Thursday, December 26, 2013

Top Ten of 2013 - Nat's Picks

I can't believe that another year has passed.  Another year of bookish and non-bookish fun.   Another year of Shel and Bel putting up with my ridiculous obsessions and total nonsense - book related and not.  And another of year of struggling to create a Top Ten post.  It took some time but I did it.  I narrowed down my favorites for 2013.   Here there are.  Other than the first, there is no particular order to this list...

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg - This was by far my FAVORITE book of the year.  I want everyone to read this.  EVERYONE.  Not matter age, orientation or gender, I think everyone will be able to relate to Rafe.  This is a beautifully awkward and funny story about acceptance and celebrating who we are.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman - I loved both books in this duology but Just One Day struck a cord with me.  Growing up as an only child, I really identified with Allyson Healey and her struggles.  Gayle Forman doesn't hold back in telling the story of an insecure girl that travels both figuratively and literally in order to discover who she is and become an independent young woman.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein -  This was an engrossing story about best friends (one a spy; the other a transit pilot) meeting and experiencing the horrors of WWII England and France.  This book had one hell of a climax that still makes my heart stop to think about it.

Glitterland by Alexis Hall -  This is easily one of the best m/m romances I have ever read (review to post the first week of the New Year).  Hall's use of the first person narrative provides the reader with understanding as to how Ash is affected by his depression as well as serves to show the contrast between Ash and Darian's personalities.  And what I loved most was seeing how beautiful and sparkling Darian becomes in Ash's eyes.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater - I have enjoyed both books in this unfinished trilogy but The Dream Thieves left me utterly confused and thoroughly enchanted.  Confused because, as Shel said, I had no idea what was going on yet I couldn't stop reading.  Enchanted because The Gray Man might be one of the most psychotically amusing characters I've ever encountered.  Don't let my comments put you off.  You will learn what's going on before the book is finished.  Stiefvater just does what she does best.  Take you on the most adventurous and entertaining path to the destination she intends.

Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane - Out of Amy's many wonderful releases this year,  Christmas Kitsch was the one that grabbed me the most.   Partially because Rusty was so adorably clueless and awkward.  And partially because it was a heartwarming love story about making a home.  This one gave me a nudge (that I desperately needed) right into the holiday spirit.

Dare You To by Katie McGarry -  No surprise I picked this one for my Top Ten.  Although I love McGarry's bad boys (Noah of Pushing the Limits and Isaiah of Crash Into You), my heart will always belong to the forever boys. And Ryan Stone is the perfect forever boy.  He's spontaneously romantic and he's protective while never attempting to take away Beth's independence.  And did I mention he plays baseball?  Yeah.  Forever boy.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare - I can't say much about this because Shel is saving up most of her TMI and ID books for this coming spring and we don't want to spoil anything for her.  All I can say is OMG. Cassie Clare sure knows how to pull at those heartstrings.  Seriously.  I was sitting at the kitchen table at 2am sobbing my poor little heart out.

The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn - I thought this was Julia Quinn at her finest.  The shockingly rude and smart conversations that Lady Sarah and Lord Hugh have are hilarious.  Lord Hugh might be my favorite Julia Quinn hero yet.  And that's saying a lot considering how much I love Colin Bridgerton.  And Simon Basset.  And Michael Stirling. And Thomas Cavendish. And....oh sod it.  I love them all.  And now I can add Hugh Prentice to my historical romance harem.

Cherish by Tere Michaels - Cherish (a novella) is the 4th book in the Faith, Love and Devotion Series. I enjoyed the entire series immensely but what made Cherish stand out for me was that we got that peek we always crave when wondering about a couples Happy Ever After.  On top of that, it contained the perfect mix of romance and the wicked Tere Michaels' humor Bel and I witnessed at RT.

I did it!  I figured out my favorites of the year.  But there are still 6 more days of the year.  I reserve my right to edit this list on the off chance I find another favorite before 2014 begins.


1 comment:

  1. I don't recall hearing of Openly Straight- but given what you had to say about it I must check it out. It sounds really good and if it is a book that everyone should read- that says a lot right there. :) Thanks for sharing!