I loved revealing my favorite books in previous years. The nostalgia alone makes me happy so I wanted to kick off the New Year with my favorite books in 2013. This will be in 4 parts. I previously wanted to do this a couple of days ago but it didn't work out that way. I hope you all enjoy the post and have a fantastic New Year!
Part 1: The Characters
Best Male Character
Henry "Hank" happened to be the perfect character to start off 2013 for me. His story of amnesia and his likes of nature, running, and his fondness for Thoreau made him my ultimate favorite male fictional character. There's just something about Hank. I love reading books about nature and I like a good mystery but Hank himself was just so inquisitive and interesting that I fell for the guy. I wanted Hank to discover who he was and discover who he wanted be. He was the only guy I look back and see that I truly rooted for. The story was great but Hank made it what it was - fantastic.
Best Female Character
Not surprisingly my favorite female character came from a children's book which I felt like I read a lot last year. Surprisingly it was Stargirl. The back story to this book was I was forced to read it in Spanish when I was like 12. I am not proficient in Spanish so of course I hated the book and overall felt there was something wrong with this chick. Reading it again in English was one great decision. Stargirl is not only and amazingly unique individual, she's also very inspiring. I came out of reading this book feeling good about the world or at least what a few people can do to lead and change it. She just embodies that person who can makes us look at the world differently and inspire us to change it and that's big. This is what readers are looking for - books and characters that open our eyes and give us a few laughs in between.
Best Forbidden Love
This may be the strangest forbidden love I've ever read. People who didn't like Isobel kept on mentioning that the guy she liked was her brother when they just began living together and they were step-siblings. She basically moves in with her mom to this mansion with this moody boy who she ends up having a connection with. It's not as passionate as most but it was significant enough that I wanted to add it to this list. It was just sweet and endearing and I loved it.
Oh my goodness what can I say about Amy and Roger? Their relationship was actually a gradual one... They both had depth to their characters. They had emotions and you felt that across the pages reading their story and their journey to discover themselves. Together they are an unbeatable couple that I wish I could read more of. Their book didn't start out as a romantic romp. It was about getting to know them both separately and the problems they faced whether it was romantically or life changing. When they started realizing their feelings for each other it was magical because we got to know them individually. It was all the sweeter when they got together.
Part 2: The Books
Most Unique Read
Shift was a very strange read. My mom even read it and felt the same way yet it was so... engaging that we couldn't help reading it until it was over. The premise is that there is this weird ghostly girl and she starts becoming a replica of this popular girl while that popular girl is becoming a ghostly figure. It's a bit confusing but all you need to know it was the most uniquely different book I read all year. It was part mystery and what is happening here??? In a good way.
Because The Liar Society reminds me so much of Veronica Mars I have to put it in here somewhere. It's my favorite premise because you think you know what's going on, you're on the edge by the very end but BAM! some new obstacle smacks into you and changes everything. Everything that happens to this girl is pure evil. She just can't get a break and the whole story with her trying to find her best friend who may or may not be dead and the secret societies and the hilarity that the characters exude... it's just amazing. If I could find more crime fighting/mystery/nail biting books like this I would be in heaven.
Megan goes through hell. She survives a plane crash but doesn't remember anything and slowly she remembers pieces that haunt her. She can't sleep, she can't function properly. She loses her friends and her parents are ignoring her obvious problems. There was a moment where her little brother stated the obvious that she's going crazy or something and she's never been the same since she came home from the hospital. She told him that he was the only one who saw who she really was. I don't know the whole thing. I might have gotten that completely wrong but you get the gist of it. It was horrible seeing her retreat into herself and no one doing anything about it right away. She was miserable and I felt so bad for her. The things she saw and experienced were terrifying. It was fantastically written because it broke my heart so much.
Inspires the Most Imagination
God I love Savvy. It's one of those books I put off because I knew it was popular but I assumed it was no good. Great thinking, right? It just makes me so happy you don't even know. The story is about a family that gets powers when they turn twelve years old. They may be odd but they are perfect for each character. Just alone that portion of the book can send my mind on a daydream. The characters, the story, everything was just so perfect and imaginative that it can get anyone dreaming. I just can't express my love for this book enough and the sequel is amazing as well. If only Ingrid Law wasn't the George R. R. Martin of the children's book world.
Best New Series
The Liar Society was a strong contender for this category but there was something about Erasing Time that made me change my mind. It's enthralling. It's a dystopian done right which is pretty rare (The Gameboard of Gods is awesome too). It's actually more of a futuristic book where two twin sisters are transported into the future. There's a whole reason why they are transported but I don't want to ruin anything. The world building, the characters, again I say the everything was just amazing and I can't wait for the next books in the series. It better be good if not better.
Best Realistic Fiction
No and Me was about homelessness. The main character befriends a homeless girl for a project in her school. It's not something I usually read. It was very real (obviously). The story just enveloped me in a world that maybe we all don't think about too much even though it's there. It's like we ignore the problems of the world even though they are right there. It just gave me a taste of what people have to deal with to survive day to day.
Part 3: The Covers
Part 4: Favorite Book of 2013
I didn't read as much books that I really wanted to in 2013. There were more alright books than there were amazing but when a book really captured me it really captured my attention. I read Savvy in the beginning of the year where I read most of my great books. Savvy is magic, imagination, and wonderful story building all rolled into one. The characters are as diverse and as amazing as they can get. It's the book I would have loved to have as an eleven year old because I know I would have dreamed and wished so hard to have powers on my 12th birthday. It's very much like Harry Potter in that sense. It provides such a sense of wonder and it has a lot to do with family and believing in yourself. I was hardly into it when I knew it was going to be a favorite. It's actually the only book I categorized as a favorite although I had a couple more books I enjoyed immensely. Savvy is by far my favorite of the year.
Finalists: Erasing Time, The Gameboard of the Gods, and The Liar Society.