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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve: Favorite Books Read in 2013

Well, it's New Year's Eve, and the end of 2013. Today I thought I'd look at a few of our favorite YA Reads from the past year. Many came out in 2013, but not all. These are books that I READ this year.

    

Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel. I love setting a book about faeries in the American Dust Bowl and using American racial issues and music mirror the splits and politics in the faerie courts. It's a really well-done twist. The first in a trilogy, follow it with Golden Girl.

The Queen Is Dead by Kate Locke. I went back and forth between this one and Long Live the Queen. I love this book about the paranormal steampunk present. This is an adult series, but I think it has a lot of teen appeal. Start with God Save the Queen

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta. This was a most perfect and devastating conclusion to a most perfect and devastating trilogy. Words can never express how much I love Lumatere. Start with Finnikin of the Rock.

    

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers. Well, the fact that it's historical fiction about court intrigue and politics in Brittany featuring assassin nuns should be enough to make you love this book. But, beyond the awesome plot elements, I like how dark and twisted LaFevers is willing to make her world, and how realistic her characters are while still kicking ass, and how she weaves in faith and changing traditions. Start with Grave Mercy.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Don't let the paperback cover fool you--this is another dark and heavy read (the bulk of the narration takes place under Gestapo torture. And then, once you think you know what's going on, everything changes.

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley. This is a great graphic novel memoir that looks at the central role food has played in Knisley's life. I like that different aspects of food are presented--growing, cooking, selling, and eating. Plus! Illustrated recipes! I want Knisley to do an entire graphic novel cookbook.

    

October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Leslea Newman. I was hesitant to pick up a verse novel about such a horrific and sensational crime, written by someone close to the situation. The whole thing screamed trainwreck. But, it is expertly done. Newman matches form to poem in a way that shows a very high level of craft. The overall effect is devastating--as any well-done book about Shepard should be.

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson. The final book of a favorite trilogy, I like how this one really expands the world that Carson has built and shows how much Elisa has grown as a character. Start with The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins. I loved this companion novel to the Hex Hal series. I wish this were the first in a series, but Hawkins tells me its not.

What were your favorite books of 2013?

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