Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best/Most Memorable Reads in 2013

2013 was meant to be my year of more balance. More classics, more backlist, more variety. That's why I reduced my goal to 75 instead of 100. I ended up at 72 (see my list of books read in 2013) including a couple of eNovellas and rereads. Not too shabby for a year in which I spent a lot of time traveling for my books (THE MEMORY OF AFTER/LEVEL 2 and CHICK-O-SAURUS REX), majorly revising CHASING BEFORE and also being in the hospital and recovering from major surgery.  

Here are some of the most memorable aspects of what I read:

Memorable Dystopian Moments
I'm still reading a bunch of dystopian. The publishing industry might be tired of, but I'm not! My top six dystopian reads were: IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS by Cat Winters, STUNG by Bethany Wiggins, NOT A DROP TO DRINK by Mindy McGinnis, REQUIEM by Lauren Oliver, SHADES OF EARTH by Beth Revis and CONTROL by Lydia Kang.

Memorable Debuts
Last year I read over 50 debut novels by the Apocalypsies. This year I read 24 YA and MG debuts from 2013 + 2 from 2014.

Most memorable first line
'I have a dead girl's name.' From Stacey Kade's THE RULES: PROJECT PAPER DOLL. It's an immediate hook that makes me want to know more.

Most quotable overall
SEPTEMBER GIRLS by Bennett Madison. I pulled a bunch of quotes from this, but my favorite is probably: 'I felt life unfurling itself in lazy and salty spirals in the water below my feet, revealing itself as something I would never have guessed.'

Most memorable first chapter
I'm going to say ALL OUR YESTERDAYS by Cristin Terrill. The first chapter with Em in the prison and finding the note she wrote to herself - so tense! When I got to the line 'You have to kill him', I actually gasped out loud.

Most memorable laughs
It doesn't come out until next year, but LOOP by Karen Akins was so witty and fun. And I just started reading it, but SINCE YOU ASKED by Maurene Goo is hilarious so far.

Most memorable cry
IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS by Cat Winters. Oh so sad.

Most traumatic endings
NOT A DROP TO DRINK by Mindy McGinnis. STAR CURSED by Jessica Spotswood. IN TIME by Alexandra Bracken.

Most dramatic character arcs
Elise in THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE. Terra in STARGLASS by Phoebe North. Knox in PROXY by Alex London.

Most memorable male leads
Tarver in THESE BROKEN STARS by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufmann, Alex in WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE by Trish Dollar, Anthem in CODA by Emma Trevayne.

Most memorable couples
Zuzana and Mik in NIGHT OF CAKE AND PUPPETS by Laini Taylor. Caymen and Xander in THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Kasie West. Fiona and Bowen in STUNG by Bethany Wiggins. Anna and Bennett in TIME AFTER TIME by Tamara Ireland Stone.

Most swoony (almost) kiss
I loved the angry dancing scene in REBOOT by Amy Tintera.

Most badass characters
Amelie in VENGEANCE BOUND by Justina Ireland. Mila in MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza.

Most memorable supporting characters
Baby in IN THE AFTER by Demetria Lunetta, Chris in SHADES OF EARTH by Beth Revis, Alice in ELEMENTAL by Antony John.

Most memorable father/daughter bond
HOOKED by Liz Fichera.

Most memorable locations
The mystical oak tree in RELATIVITY by Cristin Bishara, post-apocalyptic Antarctica in CHAMPION by Marie Lu, the town of Claysoot in TAKEN by Erin Bowman.

Most memorable WTF
Okay WTF was up with the ending of DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas? Did. Not. See. That. Coming. Also CHARM & STRANGE by Stephanie Kuehn.

Most memorable animals
The dolphins in THE NEPTUNE PROJECT by Polly Holyoke. (bonus!) The sloths in A LITTLE BOOK OF SLOTH by Lucy Cooke.

Most memorable outfit
Lilac's dress in THESE BROKEN STARS by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufmann.

Most memorable scenes that gave me chills
When the missing girl first appears in the car in 17 & GONE by Nova Ren Suma. Pretty much every scene in BLACK HELICOPTERS by Blythe Woolston.

Most memorable scene that gave me chills (in a good way)
The conjuring of peacock footprints in NIGHT OF CAKE AND PUPPETS by Laini Taylor.

Most memorable scare
NIGHT FILM by Marisha Pessl was the creepiest novel I read all year.

Most memorable villain
Johnny in THE COLOR OF RAIN by Cori McCarthy. Dude is messed up.

Most memorable cover

Though I wasn't all that taken with the novel, I adore this cover so much. I think it's the pop of yellow.

Most memorable unexpected reveals
Hands down the twisty twists in THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER by Megan Sheperd. She knows how to set up shocking reveals.

Most memorable backlist reads
This was the year I finally met Marcus Flutie! (SLOPPY FIRSTS by Megan McCafferty)

Check out my memorable 2012 reads.

Tell me - what were some of your memorable reading moments in 2013?


Unknown said...

This is a great idea :) A really different 2013 post!

Cathy x

Amy said...

I'm impressed you read so much! I don't know how you do it! :D Hope your new year is fabulous!


Looks like I've got a bunch of books to add to my TBR list. I have heard so many good things about Not A Drop to Drink I've got to read it. This is a great list and I'm impressed too at how much you read along with your writing. Can't wait for your sequel!!

Happy New Year!

Will you be coming back to the US for book signings? I saw you at Malaprops in Asheville.

Kailana said...

This is awesome! People come up with such wonderful categories.

(Someday in the future you should come to my neck of the woods for one of your books... It does happen sometimes, Diana Gabaldon came here, but it's a bit rare...)

Sandy Nawrot said...

In this whole list, I've only read Requiem and Night Film! I am wandering in a completely different land I think. I too am pretty impressed that you had time to write a book or two and still do all this reading!

Miss Scarlet said...

Reading Night Circus while on vacation in Jamaica was super special. I'll always remember reading that by the beautiful water.

When your next book comes out, I'm gonna need you to come back to VA and sign some copies:)

Miss Scarlet said...

Oh, and Letters From Skye by Jessica Brockmole totally took over my life for a day and left me so happy and sad and just happy to have books. <3

Liviania said...

I agree with so many of these! And I still need to read The Color of Rain.

Amanda said...

I have to say that the first line and title from your most memorable first line category makes me immediately want to go check out that book, which I've never heard of!

Carina Olsen said...

Ohh, I love this post. Thank you so so much for sharing Lenore :D And ah. In the Shadow of Blackbirds. <3 So good. But yes, so sad as well. Sniffs.

Christina said...

Is In the Shadow really dystopian? And Not a Drop is post-apoc. *ducks*

Technically most people share their names with dead people, except maybe YA heroines who are speshul snowflakes with weird ass names. PRAM.

Yay! Since You Asked was a lot of fun.

I loved the ending of Not a Drop. *is brutal*

Ugh, Tarver.

ZUZANA AND MIK. I want that so badly. I just learned my library gets some enovellas. GET IT, LIBRARY. I NEEDS IT.