Favorite 2013 Reads

I wanted to take a moment to sit down and look back on my favorite books from 2013. I read a total of 61 books. I read less YA than usual this year because I explored the emerging New Adult genre and I started to dip into some of the fantastic mysteries that have been released recently. All books are listed in the order that I read them.

1. The Madman’s Daughter, by Megan Shepherd. The daughter of a mad scientist looks for her father, based on The Island of Doctor Moreau, by H.G. Wells. This book is creepy and disturbing, but I couldn’t put it down. The end surprised me and I’m looking forward to the second book in the series, which comes out later this month. It has one of my favorite covers from 2013 too.

2.  Hysteria, by Megan Miranda. A teenager who killed her boyfriend in self-defense transfers to a fancy prep school and continues to feel her boyfriends presence. This book was also un-put-downable and luckily I was on a plane while I read it so I didn’t have to! I just saw the cover for the paperback… love it!


3. Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox, by Raffaele Sollecito. Raffaele Sollecito shares his side of the story, including his time spent in jail. I’m usually not one for nonfiction, but I’ve been following this case so I when I heard about the book I immediately requested it from the library. This was another un-put-downable read and basically moved from one room of the house to the next as I read it in one day. Now I need to read Knox’s book.

4. Insomnia, by J.R. Johansson. A high school teenager can no longer sleep, because whenever he does he sees the dreams of the last person he made eye contact with, until he finds a girl whose dreams are peaceful. This book took me back to the mysterious books that I read and loved when I was younger. I’m looking forward to the sequel to this as well!

5. The Dinner, by Herman Koch. Two couples meet for dinner and each person carries a secret. One of the books compared to Gone Girl this year, I saw the similarities but also saw a lot of differences that I enjoyed.

6. Wanderlove, by Kirsten Hubbard. A teenage girl goes backpacking through Central America. I wanted to pack my bags and go to Central America after reading this book.

7. You Are One of Them, by Elliott Holt. A woman learns that her childhood best friend might be alive, even though she and her parents were killed in a car crash after being invited to meet Yuri Adropov a few years before the accident. I wouldn’t have thought that I’d put this on a favorites book list right after I read it, but that’s the fun part of looking back at the end of the year. It was a little slow at times but the mystery kept me reading and it’s one of that I’ve continued to think about throughout the rest of the year.

8. The Time Between, by Karen White. A woman who has a strained relationship with her sister becomes the caretaker for an older woman who struggles with the secrets that she shared with her own sister. This book kept me up into the night. I plan to read more books by the author this year.

9. The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories, by Ethan Rutherford. This is a collection of short stories written by one of my creative writing teachers from college. He has a wide array of stories in this collection and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them.

10. The Evolution of Mara Dyer, by Michelle Hodkin. This is the second in a YA trilogy about a teenager named Mara Dyer, who is the sole survivor of a building collapse that killed her best friend and her boyfriend. I loved this book as much as the first (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer) and I keep checking on the release date of the third hoping that it’s been bumped up because of the fantastic ending of the second.

11. The Silent Wife, by A.S.A. Harrison. A woman plans the murder of her husband, who is cheating on her with a younger woman. Another Gone Girl-esque book. I thought this was more of a quiet, thought-provoking book.

12. Omens, by Kelly Armstrong. When the daughter of a well-known Chicago family and the fiancé of a
budding politician finds out that she was adopted and that her birth
parents are notorious serial killers, she heads to the small town of
Cainsville to find out more about where she came from. I was really drawn into the mystery of this novel and loved the writing. Another book with a sequel that I’m eagerly anticipating.

13. Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell. Two outsiders fall in love over the course of one year in 1986. This was a heartbreaking, yet hopeful novel. It was also disputed at a school in Minnesota this year.

14. Crank (trilogy), by Ellen Hopkins. A verse novel about a teenager who becomes addicted to meth after visiting her father one summer. This isn’t an easy read but one that I appreciated. I’m sure I will return to this series again in the future.

15. Allegiant, by Veronica Roth. The final installment of the Divergent trilogy, about a futuristic Chicago in which society is broken up into factions that pursue the perfection of a virtue. I’m one of the few who thought the ending of this novel was perfect, but… it was.

16. Night Film, by Marisha Pessl. When a cult horror filmmaker’s daughter is found dead, the reporter
who ruined his career and marriage investigating the filmmaker picks up
his investigation again, not believing the reports that she killed
herself. This was creepy and intriguing and I wanted to know what would happen next. If you read it, make sure to grab this in hardcover (or paperback, once it’s out). This book is one to experience and I don’t know if it would be quite the same in the ebook format.

What are some of your favorite books from 2013?

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