Instead of doing Top 10 Tuesday...
...We have something better!
Our Top 25, well, everything!
Intrigued? Do read on!
Bunny & Kat choose...
The Best of 2013
The Best of 2013
What's the start of a new year without a look back at the previous one?
Kat and I put together our favorites in 25 select categories (because we like pretty, divisible numbers) to share with you!
What are YOUR favorites of 2013??
K: I'd like to say first, that the new Harry Potter series covers are getting a shout out here because they are absolutely beautiful. I was hesitant at first (y'know, if it isn't broken, don't fix it!), but when they were unveiled, I actually cried about them, because they are breath-taking. They're perfect. This is a true-blue (or should I say crimson?) twice-sorted Gryffindor raising my wand to Kazu Kibuishi for capturing the magic all over again. His are the covers my children will know. With that said, I'll collect myself and will now unveil my top ten favorite covers of the year 2013, in no particular order!
TEARDROP by Lauren Kate is so super pretty! I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I keep coming back to look at this gorgeous cover! How can you not?
EVERBOUND by Brodi Ashton is another really pretty cover. I love it - the smoke, the dress, the title text. Everything! It also ties into the actual story really well. If you want an excuse to read a well-done modernization of Hades & Persephone, pick up Ashton's gorgeous books!
A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY by Susan Dennard. There's something about her covers for the SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY books that really work for me. These covers capture the era and the mystery in such a simplistic and elegant way.
TAKEN by Erin Bowman. Look at the color, it's so striking! This was another book that kept drawing my eyes back. And the mirror image of the characters! I kept wanting to touch this book because it's just so colorful!
NAMELESS by Lili St. Crow. I kept walking past this in a bookstore and I would double back to look at it, every time. Fun fact, I'm in the process of writing a Snow White retelling, so the fact that she is holding an apple kept me staring at this cover for minutes on end. This is a cover that piques my interest no matter how many times I look at it.
The UK edition of THE WOLF PRINCESS by Cathryn Constable. The US version is also very pretty, but I like the purple sparkles better. Bonnie and I have purple as a mutual favorite color. I was a bit sad to see that the purple didn't make the US cover, but if you've seen the US cover, I wasn't sad for very long.
SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard. I saw this one at BEA in May and couldn't walk away without it! Covers with faces on them tend to go one way or the other, and this one goes the right way. The details in her hair capture your attention, but do not steal it away from the cover as a whole.
THE TWISTROSE KEY is another BEA title that was too pretty to walk away from! It's currently out in hardcover, and you have to feel it up! The amount of detail is enchanting! It seems plain at a glance, but it's one of those covers that draw you in like quicksand. Once you look at it and notice some of the details, you are done for! It's much better in person, though - check it out if you ever get a chance to.
ACROSS A STAR-SWEPT SEA by Diana Peterfreund. Have you seen this beauty yet? I can't look away! This is another eye-grabber from where it sits on the shelf in stores. This cover got an aloud "Ooooo~" from me when I saw it.
WINTER QUEEN by Amber Argyle, last but not least. (Though again, these are in no particular order.) What a remarkably gorgeous cover this has! I'm in the process of hunting this down so I can own this beautiful cover. My bottom line is that I want this forever.
2) PRETTIEST PAGES:
B: THE KINGDOM OF LITTLE WOUNDS by Susann Cokal, PERFECT RUIN by Lauren DeStefano, THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL by Soman Chainani, CHAMPION by Marie Lu, and LEVEL 2 by Lenore Appelhans.
(I was GOING to do a video, but I haven't had time...or energy. But I have interior snapshots of THE KINGDOM OF LITTLE WOUNDS and PERFECT RUIN up on my Pinterest book design board. They are SO GORGEOUS. My top two. Every single page. I bought TKOLW because it was so gorgeous. I didn't even care about anything else. And while PR isn't as gorgeous as WITHERED, it's still SO lovely! I mention TSFG&E's design in my review, but Kat has my copy of the book and I can't take pictures! I love the rough exterior of CHAMPION and the way the book continues to have two different ink colors separating POVs inside its pages. I'm also a fan of the stylistic choices for LEVEL 2 that match the cover. I also love the Behind the Scenes interview Lenore did with cover designer Lizzy Bromley (Who also designed PERFECT RUIN and WITHER! Huge, huuuuge Lizzy Bromley fan!). Someday when I read the four books I haven't had time to read, I'll do a better job talking about the amazing pretty pages! I have no excuse for not gushing more over TSFG&E...I may not have had a finished copy yet when I reviewed it!)
K: ASUNDER by Jodi Meadows. There was something so simple and yet so pretty about the chapter pages. It really stuck with me and I love them.
THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL by Soman Chainani. Go hunt down a copy and take a peek, the whole book is gorgeous! There are the coolest little doodles everywhere! And it has a full color map!
3) MOST RECOMMENDED:
B: I recommended THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL by Soman Chainani to so many people! At least three of my co-workers read and loved it, and one gave it to her younger sister to read. Kat has my copy now; I'm forcing her to read it, too! I'm so excited for the sequel this year!
K: INCARNATE by Jodi Meadows. I recommended this book so many times to so many people! I am all about the New Soul trilogy and I show it off as much as possible. I am simultaneously dreading and dying for the third and final installment.
4) MOST UNPREDICTABLE:
K: THE BLINDING KNIFE by Brent Weeks. I am dying for the next book because of those plot twists and that cliff-hanger! I was so upset when I realized the last page was it for now, which is kind of awful, considering that it is 671 pages long. Weeks has much improved, because for 671 pages he keeps you (or at least me) guessing and crying out in surprise and alarm.
5) BIGGEST UGLYCRY MOMENT:
K: A DANCE WITH DRAGONS by George R.R. Martin. I can't even talk about this book. I just can't. Even though it was published the year before, it has scarred me until the next one comes out.
6) Best Kissing Scene:
B: Okay, I'm gonna kinda cheat. Um...twice. ^^;; Two scenes come to mind, and neither was read for the first time in 2013, however...!
While I read DEFIANCE by C.J. Redwine for the first time before it debuted in 2012, I re-read it in 2013 right before DECEPTION came out...and then I reviewed it. So it counts, right? I even TALKED about how amazing that kiss was in my review: "There's definitely a romantic tilt, though nothing happens for most of the book, just building tension. When these two do kiss for the first time? Definitely one of my favorite kissing scenes in recent memory. I love the unique setting and manner that C.J. Redwine used here, and forgot how much until I re-read it."
The second book with an awesome kissing scene is THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER by Megan Shepherd. I actually just finished reading this book over the weekend, so it shouldn't count, but the book debuted in 2013 and the kissing scene gave me the idea to add this last-minute category to our list! I grabbed my phone and started chattering to Kat about awesome kissing scenes. And THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER has this AWESOME kissing scene that takes place on a lab table among all this crazy equipment, of all things! But it's hot. As Kat said,"OOoo, a lab table. Nerd-raunchy! I liiiike it! You always know how to tempt me." So see? Hot raunchy lab kissing. How can I leave that off the list???
K: Daniel and Eleanor from A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY by Susan Dennard. That one actually made me have to take a moment to catch my breath.
7) A BOOK WE WISH GOT MORE LOVE:
B: THE BURNING SKY by Sherry Thomas. It was SO GOOD and I don't comprehend how more people don't love it, especially people who adore high fantasy. I'm highly looking forward to the sequel this year!
K: The Unearthly books by Cynthia Hand could use more love. The third and final book of the trilogy, BOUNDLESS, hit the stores last year, and I feel like it just kind of got looked over. Angel books do kind of have this weird stigma for a lot of people, but this is a wonderful coming of age story for young ladies. What really makes them so wonderful is that Hand wrote believable and lovable characters in a well-balanced world. You end up caring about Clara and her family, her friends, and what is happening to them all so deeply. Hand also made a point to keep everything age appropriate, but still engaging and exciting to read. I recommended these books as much as INCARNATE when anyone asks for something for a reader looking for something different (but age appropriate) in the teen section. The covers are nothing too special, but the story is incredible!
8) BIGGEST SURPRISE:
B: These aren't traditional surprises in a "That twist got me!" way, but in an overall way. What can I say? I'm not traditional!
Discovering that WILD AWAKE by Hilary T. Smith was written by the girl who previously blogged anonymously as The Intern. She was sassy and snarky, and I remember her announcement about getting a publishing deal. I forgot the details and requested an ARC of this book without knowing that the author was one and the same until long after I'd read the book. Color me shocked!
Another big surprise to me was finding out that Bridget Zinn passed away after getting her publishing deal for POISON. I'd had that book on my Goodreads TBR since the publishing deal announced, but didn't know about Bridget's passing until this year. It was lovely to see the YA world rally behind her to give her a big release!
K: THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL by Carolyn Turgeon. I knew I would like this book, but I was surprised with how much I ended up loving it. Turgeon is such a great writer, she kept me wanting more. I wasn't sure where she would go with this Rapunzel/Snow White mash-up, but it was all good! It's a more adult book, but definitely worth your attention.
9) BEST BOOK EVENT ATTENDED:
B: This is a hard one! It was my first time attending BEA this year (With the lovely Kat!), and there were so many epic happenings, including an awesome evening event with Macmillan where they shared bound manuscripts of Marie Rutkoski's highly anticipated 2014 novel THE WINNER'S CURSE. It was the first time I'd ever received or seen a bound manuscript, and it was a humbling experience.
But then there are author events! For the first time ever, I went to a launch party for the release of Jennifer Armentrout's SENTINEL, and it was fabulous. Kat and I also got to meet the amazing Sarah J. Maas, Kat Zhang, Erin Bowman, and Susan Dennard on their Young Authors Give Back tour.
I can't choose one, sorry...three-way tie!
K: The Young Authors Give Back Tour with Erin Bowman, Kat Zhang, Susan Dennard, and Sarah J. Maas. Bonnie and I got to attend their stop in downtown Philadelphia, as well as their stop in New York City. What made the Philly stop the best was the fact that it was such a small event. All of our questions got addressed and answered, nothing and nobody was rushed. It was like just hanging out with four really awesome and fun authors. Each and every one of those ladies were accommodating and fun to listen to! Also, special shout out to the Rittenhouse Barnes & Noble staff for being so pleasant before, after, and during the event. Not a grumpy face among them!
10) BEST BEA TITLE:
B: THE BURNING SKY by Sherry Thomas was my biggest surprise that I absolutely loved, loved, loved, although the waiting and anticipating (And then reading of!) CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by Sarah J. Maas is a close second.
K: I have a tie between SCORCHED by Mari Mancusi and CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by Sarah J. Maas. I love them both so much, and I am happy I snagged ARCs of each and lived to tell the tale. Risks well worth it! Very soon I will tell you all just how much I loved SCORCHED in great detail. :)
11) BOOK WITH THE GREATEST IMPACT:
B: ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth. I don't care if you loved it or hated it. Either way, it had a huge impact. The internet EXPLODED when this book came out. This book made me sob my eyes out. The message of this book--of this series--is so...brave. Veronica Roth didn't flinch as she told the story she was meant to tell, in the way it needed to be told. It will live on and be a book that's remembered, not one that slips forgotten through the cracks.
K: I actually have a list of authors, because they were all super inspiring for me to start writing again: Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, Kat Zhang, Erin Bowman, Susan Dennard, and Sarah J. Maas.
12) BEST BOOK OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONE:
B: BURNED amd its companion novel SMOKE by Ellen Hopkins. Poetry and verse novels aren't things I read often, and I've managed to get along without reading Hopkins for years. I am in awe of how much work and grace goes into these novels. And the design? Well, I have a whole video analyzing the design behind individual pages, verses, etc. It went beyond anything I ever thought possible.
K: LITTLE WOLVES by Thomas Maltman. This is a kind of folktale style fiction that I am not accustomed to, but I ended up really enjoying it! It is a very dark story about conquering demons, more for adults than any other age group. Over all, it is clever and well-written, and I would definitely recommend it to someone looking for something different in the adult fiction section, especially if you like Norse mythology, or tales of redemption.
13) BEST HAPPILY EVER AFTER:
B: HERO by Alethea Kontis was so much more than I expected it to be. I didn't think there was any possible way Alethea could top ENCHANTED, but HERO was just so crazy blow-me-away good, and it made me so happy! I just want to revisit the Woodcutter family again and again and again, and I loved seeing Saturday blossom as much as she did!
K: THE BITTER KINGDOM by Rae Carson. I am so satisfied with the ending of this stunning trilogy. I feel like every character had their just-right place at the end, and none of it was too impossible, or too cheesy.
14) MOST THRILLING:
B: DARK TRIUMPH by Robin LaFevers continues the heart-pumping journey that began in GRAVE MERCY. This time, the main character is Sybella, and her story is more emotional and in-depth than Ismae's was, and I could not put this book down. I just had to know where it was going!
K: CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by Sarah J. Maas. I could not put this book down, and when I did, I was constantly worried about what would happen next.
15) MOST PROMISING NEW SERIES:
B: Either RELIC by Renee Collins or THE CADET OF TILDOR by Alex Lidell. Neither book has an announced sequel, but they both leave enough wiggle room that a whole series could be created. I can't choose between a fantasy set in the Wild West (So innovative!) and a girl studying to be a knight in extreme conditions...and you shouldn't make me! ^.~
K: I have a tie between SCORCHED by Mari Mancusi and LOKI'S WOLVES by K. L. Armstrong & M. A. Marr. Both of these books individually set up unique and exciting beginnings for their respective series. I can't wait for more from both of them!
16) HEARTTHROB OF THE YEAR:
B: Sam from Jodi Meadows' ASUNDER. I love him! She even came out with her own novella all about him this year entitled PHOENIX OVERTURE. Sam, Sam, Sam. I adore Sam. If he wasn't so committed to Ana, I'd say move over!
K: I am at a stand-still between Hector (From THE BITTER KINGDOM) and Chaol (From CROWN OF MIDNIGHT). (Sorry Dorian girls, I am a Chaol girl 100%.) They're both knightly, they're both witty in their own ways, and they're both all about the well-being and happiness of their respective ladies. A part of me wants to say that I like Chaol a little more for saving the dog, but then I realize that I'm talking about Hector, so the stalemate resumes.
17) BEST KICK-ASS HEROINE:
B: Celaena from CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by Sarah J. Maas or Tris from ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth. They are both epically awesome and kick-ass in two very different ways. Both throw fear to the wind and mix what society requires of them with what they believe in. I love them both so hard!
K: Celaena (From CROWN OF MIDNIGHT)! She is now my spirit animal! She reads, she is so sassy, and she kicks a lot of tail. Also, she really likes dogs. That, in all honesty, was the winning trait for this category for me. Special shout outs to Eleanor Fitt of SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY, Elisa from THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS, and Karris from the Lightbringer series (even though she isn't the main character) for putting up really good fights in my mind here. All of them are so strong and fierce in their own ways that kept me turning the pages of their stories.
18) 10 MOST ANTICIPATED TITLES OF 2014:
B: THE BLOOD OF OLYMPUS by Rick Riordan, RUIN AND RISING by Leigh Bardugo, INFINITE by Jodi Meadows, ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Stephanie Perkins, UNTITLED (Goldscryer Saga #1) by Rae Carson, UNTITLED (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas, THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johansen, A CREATURE OF MOONLIGHT by Rebecca Hahn, TAKE ME ON by Katie McGarry, and CROWN OF ICE by Vicki L. Weavil!
K: The most anticipated title for me is INFINITE by Jodi Meadows. I need to know what happens next. ASUNDER answered all the questions from INCARNATE, but set us up for a wild ride with even deeper questions later! As much as I don't want the New Soul trilogy to end, I am so ready for this book!
THRONE OF GLASS 3, title forthcoming, by Sarah J. Maas. Oh my glob, the ending to CROWN OF MIDNIGHT. I can't. Does not compute. Need more. I keep saying that I am not going to commit to another series, and yet, here I am, committing to this one because it so deserves my committment. Now I have too many feels.
THE BROKEN EYE by Brent Weeks. This series will give me a heart condition. It's so good so far. I stayed in bed for hours after finishing THE BLINDING KNIFE because I was basically traumatized by the ending, and the fact that there is nothing more for a year.
STRANGE AND EVER AFTER by Susan Dennard. Oh yeah, SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY 3. By now you know how I much I love Dennard's macabre books. This trilogy is another I am reluctant to see go, but I need to finish it.
EVERTRUE by Brodi Ashton. I have to admit, the first book in this trilogy, EVERNEATH, was a title I wanted to love, but couldn't. Some of the plot seemed a bit stale. But once I read the novella NEVERFALL, I realized that there was a lot more going on here, and IT. IS. GOOD. Check them out, and don't give up on EVERNEATH. It gets so much better!
ODIN'S RAVENS by K. L. Armstrong & M. A. Marr. The abrupt and brilliant ending to LOKI'S WOLVES has left me yearning for more of this kid's modernization of the Ragnarök myth from Norse mythology. This is honestly one of the most clever modernizations of such a dark myth that I have had the pleasure to read so far.
SHATTERED by Mari Mancusi, the follow-up to SCORCHED, and second in a trilogy. Like LOKI'S WOLVES, SCORCHED also ended abruptly, leaving me wishing for more. There are so many ways this story can go from the ending of SCORCHED that I am nervous and excited about it. Mancusi effectively set up one of the most well-done love triangles I've ever seen(one that is not annoying, for those of you, like me, who are easily annoyed by them!), and a cliff-hanger that is so wicked sharp that I thought it cut me physically. Bring on SHATTERED, baby!
INTO THE FIRE by Kelly Hashway is a title that I have been stalking on goodreads for the past year or so. It seems so promising and exciting, and I am so ready for it. I dreamt up a similar concept a little while ago, but didn't feel as though I could pull a plot like this off. It's about a girl who is descended from phoenixes, and she is coming very close to her rebirth, and she is being hunted. Oooo! We'll see where this goes this spring!
CRESS by Marissa Meyer. I am late into this game, as I am in the process of finishing CINDER, but wow. I am so into the concept of this world, and these sci-fi twists on classic characters! It will not take me long to catch up at all, and I know I'm going to want CRESS urgently. Part of me already does - just so I can have it immediately after I read SCARLET, which is so bratty of me and I know it.
THE INFINITE SEA by Rick Yancey. I actually really enjoyed THE 5TH WAVE last year, and I am very curious to see where Yancey goes with this. If you like sci-fi and aliens, along with a fun mixture of mystery and conspiracy, then these books are for you! This past year has ushered me into discovering how deep my love of sci-fi goes, and THE 5TH WAVE was a big part of this, along with long marathons of the BBC's Doctor Who.
19) Top 5 Books We WANTED To Read...But Didn't Get To!:
B: PROPHECY by Ellen Oh, CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS by Miriam Forster (I had these both pre-ordered in 2012, they came out in JANUARY...and now they've sat on my shelf for a year because I HAVE HAD NO TIME!), CONJURED by Sarah Beth Durst (Because I LOVE her and GAH!), THE BROKENHEARTED by Amelia Kahaney (It sounds so creepy and fabulous!), and TANDEM by Anna Jarzab (Sounds SO GOOD and right up my alley!).
And...these are two UK books I desperately wanted to read in 2013, but had no access to: Book Depository won't ship THE OATHBREAKER'S SHADOW by Amy McCulloch, and I'm SO glad it will finally come to the U.S., albeit not until 2015. I AM DYING HERE!!! The other is THE NIGHT ITSELF by Zoë Marriott. I ALWAYS import Zoë's books, and I want this one more than I've ever wanted any of her books, but I also really want to support a U.S. release and get this amazingly epic series more popular here. Plus, I'm kind of being a cover-snob and hoping for a super-epic cover... But patience is HARD.
K: BOUNDLESS by Cynthia Hand, the Hybrid Chronicles by Kat Zhang, SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo, BORN OF ILLUSION by Teri Brown, and DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth.
20) BEST NEW IN SERIES:
B: FINAL BOOK: THE BITTER KINGDOM by Rae Carson was the perfect end to a series that got better and better with each and every novel. And even her novellas are in-depth and absorbing, not throwaways at all! I often think that $2.99 novella story companions are worth much less than that, but not with Rae Carson!
MIDDLE BOOK: Macmillan has it in the bag this year with not one, but TWO of their Fierce Read Authors dividing up my heart!
A) SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo. The imagination! The intrigue! RUIN AND RISING is still half a year away, but I want to know what happens nooooow! Great high fantasy for anyone looking for something new and different!
orB) SCARLET by Marissa Meyer. Marissa grew in leaps and bounds with the release of SCARLET. Scenes came to life like never before. There's one scene in particular where you can just...smell the sweat, hear the fists thudding in the arena, and feel 100% there in the moment. Her series came aline in SCARLET in new ways, and blended fairy tales with sci-fi in new, innovative ways. I got to see a hint of Winter in her new novel CRESS, which releases next month, and I think that the 2015 release of the final book in the series, WINTER, will be her best yet if her writing keeps stunning us all!
K: CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by Sarah J. Maas and THE BLINDING KNIFE by Brent Weeks are tied here for me. Both of these books went above and beyond my expectations of them. Both are unforgettable and exciting, and very hard to put down - which in the case of THE BLINDING KNIFE was torturous as it is 671 pages long. Way to go Maas and Weeks, for continuing to be awesome! I am dying for the third installments from each of you!
21) BEST NEW TO "US" TITLE
(Probably not new to YOU!...but WE have never read these favorites before 2013!):
B: Sherwood Smith! I have had CROWN DUEL for the longest time, and never got around to it. I'd heard several times that if I liked Tamora Pierce, I'd like her, too. When I read THE CADET OF TILDOR by Alex Lidell earlier this year, it put me in the mood for more books like it. I grabbed my combo of CROWN DUEL/COURT DUEL, and now I need to read more of her books! Thank goodness she's been around a while and has a lot to choose from!
K: I have a three-way tie here between GRACELING by Kristen Cashore, the Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson, and the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. All three of them are so excellent that I cannot pick just one.
22) BEST NOVELLA:
B: Since I know Kat is going to flail about Rae Carson's amazing ability to write the best novellas in the world, I'm going to focus on a different novella, CROSSING THE LINE by Katie McGarry. I'm not huge on contemporary novels (With all the fantasy topping my 2013 favorites, can you tell?), but I really enjoy the grit in Katie's novels. When I read contemporary, I like to read about tough issues, or to have books that make an impact, that I remember long after the last page is turned. I was amazed that Katie McGarry needed less than a hundred pages to make me care about her contemporary characters and root for them. When it ended, I wished it was a full-fledged novel just because I wasn't ready to let go of the characters yet!
K: THE KING'S GUARD by Rae Carson. This novella answered a lot of questions about that heartthrob Hector and also dropped a HUGE bomb on us about a couple of other characters. A certain someone needs to read this because I have bottled up feelings about how awesome this novella is!
23) BEST MIDDLE-GRADE TITLE:
B: THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL by Soman Chainani. For one thing, it's a fairy tale, and you know I love those! For another, I love how everything became opposite, and really liked the book's unique, final message. It ended perfectly, and didn't need to be a series, but SECRET? I'm so glad that there are more books coming!
K: THE FLAME IN THE MIST by Kit Grindstaff and LOKI'S WOLVES by K. L. Armstrong & M. A. Marr. I had so much fun reading both of these titles that I can't not mention both of them here. I would recommend them both to a fearless young reader who loves mystery, suspense, action, and friendship.
24) BEST YA TITLE:
B: This one is like picking a favorite child. Every time, however, I come back to Rae Carson's THE BITTER KINGDOM. I think I'd seriously read the dictionary if Rae Carson wrote it. If you had asked me the first time I read THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS if I'd love the series this much and have it be such a favorite, I would have said, no way! But it wormed its way into my heart, and each book has been better than the last. We've gone from one extreme of travel, hot, sandy deserts, to another as we end up surrounded by chilly snow-covered mountains. Elisa has gone from a sniveling, weak character to a strong queen and great role model. I adore her--and Rae Carson for creating her!
K: Personally, I want to go with THE BITTER KINGDOM by Rae Carson here, because this was an incredible finish for the Fire and Thorns trilogy. I feel like more young people need to read these books because they tackle a lot of self-esteem issues while you eagerly read on through Elisa's evolution from shy and overweight princess, to tough and strong queen.
25) BEST ADULT TITLE:
B: I adored MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND by Matthew Dicks. It was so special and precious, and full of the most amazing quotes. The story was so unique, with an absolutely memorable main character. So, so good.
My other choice is THE WOODCUTTER by Kate Danley, which is also full of great, interesting prose. It's a mystery and a fairy tale and something so original all rolled up into one, and I want Kate to write more novels like this in the future!
K: Once again I have to pick THE BLINDING KNIFE by Brent Weeks. The Lightbringer series is a magical adult fiction series that has started off so well that I can't stop thinking about how to acquire the third piece of it. For those of you who read Week's NIGHT ANGEL trilogy and hated it, I would kindly ask that you please give this a chance anyway. Lightbringer is an entirely different story and his style and world building for this new series have much improved, I promise.
What do you agree with from our list?
What were YOUR 2013 favorites???