Favorites Reads of 2013

Book post! And what is even more exciting than a book post… a year end wrap up my favorite reads book post! *deep breath* I do not know if I will be able to contain myself to a specific amount of books but I will try to do a Top Ten Eleven 2013 Reads (had to do eleven), these will be listed in no particular order as they are all awesome and you should all read them! (5 Min into making this list: Seriously??!?! I have read too many amazing books this year! How do I choose!?)

Okay…so I need to add this little note. Anything by Jennifer Armentrout/J. Lynn & Colleen Hoover & Jessica Sorensen are golden! I could include ALL of their books but then the list would be basically an ode to them, there should be ode’s to them. So please, with ice cream and brownies and whip cream and cherries, go pick up their stuff. Now. I won’t even be hurt if you stop reading and go request them at your library or buy them on Amazon.ca…etc

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

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Synopsis: I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

Why I Love: This book was such an emotional roller-coaster in the best way. I loved this read and my lovely cousin (@danielelamb) whom I got to read (late night text gushing about a book always say a lot) also loved it. Nothing makes me happier than strong characters with a well developed plot and this one had it in spades. I should warn you to have some kleenex handy as you may need it.

If I Stay (If I Stay #1 & #2) by Gayle Forman

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Synopsis: In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck…

A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

Why I Love: This was my first Forman book but it definitely won’t be my last. I was really impressed with the narration and how this story played out. I went in expecting a sweet “lost my memory” love story but it was a lot more than that.  From the start I was in love with this family that we’re introduced to, their quirks and uniqueness made it impossible for me not to love and then came the emotional typhoon. Tears were running rampant down my cheeks and every time I thought I’d get a reprieve from the emotional pull I was yanked down again. Now to some that might not seem like a great read, you are wrong. So often I will read a book where the author has written their leads with horrible life events but never give you more, not a fan of that. If you have a broken character SHOW me, don’t tell me and this book definitely gave me my brokenness. The sequel was just as amazing!

Divergent (Divergent Trilogy) by Veronica Roth

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Synopsis: In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Why I Loved: I mean what isn’t to love. I was definitely late to this reading party but once I started I could not stop. A fantastic journey and I am eagerly anticipating the movie release. The journey that Tris goes through from the start to the end was just flawlessly written. Definitely one I stayed up late to finish  and tears were shed.

Wait for You (Wait for You Series) by J. Lynn

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Synopsis: Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…

Why I Loved: The New Adult genre can be confusing and tricky as to what you are about to read. Sometimes the books are full of just annoying cliches, poorly written plot, smut, choppy characters…the list is long. I want NA to be packed with substance but I find NA more so than YA or other genres to be inconsistent. But I have digressed. This book is a perfect example of what I love and want! Characters that are well developed, with their own issues that aren’t just shoved under a rug, and a great plot that kept moving. I loved-loved this book!

Obsidian (Lux Series) by Jennifer Armentrout

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Synopsis: Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Why I Love: Aliens done right, of course I have not read a lot of alien centered books so I cannot compare but it sorta reminded me of Vampire Academy & Mythos Academy and that is a good thing. I was hooked from the first book and basically went through a reading spree trying to catch up on all of these. I cannot wait for the next book!

The Final Piece by Maggi Myers

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Synopsis: Life shouldn’t be about picking up the pieces.

Beth Bradshaw has spent her life hiding from her tragic past. From the moment a trusted family friend steals her innocence until the moment another rescues her, she struggles to just survive.

Surrounded by the comfort and protection of her extended family, Beth embarks on a journey of healing far from the horrors of her home. In her darkest moments, she meets a boy named Ryan. For one incredible summer, Ryan shows Beth what it’s like to act her own age.

To feel free and let go.
If only for a while.

Years later, another tragedy threatens to shatter the life Beth has carefully crafted. When faced, yet again, with more pieces to pick up, Beth begins to question what her choices have cost her.
Leaving her old life behind, she sets forth on a pilgrimage that will bring her back to the boy she could never forget. He wants to help her pick up the pieces of her life, but is she willing to do what it takes to become whole again?

Can she trust him with a piece of herself?

Why I Love: This book was so heartbreaking, again in the best way. Fantastic read, with a great plot(warning though some heavy topics) and just really moving characters. I loved the secondary characters in this book as well, which is always a sign to me that the book is a good one.

Second Rate Chances by Holly Stephens

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Synopsis: Sam wakes up in the hospital expecting to find his girlfriend by his bedside. Instead, he finds a bleached-blond diva, claiming to be his fiancée, hovering over him. When he learns that he’s just woken up from a coma and has lost the last three years of his life, any semblance of stability he thought he had falls down around him. All he wants – all he needs – is Lil.

After countless visits with her shrink and too many sleepless nights waiting for the one man she loves to walk back through the door, Lil wants nothing more than to separate herself from the life she used to have. But the moment Sam smiles at her, Lil knows it’s going to take more than self-restraint to stay away.

Second-Rate Chances is about a young man fighting to regain his memory, and the one thing in his life that felt real. A modern-day Samson and Delilah, it’s a look at what it means to love and be loved, and to fight though it seems hopeless.

Why I Love: Okay, so often why I enjoy stories where the characters knew each other before the story started was because I love the familiarity that is there; you always feel the pull. This one was even better because the guy loses his memory, so while you know some of the history it is all being retold. You know the spark is there, you know a bit of the history and getting it retold and done again…just ugh! I loved! Beautiful story.

Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy Series) by Jennifer Estep

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Synopsis: My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy; a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody’s head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest. But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I’m determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why; especially since I should have been the one who died…

Why I Love: Sometimes I just want the female to kick some butt. To be strong and sorta Buffy like and this series gave me that. Similar to Lux Series and Vampire Academy but man this girl just has it rough. She is the freak in a sea of super heroes and learning all about her heritage a bit later than the other, which only adds to outcast status. But you never want to count a girl out and this series delivers, emotions, mystery and I finally understand Greek Mythology a bit better.

The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden (Series) by Jessica Sorensen

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Synopsis: For Kayden, suffering in silence was the only way to survive. If he was lucky, he could keep his head down, do as he was told, and make it through the day. But one night it seemed like his luck-and his life-might finally end . . . until an angel named Callie appeared just in time to rescue him.

Callie has never believed in luck. Not since her twelfth birthday when everything was taken from her. After the worst was over, she locked up her feelings and vowed never to tell anyone what happened. Now, six years later, she continues to struggle with the painful secret that threatens to consume her.

When fate lands Kayden and Callie at the same college, Kayden is determined to get to know the beautiful girl who changed his destiny. Quiet and reserved, Callie still fears letting anyone else into her world. But Kayden is certain that Callie has come back into his life for a reason. And the more he tries to be a part of her life, the more he realizes that, this time, it’s Callie who needs to be saved . .

Why I Love: Broken characters + brokenness + heavy topics + more brokenness = my perfect read. I will warn you that you need the next book before you start this one. When I originally read I thought my ebook was messed up due to the cliffhanger. It was painful to wait, so seriously get both books before you dive in…and buckle up. This is an emotional powerhouse.

Hopeless (Hopeless Series) by Colleen Hoover

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Synopsis: Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

Why I Love: I have talked about about this book so much that I feel like I am on repeat. All I can say is that if you have not read this yet you are missing out on an amazing story, an amazing love story and just ugh…read this!

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits Series) by Katie McGarry

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Synopsis: No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Why I Love: The trio in this story is a bit different than what I normally go for but the whole redemption angle just won me over. As you read through this series you’ll understand. I love that each book is dedicated to one of the three and you can’t help but be won over by this group. If you enjoyed Simone Elkeles  Perfect Chemistry than you’ll enjoy this.

What books have you devoured and loved this past year? Have you read any off my top 2013 list?

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3 thoughts on “Favorites Reads of 2013

  1. Ah I LOVE reading. You inspired me to actually go out and renew my library card today! I’ve actually never even brought the kids to the library just to play and it was awesome. We’re going to be taking more advantage of it, that’s for sure! These are some great recommendations! I will be referring to this post again 🙂

  2. Pingback: January’s Book Love | Beauty & the Books

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