail - I also loved the character-driven aspects and plot. It was an interesting setting too: New Orleans.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
I know, I know, didn't this come out last year? Well, you see, I was waiting for the third book so I could read them back to back. And Roth delivered. Definitely as exciting as Divergent.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth
I was so antsy to get my hands on this book and see how the series ended. I fully respect Roth's choice, even if I'm not necessarily a big fan...BUT I still thought this book was really good. 

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
A surprising historical fiction break-out. I had seen the hype for this book, but hadn't gotten around to reading it. I'm so glad I did! I loved the perspective and hadn't read anything quite like it. 

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
While this did remind me of The Hunger Games, I didn't think it copied it. It was super thrilling throughout and  I would recommend it to dystopia lovers.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
This book also had a lot of hype, but I did SO enjoy it. I liked that it was slightly different from other books I've seen - it was post-apocalyptic but still had exciting and nerve-wracking moments. High stakes and thrill at every page.

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