Saturday, December 28, 2013

Best of 2013

As I look through my books read in 2013, I realize I had a better year than I thought.

Here are the stats:
159 Books Read
68 Re-read Books
91 New-to-me Books

Of those 91 new-to-me books, there were:
15 Five-Star Books
33 Four-Star Books
21 Three-Star Books
4 Two-Star Books
18 One-Star Books (12 of which were DNFs)

Though re-reads made up the bulk of my true enjoyment this year, I still had 69 new-to-me books that I, at least, liked.

Some of these books stand out more at the end of this year than others - so regardless of their rating at the time I reviewed them, I'm going to highlight those that are most memorable to me for being fantastic. These are in no particular order.

The Emperor's Blades - Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne, Book 1 - by Brian Staveley

Perhaps it's cheating a bit to choose this book - which doesn't get released until January 14th - but I read it just a few weeks ago, and I absolutely fell in love with the world, the characters, and the story. I can't wait for more, and I can't neglect mentioning this excellent fantasy novel.

See my full review here.

Magic Rises - Kate Daniels, Book 6 - by Ilona Andrews

One of my most anticipated books of 2013, this book cemented the Kate Daniels series as my favorite. It's heart-wrenching, gripping, edge-of-your-seat action-filled, and I adored every moment back with Kate and company.

See my full review here.

Heart of Obsidian - Psy-Changeling, Book 12 - by Nalini Singh

This book. I still can't even really explain what this book is to me. It is, easily, my most anticipated book of the last five years (and one of my top 5 most anticipated books in the last decade - probably only being beaten out by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). It lived up to all my expectations and proved why Nalini Singh is my go-to author for paranormal romance.

Archangel's Legion - Guild Hunter, Book 6 - by Nalini Singh

While I'm fan-girling all over Nalini Singh's books, let's just talk about Elena and Raphael. Her worlds are fantastically realized, her characters so real I want to know them, and her plots keep me biting my nails in anticipation. I can't wait to read more about Elena, Raphael, his Seven, and this entire world.

See my full review here.

Frost Burned - Mercy Thompson, Book 7 - by Patricia Briggs

Since I'm already fan-girling all over the authors I love so much, I'll continue on for a bit. Patricia Briggs continues to be one of my top favorite authors in the urban-fantasy genre. Her Mercy Thompson series (and the for-now complete Alpha & Omega series) are ones I re-read every single year. I can't help it. I have to go back and re-visit these characters, and this world that I love so much. It's not always neat and pretty - in fact it's usually pretty messy, heart-breaking, and hard - but seeing these characters persevere through it all leaves me cheering.

This is another fantastic installment in the Mercy Thompson world. We even get a couple chapters from Adam's point-of-view!! I loved how we see the reality of Mercy integrating into the Pack, and what that means for everyone involved - especially Mercy. I'm already nearly dying for the next book in the series. Thankfully, I only have to wait until March.

Raven Flight - Shadowfell, Book 2 - by Juliet Marillier

Ever since I first read Shadowfall (review here) last year I was anxiously awaiting the release of Raven Flight. In a genre that I've increasingly become disillusioned with (there were a few surprising exceptions for me this year), Juliet Marillier is a breath of fresh air. Neryn is practical, smart, and doesn't lose her head over a guy. She learns her own powers (surprisingly with the guy off-screen most of the time), and struggles with how and when to use them. Neryn is one of my favorite heroines and if you're looking for a good young-adult fantasy novel, you can't go wrong here.

See my full review here.

Lover At Last - Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 11 - by J.R. Ward

Another book that I've been anticipating for years - apparently this is the year for pay-offs for me! Woot!! I've loved both Blay and Qhuinn since they first showed up in the Black Dagger Brotherhood novels - way back in Lover Awakened. And though, at times, I hated Qhuinn for his stubbornness and refusal to do what was right for both him and Blay, I still anxiously awaited the resolution of their story.

This book was ultimately polarizing between my friends, but for me, it delivered. Though I didn't initially love some of the secondary plots in this book, I warmed to them eventually. And ultimately it was all about Blay and Qhuinn. Their story was everything I was hoping for.

See my full review here.

Angelfall and World After - Penryn & the End of Days, Books 1 and 2 - by Susan Ee

Angelfall was such a surprise to me! I'd had it on my to-read list nearly since it was released two years ago, but I just finally got around to picking it up a week before the release of World After. I was instantly in love with Penryn - another young-adult heroine that's smart, kick-ass, capable, and brave. I loved seeing this new world, and all the dangers in store for Penryn, her family, and Raffe (who I seriously cannot get enough of!)

World After was a fabulous continuation of this series, even while it was breaking my heart. Now I'm just dying for the next book - I hope it's not another two year wait!!

See my full review for Angelfall here.

Beyond Shame - Beyond, Book 1 - by Kit Rocha

It's not been often that I've picked up an erotic romance and been blown away by the dystopian world it's set it, but I was here. While the reader isn't inundated with a ton of info-dumps about this world, and we definitely don't know everything we could about it from this first book, we learn exactly what we need to, when we need to know it. There's such potential in this world that I'm all in for this series - and that's without even talking about the truly excellent job Kit Rocha did developing the relationship between these two unexpected characters.

I enjoyed it so much that immediately upon finishing I went and bought the other available books in the series.

See my full review here.

Flirting with Disaster - Camelot, Book 3 - by Ruthie Knox

Ruthie Knox is one of my favorite author finds of 2013, and this is my favorite book of hers I've read so far. I was probably sold immediately when I found out the hero, Sean, is a geek and a hacker. I can't resist them. If you tell me the hero's a geek, I'm going to try every book there is out there. But the best part is that Sean and Katie are great together, the sex is scorching hot, and the story is fantastic!

I'm always happy when I have a new Ruthie Knox book to read, but I know I'll be coming back to re-read this one frequently.

See my full review here.

Suddenly Royal - Suddenly, Book 1 - by Nichole Chase

This is the perfect light, fluffy, sweet, and sexy read. I still occasionally wonder if the author read a list of what *not* to do in new-adult romances and made sure to avoid every single one. There's no angst, no asshole hero, no doormat heroine. There is respect, and care, humor and talking, and a sweet romance that made me sigh in happiness.

This is the first thing I've read by Nichole Chase, and I can guarantee it won't be the last.

See my full review here.

Unteachable by Leah Raeder

Looking back on this book it still makes me incredibly uncomfortable - the subject matter is not easy, and Leah Raeder definitely pushes boundaries with Unteachable. She took me well outside my comfort zone - and made me love it! Fantastic writing showcases to main characters that struggle with their desires, needs, and what is right. I'm not sure I'll ever re-read this book, but it had a profound effect on me. I still find myself thinking about it at odd times - and that, in addition to everything else, is enough to end up on this list.

See my full review here.

Stone Guardian - Entwined Realms, Book 1 - by Danielle Monsch

I went into this book thinking it was going to be a sexy paranormal romance with gargoyles. And I wasn't wrong, but I wasn't right either. I got SO much more than that. Worlds colliding, beings of fantasy, myth, magic and wonder, and a ton of trouble! I was enthralled, addicted, and couldn't stop reading this book. Plus there's a virgin hero! You heard right. The world building is fantastic and original, with a cast of characters that I can't wait to read more about in future books.

I'm counting the days until I have the next book in my grubby little hands!

See my full review here.

Viral Nation - Viral Nation, Book 1 - by Shaunta Grimes

Another young-adult that makes my list! Color me surprised. Who knew that I'd end up finding so many that I enjoyed so much. The two main characters pulled me through this book, even while I was left scratching my head with questions about the world or plot. While things definitely aren't crystal clear - especially in the beginning - these two, West and Clover, more than make up for any lack. Clover is on the autism spectrum, and West is her brother. I loved them both. They're not afraid to question and learn and grow, and that really endeared me to them. Even when things aren't easy - especially when things aren't easy - they don't give up on each other, or themselves.

Rebel Nation can't come soon enough.

Read my full review here.

So, that's my list - what were some of your favorites for 2013? What are you most looking forward to in 2014?

Happy Holidays, and Best Wishes for the New Year from Touch the Night!!


Alina P said...

68 re-reads?! I have no idea how many I have :D Love your list! I'll make one of books I loved for the 1st :D

Angela said...

I do like Goodreads for making me able to determine how much I've read and re-read. LOL

I can't wait to see your list!

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