Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Favorite Books of the Year
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Hard to believe the year is almost over and 2014 is upon us. I started blogging regularly in June, although my first real reviews went up in March. Since that time I've made new friends and discovered books I otherwise never would have read, or even known about. That's an amazing feeling. I'm grateful to everyone who comes by and leaves a comment, and I hope my readers discover a book here occasionally that is new or fun or takes them on an epic journey. That's the point of this blog, after all. To share a good book.
Here are my top 10 faves of 2013 in no particular order. The link will take you to my review, and I've included a link to Goodreads as well.
Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole is one of the best books I've read this year. It's got humor, drama and a great love story, and I was totally on the edge of my seat by the end, waiting to see what would happen to these characters. Can't recommend this highly enough. It's also told entirely in letters, and it worked for this story.
See my interview with Jessica Brockmole here.
Letters from Skye at Goodreads.
Rutherford Park by Elizabeth Cooke is outstanding, probably in my top three of the year. I read a lot of books this year set in country houses but this one was by far the best. It has a real Downton Abbey vibe to it, but it's not just a DA knock- off. The author states on her website that the idea for the book had been with her for twenty years and was inspired by her grandfathers' service in a great house. She really captures the feel of a great house, and family, on the brink of change as World War I looms on the horizon. There are flawed characters here, human foibles on display and some tragedy and heartbreak as well- I was just really sucked in by this book and I understand a sequel is due in 2014. That will be one of my top draws for sure.
Rutherford Park at Goodreads.
Fangirl is the first book I've read by Rainbow Rowell, and man was I impressed. It's hilarious and moving and is guaranteed to resonate with anyone geeky at heart. I thought it was great. More Regan please. :)
Fangirl at Goodreads.
A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin (spoilery review). To say I'm a big fan of A Song of Ice and Fire would be an understatement, and after a looong wait George RR Martin brought Jon, Tyrion and the rest of the cast back for another go- around. I really liked this book- it's big, sprawling, and truly epic. And you never really know what's going to happen. This is one of my favorite of the series, even though I think he is going a little overboard on the subplots and the story is just too big, but we see more of the world than ever and it is never less than compelling. Who knows if this series ever gets finished, but I am enjoying the ride.
A Dance with Dragons at Goodreads
Fractured by Teri Terry is the sequel to Slated and is a thrill ride. We learn a lot more in this one about the circumstances surrounding Kyla's mindwipe, and things get very tense and dangerous for Kyla as she truly does not know who she can trust. This series totally rocks and Fractured is even better than Slated.
Fractured at Goodreads
Slated by Teri Terry grabbed me from the very beginning, as Kyla has been mindwiped and is being introduced to her new family- a family she has never met before. She soon learns there are very few, if any people, she can truly trust including the members of her own family! I loved this book and grabbed the sequel as soon as it came out, and will be chomping at the bit for book 3 in 2014.
Slated at Goodreads
The Paladin Prophecy by Mark Frost. Another one of my favorites this year. This one is a YA about a guy (hey, a guy!) who is on the run and finds himself at an exclusive academy where many of the other students have "gifts" as well. This is longer than the average YA but I thought it was fantastic, mixing mythology and action and weird elements too. I didn't see this on very many blogs so it may have been overlooked by many, but the characters are great and if you love YA paranormal, you should give this a shot.
The Paladin Prophecy at Goodreads
13 Secrets by Michelle Harrison is the third of the 13 series and I loved this book. This series seems to skew a little younger on the YA side but they are surprisingly dark so I think they're a great fit for older readers. Tanya and Rowan are reunited at Elvesden Manor after the events of the first two books and they must discover who is killing those who can see the fairies. The conclusion of the book, with everyone holed up inside the manor under attack by fairy creatures, is awesome. A great series all the way around.
13 Secrets at Goodreads.
The Vanishing Thief by Kate Parker was a surprise, and a good one. I expected it to be a good cozy, but it was one of my favorite books of the year actually. Georgia Fenchurch is an antiquarian bookseller in Victorian London, and when she investigates the disappearance of a notorious thief she runs afoul of a duke who has his own reasons for wanting her investigation to stop. This has good period detail and a great story, and I will definetly be picking up the next installment of this series.
So have you read any of these? If so, what did you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.