Jessica Love, Katy Upperman, Tracey Neithercott, and Alison Miller are hosting the YA Superlatives Blogfest again this year, which is a chance for us all to highlight our favorite 2013 reads. Stay tuned this week to find out which awesome books you need to read!
All covers will link to Goodreads pages for easy addition to to-read shelves 🙂
Day One: Head of the Class
Yes, I know that this one was technically a 2012 release. But since it was released after last year’s superlatives, I made an executive decision to include it. What made The Darkest Minds stand out just a little bit more than some of the other choices I was considering was the emotion that was present throughout the novel, whether it was Ruby’s feelings of guilt and inadequacy, or some of the other things that happened. I read this book in January, and I still haven’t recovered from the emotional thrashing it gave me. If you liked the blend of dystopian and paranormal elements combined with a little more emotion in Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, you’ll probably like this one, too.
Favorite Science Fiction
Through the Ever Night was, in my opinion, even better than Under the Never Sky. For one thing, Aria was far less annoying. (I mean, I get that it was necessary for her character development, but still.) Also, there was a lot more Roar, and how could that possibly be a bad thing? We also got a chance to see even more of the dangers of the world outside the pods, not to mention the ways in which Aria and Perry’s relationship was tested. I can’t wait for the last book!
I read this entire series over the summer, because once I read The Girl of Fire and Thorns, I couldn’t stop. I loved how different Elisa was from a lot of other fantasy heroines – she wasn’t a BAMF at first and she had no confidence and she wasn’t model-pretty. These books were all about Elisa learning how to believe in herself, and I think anyone – not just teens – can learn from Elisa’s struggles. The Bitter Kingdom was possibly the most satisfying series finale I’ve ever read. I was sad to leave these characters, but at the same time, I felt good about where things ended for all of them.
I loved watching Allyson’s journey in Just One Day as she figured out what she wanted, how to go after what she wanted, and how to stand up for what she wanted. At first glance it seems like a light read, but there’s really a lot to be taken away from it, which tend to be the contemps I love the most, I’m noticing.
I really liked Legend, although I felt like something was missing. Prodigy erased pretty much allof the reservations I’d had about Legend and then some. There was plenty of action to be had – which kept me turning pages quickly – but there was the characters and the world building to back it up so there was substance to it, as well. Also, that ending, right?
Favorite Historical Fiction
I read Grave Mercy at the recommendation of several people during last year’s YA Superlatives, and I loved it so much, finding out Dark Triumph was about to come out was the best news ever. Assassin nuns are awesome, but so are all of the political games said nuns get involved in, not to mention how much I love the romances. The last book in this trilogy is one of the books I’m looking forward to the most for next year.
The conflict in Taken revolves around Gray’s search for answers to the mystery of what happens to boys when they turn eighteen – where are they all disappearing to? Even though I guessed the Big Reveal ahead of time, there were still enough surprises after that that this was still one of my favorite reads of the year and I can’t wait to see what happens next! (Also, can we talk about how awesome that cover is? It’s pretty awesome.)
And The Bitter Kingdom takes another category! But seriously, though, can we talk about Elisa and Hector? And by Elisa and Hector, I mostly mean Hector. That is all.
But seriously, though, their romance was the perfect blend of sweet and steamy, not to mention Hector was a genuinely good guy – which is shocking, I know, in light of my decided partisanship for Warner and the Darkling.
(Fair warning: this week will most likely be a The Bitter Kingdom love fest. Because reasons.)
If you’ve read Melina Marchetta’s Lumatere Chronicles series, you’ll understand why I chose Quintana of Charyn as my favorite family drama of the year. One of the many, many highlights of the book for me was watching a group of strangers try to figure out how to function together like a family – or if they even could be a family, after all that happened.
Favorite Genre Bender
What were your favorite 2013 releases?