Monday, January 13, 2014

My Top Books of 2013

Ok, where did the time go?! 2013 flew by for me and I can't believe it's already time to write about my top books of 2013.

1. Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson: Hands down this was my most anticipated title of the year. I loved the hero in Donaldson's Edenbrooke and was eager for more from this new clean-but-hot romance author. Blackmoore was all I was looking for and more, a sense of adventure and a kind and patience hero with unconditional love for the heroine, all-in-all a great escape. This one will be forever on my "keeper" shelf.

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Years ago I would have balked at the idea of reading a book without a happy ending. Now that I'm older, I'm able to see the value in a character's journey, happy or tragic. The Great Gatsby has plenty of tragic characters. I enjoyed the complexity of The Great Gatsby and I've spent a lot of time trying to decide if Daisy Buchanan is merely fickle, self-centered, or adapts to survive her tragic situation. Overall, it's a story that has kept me thinking and questioning it's characters months afterward.

3. If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch: was a pleasant surprise that I took a chance on. Previous to 2013, I did not read a lot of non-paranormal/fantasy, contemporary YA. The struggle to survive and the suspense of this story really drew me in. Rarely do you find heroines as tough as the main character, Carey, in teen lit.

4. Hark A Vagrant by Kate Beaton: A 2012 Christmas gift, in 2013 I started the year off right with this hilarious collection of comic strips for lit/history buffs. Quirky, high-brow, and nerdy, it is a rare book that allows me to enjoy a good laugh and material most likely found in textbooks and on Jeopardy.

5. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick: was a sweet coming-of-age romance. The story progressed realistically as the main character, Samantha, found romance, friends, and an escape from her own family's pressure, next door. I'm looking forward to Huntley Fitzpatrick's next novel, What I Thought Was True, April 2014.

6. Once Upon A Prince by Rachel Hauck: was a delightful story inspired by the courtship and marriage of real-life Will & Kate. Although the plot, average American girl meets foreign prince, has been done hundreds of times, Rachel Hauck made the situation plausible and kept me guessing, to a point that, I honestly didn't know how the characters would end up together.

7. Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol: came highly recommended to me! This lightly macabre graphic novel is great for fans of Neil Gaiman's Coraline or Tim Burton in general. Creepy, but with a cute drawing style. Honestly surprised it isn't an animated feature.

8. I Am Pusheen the Cat by Claire Belton: I'm completely fangirl biased for this one. Absolutely adorable. A cute fat cat doing cute things. Really brightens my day. A comforting, bad mood buster.

9. The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn: After finishing the more upbeat Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn, it was interesting to read a story with a slightly more dark tone. The hero is a highwayman and the heroine a lady's companion, with no happy, supportive family in the background. I like that Quinn experimented creating a world different than her previous work.

10. Stepping on Roses Vol. 9 by Rinko Ueda: Another highly anticipated pre-order. Although the ending wasn't my ideal thoughts for the characters, it was a good end to a series I really enjoyed. A happily-ever-after to a Cinderella-esque romantic comedy.

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